16 Genius Uses for Vinegar (That Don’t Involve Food)
More reasons why you should always have a bottle of vinegar on hand.
There are so many different vinegar uses that it is truly one of the most versatile items in your pantry. From cooking to cleaning to personal care, there are endless home uses for vinegar. In fact, there are very few things you can't clean with vinegar.
It's important to note that there are many different types of vinegar and each has its own purpose. Balsamic and red wine vinegar are used mostly for cooking and salad dressing. White vinegar, while edible, is best used for cleaning purposes. Cleaning vinegar is dangerous to ingest and should only be used for that purpose. Apple cider vinegar is one of the most versatile types of vinegar, with just as many culinary uses as cleaning and other purposes.
Here are some genius vinegar uses you might not know about.
Vinegar as All-Purpose Cleaning Spray
Get rid of your chemical cleaning products and use vinegar instead. Mix one part white vinegar and one part water in an empty spray bottle to clean everything from wood floors to countertops. To make the smell more pleasant, add 10-20 drops of any essential oil. Lemon is a particularly good choice because it helps to cut grease and odors.
Vinegar as Soap Scum Remover
Having trouble scrubbing that tough soap scum off your bathtub or shower doors? Pour some white vinegar or cleaning vinegar on a sponge and wipe. If you still have trouble removing the grime, put a little baking soda on a sponge and add a little more vinegar. It will fizz, making the dirt come up easily.
Vinegar as Clarifying Hair Treatment
If product buildup is making your hair feel oily, skip the clarifying shampoo and DIY your own using, you guessed it, vinegar. Combine one part apple cider vinegar to two parts water in an old shampoo or empty water bottle and shake it up. After shampooing your hair, towel dry and apply the solution evenly from roots to ends. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing and conditioning.
Vinegar as Candle Wax Remover
Spilled candle wax is easy to remove with the help of vinegar. Just heat up the wax with a hair dryer and then sop it up with a paper towel. Remove any leftover wax with a paper towel soaked in a solution of half water and half vinegar.
Vinegar as Weed Killer
Stop using chemical weed killers in your garden. Vinegar is better for your family and pets. It’s best to use vinegar that has high acidity, such as Pure 20% Vinegar ($23; amazon.com), to apply to weeded areas. You can also combine a gallon of white vinegar with a cup of salt and a tablespoon of dish soap. Mix well and apply to the area.
Vinegar as Flea Spray for Your Pet
Want to treat Fido or Fluffy’s fleas naturally? After shampooing, apply a mixture using one part water to one part apple cider vinegar on your pet’s coat to create an unpleasant environment for fleas to live.
Vinegar as Carpet Stain Remover
Vinegar can help lift odors and get stains out of carpet. Soak the stain with white vinegar, and then sprinkle on some baking soda until the solution fizzes. Wait a few minutes for the stain to absorb and then vacuum up the powder. If the odor is bothersome, apply a drop or two of essential oil over the vinegar.
Vinegar as Stainless Steel Cleaner
No need to buy anything special to make your fridge shine. Spray undiluted white vinegar on stainless steel or chrome, then buff off with a polishing cloth.
Vinegar as Showerhead Cleaner
If your shower spray isn’t what it used to be, it could be clogged with minerals and gunk. Fill a plastic bag with vinegar and secure it over the showerhead using tape or rubber bands. Wait at least two hours and then run the water for a few minutes through the showerhead before using. You can also remove the showerhead and submerge it in the vinegar instead. Rinse off before reattaching.
Vinegar as Sweater Fluffer
Fluff up wool sweaters by adding a few capfuls of vinegar to the rinse cycle.
Vinegar as Garbage Disposal Deodorizer
To deodorize a garbage disposal, make vinegar ice cubes and feed them down the disposal. After grinding, run cold water through the drain.
Vinegar as Bath Booster
One of the more unusual vinegar uses, add a half cup of vinegar to bath water to soothe dry skin—and get a cleaner bath tub. An essential oil can help counteract the smell.
Vinegar as Sticker Remover
To dislodge a stubborn price sticker, paint it with several coats of vinegar, let it sit for five minutes, then wipe away.
Vinegar as Odor Remover
After chopping onions, scrub your hands with salt and a splash of vinegar to eliminate the smell.
Vinegar as Coffeemaker Cleaner
Clean a coffeemaker or a tea kettle by making a pot using a mixture of water and vinegar. Follow with several cycles of water to rinse.