More reasons why you should always have a bottle of vinegar on hand.
Advertisement
uses-for-vinegar
Credit: Getty Images

From cooking to cleaning to personal care, there are endless home uses for vinegar. It is truly one of the most versatile items in your pantry. 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 15 genius vinegar uses you might not know about.

1 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 to 20 drops of any essential oil. Lemon is a particularly good choice because it helps cut grease and odors.

2 Vinegar as Soap Scum Remover

Having trouble scrubbing tough soap scum off your bathtub or shower doors? Pour 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 wipe up easily.

3 Vinegar as Clarifying Hair Treatment

If product buildup is making your hair feel oily, skip the clarifying shampoo and DIY your own using vinegar. Combine one part apple cider vinegar to two parts water in an old shampoo or 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.

4 Vinegar as Candle Wax Remover

Spilled candle wax is easy to remove with help from vinegar. Just heat the wax with a hair dryer and sop it up with a paper towel. Remove any leftover wax with a paper towel that's been soaked in a solution of half water and half vinegar.

5 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 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.

6 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 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.

7 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.

8 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.

9 Vinegar as Sweater Fluffer

Fluff up wool sweaters by adding a few capfuls of vinegar to the rinse cycle.

10 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.

11 Vinegar as Bath Booster

One of the more unusual vinegar uses, add a half cup of apple cidervinegar to bath water to soothe dry skin (and get a cleaner bathtub). An essential oil can help counteract the smell.

12 Vinegar as Sticker Remover

To dislodge a stubborn sticker, paint it with several coats of vinegar, let it sit for five minutes, then wipe away.

13 Vinegar as a Odor Remover

After chopping onions, scrub your hands with salt and a splash of vinegar to eliminate the smell.

14 Vinegar as a Coffee Maker Cleaner

Clean a coffee maker or a tea kettle by making a pot using a mixture of water and vinegar. Follow with several cycles of water to rinse.

15 Vinegar as Shoe Cleaner

Clean salt-stained leather and suede shoes with a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water. Dab it onto a cotton rag (or a nylon-bristle brush if you're cleaning suede) and rub gently over the entire shoe. Then let dry.