You probably have at least one bottle of vinegar around, so that you can use it to make marinades and add extra flavor to certain dishes. However, it turns out that uses for vinegar are a great household tool that shouldn’t only be kept in the kitchen.
Many of the best tricks involving uses for vinegar are ages old and fairly well known, but many people simply dismiss them in favor of using chemical agents with brand backing and a promise of effectiveness. As such, you may never have heard much about these approaches, and may never have thought to try them instead of using your usual methods.
In addition to being much more expensive than vinegar on average, the most commonly available chemical products often pose a hazard to your health and the health of your family. Many of the ingredients are linked to everything from potential respiratory system damage to an increased likelihood of suffering from certain types of cancer.
If you have young children, these products may also leave you feeling concerned about their safety and worrying about how to keep toxic chemicals out of reach. Consequently, you have plenty of good reasons to take uses for vinegar more seriously as a cheap, powerful alternative.
The following ten uses for vinegar are not only as effective as the leading brands in their category, but also are safer for the user. As you’ll see, vinegar can be used to accomplish a wide variety of household cleaning chores, and it’s also handy when it comes to personal care.
1. Hardwood Floor Cleaner
Most people have heard of this trick before, as vinegar is famous for its ability to help you clean common types of stains from your hardwood flooring. For example, if you have wooden floors then you’re sure to have noticed sticky or dark discoloration leftover from liquid spills, dirty shoes, and messy kids or pets.
What isn’t often so well conveyed, however, is that white vinegar and water is truly the best hardwood floor cleaner out there. You won’t find a commercial cleaner that makes such a difference so quickly or one that gives the type of lasting results that reduce the need for frequent cleaning.
Chemical cleaners can deteriorate wood over time, leaving it showing its age. Plus, these types of cleaners often won’t leave hardwood with a beautiful shine, mopping your floors with vinegar will clean and sanitize the surfaces, as well as restoring the beautiful luster of floors so that they look almost new again.
Some people are hesitant to use any type of vinegar mixed to clean their floors because they don’t like the sharp, strong smell of vinegar, but the smell is less potent when vinegar is mixed with water, and you’ll find that the odor evaporates surprisingly quickly.
As a bonus, a vinegar and water mixture can be used as often as you want without risking damage to the wood, which is not something that’s true of most popular cleaning fluids. Vinegar replaces both cleaner and polish, and the results can be absolutely dazzling.
2. Ant Deterrent
Ants are common household pests that make their way into your home in an effort to find nourishment. You’ll often notice just one or two (which are “scout ants” looking to see if your house is a rich source of potential food), but they can quickly be followed by so many others that you end up with an ant infestation. In addition to being unpleasant to deal with, ants can spread disease due to the fact that they constantly walk through bacteria (e.g. in the garbage and animal waste).
It stands to reason that you’ll want to get rid of the invading ants as quickly and efficiently as possible, but many ant killers contain harsh, poisonous chemicals that no one wants in their home. In particular, if you have a dog or cat, these chemicals can be accidentally ingested and may be fatal.
Vinegar provides a handy, safe alternative once again. Spraying white uses for vinegar wherever ants congregate in the house will deter them without damaging the area, as they cannot tolerate the odor.
This is an especially great trick if you notice ants coming in from a carpeted room. Regularly mopping with uses for vinegar is also a great preventative measure if you know an area is susceptible to attracting ants. In addition, it’s also worth considering the use of peppermint oil as a deterrent, as ants simply can’t stand the smell. Apply some of the oil to cotton balls, and place them near the areas where you suspect ants are prone to enter.
3. Glass and Mirror Cleaner
Glass windows are notorious for becoming stained and streaked. The changing weather influences the outside, while we often unknowingly touch the inside of our windows and leave fingerprints that become glaringly obvious in the sunlight.
Much the same goes for mirrors, which we can easily touch by accident when fixing our hair or opening glass cabinets. These types of marks can’t be removed just by wiping the glass with a tissue or a clean cloth, so it’s off to the store to try and find a useful product that will make your windows and mirrors look clean and clear once again.
Sure, there are plenty of glass cleaners out there, but they face the same problems as the other chemical products we’ve mentioned. It’s particularly worth noting that many of them come in a spray formula that can be inhaled during use.
This is particularly problematic for asthma sufferers, who may find that wheezing, chest tightness, or a full-on asthma attack is triggered as a result of this inhalation. These sprays can also burn the eyes.
We suggest replacing yet another chemical cleaner with uses for vinegar. It is a natural and cheaper alternative. Glass and mirrors will shine when cleaned with a mix of white vinegar and water, and some people even swear that the results are better than those seen with the average cleaner. Make sure you polish the glass after you use the vinegar treatment, as the more you polish it the better the mirror or window will look.
4. Laundry Aid
By adding just a small amount of vinegar to your laundry, you can improve the results of your wash in several different significant ways. Firstly, vinegar can help to remove stains on your clothes. Just as it excels at removing marks from your hardwood flooring, so too is it great at getting grease, dirt, and even grass stains from your favorite shirts and dresses.
In addition, it’s worth noting that many people who uses for vinegar in their laundry loads have reported that their items stay brighter for longer. This is especially important for white clothing and vibrant, patterned outfit, and you’ll save money in the long term because there will be less need to replace your wardrobe staples on a regular basis.
While there are plenty of chemical products that you can add to your washing cycle in order to achieve the same results, some of these may erode clothing quality over time and also pose the usual hazards associated with commercial chemicals.
And if you need a further reason to start uses for vinegar when you’re washing your clothes, there is also evidence that vinegar might be better at deterring lint than most commonly marketed products that claim to do the same.
So, to help you to compare measurements, remember that a cup of bleach in the white load is to a cup of vinegar in the color load. When you make this quick and easy change to your laundry routine, fabrics will stay brighter and newer longer, and the need for dryer sheets is completely eliminated.
5. Hair rinse
Hair rinses are useful for improving the appearance and feel of your hair, especially if you tend to spend a lot of time trying to style and change its natural look. Weeks and months of straightening, curling, and coloring your hair can leave it brittle, dull, and rough to the touch. In addition, all that shampoo and conditioner that you use to try and keep your hair looking good actually builds up problematic residue in your hair, which can make it hard to manage and create oily roots.
Instead of going to the store to pick up a branded hair rinse that exposes you to all kinds of potentially poisonous ingredients that can seep through the skin, try uses for vinegar as a home remedy. You can choose either white or apple cider vinegar, as both of them are great at rinsing your hair.
Vinegar works by effectively removing residue, especially from shampoo. As a result, you’ll see the shine restored to your hair without the need to use oily hair products. Try mixing vinegar and water to create this rinse at first, just to make sure that your skin can tolerate the vinegar. If you don’t have sensitive skin, you can use a pure vinegar rinse, which should then be washed out with warm water.
If you are particularly susceptible to dandruff or an oily scalp, vinegar will be especially useful to you. Your hair will look cleaner for longer, and you’ll be much less likely to notice embarrassing white flakes of hair on your collar.
6. Before and After Hair Dye
If you’re going to do a good job dying your hair, you are required to avoid washing your hair for at least a full day before the dye is applied. However, another great step is to rinse the hair with vinegar, which will completely remove any hair product build-up that could compromise the dye’s result, while not compromising hair’s natural oils.
While you can just use the same vinegar rinse mentioned on the previous page in order to prepare the hair for the application of dye, you can also benefit from using a more complex rinse a few weeks later if you notice that the color of the dye has started to fade.
In particular, adding certain herbs to the rinse is known to help bring out highlights and potentially brighten the color of your hair.
If you’ve dyed your hair a dark brown, black, or purple shade, add fresh rosemary and parsley to your mixture of vinegar and water. Meanwhile, if grey hairs are starting to come through, sage can help to darken these in order to help them blend in with the rest of your color.
For those of you with blonde hair or light brown shade, lavender and lemon are very nice additions. equipment thoroughly before starting. Wash in hot, soapy water and rinse well in hot water. You’ll get the best results if you use the herbs themselves rather than the essential oils. And, of course, the same herbs can help to enhance your natural coloring if you haven’t dyed your hair.
7. Killing Houseplant Bugs
It’s wonderful to keep houseplants, as they add extra natural beauty to your home and can even help to improve the air quality (compensating for some of the natural pollutants that can undermine your health). However, your houseplants aren’t going to last as long or look nearly as good if bugs start to attack them. Some bugs leave holes in the leaves, while others can actually kill off your plants altogether or at least leave them severely diminished.
If you do realize that your houseplants are suffering because of invading bugs, reach for some vinegar before products for sale at gardening stores. Gnats especially, cannot stand up to uses for vinegar. However, almost any common houseplant bugs will be obliterated if you spray a one part vinegar and five parts water mixture on the leaves.
Once the bugs are gone, you can dilute this mixture even more and use it the next time you water the plants. This will help to prevent bugs from returning, making the plant’s surfaces inhospitable to invaders.
It’s also worth considering the use of other home remedies so that you maximize your chances of keeping your plants in great condition. For example, you can create a horticultural oil that clings to the plant and to any invading bugs. Just combine a tablespoon of a mild detergent with around a quart of water, and add this to a spray bottle.
The undersides of the plant’s leaves are especially good places to spray this mixture (and indeed your vinegar treatment), as sneaky bugs like to hide in this area.
8. Coffee Maker Cleaner
Coffee makers save you a lot of money you might have otherwise spent at cafes, but they do get dirty over time. This is especially true if you have a coffee maker that has an attachment used to make lattes and don’t remember to wash it after each use.
When you notice that your coffee maker is worse for wear or your drinks aren’t quite tasting the way they used to, there are only a few safe ways to approach the cleaning process. Uses for vinegar is one of them, and there are a few different ways to use it to keep your coffee maker in excellent condition.
Firstly, soaking your coffee pot in vinegar will effectively dissolve all the built-up residue. This is a much better method than using the dishwasher, which has been known to damage or fractures coffee pots if they’re not well secured. Secondly, when it comes to the coffee maker itself, you can uses for vinegar on a weekly basis in order to clean the inside of it.
Cleaning the coffee maker should not be done with pure uses for vinegar but rather with equal parts white vinegar and water. Allow it to brew until half the chamber is empty, and then turn the coffee maker back off. After half an hour, turn it back on and brew the rest of the water. The evaporation of the vinegar will leave it otherwise impossible to clean parts of the coffee maker clean, and you can then rinse the machine with clear water.
9. Organic Weed Killer
Like so many of the products discussed on the previous pages, weedkiller is packed full of toxic chemicals that not only pose a risk to you and your family but also to the environment. If you enjoy having neighboring wildlife visit your garden, they can also end up suffering or dying as a result of the use of certain kinds of weed killers. Plus, if you like to keep a vegetable garden, your aim will be to avoid introducing overly harsh chemicals to the soil.
Luckily, it turns out that uses for vinegar are also an absolutely great weed killer. It’s super effective while being much cheaper than other organic weed killers, and accidentally spraying it on plants won’t hurt them at all. It also takes hold at a very fast rate. If you spray pure vinegar onto a weed in the hottest hours of the day, the combination of the vinegar and sun will often cause the weed to turn brown and withered in just a few short hours (or by the next morning at the very latest).
Some people also suggest adding about an ounce of dishwashing soap per gallon of uses for vinegar, as this may give more powerful results. However, note that uses for vinegar is unlikely to go all the way through a weed and destroy the root, unlike the majority of commercial weedkillers. Some roots may die off naturally after vinegar application, especially if the weed is relatively young. For those that grow back, they will be weakened by the previous vinegar treatment and may be killed off entirely by further application of vinegar.
10. Acid Neutralizer
As hard as we try to keep our carpets and clothing in good condition, accidents happen. Whether you have a baby who is prone to spitting up, a poor pet with an upset stomach, or have an unfortunate long night yourself, the worst sometimes happens, and vomit ends up on the carpet or on your favorite shirt. And the high acidity of vomit can remove the color from fabric, leaving bleached patches behind.
Regardless of the cause, uses for vinegar will neutralize the harmful effects of vomit on carpet or fabric. Find an appropriate mixing bowl, and add two full cups of warm water. Next, stir in a tablespoon of table salt until it dissolves in the warm water. At this stage, it’s time to add a half-cup of vinegar (preferably white vinegar).
You may create a more potent cleaner by adding two tablespoons of rubbing alcohol and a tablespoon of dish cleaner. You can apply this mixture to the stained area of fabric and use a sponge to press it into the vomit. Once the stain is fully covered, you can blot it with a towel. You’ll likely have to repeat this process a few times, but it does get results.
As you can see, vinegar is an incredibly versatile substance that can rescue you from all manner of household problems. It’s cheap, easy to acquire, and (perhaps most importantly) much less dangerous to have around than the majority of chemical household cleaning products. So, the next time you have a dirty mirror, a garden full of weeds, or an ant infestation, you know where to turn!