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If any substance could become a superhero, it would probably be vinegar. I mean, what other liquid do you know of that’s so cheap, can be used in food, around the house, disinfectant …and the list continues.
It’s one of the best things to have as part of your “house supplies” arsenal. It’s been a household staple for thousands of years since the days when refrigerators didn’t exist. In other words, for a really really long time!
Don’t underestimate this unassuming looking substance, because it’s quite versatile! Without further ado, let’s dive into the multiple uses of vinegar that can save you from those oops-I-accidentally-spilled-wine-and-don’t-know-how-to-clean-it moments.
Vinegar is an amazing natural cleaning agent and when combined with other substances, it just adds up to its effectiveness. Plus, using it to clean your home will save you a TON of money! So don’t you think that this cheap and highly available liquid is actually a treasure for you?
Is Vinegar Safe?
Ultimately, the biggest question that arises is about the safety of using vinegar. Vinegar, in its usual form, is a kitchen essential and features heavily in cooking. But is it safe enough to substitute your daily cleaners?
The short answer is yes. The longer answer says yes, as long as you are mindful of where you are using it. While vinegar may not create a science-fiction level of lab disasters, it can slowly chip away at the integrity of surfaces and leave them brittle. For surfaces that require special needs, vinegar is probably best not involved. But for other general purposes, it can quickly become your new best friend.
Vinegar is also much milder when compared to the side effects of other market cleaners out there. It will not irritate your skin, nor will it cause untold harm if kept within reach of children and pets. Overall, it has almost negligible side effects when used wisely.
24 Brilliant Cleaning Hacks using Vinegar
1. Getting Rid of Sticky Residues
Ever had a hard time removing the sticker residue left behind when it is removed? But vinegar solves it all. Just spray some vinegar on the area of the residue and allow it to settle for a few seconds. Now, scrub it a little bit and the residue will be gone easily. You can use it for removing other sticky residues as well.
2. Cleaning Your Glasses
Hard water can leave your glasses dull and cloudy, even after a run through the dishwasher. The easiest way to restore shine back to glasses is to use vinegar. Now many people recommend putting vinegar in the rinse–aid dispenser in your dishwasher to save time. But don’t ever do that as vinegar is a strong enough acid to melt the rubber gaskets in the rinse-aid dispenser.
Instead, fill a shallow pan with a mixture of 50% hot water and 50% vinegar. Give glasses a soak, shake off excess water and let it sit to dry.
Caution: Never use vinegar on eyeglasses as it can damage the anti-glare or anti-scratch coating present on them. Just use it on drinking glasses or any other glassware.
3. Vinegar with Baking Soda for the Carpet
It is not a common phenomenon to wash the Carpet as we can’t just put it in the washing machine. It needs to be dry cleaned which is not cheap. Right?
Well, you can easily clean carpets using three cheap and easily available ingredients – vinegar, borax, and salt without spending on dry-cleaning. To clean the carpet, just sprinkle equal parts of borax and salt on the carpet and then spray an equal amount of vinegar over it. Let it sit for at least an hour before vacuuming.
Quick Tip: It’s better if you have vinegar filled in a spray bottle, it makes cleaning a hell lot easier. A high-quality durable spray bottle is a must-have if you are cleaning around your home.
4. Stained and Dirty Cookware
Stained or greasy cookware are very difficult to clean. But vinegar makes them very easy to clean. Pour around a cup of water and ½ cup of vinegar in the cookware you need to clean and boil it for around 5-7 minutes till the solution becomes sufficiently hot.
Vinegar will dissolve all the dirt and grime to efficiently clean the cookware and make it look as good as new. Vinegar is a miracle cleaner.
5. Cleaning the Toilet
Is it really impossible to clean the toilet without a hell lot of scrubbing? I would say NO if you take the help of vinegar to ease the job. And having a clean toilet is highly important.
Empty the pot. Put some paper towels soaked in vinegar in the insides of the toilet bowl where the stains and dirt are usually present. Let these towels soak against the stains for at least an hour. Pour some vinegar over the entire commode to clean each and every inch of it. If the toilet is very dirty then you should let the vinegar do its work overnight.
Then wipe off the area while removing the paper towels and flush. Your toilet will be squeaking clean the easy way which is important to have a clean bathroom.
6. Clean Your Jewelry
Want to clean your tarnished silver? Vinegar acts as an amazing jewelry cleaner. Make a solution of 1 Tbsp vinegar, 1 Tbsp water and 2-3 drops of dish soap and let your jewelry sit in this mixture for around 15-30 minutes. Then use a toothbrush to gently scrub any dirt or grime. Rinse the jewelry and wipe it off with a microfiber cloth.
You can even use it to clean your expensive diamond rings (it won’t damage them). Still, I will warn you that not every jewelry can be successfully cleaned at home. For some jewelry, you really need the help of professionals.
7. Cleaning Smelly Water Bottles
Foul smells are common in water bottles. They accumulate with time if the bottles are not cleaned properly, forget cleaning the smells are common even when the bottle stays closed for a long duration.
Empty around ½ cup of vinegar in the bottle which has a foul smell. Close the bottle’s lid, shake it and leave it for around 15-20 minutes. Then add some warm water to it, shake it and rinse. You got an odor-free bottle in no time.
8. Cleaning a Diffuser
If you use an essential oil diffuser, then this vinegar recipe will prove to be an amazing cleaner for your diffuser. Most of the diffusers work in the same way. They have a base system where water and oils are added and then there is the cone part at the top.
For cleaning, fill 3/4th part of the base with water. Add 1 Tbsp of vinegar to it. Then add the top cone and run it for around 5 minutes. The vinegar will greatly help in loosening the grime and the oily residue. After 5 minutes, remove the top cone and run a q-tip in the base where the water sits. The q-tip will further loosen the oil particles and other stains. Place the cone back and run it again for 2-3 minutes. Then remove the cone and scrub it(since it is free of any electrical component).
Dump the mixture in the base and run a q-tip once again to clean the base and small plate again. Use a wet paper towel to wipe the inner and outer surfaces. After it has completely dried you can fill it up and start using it again to make your home smell amazing.
9. Clean Tile Floors
For everyday cleaning, mixing half a cup of vinegar with a gallon of water can make an excellent disinfectant. Use warm water for the best results, which will cause vinegar to work at its full efficiency.
Allow the vinegar to air dry and enjoy sparkling tiles for days to follow. You can also add a few drops of essential oils to make the house smell heavenly.
10. Clean a Grill
For Sunday barbeques and happy tummies, a clean and sanitary grill is a must. The grill has it all caked on it, from grease to char, which can be quite a tough combination to deal with.
Moreover, as it is someplace you would be actively placing food upon, it becomes imperative to use safe cleaners. Use white vinegar sprayed on aluminum foil and scrub the grill down to make it in time for the next outdoor brunch.
11. Unclog Your Drain
Is your drain clogged? Dump half a cup baking soda in the drain and then pour a cup of vinegar over it. Once it stops foaming, wash it with water and you unclogged your drain easily in 2 minutes. The reaction of baking soda with vinegar works like a charm by creating enough force to clear minor clogs.
12. Deodorize the Trash Can
Nothing can be worse than stinking trash can even when it’s empty. But you can easily deodorize that smelly trash can using vinegar and a slice of bread.
Just pour some vinegar on a slice of bread and let it soak up. Now, put it in the bottom of your smelly trash can and let it sit overnight. When you remove it the next day, the awful smell will be no more.
It also works for any smell in any container. Vinegar is a great deodorizer.
13. Disinfect your Refrigerator
As important is it to have an organized fridge, an equally important thing is to disinfect your refrigerator after cleaning it. Now, Hydrogen peroxide is great for cleaning and especially disinfecting, but if you don’t have hydrogen peroxide handy, vinegar also works as a good disinfectant.
All you need to do is to spray a solution containing 2 parts hot water and 1 part vinegar inside the fridge in a free manner. Use a soft cloth to scrub any grime or molds if present.
To prevent mildew growth, wash the inside walls and bin interiors with some full-strength vinegar on a cloth. Of course, you’ll still want to put that box of baking soda in your refrigerator to keep it smelling clean when you’re done.
14. Get Rid of Fruitflies
Having a fruitfly invasion? Don’t worry, grab some apple cider vinegar and pour it into a small cup. Now, cover the cup with a saran wrap and poke a few holes on it.
Done. The trap is set! Flies will enter but never leave. White vinegar does not attract fruit flies, so we can’t use it.
15. Keep Cats Away from Furniture
It’s difficult to stop your cat from going somewhere whether it’s into your garden or on top of your favorite pillow. Vinegar is your secret weapon in keeping away cats from certain areas of your home. How?
Because Cats hate Vinegar! Just spray some vinegar over the area you want to keep cats away from. You can either use it in full strength or diluted with water. Experiment with different strengths to find the mixture with the least amount of vinegar that is still effective on the cats you wish to repel.
16. Keep Flowers Fresh for Longer
Tired of those lovely flowers dying so quickly?
Just pour 1 part of apple cider vinegar and 3 parts of water in a bowl and mix it well. Now, pour this mixture in your vase and it will keep your favorite flowers alive and fresh for longer.
17. Get Rid of Weed/Grass
What to do when weeds start growing in the cracks of concrete in your driveway?
Time for Vinegar action.
Pour vinegar carefully over weed making sure that it seeps in the ground and reaches the roots. Leave it overnight and you see that it will be withered and it’s time to remove the leftovers. So easy!
18. Get Rid of Mold from Walls
Ever find little spots of mold on the walls or ceiling of your bathroom? Guess how to get rid of it? Easy.
This time we will use vinegar with borax to build a natural mold remover. Oh and borax is an amazing natural cleaner, you should check out these 30 genius borax cleaning hacks. Coming to the point, let’s make our natural mold remover.
Combine 2 tablespoons borax, 1/4 cup vinegar and 2 cups of warm water. Mix it well until borax is dissolved and your natural mold remover is ready. Pour into a spray bottle and liberally apply to the affected area. Scrub thoroughly and wipe clean. Spray again and let sit 10 minutes before wiping dry.
19. Make a Fabric Softener
Don’t want to spend money on those expensive and chemically loaded fabric softeners? You don’t need even need to when you got vinegar. Vinegar makes a cheap and easy fabric softener!
All you need to do is to fill your fabric softener tray till it’s full and run your load. Your clothes will be soft and scent-free!
20. Keep Car Windows Frost-free
If you park your car outdoors during cold winter months, frost is about to build upon the windows of the car. But there is an easy way to keep frost from forming which is you guessed it right, vinegar.
You can prevent frost from forming on the windows by wiping (or, better yet, spraying) the outsides of the windows with a solution of 3 parts white vinegar to 1 part water. Each coating can last for several weeks but it won’t do much in the way of warding off a heavy snowfall.
21. Renew Your Old Paint Brushes
Cleaning your paint brushes with vinegar and make them look new. Vinegar not only removes all the paint but will also soften the bristles and as a result, they will last longer.
All you need to do is to soak those paintbrushes in a mixture of equal parts of vinegar and hot water for 30 minutes. Remove any remaining paint with a few drops of dishwashing liquid and rinse again.
No need to purchase those expensive and toxic paint removers. Check out the amazing results!
22. Get Rid of Hand Stench
You love to cook but hate the smell of onions, garlic, meat, fish and spices on your hands or the dreaded red beet hand syndrome, try this. Clean your hands with soap and water, and then rinse well with vinegar. Vinegar will remove all those strong odors and leave your hands looking and smelling clean afterward.
As you see vinegar is an amazing cleaning agent, check out these 8 Clever Vinegar cleaning hacks to make cleaning easy.
23. Dishwashing Cleaner
We often overlook the dishwasher since it is used on a daily basis, forgetting that the dishwasher itself needs to be cleaned too! Simply pour a cup of white vinegar, make sure the dishwasher is empty and run it for a couple of minutes to get rid of the lime, soap and any other material buildup. Your dishwasher is now sparkling clean and ready to wash dirty dishes.
24. Laundry Detergent
There’s no question that our clothes need to be washed every other day or in some cases on a weekly basis. But, for our clothes to smell wonderful, it isn’t worth spending extra money just to buy those special “efficient and aromatic” laundry pods like those advertisements attempt to market.
It’s quite easy to make these pods at home, and cheaper too! You will need powdered detergent, an ice tray, vinegar, a tablespoon, and a spray bottle. Check out this link for the recipe in-depth.
A couple of quick notes:
- Never ever mix vinegar with bleach, unless you want to end up in the emergency room.
- Never use white distilled vinegar on stone surfaces including limestone, travertine, granite or marble. The acid can damage the surface.
- White vinegar, distilled white vinegar, and full-strength vinegar (a stronger version of white vinegar specifically for cleaning) are the only kinds you should be using when cleaning. Any other kind is for cooking, so don’t mix them up.
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