Vinegar! The Best Cleaner You Never Knew You Had.

The uses and tips described in this post were drawn from a variety of sources.  They have not all been tested by More In 24. 

When I say vinegar what comes to mind?

 

More than likely you thought of a food that utilizes this tangy condiment, but this post is not about food, it is about the many ways vinegar can be used to make your house shine.

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Vinegar usage dates back all the way to 5,000 BC. Throughout history it has proven itself to be a most useful tool.  It was used to treat scurvy, Hannibal used it to soften boulders to pave a path through the mountain, Cleopatra used it to dissolve pearls in order to win a bet, and Hippocrates waxed eloquent on its healing properties.  Today, this helpful tool has been mostly relegated to our pantry shelves, but hopefully after looking through this list, you might be motivated to let it flex its muscles in other rooms of your home.

  1. Wash the windows. Combine 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup vinegar and a squirt of liquid dish soap in a spray bottle. Spray directly onto window and wipe down with a clean, soft cloth or crumpled newspapers. Also works for glass tables and mirrors.
  2. Mop the floor. Fill a bucket with hot water, a cup of vinegar, and dish soap in place of a harsh floor cleaner. You can also put this mixture in your refillable spray mop container. Mix a water and vinegar solution to add more cleaning power to your steam mop.
  3. Clean the washing machine. Run a cycle with hot water and one cup vinegar to rid the washer of bacteria and soap scum. Repeat monthly.
  4. Unclog the drain. Dump half a box of baking soda directly into the drain, then follow the baking soda with 1/2 cup of vinegar. Immediately wad an old rag or dish cloth to stop up the drain. Let sit for 30 minutes, then clear it out with boiling water (be careful!). Repeat if necessary. Also effective for clearing a clogged hose.
  5. Polish Silver. Polish silver with undiluted vinegar for a crystal clear shine.
  6. Clean the microwave. Fill a bowl with water and vinegar, microwave on high for 5 – 10 minutes, then wipe clean.
  7. Clean wood cutting boards. Wipe down the surface with vinegar and a paper towel.
  8. Clean your piano keys. Dip a soft cloth into a solution of 1/2 cup white vinegar mixed with 2 cups water, squeeze it out until there are no drips.  Gently wipe off each key. Use a second cloth to dry off the keys. Leave the keyboard uncovered for 24 hours.
  9. Get rid of water rings on furniture. To remove water rings from wood furniture, mix equal parts vinegar and olive oil and apply with a soft cloth.   Moving with the wood grain. Use another clean cloth to shine it up. To get white water rings off leather furniture, dab them with a sponge soaked in full-strength white vinegar.
  10. Sanitize children’s toys. Fill up a clean bucket (or bathtub) with hot water and two cups of vinegar. Let the toys soak, then lay out on a towel or cloth and let air dry.
  11. Make wood floors shine. Spritz a solution of warm water, a few teaspoons olive oil and vinegar onto the floor, then polish with a soft cloth.
  12. Keep colors from fading. Keep your colors bright by adding a cup of vinegar to your rinse cycle.
  13. Get rid of the skunky smell in clothes. Leave laundry in the washer for too long and now it’s got that mildew smell? Fill the basin with hot water, add a cup of vinegar and let clothes soak for at least 30 minutes. Add detergent and wash normally.
  14. Restore your rugs.  Carpets looking worn and dingy from too much foot traffic?  Bring them back to life by brushing them with a clean scrub brush dipped in a solution of 1 cup white vinegar added to a gallon of water. Your faded threads will perk up, and you don’t even need to rinse off the solution.
  15. Treat Carpet Stains. Rub carpet stains with a mixture of 2 tablespoons salt and 2 tablespoons Borax dissolved in 1/2 cup white vinegar. Let the solution dry over the stain, then vacuum.
  16. Clean your brick fireplace with ease. Wipe the bricks with a damp cloth dipped in 1 cup white vinegar mixed with 1-gallon warm water.
  17. Clean your cast iron skillet. Make a paste, using equal parts salt and flour, and just enough vinegar to bring to a paste.  Rub the paste around the pan to clean.  Rinse with water and dry thoroughly.
  18. Freshen a thermos. Fill the thermos with water and ¼ cup vinegar.  Replace the lid and shake.  If there is any residue, add some uncooked rice.  The rice will act as an abrasive.  Rinse with warm water and let air-dry.
  19. Remove mineral deposits from faucets and showerheads. Fill a plastic bag with ½ cup warm vinegar.  Submerge shower head or faucet with the filled bag and secure with a rubber band.  Let sit for at least an hour or overnight.  Remove bag and wipe clean.
  20. ***Clean out your essential oil diffuser. Combine white vinegar with tap water 50/50, pour water mixture into the diffuser. Let the mixture set in the diffuser for a few hours to overnight; pour the water/vinegar mix out, and wipe the inside of the diffuser with a soft rag. Use a Q tip for the ring at the bottom of the diffuser.
  21. Remove sticker residue or decals. Apply vinegar directly to the sticky residue, let it sit for a few second, then wipe the glue residue away. 
  22. Clean your computer keyboard, mouse, and telephone keypad. Wipe down your keyboard, mouse, and phone keys with a rag that has been dipped in vinegar and squeezed. Wipe dry.
  23. Remove Candle Wax. To remove candle wax from furniture or carpets, spray the affected area with a mix of vinegar and water.  Wipe clean.
  24. Gum Removal. Heat a small cup of vinegar in the microwave to remove gum from hair or fabric.  The vinegar will dissolve the gum when poured over the affected area.
  25. Clean your refrigerator. Use vinegar to clean and neutralize odors in your refrigerator.  Using a mix of 1-part water and 1-part vinegar, spray the walls and wipe clean.
  26. Loosen Rusty Screws. Get rusty screw to turn by pouring straight vinegar over them.
  27. Clean Kitchen Scissors. Using vinegar to clean your kitchen scissors will keep them clean and protect them from rust.
  28. Replace jet Dry in your Dishwasher. Use vinegar in place of jet dry in your dishwasher.  It will keep your silverware and glasses from spotting.
  29. Refresh Kitchen Sponges. Cover sponges with water and ¼ cup vinegar.  Let sit overnight.  Squeeze and rinse and you are ready to go.
  30. Clean the top of the refrigerator. Vinegar will cut the grease and grime on the top of your refrigerator, quickly.  Spray a mix of vinegar and water on the top of your refrigerator and wipe clean with a paper towel.
  31. Clean Cutting Boards. Soak your cutting boards in vinegar to remove surface stains.
  32. Remove burned food in a pan. To the burned pan add 1 cup water and 1 cup vinegar, bring to a boil.  Once the mix comes to a boil remove it from heat and add in some baking soda.  Once the fizzing stops, empty the pan, and scrub clean.
  33. Remove mold and mildew stains. Combine 2 cups warm water, ¼ cup vinegar, 2 Tbsp. Borax in a spray bottle.  Shake to mix thoroughly.  Spray on affected area and let sit for an hour.  Scrub clean.
  34. Toilet Bowl Cleaner. Pour one cup of warm vinegar around the inside of the toilet bowl.  Put the lid down and let sit overnight.  Scrub the toilet bowl clean the following morning.
  35. Clean Chrome and Stainless Steel.  Spray your chrome and stainless steel with straight vinegar.  Buff dry to get a beautiful shine.
  36. Remove Ink Stains from Clothes. Blot ink stains on carpet or clothing, using a sponge soaked in vinegar.  Repeat until stains are gone.
  37. Descale your coffee Maker. Run a mix of water and vinegar through your coffee maker, follow with straight water through the brewing cycle 2-3 more times.
  38. Replace Fabric Softener. Use vinegar in the same way you would fabric softener to reduce static cling.
  39. Wallpaper Remover. Vinegar works great to break down adhesives and glues.  Remove top layer of wallpaper, then spray straight vinegar on the wall, let sit for a few minutes.  Scrape the glue from the wall and rinse with water.
  40. Wash for Fruits and Vegetables. No need to buy a special wash to clean your fruits and vegetables.  Fill a bowl with equal parts water and vinegar.  Soak your fruit and veggies for a few minutes.  Rinse with clean water and enjoy.
  41. Rejuvenate leather furniture. To a spray bottle, add equal parts vinegar and linseed oil.  Spray the mix over the furniture rub in with a soft cloth to cover the entire surface.  Let soak into the furniture for a few minutes before buffing clean with a fresh soft cloth.  (This trick also works on leather upholstery in your car)
  42. Clean and Freshen the Garbage Disposal. Fill an ice cube tray with vinegar.  Let sit overnight to harden.  Pull out 3-4 cubes, place into the garbage disposal, and turn on.  The ice will sharpen the blades and the vinegar will neutralize odors.  Store extra’s in a marked bag in the freezer.
  43. Clean Soap Scum and Hard Water Stains on Glass Shower Doors. Use a kitchen sponge, dipped in straight vinegar, to scrub off soap scum and hard water stains.
  44. Soothe Sunburn. Lightly rub vinegar onto burned skin.  Reapply as needed.
  45. Freshen Smelly Lunchboxes. Place a piece of bread, that has been sprayed with vinegar, directly into the lunch box.  Close up the box and let sit overnight.  Wipe clean.
  46. Weed Killer. Spray vinegar onto troublesome weeds daily until weeds have died.
  47. Clean Your Grill. To remove grill buildup, spray vinegar onto your grill brush or a ball of aluminum foil and scrub grill grates.
  48. Itch Relief for Poison Ivy or Mosquito Bites. Using a cotton ball, dab the affected area with vinegar to reduce itching.  Please Note:  You should not use this remedy if the area is broken open.
  49. Loosen a Stuck Lid. To loosen a stuck lid, tip the jar upside down, pour warm vinegar around the lid between the glass and the lid.  Tip right side up and the lid should twist off.
  50. Deter Creepy Crawley’s. Ants, spiders, and other insects are repelled by vinegar.  Using a spray bottle filled with 1-part water and 1-part white vinegar, spray cracks and crevices, around doorways, and windows to keep unwanted visitors from entering your house.

This really is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the many uses of vinegar.  I hope that you will try 1, 2, or all 50 of these ideas and let me know how they worked for you.

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If you know if a great usage for vinegar, not mentioned above, please share it with us.

 

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