The Many Uses of Vinegar

by heather

41qpk56b41l_ss400_When it comes to green cleaning, most of us know that baking soda and vinegar are two of the mainstays. But vinegar on its own is incredibly versatile. It’s a healthy, cheap, non-toxic solution to everything from bathroom mold to cleaning the toilet bowl.

So, let’s look at all the frugal, eco-friendly ways we can use vinegar to clean our homes.

1. Use Vinegar To Get Rid of Mold and Mildew- Fill a spray bottle with equal parts white vinegar and water, and spray on the mold or mildew. The acetic acid in the vinegar kills the mold and mildew, and will discourage future growth.

2. Use Vinegar To Clean Your Toilets- 2 cups of vinegar in the toilet is all you need. Pour it in at night, let it sit, and then next morning swish with the toilet brush. The vinegar kills bacteria, and will dissolve hard water stains.

3. Use Vinegar To Stop Itching- Have a bug bite or poison ivy? Soak a cotton ball with some vinegar and wipe the area.

4. Use Vinegar As An Air Freshener- You can put vinegar in a spray bottle to neutralize odors from garbage cans or smoke. Just spray it in the air! And o, this won’t make your home smell like vinegar. Vinegar absorbs odors, so as soon as it dries your house will just smell neutral. You can also use this in the refrigerator or your kids’ lunch boxes. Spritz, let it sit a few minutes, and then wipe down.

5. Use Vinegar To Get Rid of Hiccups- One tablespoon of vinegar down your throat and the hiccups will be gone. Good luck not gagging, though…

6. Use Vinegar To Clean Your Microwave- In a microwave safe bowl mix equal parts water and vinegar, then nuke it for two minutes. Next, dip your sponge in the solution and wipe down the sides. If you’ve got baked on food it will come right off. In addition to softening the food, the vinegar will disinfect and neutralize the odors.

7. Use Vinegar To Get Rid of Grease- All you have to do is soak your sponge or rag in some vinegar and then start wiping. The vinegar will cut right through the greasy gunk to give you a sparkling clean stove.

8. Use Vinegar To Clean Cloth Diapers- Use one cup of vinegar to two gallons of water. Soak diapers in this solutions to neutralize odors and prevent staining.

9. Use Vinegar To Clean Crayon Marks Off Walls- Don’t blow money on a MagicEraser. Simply dip and old toothbrush in vinegar and start scrubbing. The crayon marks should come right off.

10. Use Vinegar To Wash Fruits and Vegetables- If you have hard skinned fruits and vegetables, simply spray them with a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water. For soft skinned, fill a bowl with an equal balance of vinegar and water and then soak for up to two minutes, then rinse. The acetic in the vinegar helps dissolve waxes and pesticides.

11. Use Vinegar To Clean Windows- Forget Windex. Mix a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar, and clean windows with that instead.

12. Use Vinegar To Get Rid of Clothing Stains- Soak the garment in full strength vinegar. Stains should wash right out.

13. Get Rid of Bad Breath With Vinegar- Sound counterproductive? Well, it’s not. Brush your teeth once or twice a week with vinegar. It will also help whiten your teeth.

14. Kill Weeds With Vinegar- If you have weeds or plants where you don’t want them, simply pour full strength vinegar on them. This also works well in cracks between cobblestones or in your driveway.

15. Make Cut Flowers Live Longer With Vinegar- If you have cut flowers that are on their way out, or you want to make a fresh bouquet last a long time, simply add two tablespoons of vinegar and one tablespoon of sugar to the vase.

16. Kills Ants With Vinegar- If you have ant hills in your hard, pour full strength vinegar on them.

17. Clean Your Dog With Vinegar- If your dog has gotten sprayed by a skunk, or rolled in something nasty, wipe them down well with a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water. Then, rinse with plain water.

18. Dissolve Chewing Gum With Vinegar- If you have chewing gum in your hair or on your shoe, dissolve it with full-strength vinegar. If the vinegar is hot, it will work even better.

19. Dissolve Frost On Car Windows With Vinegar- If you want to keep your car windows frost-free overnight, spray them down with a solution of 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar.

20. Clean Urine Stains From Carpet With Vinegar- Spray thoroughly with an equal part mixture of water and vinegar. Then wipe up with a rag.

21. Deodorize Your Garbage Disposal With Vinegar- Pour a half cup of vinegar and a half cup of baking soda down your drain. Let it sit for at least five minutes, and then run your garbage disposal.

22. Clean Stainless Steel With Vinegar- Simply spray down with full strength vinegar and wipe up. Your stainless steel will sparkle!

23. Disinfect Sponges With Vinegar- If your kitchen sponges are getting nasty, simply soak them in a bowl of vinegar overnight. By the next morning the bacteria will be dead and you’ll have a fresh, clean sponge.

More Vinegar Resources

Many of these tips came from these sources, which have a lot more amazing uses of vinegar!

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adam August 27, 2009 at 5:09 pm

great tips, been using vinegar for my eco friendly cleaning company for a long time now and it’s great, especially when mixed baking soda.

don’t worry about the scent of vinergar when cleaning as when it drys the scent disappears 🙂 and also it’s quick drying which is why it’s great for cleaning windows/mirrors as it doesn’t smear.

Shona August 28, 2009 at 12:09 pm

OH! Vinegar, how I do love thee, in addition to hydrogen peroxide + baking soda.

I don’t dilute mine 50/50, just straight, too much moisture in the air down south + in my old house.

I’ve been reading your site for a couple weeks now + enjoy your tips + book suggestions (currently on the wait list for “How We Decide” at the library).

heather August 28, 2009 at 3:53 pm


Yeah, I used it on my shower last night, and was really happy when the vinegar smell slowly faded as it dried.

Thanks for taking the time to write in!

Rebecca Rivera August 29, 2009 at 12:04 pm

I also use vinegar instead of fabric softner. It works great. And no your clothes do not smell like vinegar. As an added bonus it clenas hidden gunk from your washer.

Morgan August 31, 2009 at 8:23 pm

Heather, you have a wonderful blog, chock full of good information and suggestions. Therefore, I would like to honor you with the Kreativ Blogger Award. You can read more about the award tomorrow on my latest post.

Thank you for the work you put into your blog and for so generously sharing your articles with the world!

heather September 1, 2009 at 9:15 am

@Rebecca- Thanks for those great tips! I had no idea that vinegar would clean your washer, but I’m definitely going to try that one. Mine’s been smelling a bit mildewy this summer. 🙂

@Morgan- Thank you so much! I’m honored! I’ll definitely swing by and have a look!

adam cleaner November 1, 2009 at 5:02 pm

yeah vinegar is great for use inside the washer. As we use microfibre cloths to reduce waste we quickly get dirty cloths that sit around stinking. we use vinegar in a pot to clean the cloths until they finally go into the washing machine with another load of vinegar. they always come out clean and ready for the next days cleaning.

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