Vinegar is all the rage these days, with health-conscious people chugging apple cider vinegar in their morning tea or replacing toxic cleaning products with the antibacterial prowess of white vinegar. The hype is not unwarranted; however, studies have proven vinegar’s veracity in disinfecting and other related areas. There are so many uses for vinegar that it can be hard to know where to start! This list will give you some of the best, most practical uses for this acidic miracle worker.
Note: Unless otherwise indicated, vinegar (in this article) refers to white vinegar, not apple cider vinegar.
Use a spray bottle filled with equal parts vinegar and water, to clean your kitchen, bathroom, windows, and everything in between. Vinegar is an antibacterial and antimicrobial agent, so it is an excellent resource for keeping your kitchen clean and free of nasty bacteria buildup. Plus, it is totally natural and eliminates the need for harsh chemical cleaners. It is safe to use on hardwood floors, countertops, bathrooms, and carpet stains. If you find the smell of vinegar distasteful and the fresh scent of your old cleaners, you can try adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the spray bottle and shaking well before use. This will not interfere with its cleaning properties, and certain essential oils such as tea tree and grapefruit are actually antibacterial and will boost its bacteria-killing powers.
Caution: Do not use your vinegar solution to clean marble or any other stone surfaces. Since vinegar is acidic, it may eat away at such surfaces and potentially cause permanent damage. Be sure to always test your cleaner on an inconspicuous area before first use.
Shampoo and conditioner buildup
Often, shampoo and conditioner are not rinsed out thoroughly and can create an unsightly buildup on hair, leaving it feeling dry and looking lifeless. After normal shower routine, try adding diluted apple cider vinegar to freshly washed hair, brush through and let dry or style as normal. Do not rinse out. Doing this at least once per week will help keep your hair soft and restore shine.
Washing machines can quickly gather nasty smells and leave your clothes worse off than they were before. To keep your laundry fresh and clean, add a cup of vinegar to an empty washing machine and run it through a hot water spin cycle every other week to loosen stuck on dirt and grime and get rid of smell inducing particles. You can even add ½ cup vinegar in with your laundry along with your detergent to serve as a fabric softener and static reducer. This will also help keep dark colors from fading as quickly and may brighten your lighter colored clothes.
For pointed spot treatment, spray straight vinegar onto stubborn stains and let sit for just a few minutes before tossing into the wash.
Caution: Never mix vinegar and bleach in the same load of laundry as this can create a noxious chlorine gas that is harmful and possibly even deadly.
Sticky residue cleaner
Price stickers can be incredibly difficult to remove, and there is nothing more irritating than that final bit of sticky residue that just refuses to come off. Use a rag soaked in vinegar, or spray some directly onto the area to help loosen sticker gunk. This even works to remove chewing gum from fabric surfaces or cars.
Weeds love to spring up anywhere they can and often propagate in the cracks of your driveway or sidewalk. Rather than painstakingly pulling those tiny weeds by hand or turning to an incredibly toxic weed killer, fill a spray bottle with vinegar and dose those unsightly invaders. It is best to do this when it is particularly sunny, and there is no chance of rain, as vinegar is most effective as a weed killer when exposed to a few hours of direct sunlight. After a few applications, the weeds should begin to shrivel and disappear.
While cut flowers are a lovely addition to any home centerpiece, they always seem to fade and wither too quickly. For an easy way to overcome this problem and lengthen the time you can enjoy that bouquet of roses, add a few tablespoons of vinegar to the flower water along with a teaspoon of sugar.
CD and DVD cleaner
Cds and DVDs can easily become scratched and scuffed, leading to skipping and an overall irritating experience. Moisten a soft cloth with vinegar and use it to restore your favorite discs to their former glory. This will not eradicate deep scratches but may help with shallow surface imperfections.