White vinegar has stood the test of time. It’s been a household staple throughout my lifetime, but its use dates back even as far as 10,000 years! It was originally discovered by chance when a cask of wine went sour, giving it the name vinegar (sour wine). Fermentation with foods like vinegar has been improving lives naturally for years. However, it should be noted that time has altered the production methods for creating white vinegar. Now, much like everything else, there’s a synthetic and a natural version of white vinegar on the market.
I use natural white vinegar almost every single day for one purpose or another. It has helped me do everything from de-clog my sinks to improve my vegan cupcake recipes. Want to see what it can do for you? Check out this fresh list for crafty ways to use vinegar at home:
1. De-Clog Your Sink
By far my favorite way to use white vinegar, this method is both inexpensive and effective. Simply add 1/3 cup baking soda to your drain and rinse down with a generous dose of vinegar. Follow with running very hot water down the drain to make sure the baking soda is completely cleared from the pipes.
2. Shine Your Silverware
Take a soft cloth and dip it in white vinegar. Gently rub off any water stains and dullness from the silverware. Alternatively, you can fill the bottom of your (clean) sink with vinegar and toss all your silverware in for a complete makeover. Dry as usual.
3. Make a Homemade Orange Essence Cleaner
Why spend money on chemical cleaners when you can easily make your own, more environmentally-friendly version? Simply save your citrus peels and soak them in vinegar for two or three weeks. The white vinegar will become orange, meaning you’ve extracted the essence necessary for cleaning with. Strain the peels and use the liquid as any other strong surface cleaner. I use this formula for cleaning showers, toilets and more.
4. Disinfect Counters
According to the David Suzuki Organization, white vinegar is a natural and safe disinfectant. So skip the harsh chemical wipes and spray a little vinegar on your counters instead.
5. Clean Your Refrigerator
Help eliminate odors and wash away spills with a simple wash of warm water and vinegar.
6. Dissolve Bathroom Grime
You know that grime that builds up all along your sink taps and bathtubs? I hate that stuff so I tackle it head on—baking soda, toothbrush, vinegar. With a dash of baking soda on the grimy area, wet an old toothbrush (reserved for cleaning) in vinegar. Use this to gently scrub away the grime naturally. Rinse with more vinegar to shine things up.
7. Make Your Vegan Cupcakes Rise
A simple teaspoon of vinegar can transform a vegan cupcake recipe. Cupcakes that have vinegar are lighter and fluffier than those without it.
8. Make Some Disinfecting Wipes
These make great gifts! Simply tear up an old shirt or use existing rags cut into small sections. Soak the fabric in vinegar with a dash of essential oil if desired. Ring out the rag before use. Use like any other disinfecting cloth. Wash, dry and re-use.
9. Smother Smoke Smell
Smoke smells can linger for years if you let them. Best to smother them quickly by placing an open bowl of white vinegar in the middle of the smokey area. If you have a large space or the smell is quite pungent, use several bowls. Leave them for about a day.
10. Remove Coffee Stains
Whether in your coffee pot or favorite mug, coffee stains can be easily cleaned away with white vinegar. For the coffee pot, run a cup or so of vinegar through the cycle. For your mug, simply soak it for the day. With both, wipe clean.
11. Clean Away Mineral Deposits
Do you have hard water? Clear up those mineral deposits affecting your water flow by soaking shower heads and taps in vinegar. Can’t take your shower head or tap off in a way to soak it easily? No problem. Grab a bag and an elastic band. Fill bag with a cup or so of vinegar and secure to shower head or tap with the band.
12. Erase Yellow Stains
Never let another shirt be ruined by perspiration stains again! Simply grab that old toothbrush again and get scrubbing with vinegar. Alternatively, you can make a paste of 2 parts baking soda to 3 parts vinegar; let this paste sit on the stain a full hour before washing.
13. Deter Ants
You can ant-proof your home by wiping window sills and door frames with vinegar. Want to take it up a notch? Add in some peppermint essential oil—another thing ants can’t stand.
14. Remove Pet Odors
Stop spending money on expensive pet odor removers when all you need is vinegar. Simply soak the smelly area in vinegar. If the odor is really bad, add a few tea tree oil drops to the vinegar soak.
15. Cleanse Retainers and Dentures
To cleanse and disinfect, leave your retainers or dentures in some white vinegar for several hours.
16. Brighten Your Laundry
Add a half a cup to any laundry load to brighten the colors immediately.
17. Renew Carpets
Skip the expensive machines and shampoos. Spray your carpets down with diluted vinegar and dry brush your carpet clean.
18. Control Garden Growth
Not a fan of that wild, unkempt look? Spray vinegar on all the areas you don’t want grass or other greens growing.
19. Balance Your Soil
Vinegar isn’t just for controlling garden growth; actually, in some soils with unbalanced pH levels, adding vinegar does wonders for growth rates. Learn more about how to tell if your soil needs this treatment here.
20. Stop the Itch!
Have a mosquito bite? Vinegar reduces itching and will help the area heal faster. Just dab a cotton ball or cloth with some vinegar, apply it, and let it dry anytime you get an insect sting.
There are literally hundreds of ways white vinegar can be an asset to your daily routine. Skip the bleach, weed-killers and chemical sprays all by using white vinegar instead, and consider using apple cider vinegar to improve your health further.
What are some ways you use white vinegar at home?
Image Source: Perry Goh/Flickr