Vinegar has been a highly utilized substance for thousands of years because of its remarkable versatility. It's said to have been invented by the Chinese Xia Dynasty around 2000 BC, eventually making its way west, as the Babylonians used it as a condiment and preservative and the Roman legionnaires drank it. Today, vinegar is used for everything from cleaning to sore throat relief. Peruse through this list of 40 surprising uses and see if it can solve any of your problems.
Vinegar as an Indoor Cleaning Agent
Vinegar is a cheap and non-toxic cleaner. It's acid-based, so it breaks down grease, and kills germs and bacteria — not unlike a lot of expensive cleaning products.
- Rust Remover: Soak your metal tools and bolts in vinegar and wipe away the rust.
- Sticker Remover: Make stickers and labels unstick by soaking them with vinegar.
- Stain Remover: Eliminate stains from carpet, fabric and upholstery.
- Floor Cleaner: Linoleum, vinyl, ceramic tile and wood floors can sparkle with vinegar.
- Window Cleaner: Mix vinegar with water and dish soap and give your windows a streak-free shine.
- Wood Paneling Cleaner: Combine vinegar with olive oil and warm water to form an effective cleaner for wood panels.
- Ant Killer: Fill a spray bottle and zap the tiny intruders. Apply along windowsills and doorways to keep them away.
- Room Deodorizer: Get rid of lingering smells by leaving out a bowl of white distilled vinegar overnight.
- Garbage Disposal Deodorizer: Pour a half cup down the drain and then run hot water. The smelly reminder of last week's dinner will be gone for good.
- Pots and Pans Cleaner: Remove the remnants of old and burnt food with the use of vinegar.
- Cup Ring Remover: Stains on cups and bowls can be eliminated with the aid of vinegar.
- Blender and Jar Odor Eradicator: Wiping down or soaking jars with a white vinegar and water mixture can kill odors.
- Countertop Cleaner: Mix with water, borax and tree oil and use as an all-purpose cleaner. Especially useful for countertops.
- Microwave Cleaner: Combine with warm water and a little bit of dish soap. A great way to finally rid the microwave old food, grime and its putrid smell.
- Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Vinegar can kill just as many germs as any brand name toilet bowl cleaner.
- Washing Machine Hose Unclogger: Run the machine on regular cycle and add a cup of vinegar. Of course, make sure no clothes or towels are inside beforehand.
- Clothes Brightener: Brighten your colors by adding one-third of a cup of white vinegar to your wash.
- Showerhead Cleaner: By taking apart your showerhead and soaking it in vinegar, mineral buildup will be removed, resulting in a stronger stream.
Vinegar Outside of the Home
Maintain the beauty of your yard and home by using vinegar in these little-known ways.
- Weed Killer: The acetic acid in white distilled vinegar kills weeds, and plants as well. Apply and reapply in areas away from your favorite plants.
- Garden Lime Neutralizer: Apply in the applicable areas and pesky garden lime will be held in check.
- Increaser of Soil Acidity: A mixture of vinegar and water can be applied to plants that benefit from soil acidity. Valuable iron is released into the soil.
- Rabbit Repellent: Prevent rabbits from damaging your precious garden by placing cotton balls soaked with white distilled vinegar in strategic places.
- Mildew Remover: A vinegar and water solution can remove mildew from flower pots.
Other Outdoor Uses for Vinegar
From camping to car care, vinegar can also enhance life away from home.
- Propane Lantern Brightener: A lantern will burn longer and brighter after its wicks have been soaked in white vinegar.
- Insect Repellent: When camping, spray the outside of your tent with vinegar to repel bugs.
- Bumper Sticker Remover: Overcome bumper sticker regret by using a vinegar-soaked cloth. Preferable for stickers on windows and non-painted bumpers.
- Auto Upholstery Cleaner: Combine four parts water and one part vinegar and blot dirty area.
- Chrome Cleaner: White vinegar can both remove rust and polish chrome. Perfect for car collectors.
- Windshield Frost Preventer: Mix three parts vinegar with one part water and spray onto your windshield to prevent frost buildup.
Vinegar as a Promoter of Health
Minor health problems can be relieved with the aid of vinegar.
- Sunburn Pain Reliever: Apply to the affected area to reduce pain caused by damaged nerve-endings.
- Itch Reliever: Dilute apple cider vinegar in water and wash the itchy spot.
- Nail Fungus Fighter: Consistently soak nails in a bowl of white distilled vinegar or apply it with a brush until nail fungus disappears.
- Post-Swimmer's Ear Remedy: Mix one drop of white vinegar mixed with one drop of alcohol to prevent bacterial growth.
- Upset Stomach Calmer: An upset stomach can be settled with a water, vinegar and honey concoction.
- Acid Reflux Reliever: Even though it's acetic, white vinegar can neutralize stomach acids while stimulating digestive juices.
- Sore Throat Reliever: Kill bacteria by combining vinegar with honey. Take one table spoon six times per day.
- Cough Reliever: A natural way to treat a cough. Just add apple cider vinegar to the four other ingredients mentioned.
- Dandruff Remedy: Apple cider vinegar can make dandruff disappear after it's applied to the scalp.
- Arthritis Remedy: Some claim that a mixture of apple cider vinegar and honey cures arthritis.
- Body Odor Fighter: Apple cider vinegar can be used instead of underarm deodorant. It reduces the skin's pH.