If you love using natural products around your home rather than ones that are laden with toxic chemicals, then you likely keep white vinegar stocked for cleaning purposes. But you may not be aware of all of vinegar’s uses.
Here are 12 great household hacks using vinegar that are often overlooked:
1. Metal cleaner
Instead of using soap and water, try wiping scissors, knives and other metal tools with a cloth that has been wet with full-strength vinegar. It will get them nice and clean without the rust!
2. Removing sales stickers
Ever bought an item at a store only to have a heck of time removing that sticky sales tag? Rub some vinegar onto the sticky area and allow it to sit for five minutes. Then, simply wipe away the residue.
3. Clean your microwave
Spatters in your microwave can leave it looking and smelling pretty gross. But vinegar is a great ingredient for steam cleaning it and getting it nice and fresh again. In a bowl, make a mixture of 50 percent water and 50 percent vinegar and microwave it for four minutes. Remove the bowl using oven mitts and wipe the inside of the microwave clean; the steam will have melted the spatters, making clean-up a cinch!
4. Refresh fabrics
Name-brand fabric fresheners are full of chemicals – and you don’t really need them! Instead, fill a spray bottle with a half-and-half mixture of water and vinegar and use that instead. Vinegar is wonderful for neutralizing odors. (And yes, you will smell the vinegar but it disappears within minutes.)
5. Prevent frost on your car windows
If you live in one of the colder parts of the country, you’ve probably spent many a morning scraping your car windshield.
Here is a trick to try next time the forecast calls for frost. Before icy weather hits, wash your windshields with a solution consisting of one part water to three parts vinegar. The acidity will help to prevent ice from forming, which means less scraping for you.
6. Lose the fabric softener and dryer sheets
Vinegar is a great ingredient to use in your laundry and it can actually replace dryer sheets and fabric softener. Try adding half a cup of distilled vinegar to your wash cycle. The acid from the vinegar will soften and deodorize clothing as well as help to remove static.
7. Remove odor from your hands
If you love to cook but don’t like having the smell of garlic, onions, fish and other pungent foods lingering on your hands, then vinegar offers a simple way to remove the odor. Simply wash your hands with soap and water as you normally would but then rinse them with vinegar.
8. Clean your wooden cutting board
Wooden cutting boards are great for food preparation, but if you are not careful they can be a trap for bacteria. To keep your cutting board clean, wipe it down after each use with a cloth that has been soaked in vinegar.
9. Neutralize cigarette odor
Especially if you don’t smoke, the odor of stale cigarettes can be pretty offensive – not to mention very difficult to eliminate. Here is a trick that will help to neutralize the smell. Fill several bowls with vinegar and place them around the room that you are trying to deodorize. Let them sit for at least 24-48 hours.
10. A natural weed killer
If you have weeds growing through the cracks in your sidewalk and driveway, try dousing them with vinegar. Be sure not to get the vinegar on your lawn, though, as it will also kill the grass.
11. Loosen a rusty screw
If rusty screws are a problem to remove, try loosening them up first by wetting them with vinegar.
12. Unclog drains
For mild clogs in your shower and sink drains, vinegar can help. Simply pour a cup of baking soda down the drain followed by a cup of vinegar. Allow the mixture to foam and then flush down with boiling water.
These are just a few of the many household uses for vinegar – an inexpensive and non-toxic product that you likely already have in your home!
Remember that you should never combine vinegar with ammonia, as this will create a toxic gas which can put you in the emergency room.
Vinegar should not be used for cleaning natural stone surfaces such as granite, marble or limestone because the acid can damage the surface.
When cleaning with vinegar, you should only use white vinegar or full-strength cleaning vinegar. All other types of vinegar are for culinary uses only.
Do you know of other uses for vinegar? Share your thoughts in the section below: