When you are gathering and storing items for an emergency, you naturally think of food, water and clothing. White vinegar usually does not does not fit under one of those categories, but you will find it to be an indispensable addition to your stockpile.
White vinegar is inexpensive, non-toxic and it serves many important purposes. Here are seven reasons why you should stockpile white vinegar.
1. Vinegar kills germs and bacteria. Research shows that a straight 5 percent solution of vinegar (which is the kind commonly found at the supermarket) kills 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold and 80 percent of viruses.
Place vinegar in a spray bottle to clean and to disinfect your home, including the kitchen and the bathroom. If you are worried about the strong smell, realize it will dissipate in a few hours, or you can combine vinegar with lemon juice to cut the vinegary odor and for added cleaning and disinfecting power.
2. Vinegar is helpful in the kitchen. White vinegar can lend a hand to many cooking tasks. For example, try adding a few tablespoons of vinegar to the water when you boil eggs. It helps prevent the whites from leaking out if the shell cracks. Adding the same amount to the water when you are poaching eggs helps the egg whites stay formed.
Another cooking tip is to rub your hands with white vinegar after cutting onions to eliminate the unpleasant odor. You also perk up wilted leafy greens by soaking them in cold water and vinegar.
Finally, you can reduce the amount of gassiness that vegetables in the cabbage family – including cauliflower and broccoli — cause by adding a little vinegar to the cooking water. This idea also works when cooking beans.
3. Vinegar is a general household cleaner. Keeping in mind that it is an odor neutralizer and a disinfectant, vinegar works wonders all through the home.
Here are a few ideas:
- Remove watermarks on furniture with a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and olive oil. Rub the solution against the grain.
- Clean tile grout with white vinegar and a toothbrush.
- Remove cloudy deposits from glassware and windows with white vinegar.
- Attract and kill pesky fruit flies by setting out a small dish of white vinegar with some pieces of smashed fruit. Cover the dish with plastic wrap that has some holes in it. The flies will be attracted to the bowl but will not be able to get out.
- Deodorize the garbage disposal by pouring a mix of equal parts vinegar and baking soda down the drain. Let it sit and fizz for a few minutes before flushing with warm water.
- Pour a cup of vinegar into the bottom of your dishwasher to get rid of grimy build-up and to keep things smelling fresh.
4. Vinegar works wonders on your clothes. Vinegar works its magic on clothing and upholstery, too. You can spray white vinegar on shirts that are stained by deodorant or perspiration. It also works well on stubborn mustard, ketchup and tomato sauce stains
If someone in your home has a bed-wetting accident, you can apply a solution of vinegar and water to the mattress. After it dries, sprinkle on some baking soda and then brush or vacuum thoroughly. Problem solved.
Try adding a cup of white vinegar to your washing machine’s rinse cycle. It helps boost the colors in your laundry, and it can help dissolve soap residue for a cleaner wash. Additionally, vinegar acts as a natural and inexpensive fabric softener, mildew reducer, static reducer and mold inhibitor.
5. Vinegar can be used outdoors. White vinegar is handy as a car cleaner. Try using a three-to-one solutions of white vinegar and water to clean your car’s windows and windshield.
Do you have old bumper stickers or window decals you want to get rid of? Vinegar is good at de-sticking stuff. Spray the sticker with enough white vinegar to saturate the area, and then let it sit for a few hours. The sticker should then peel away easily.
You can kill weeds and crabgrass along your property’s sidewalks and driveways by pouring white vinegar on them. The best part? It is non-toxic to children and pets.
6. Vinegar is great for animal care. Keep products with chemical ingredients you can’t pronounce away from your pets by using vinegar for pet-cleaning tasks. Here are a few pet-related ways to use vinegar:
- Use vinegar to clean and deodorize the cat litter box.
- Get rid of skunk odor by soaking your pet in a tub filled with a half-and-half solution of vinegar and water. Then rinse well with fresh water.
- Spray a water and vinegar solution on places that you want your pets to stay away from in your home. Cats, in particular, hate the smell.
- Clean your pet’s itchy ears with a cotton swab dampened with white vinegar.
7. Vinegar works for a myriad of other uses, as well. You can use white vinegar to clean and deodorize all through your home. Here are a few other ideas you may not have considered.
Vinegar can remove build-up and deposits on a showerhead. Simply remove the showerhead and let it soak overnight in a bowl or basin – or even a zippered bag — filled with white vinegar.
Extend the life of your cut flowers by adding two tablespoons of white vinegar to the vase water.
You also can use vinegar to loosen stuck-on chewing gum on furniture or floors. In addition, you can bring life back to scuffed CDs and DVDs. Simply wipe them down with a soft cloth moistened with vinegar.
Do you know of other uses for vinegar? Share your ideas in the section below: