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A Gajillion Uses for Vinegar

The uses of vinegar are amazing, varied, and practically never-ending! We've been collecting household hacks for more than two decades, so other the years we have compiled about a gajillion household uses for vinegar! Here they are, organized by uses for your Car, Cooking, Skincare, Health, Cleaning Around the House, Laundry, Cleaning the Bathroom, Cleaning the Kitchen, Doing the Dishes, Garden and Yard, and Other Uses. Grab that gallon jug of vinegar from the dollar store and enjoy!

By
Bruce and Jeanne Lubin
25-minute read
vinegar as cleaning product

Keep Melons from Getting Moldy

You can keep melons from getting moldy by rubbing vinegar on their outsides every few days.

Prevent Peeled Potatoes from Turning Brown

You’ve managed to talk your kids into helping you with tonight’s scalloped potatoes, but now the potatoes are peeled long before you need them! To keep peeled potatoes from discoloring, place them in a bowl of cold water with a few drops of white vinegar, then refrigerate. Drain before cooking and add a small amount of sugar to the cooking water to revive some of the lost flavor. (Apologies for the unpeeled potatoes in the photo; don't get your kid to take pictures for you!)

Make Great Gravy

Add a tasty punch to your standard gravy with apple cider vinegar—its fruity-tangy flavor will give your meal a bold, delicious boost (it’s especially good with turkey!). Just add a capful of two to your gravy right at the end of cooking.

Skincare

Soothe Stings

If you’re stung by a wasp, hornet, bee, or even a jellyfish, reach for some vinegar. Make sure the stinger is gone, and quickly rub the area with a cotton ball damped with vinegar. It will neutralize the venom.

Get Rid of Varicose Veins

Apple cider vinegar is an astringent that can constrict your swollen veins and ease soreness and discomfort in the legs. Store a bottle in the refrigerator to chill. When you’re ready, soak a small towel in the cold vinegar and place on your leg as a compress. After several weeks of regular use, you should see a decrease in the veins.

Ease the Itch of Poison Ivy

Try this cooling compress for a burning, itchy poison ivy rash: Combine 1/3 cup vinegar and 1 cup water and pop it in the fridge. For a quick cool down, soak a soft cloth or small towel in the solution and hold it against the skin.

Make a Bruise Fade

White vinegar can help heal bruises. Soak a cotton ball in vinegar, then apply it to the bruise overnight with some medical tape or a Band-Aid. It will reduce the blueness of the bruise and speed up the healing process.

Ease the Itchiness of Psoriasis

Nix that frustrating itch with a cold bath plus a cup of apple cider vinegar. Vinegars have been used throughout history to soothe skin inflammation thanks to their disinfectant and pH-balancing properties, so this is a time-tested remedy. Talk to your doctor first to ensure that using apple cider vinegar is advisable for your particular case of psoriasis—then take a good soak!

Help Sunburned Skin

You had a great day on the beach, but now your back is burned to a crisp. Luckily, vinegar is one of the many natural remedies for sunburn.

Ease Razor Burn

Suffering from razor burn? Dip a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and dab it gently on the area to both keep it from itchy and prevent it from getting worse.

Treat a Rash

If you have a rash and you don’t know where it came from (but your doctor says it isn’t serious), vinegar can help. To treat the rash, dilute 1 tablespoon white vinegar with 1 cup water. Saturate a washcloth or small towel in the solution and press against your rash to calm the itch. Or, add a cup of vinegar to a warm bath and soak in the tub.

Add to Your Lotion

Looking for that otherworldly glow? Some women swear by adding a couple of drops of apple cider vinegar to their lotion each time they use it.

Get Rid of Corns

To get rid of corns, soak a Band-Aid in apple cider vinegar, and apply it to the corn for a day or two. You can also try soaking your feet in a shallow pan of warm water with half a cup of vinegar. Either way, finish by rubbing the corn with a clean pumice stone.

Hair and Beauty

Make a DIY Toner

Vinegar is great for tightening your pores. To help clear out clogged pores and prevent pimples, dab some apple cider vinegar directly on your face and let dry before moisturizing. It will help keep your skin clean and less oily.

Use as a Deodorant Substitute

Oops, you just ran out of deodorant! Because it kills germs and helps prevent sweating, you can use apple cider vinegar as a substitute for deodorant or antiperspirant. Saturate a cotton ball with vinegar and apply it to your clean pits. Not only does it kill lingering odor-causing germs, but the acid also raises the pH of your skin, so that you won’t stink later.

Make Manicures Last Longer

Soak your nails in vinegar for 1 minute (then dry) before applying nail polish. It will help the base coat cling better and strengthen your nails.

Prevent Dandruff

Apple cider vinegar helps regulate the acid level on your scalp and clear out dry skin flakes. You can simply mix it with water, or use this wonderful-smelling DIY apple cider vinegar–peppermint dandruff treatment we love.

Keep a Dye Job Fresh

To preserve that great dye job you just got at the salon, rinse your hair regularly before you wash it with white vinegar, to seal the hair cuticle.

Get Rid of Greasy Hair

Pre-washing your hair with apple cider vinegar is a great way to make it less oily and cut down on greasiness.

Shampoo Less Often

Here’s a great trick for those of us with oily hair who want to extend the time between shampoos. Spray freshly shampooed hair with a mixture of equal parts apple cider vinegar and water. Comb it through the hair, and wait a few minutes before rinsing it out and styling as usual.  The acid in the vinegar helps keep oily hair cleaner longer!

Prevent Blonde Hair from Turning Green in a Pool

If you have blonde hair, you know that sometimes a lot of swimming can cause your hair to turn green! Use apple cider vinegar before swimming to prevent your hair from changing color in the pool.

Prevent Hair Loss

Losing your hair? Some people claim apple cider vinegar can even keep your hair from thinning.

Health

Stop Coughing

There’s nothing worse than a cough that keeps you awake at night. As soon as your head touches the pillow, it seems to start up like clockwork! Before heading off to bed, get a glass of water and add 1½ teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, set it on your night table, and sip as needed throughout the night. It will tame the tickle, so you can get a good night’s sleep.

Fight a Fever

You may not like the sound (or smell) of this remedy, but it works. Soak a paper towel or clean cloth in vinegar, and apply it to your forehead. It will cool the skin, increasing evaporation, and lowering your body temperature.

Stop a Cold Before It Starts

As far back as the fourth and fifth centuries B.C., Hippocrates, the father of western medicine, advocated a mixture of honey and apple cider vinegar for many ailments, including a cold. To try it, mix ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons of honey, and a cup of hot water (some people add lemon as well). Drink at the first sign of a cold to stop symptoms in their tracks. Many still swear by this remedy that had its origins in ancient Greece!

Ease the Itch of Shingles

Apple cider vinegar is one of the most useful home remedies around. It’s a natural antiseptic that can clean those shingles sores and speed up the scabbing process. Honey makes the perfect pairing with the vinegar, as it thickens the solution and takes some of the sting out of the vinegar. Here’s how to make a natural healing paste at home:  Mix ½ cup of warm honey with 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Apply it to sores (avoiding any that are open and/or oozing) with a soft cloth and let it sit for just a few minutes. It may sting a little as it disinfects. Rinse off with lukewarm water and repeat as often as you like.

Prevent Swimmer’s Ear

If your children are prone to swimmer’s ear, a bacterial infection of the ear canal, take this precaution when they’ve been in the pool: Dab a solution of one part vinegar and five parts warm water into each ear three times a day. The vinegar will ward off bacteria and keep your kids’ ears pain-free.

Get Rid of Heartburn

Acid reflux results when your body makes too much or too little HCl, the acid that breaks down food in your stomach. When you experience heartburn, do a little test by drinking a tablespoon of pure apple cider vinegar. If it alleviates the symptoms, this means your body isn’t producing enough HCl, and you’ll benefit from sipping pure apple cider vinegar mixed with water as you eat. Just mix a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into an 8-ounce glass of water and begin drinking it 10–30 minutes before eating a meal. (If the test makes the symptoms worse, this means your body is producing too much HCl. Try drinking up to three teaspoons of baking soda daily, mixed with water in increments of 1/4–1/2 teaspoon per glass.)

Help A Yeast Infection

Because it's acidic, adding apple cider vinegar to a warm bath (or even drinking it) has been said to help yeast infections. Ask your doctor before trying!

Ease Stomachaches and Cramps

Warm some apple cider vinegar in the microwave or on the stovetop, then place a washcloth or small towel in the vinegar to soak it up. Wring out excess liquid, and press it against your achy stomach. It will help ease the pain.

Help Aching Joints

This remedy is great for aching joints. Soak a cloth in a mixture of hot water and vinegar, then place the cloth right on the affected joint. Vinegar is known to ease aches, and the hot water will increase blood flow.

Fight Tendonitis

Apple cider vinegar is ripe with mysterious healing properties. Drop 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of room temperature water and you have a daily tonic that is successful in alleviating the persistent ache of tendonitis. Another way to use vinegar is to mix it with hot water (use equal parts of each) and apply it to the sore areas. Don’t use this healing method if you suffer from osteoporosis or have low potassium.

Get Rid of a Cold Sore

Dab a little vinegar on a cold sore several times a day for relief. The vinegar works as an antiseptics to keep it from hurting and help it heal faster.

Stop a Nosebleed

White vinegar can help stop a nosebleed. Just dampen a cotton ball and plug the nostril. The acetic acid in the vinegar cauterizes the wound. Who knew?

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About the Author

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin

Bruce Lubin and Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin are the proud parents of three boys and more than a dozen books. After saving thousands per year using everyday tips and simple lifehacks, they started their own business in the hopes of sharing their knowledge with others. They have been known to go into their friends' refrigerators to turn their eggs upside down so that they last longer.