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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

Help Hemorrhoids

Help soothe the pain and irritation of hemorrhoids. Dab some apple cider vinegar on a cotton ball or cloth compress, then apply to the irritated external areas.

Get Rid of Gout

Apple cider vinegar is thought to help gout pain and to prevent attacks. Try taking a tablespoon in the morning and evening. If you don’t like the taste of it straight, simply dilute it by mixing it into a glass of water. You can even add a little honey to sweeten it up.

Eliminate Athlete’s Foot

Have a case of athlete’s foot? Soak a paper towel in vinegar and apply to the area each night for 10 minutes, or pour the vinegar it into a bucket and soak your feet in that.

Get Rid of Yellow or Green Nails

If you have an unsightly nail fungus that makes you want to hide your hands or feet from view, you’ll love this tip. Soak your nails in a mixture of 1 cup vinegar and 2 cups warm water every day for 15 minutes. The acid in the vinegar will attack the fungus, leaving you with lovelier nails. Continue the treatment every few weeks to prevent yellow nails in the future.

Use as a Substitute for Mouthwash

Out of mouthwash? Just use vinegar instead (try apple cider for something less potent!). Its antiseptic properties will kill germs until you can switch back to the minty stuff.

Clean Dentures

Here’s an effective method for cleaning dentures that works just as well as the expensive tablets: Soak them overnight in a solution of 1 part white vinegar and 1 part water. The acidity of the vinegar fights tartar buildup and removes stains.

Cleaning Around the House

Use as a Floor Cleaner

For mopping vinyl floors, use 1/2 cup white vinegar added to 1 gallon warm water. It’s cheap, effective, and completely nontoxic.

Clean Ceramic

To keep ceramic figurines, fixtures, and tile sparkling, wipe it regularly with a sponge damped with water and a splash of vinegar.

Make a DIY Orange Cleaner

Make a homemade orange cleaner good for cleaning just about anything for a fraction of the price with orange peels and vinegar. It smells wonderful!

Make a Plastics Cleaner

There aren’t many cleaners designed especially for plastics, but it’s easy to make your own. Simply mix a quart of water with 3 tablespoons white vinegar. Pour it in a spray bottle, and you’ve got some plastic cleaner.

Clean Your Computer Keyboard

Instead of using alcohol to clean your computer keyboard, you can use vinegar instead. Add to a clean cloth and wipe over the keys to clean and keep away germs.

Make White Cabinets Shine

If your white cabinets are streaky from commercial cleaners, remove the buildup with a solution of half warm water, half white vinegar.

Clean a Ceiling Fan

One of our favorite dusting tricks: To easily clean a ceiling fan, spray glass cleaner or a mixture of half vinegar and half water on the inside of a pillowcase. Put the pillowcase over one arm of the fan, then pull it off while applying gentle pressure toward the floor. The pillowcase will wipe the top of the blade clean.

Get Pen Marks Off Walls

Your kid just drew a fantastic picture—unfortunately, it was on your living room wall. Get if off with some vinegar. Just rub on with a rag or paper towel and the pen marks will come right off.

Clean Windows

The best way we’ve ever found to clean windows? Wet a clean microfiber with vinegar, then wipe on your windows for a streak-free shine. If you don’t have microfiber, use a brown paper bag or coffee filter, which won’t leave pieces of lint or paper behind.

Clean Blinds

Especially if they’re super dirty, white vinegar makes a great DIY cleaner for blinds.

Get Rid of Furniture Polish Buildup

Excess polish can build up and leave a dull finish on wooden furniture. To remove it, mix together 2 tablespoons white vinegar and 2 tablespoons water. Apply to the surface and wipe off at once.

Shine Chrome

If you have chrome that needs cleaning, you can clean it with vinegar. Just wipe on with a damp cloth to have it shining!

Get Rid of Coffee Stains

Get rid of coffee stains with one of our favorite household helpers—vinegar, of course! Blot the stain with a solution of one part vinegar and one part water, then let sit for 10 minutes. If it’s a tablecloth or piece of clothing, wash in the washing machine as usual. If it’s carpet, then dab with a clean paper towel and repeat with the vinegar mixture until the stain is lifted.

Neutralize Pee Stains

If your pet (or kid) accidentally peed on a couch or rug and it still smells like urine after you’ve cleaned it, try deodorizing the spot with vinegar, which will neutralize the pH. Dab some on the area, leave it for five minutes, then blot and allow to dry.

Clean Your Iron

If only because they have the word “cleaner” in their name, we’re always looking for ways to use pipe cleaners that don’t involve crafts! Here’s a good one: to clean the holes in your iron, dip a pipe cleaner in white vinegar and poke into each hole. Vinegar can also help remove wrinkles and clean the inside of your iron—in fact we called vinegar “your iron’s best friend” in our post on making ironing easier.

Clean Collectable Coins

If you collect coins, you’ll love this trick for keeping them looking shiny and new. In a small bowl, mix together ¼ cup white vinegar with 1½ teaspoons salt. Place your coins into the mixture, wait a few minutes, then drain and dry them. Buff with a dry cloth and a little bit of oil. They’ll look as good as the day they were minted!

Make Flower Vases Clear Again

Don’t put a beautiful bouquet of flowers in a cloudy vase! To make it shine like new, just pour a little white vinegar and uncooked rice inside, swish it around, and watch the clouds disappear.

Refresh a Funky Litterbox

Vinegar can help get a smelly litterbox halfway decent again.

Laundry

Revitalize Curtains and Shower Curtains

If your cloth shower curtain has seen better days, wash it according to the care label, but add a cup of vinegar to the water to make it look like new. Remove as soon as the cycle is complete and hang back in position to drip-dry without any creases or wrinkles.

Freshen Fabrics

You can use apple cider or white vinegar as a substitute for fabric freshener like Febreeze! Fill a spray bottle with 1/3 vinegar and 2/3 water and shake. Then spray on clothes, upholstery, and other fabric to neutralize odors and make them smell cleaner. (It will smell like vinegar until it dries.)

Get Blankets Fluffier

Before using your woolen or cotton blankets when the weather turns cold, wash them in the gentle cycle with 2½ cups white vinegar. It will leave them fluffy and soft as new.

Use Instead of Fabric Softener

Never buy fabric softener again! Instead, simply use apple cider vinegar. Use the same proportions as you would for a liquid fabric softener—you’ll never notice the difference.

Lock in Fabric Dyes

Have some dark colors in the wash? Add 1/2 cup vinegar to each wash, which will help lock in colors and prevent bleeding.

Keep Cloth Diapers from Staining

If you use cloth diapers, soak them before you wash them in a mixture of 1 cup white vinegar for every 9 quarts water. It will balance out the pH, neutralizing urine and keeping the diapers from staining. Vinegar is also said to help prevent diaper rash.

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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.