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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

Doing the Dishes

Make Your Dish Soap More Powerful

Did you know that the acetic acid in vinegar dramatically increases the cleaning power of soap? Boost your dishwashing liquid’s effectiveness by adding a couple of teaspoons white vinegar to the bottle (agitate gently to combine). You’ll need less to get your dishes clean, saving you money!

Clean a Mucky Basting Brush

You’ve washed and washed your basting brush, and yet it still seems sticky. Soak it in a cup of straight vinegar for a few hours to help dissolve the greasy buildup, then wash as usual. It will be as good as new!

Deodorize Your Cutting Board

Do you have a cutting board that has a lingering odor that just won’t quit? Remove the smell by rubbing the board with white vinegar.

Fix Cloudy Glasses

If your glasses are beginning to develop a fine film because of too many trips through the dishwasher, soak them in a bath of warm vinegar for an hour. They’ll emerge sparkling clean.

Clean Knives

We used to throw knives in the dishwasher with everything else. Problem is, this dulls the blades, and “gunk” (scientific word for stuck-on food left from chopping onions, raw meat, and tomatoes) would still be on the sides. Luckily, there’s a neat trick for cleaning knives without dulling their edges—a cork dipped in vinegar. Simply dip one in vinegar and use it to rub off the gunk, then wash by hand with a soft cloth. No scrubbing necessary!

Use as a “Drying Agent”

If your dishwasher has a spout for a “drying agent” don’t spend money on and expensive store-bought one like Jet-Dry. Instead, just use straight white vinegar. It does the same thing!

Get the Smell Out of Your Dishwasher

Give your dishwasher a deep-clean by letting vinegar steam inside.

Remove Spots on Stainless Steel

You’ve scrubbed it twice, but you can’t seem to get those water spots out of your stainless steel silverware! The solution? A little white vinegar. Just rub into the spots and they’ll disappear.

Gardening and Yard

Kill Weeds

Pour white vinegar directly on weeds in cracks on your sidewalk and elsewhere and they’ll die out in a couple of days. No pulling or tugging necessary!

Increase Soil Acidity

If you live in a hard water area, add 1 cup vinegar to 1 gallon water, then use it to water plants that love acidic soil, such as rhododendrons, heather, and azaleas. The vinegar will release iron in the soil for the plants to use, and it will keep their leaves nice and green.

Repel Snakes

Snakes can absorb liquids through their skin, and won’t slither over the vinegar. Pour some around the perimeter of your deck to keep snakes away.

Keep Rabbits Away

Are rabbits overrunning your garden? Keep them away with the help of some vinegar. First poke a few holes in a pill bottle, then soak 3–4 cotton balls with vinegar and place them inside. Bury them just under the soil and the smell will keep rabbits away.

Neutralize Garden Lime

To avoid rough and flaky skin after working with garden lime, rinse your hands liberally with vinegar.

Use as Flower Food

A mixture of white or apple cider vinegar and sugar is the perfect DIY flower flood for cut flowers.

Make Flower Pots Like New

Remove the stains in clay and plastic flowerpots with vinegar. Just fill the kitchen sink with two-thirds water and one-third vinegar, and soak the pots. In an hour, they’ll be good as new! Make sure to wash with soap and water before re-using.

Keep Wasps from Building a Nest

If there’s a spot in your yard that wasps keep coming back to each spring, keep them from building their nest there by spraying the area with vinegar.

Get Rid of Brown Lawn Spots from Dog Pee

Is your dog leaving brown spots on your lawn where he decides to pee? Put a few drops of vinegar into his water bowl every time you refill it and brown spots won’t appear on your lawn anymore.

Make Tiki Torches Burn Longer

If you have a propane lantern or tiki torch, soak the wick in vinegar for several hours before you use it. This will prolong the life of your wick, helping you get more for your money.

Remove Deck Stains

If your deck is covered with mildew, try spraying the wood with straight vinegar. Leave it for an hour or so, then rinse off. The acid in the vinegar kills mold and mildew, and will help get your deck clean.

Clean Wicker Furniture

Make sure your wicker furniture is front-porch ready for the spring and summer months. Vacuum off or wipe away any loose dirt, then clean with a mixture of half warm water, half white vinegar. Apply a coat of lemon oil afterwards of desired.

Keep Mildew off Patio Furniture

Here’s an easy way to make sure your patio furniture always looks fresh and new. Spray patio and lawn furniture with vinegar to keep it from growing mildew. Let it sit for a few hours before wiping down with a damp cloth. The vinegar spray will also work to get rid of any mold or bacteria that’s already taken up residence.

Keep Ants Away from Your Food

Spray food surfaces, such as outdoor tables, with white vinegar before you lay out the food. The vinegar acts as an odor neutralizer, and ants won’t come near your food because they can’t smell it!

Repel Flying Bugs Around Your Pool

Nobody likes flies buzzing around them while they’re swimming. Spray straight white vinegar around the perimeter of your pool to keep flies and other bugs away from you while you’re taking a dip.

Keep Dogs from Peeing on Your Driveway

If all the dogs in the neighborhood seem to think your driveway is the perfect place to pee, neutralize the odor that is driving them to mark their territory there and clean off the stains at the same time with a vinegar and baking soda solution.

Other Uses

Use as an Air Freshener

Vinegar is so perfect for neutralizing odors and cutting back on dust, we like to keep a little in a small jar near heating vents. Our favorite Who Knew? hero will leave your room smelling cleaner than it ever did with an air freshener. Just make sure to replace it once a week.

Get Rid of Foot Odor

Did you know that vinegar can neutralize foot odors? Add a cup of apple cider vinegar to a basin or bucket of warm water and soak those feet for about 15 minutes to eliminate smelly feet.

Get Rid of Stains on a White Dog’s Fur

If your dog has black or dark stains from runny eyes, you can usually clean discolored fur with white vinegar. Rub a little vinegar into the fur with your fingers to remove the spots. Let sit if necessary, then rinse out with water.

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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.