Wednesday, March 7, 2012

White Vinegar for Cleaning and beyond

I am beginning to wonder if there is anything vinegar can't do!

I can't believe how long vinegar used to sit in my cabinet and never get opened.  Now, I have it my cabinets in my kitchen and bath, in my laundry room, and in our garage. It seems like we use it for everything: kitchen, bath, cooking, garden, laundry, and even deodorizing!  We have cut chemicals out of our daily routine all together.

Since “green” cleaning has become more popular, vinegar is finding it's way into more buggies at the grocery store. White vinegar can still be purchased fairly cheap and I will put it up against any commercial cleaner any time and it will win every time!

10 uses for white vinegar around the house

1. Clean your produce -  If you don’t want to rinse fruits and veggies in plain water, you can simply wash them with 10 parts vinegar and three parts water. This will keep berries from getting fuzzy if it takes you a while to eat them.  Need a little extra cleaning:  add a little lemon juice and a touch of baking soda to the mix to get non-organic veggies really clean. Just be sure to rinse well with plain water before eating.

2.  Give new life to leafy vegetables - Don’t throw away wilted lettuce. Soak in a bowl with cold water and a splash of vinegar for 10 minutes. Just rinse and dry before enjoying your revived produce. Works great with Kale.

3.  Drain Opener - Pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain (let sit for a few minutes to absorb odors)  Pour in 1 cup of vinegar.  Allow to fix and bubble up and leave for 20 minutes.  Pour boiling water down the drain (about 1 quart).  Have you priced Drano lately?  That stuff is expensive and this works just as well.  Another thing I have wasted money on over the years, we live in an old house with old pipes.

4. Fabric Softener – White vinegar is very effective at removing soap residue in the laundry and softening your clothing. Add one cup to the fabric softener dispenser of your washing machine, or fill a fabric softener ball with vinegar and toss it in the load. Laundry comes out feeling soft and fluffy, with no chemical coatings or perfumes like commercial softeners. Also it will help keep colors from fading.  WARNING:  Never use bleach and vinegar together, it produces highly toxic fumes.

5.  Get your dishes to sparkle - Pour vinegar into the rinse aid dispenser of your dishwasher and stop spending the money on expensive commercial rinse aids. This trick works well whether using commercial or homemade dishwasher detergent. If you are like me and hand wash your dirty dishes, add a cup of vinegar to your rinse water for spot-free dishes.

6  Cooking - Make pickles, dressings, and flavor soups and sauces with vinegar. My son has an egg allergy and I discovered that you can replace an egg in baking with 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp water, and 1 TBS of vinegar.  This works great in pancakes, that is all I have tried it in so far.  (and no you do not taste the vinegar)

7.  Cleaning around the house – Vinegar has replaced all my cleaning bottles.  I use diluted vinegar on floors, walls, windows, carpets, showers, sinks, mirrors, and faucets. I sprinkle baking soda inside the toilet bowl and spray vinegar around the lid, bow and allow it to sit. After a few minutes I scrub the inside of the toilet, wipe away any remaining vinegar, and flush! Cheap, easy, and effective. The smell dissipates, but if you have a hard time with the smell, make my Citrus Scented Vinegar Cleaner.

8.  Kill grass or weeds chemical-free - Spray full-strength vinegar on young weeds or grass that creep into places they’re not welcome. This will work within 24 hour.  Larger, tougher weeds may need several sprays.

9. Deodorize -  Pet odors are improved by spraying a mixture of 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup water enhanced with a few drops of my favorite essential oils. Spritz this mixture into the air throughout the room; the vinegar smell will dissipate after a few minutes leaving a fresh scent.

10. Keeping away ants - Ants do not like vinegar. Spray in cracks, around baseboards, on counter tops, or anywhere ants tend to crawl around your house. No need to put poisonous ant traps on your floor that kids or pets could get into.  I can't tell you how many chemicals I have sprayed around my house inside and out over the years.  So wish I had known about this a long time ago. 


  1. I use vinegar for everything! I love it!

  2. we use vinegar for everything as well. I even drink Apple Cider Vinegar. Many great health benefits. My Doctor told me about it, sure it takes a couple table spoons to get used to but know I don't have A problem with it.

  3. I do like using vinegar for various things around the house but didn't know I could use it for ants. Will remember that tip for sure. Thanks.