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25 Creative, Useful Things You Can Do With Vinegar Around Your Home

Updated on September 30, 2010

Vinegar is one of those things that we almost all keep around the house. I primarily use vinegar in cooking, choosing flavored vinegars that go well with flavored olive oils and using them mostly for salad dressings. However, I also know that vinegar can be used in many other ways around the house besides as a cooking ingredient. It's a great green cleaning agent and an affordable tool for a variety of functions ranging from cleaning your pets to fighting off colds. This article explores 25 different ways to use vinegar for cleaning, pet care, landscaping and more.

Using Vinegar in Household Cleaning

Vinegar is one of the best green, affordable household cleaning agents that you can possibly keep in your home. Some of the ways that you can use vinegar in household cleaning include:

  1. Vinegar is a terrific stain remover. Rub it into your clothes before washing them. Use it to clean fruit stains from your own fingers. If you see a strain, search for some vinegar to solve the problem.
  2. Clean your teapots and coffee pots. Vinegar will flush away the stains on these popular beverage makers.
  3. Make it easier to clean greasy pots and pans. Adding a little bit of vinegar to soapy hot water and letting the pots and pans soak will make the grease break up and make it a lot simpler to clean these items.
  4. Unclog and deodorize your drains. Forget the Drano, just pour a vinegar and baking soda solution into your clogged drain, let it sit for 15 minutes and then rinse it out with hot water. Your drain will be cleaned and you'll deodorize it in the process.
  5. Clean the kitchen floors. Adding vinegar to hot water is a great way to make an easy floor-cleaning solution for kitchen and bathroom floors.
  6. Make stainless steel shine. Wash it with vinegar instead of water and it will gleam like never before!
  7. Simplify cleaning your microwave. A hot water and vinegar solution is a great choice for wiping out the microwave. It breaks down those nasty food particles to easily clean them away. In the process, it reduces odors in the microwave.
  8. Get rid of rust. If you have rusty hinges, nuts or bolts then you may want to replace them. Try this first: soak them in full-strength vinegar. You should find the the rust goes away and the items don't need to be replaced after all.
  9. Remove anything sticky. If you have sticky residue left on anything then it probably just needs to be wiped down with vinegar to dissolve the stickiness.
  10. Improve your laundry. Did you know that adding half a cup of vinegar to your clothing rinse cycle will remove lint while simultaneously helping to maintain the brightness of your clothes? And running the washer without clothing and using a cup or two of vinegar will completely clean out the machine for you.

Using Vinegar in Your Yard / Garden

Vinegar isn't useful only inside the home; it's also a great thing to use in your yard and garden for a number of different purposes. Some of those purposes include:

  1. Vinegar is a green weed-killer. If you have weeds in your garden that you want to kill kindly then vinegar is your friend. Simply spray the vinegar undiluted directly on to the weeds that you want to kill. Repeat as needed until the weeds are gone.
  2. Increase soil acidity when gardening. There are some hardy plants that do better when the soil they're in is a bit more acidic. Adding vinegar to the water when you are watering the soil around these plants is a safe, easy and cheap way to add acidity to the soil.
  3. Get ants away from your home. Keep the ants out in the yard by making sure that they don't want to come near the house. Simply spray vinegar around the perimeter of the home on a regular basis to deter ants from coming indoors.
  4. Keep flies away. Flies also don't like vinegar so use it to keep them away. You can add it to your pool water to keep them away from the pool. You may also spray it around outdoor dining areas.
  5. Clean your sprinklers. Sometimes sprinkler systems get clogged from overuse. Immerse the sprinkler heads in a vinegar bath and you should find that the problem literally disappears.

Vinegar and Pet Care

Vinegar is surprisingly useful in pet care. Some top examples of this include:

  1. Stop pets from scratching themselves. If you've got a pet that scratches constantly but doesn't have fleas or skin problems then you can stop them easily with vinegar. Believe it or not, putting a little bit of vinegar on the animal's skin should prevent the scratching.
  2. Remove strong odors from pet fur. Pets (especially dogs) can sometimes get really stinky. The worst is when a skunk sprays your dog! Rubbing vinegar all over your dog's fur before giving your pet a normal bath will neutralize that smell and make washing the animal tolerable.
  3. Keep cats confined to where they're supposed to be. If you want cats to stay away from certain areas of the home (your computer cords, your favorite sofa) then all that you need to do is drizzle the area around the item with vinegar.
  4. Help dogs feel better. Dogs that have watery eyes or a puppy cough may benefit from having apple cider vinegar added to their food!
  5. Fight fleas. Fleas are turned off by the acid in vinegar which is something to keep in mind if you have had a flea problem in the past. Include vinegar in your pet's bath and also use it on the pet's sleeping area to keep the fleas away.

Vinegar and Self-Care


It's not just your pets that you can take care of with vinegar; you can take care of your self as well! Here are some options:

  1. Soften your skin. Believe it or not, you can soften up your skin with vinegar by simply adding a tablespoon or two to a warm bath once every week or two.
  2. Reduce the pain of a sunburn. You may not know this but of the best self-care remedies for treating a sunburn is to apply undiluted white vinegar to the burned area.
  3. Remove shampoo from hair. Many people have trouble fully getting shampoo out of their hair. Solve this problem easily by following-up your shampoo routine with a simple vinegar rinse. Use vinegar diluted with water and rinse completely before conditioning your hair.
  4. Get rid of dandruff. If you have a more serious hair problem like dandruff then you'll need a more serious vinegar treatment. Combine one part water, one part vinegar and one part olive oil then massage into your hair for a 20-minute hair mask. Remove. Repeat as needed to get rid of dandruff.
  5. Fight colds. Vinegar can be used to treat sore throats and chest colds. You can gargle with a vinegar and water solution. You can also add vinegar to your vaporizer for cold treatments.

Comments

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  • profile image

    Naomi's Banner 

    7 years ago

    Great ideas!! Some knew some hadn't thought to try. Great Hub!

  • Ruth Benjamin profile image

    Ruth Benjamin 

    7 years ago from Georgia

    Another excellent article of yours. I can't wait to try all of these tips.

  • Chris Crow profile image

    Chris Crow 

    7 years ago

    I've been making a conscious effort to try to start cleaning without powerful and damaging chemicals. I have heard about the benefits of vinegar, but I didn't know anything about mixing it with baking soda (re. cleaning a drain). I imagine you just eyeball the mixture of these two things before you dump them in the drain.

  • profile image

    carpet cleaning Grand Rapids Michigan  

    7 years ago

    There are lots of great uses of vinegar. Some of us use it as stain remover on carpets, and sometimes it use as an odor remover (especially those stinky odors). It may be useful for some fabrics. But sometimes it's not effective. Before trying it to your clothes or carpet, better ask first someone who knows about cleaning clothes or carpet, or an expert.

  • prsarkar profile image

    prsarkar 

    7 years ago from New Delhi

    Liked your hud. It is really useful for mothers/housewife to keep home clean and removing stains.

  • Silva Hayes profile image

    Silva Hayes 

    7 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

    Great hub!

  • Ruglovermary profile image

    Ruglovermary 

    8 years ago from Victoria, BC

    I feel that you have just exposed the tip of the iceberg in what vinegar can do besides taste good.

    Vinegar is also good to neutralize fresh pet urine accidents on carpet and area rugs. After you soak up as much of the urine with a clean white cotton towel, spray the urine spot lightly with the vinegar solution and keep blotting the spot. If the urine is on an area rug do this front and back if the urine has saturated through the rug, then get the area or carpet cleaned professionally as soon as possible. The longer urine is in a rug or carpet the harder it is to get out.

    I am glad I came across your hub!

  • nikitha p profile image

    nikitha p 

    8 years ago from India

    Very informative hub, thanks

  • ethel smith profile image

    Ethel Smith 

    8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

    Such an under rated product

  • profile image

    Nan 

    8 years ago

    You have stumbled upon some helpful tips on the use of vinegar. My mother used it all the time for cleaning windows, and anything that was glass. We also poured it down the drain with baking soda. and it really works. It's going green, before they said going green.

  • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

    Susan Hazelton 

    8 years ago from Sunny Florida

    You have some very good tips for using vinegar. I jus happens to be one of the most useful household products there is.

  • Jennifer Lynch profile image

    Jennifer Lynch 

    8 years ago from Stowmarket, Suffolk.

    Amazing, I didn't know I could use vinegar for all these things. The sink unblocking is a good idea because so much more environmentally friendly. Thanks for this hub.

  • millerfinch profile image

    millerfinch 

    8 years ago from A New Yorker in the South

    I've heard that drinking a spoonful of vinegar gets rid of muscle cramps. I take a spoonful of salt myself when I have leg cramps, but will be trying the vinegar too. Read this in the NY Times about a month ago. Thanks for the other uses, much better than using chemicals!

  • dallas93444 profile image

    Dallas W Thompson 

    8 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

    Growing up very poor, my mother used vinegar to rinse her hair. She had it in a big stainless steel pitcher. On a hot, summer day, I ran into the house, grabbed that big cool pitcher and sneaked gulps of cold liquid down. Not until I sat the picture down after multiple gulps, did I realize what I had drank! I understood better the benefits of not drinking from the picture..!

  • KCC Big Country profile image

    KRC 

    8 years ago from Central Texas

    Great hub! I often wondered what other things vinegar could be used for around the house. I'll have to experiment with some of these.

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