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The Top Uses For White Vinegar. How to use vinegar to save money

Updated on January 3, 2012
Vinegar can be used for a myriad of purposes.
Vinegar can be used for a myriad of purposes.

White vinegar is a wonder product. You can cook with it, clean with it and even use it on your pets! But the absolute best thing about vinegar is that it is relatively inexpensive and you can use it to save a ton of money.

White vinegar is made from corn alcohol (ethanol)that is combined with water and nutrients then fermented. The fermentation process produces acetic acid. The acid is what gives the vinegar its sour taste and the ability to be used as a cleaning product.

Vinegar as a cleaner

White vinegar has the ability to kill most mold, bacteria and germs so you can use it as an environmentally safe cleaning product. And don't worry, your house won't smell like pickles because the vinegar smell dissipates as it dries!

  • I use it as a rinse agent in my dishwasher instead of the expensive commercial rinse agents. It leaves my dishes and glasses squeaky clean.
  • White vinegar is great a great deodorizer. I use it to wipe down the inside of the refrigerator to get rid of unpleasant food smells.
  • Deodorize your garbage disposal by pouring in a cup of vinegar and letting it sit for 20-30 minutes.
  • Clear your drain by pouring in baking soda then white vinegar. Mixing the ingredients causes a chemical reaction that produces a foam that will clean most clogs.
  • Clean a dirty, greasy stove with a mixture of 3 parts vinegar and 1 part water. Allow the liquid to sit on stubborn grease before wiping it away.
  • Vinegar cleans windows. Simply spritz it on and wipe it off with newspaper.
  • Use vinegar in the bathroom to clean dirty showers and tubs. Wipe away dirt and grime with a cloth soaked in undiluted vinegar.

Buddy after getting sprayed by a skunk and getting a vinegar bath.
Buddy after getting sprayed by a skunk and getting a vinegar bath.
Monster loves to smell fresh and clean.
Monster loves to smell fresh and clean.
Hank the week after he came to live with us. The swelling is 100% better but the mange is still bad.
Hank the week after he came to live with us. The swelling is 100% better but the mange is still bad.
Another view of the mange-notice it around his eyes.
Another view of the mange-notice it around his eyes.
Hank today-Happy and mange free thanks to vinegar!
Hank today-Happy and mange free thanks to vinegar!

Vinegar and Pets

I have six dogs currently living in my house (yes I said six) and use vinegar to help keep them clean and smelling fresh.

  • When my dogs go for a swim in the local pond they get a bath and a vinegar rinse to get rid of the stinky smell they pick up. Mix a solution of 1 part vinegar to 1 part water and apply it to your pet after you shampoo. DON'T RINSE. Let your dog air dry. The vinegar will deodorize your pet and leave his coat super shiny!
  • Vinegar removes the odor when my dog Buddy occasionally get sprayed by a skunk.
  • All of the floors in my house have been tiled because of my pets. Occasionally they have an accident or get sick inside and the smells disappear when I apply vinegar to the area. The first time I tried deodorizing with vinegar I didn't think it would work but it does!
  • UPDATE-I totally forgot about this one when I wrote the hub. My son Rhett brought home a 12 week old great dane puppy on May 13. He had mange on his face that had obviously been festering for quiet a while. His face was so swelled he couldn't even eat. I began apply vinegar to the mange to see if it would cure it. I am glad to say that after a day or so the swelling in his face subsided and after a week the mange began to disappear. It's August 5 and the mange is completely gone. I have posted before and after pictures for you to see for yourself!

Vinegar in the garden

You can use white vinegar outdoors for several things.

  • Cats hate the smell of vinegar. If there is a cat in your neighborhood that is visiting your yard and you would rather him not spray the area with vinegar to keep him away.
  • Plants that thrive in acidic soil benefit from the occasional addition of vinegar to their normal watering routine.
  • Get rid of ants by pouring vinegar on anthills or in areas where ant congregate. Slugs also hate vinegar.
  • Remove unwanted weeds and grass without using chemicals by pouring vinegar on them.

Other uses for vinegar

Vinegar is so versatile you can use it to:

  • Remove bumper stickers. Apply straight white vinegar to the sticker until it peels off.
  • Clean and soften paintbrushes. Soak dirty hard brushes in hot vinegar.
  • Remove black soot on glass fireplace doors. Apply a solution of 1 part vinegar to 1 part water and wipe down the doors.
  • Relieve sunburn. Rub vinegar directly into the burn and reapply when necessary.
  • Relieve jellyfish and bee stings.
  • Brighten laundry. Add 1 cup of vinegar to the final clothing rinse cycle.

More Vinegar Information

If you want to know more ways to use vinegar there are several books available from that can help you.

  1. Vinegar-Over 400 Various, Versatile, and Very Good Uses You've Probably Never Though Of by Vicki Lansky is a great book that lists hundreds of different ways vinegar can be used throughout your household. Vicki lists ways you can cook with vinegar and use it in food. She also show you how to use vinegar to clean your kitchen, bathroom, laundry and clothing as well as ways to use it in home remedies and beauty products.
  2. Vim and Vinegar by Melodie Moore is a comprehensive guide for using the 100% natural product to save money and enhance your life. Many people know that vinegar can be used to dye Easter eggs and make salad dressing, but did you know you can also use it to tenderize meat and cure cramps? Melodie also include a variety of vinegar recipes including: vinegar pie, vinegar candy and crazy vinegar cake.

I hope you found this hub helpful and if you know of other uses for vinegar I'd love for you to post them.


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    • georgescifo profile image

      georgescifo 3 years ago from India

      Vinegar is great when it comes to cleaning purposes and yes, we also use vinegar for cooking purposes also.

    • mikicagle profile image

      mikicagle 3 years ago from Oklahoma

      I believe that it can. I know that apple cider vinegar is also a diuretic and is used for a cleanse and for weight loss. Whatever you do don't drink just apple cider vinegar, you have to dilute it with water-I took a tablespoon one day and as you can guess had the worst stomach ache ever!

    • healthwealthmusic profile image

      Ruth R. Martin 3 years ago from Everywhere Online ~ Fingerlakes ~ Upstate New York

      Really great tips, many I never heard before. However, I usually only have apple cider vinegar on hand - can that be used in most of these tips?

    • paypalku profile image

      paypalku 6 years ago from Yogyakarta

      A very brilliant idea. We benefited a lot from one product so that we can save our spending. Thanks for sharing ideas.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      This hub is a keeper. so practical. Thank you.

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 6 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      Terrific hub - I already use vinegar for a number of the ways that you describe here. As a cleaner for grease it really works well. Voted up and useful.

    • prektjr.dc profile image

      Debbie Carey 6 years ago from Riverton, KS, USA

      Some really great and different itdeas! I will definitely give them a try...also frugalfamily - I will try it on those migraines that plague me!!

    • mikicagle profile image

      mikicagle 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thr PracticalMommy-it really really works on my dogs-I need to go back and update it because I used it on my son's puppy for health purposes. Timntim9-thanks. Fruglfamily I am absolultely going to try that trick on my next headache thanks!

    • frugalfamily profile image

      Brenda Trott, M.Ed 6 years ago from Houston, TX

      I'm book marking this one. I also use vinegar to chase away migraines. Soak a washcloth in vinegar and place it over your forehead. It works for stubborn fevers too.

    • profile image

      tlmntim9 6 years ago


    • ThePracticalMommy profile image

      Marissa 6 years ago from United States

      I learned to use vinegar as a cleaning agent when I cleaned my great-great aunt's house. She refused to use anything else! I now use it in my own home for cleaning and to keep ants away. I really like your tip about using it on your dogs. I will have to try that! :)

    • mikicagle profile image

      mikicagle 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Carrie-thanks so much. I am going to try the bathroom trick tonight, awesome tip!

    • Carrie Hollister profile image

      Carrie Hollister 6 years ago from Ohio

      I have recently begun to use vinegar as a cleaning agent.

      For stubborn spots on the stove, I not only sprayed it with the vinegar but I sprinkled a little baking soda and let it sit. That really helped.

      It's also great in the toilet for the water stains at the bottom. I turn off the water resource to the toilet and flush so that there's very little water in the bowl and pour in some vinegar and add baking soda and soak overnight if possible. It leaves the bowl sparkling clean! Voted up because this is not onlly safe for the environmentallly but safe for the people in the household too!

    • mikicagle profile image

      mikicagle 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks marellen-vinegar is awesome!

    • profile image

      marellen 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing all the great tips...I had no idea vinegar was so useful.

    • mikicagle profile image

      mikicagle 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      I love vinegar most for it's ability to get rid of bad dog smells!!

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 6 years ago from Orange County, California

      We have used vinegar for cleaning, but these other uses are a great idea! Thanks.