You may already know some of the many uses vinegar has around the home. The humble store cupboard staple’s cleaning properties have long been hailed by grandmothers and internet influencers alike. Chances are though, that some of these 40 household vinegar hacks will come as a complete surprise to you.
40. Disinfect cutting boards
Vinegar contains acetic acid, which is a powerful disinfectant capable of killing harmful bacteria like salmonella, Staphylococcus and E. coli. As a result, it’s perfect for cleaning cutting boards, according to Reader’s Digest. Simply wipe over using undiluted white vinegar. And mixing it with baking soda will allow you to deodorize wooden chopping boards, too.
39. Deodorize kitchen odors
There are, of course, some cooking smells that linger far longer than anyone would like. However, you don’t have to live with unwanted food stenches any longer. To freshen up kitchens in an instant, the aforementioned publication suggests adding half a cup of white vinegar and a full one of water to a saucepan and boiling until almost dry. The mixture will then deodorize the entire room as it bubbles away.
38. Make a powerful scouring mix
Apparently, it’s possible to make an inexpensive and all-natural scouring mixture that can be safely used on pans using everyday store cupboard items. Simply mix together equal parts of flour and salt with a drop of vinegar to form a paste, Reader’s Digest says. Rub this on your pots and rinse with water to return them to their former glory.
37. Purge pantry bugs
Vinegar can go after pesky pests in your pantry, too. Simply add one and a half cups of the apple cider variety to a bowl with two drops of dish detergent and place it inside the infested cupboard for a week. The mixture will attract bugs and drown them, according to the publication. When this process is complete, empty shelves, discard any wheat products and wash all items and interiors thoroughly.
36. Trap fruit flies
Though it’s not just pantry pests; apple cider vinegar can also go after fruit flies. Simply half fill an old jar with the wonder product and punch some holes in the lid. When it’s screwed back in place, Reader’s Digest says, flies will enter the jar and effectively become trapped.
35. Treat pet stains
Unsightly stains are often part and parcel of being a pet parent. But according to Today, vinegar can make light work of cleaning up pee patches. Just blot up the main of the liquid using paper towels before saturating the stain with equal parts of water and white vinegar. Leave for ten minutes before blotting like before. When the patch is almost dry, pour baking soda onto the affected area and vacuum around an hour later.
34. Set dye
Vinegar can also apparently make the process of fabric dying a lot easier, Today claims. When you’re coloring materials, the hues can often run in the wash later – potentially ruining all of your hard work. So, to prevent this from happening, add a cup of distilled white vinegar to the water for a final rinse.
33. Boil a cracked egg
You might think that the chances of successfully boiling a cracked egg are slim. But according to Today, by adding two teaspoons of vinegar to a pan containing around four cups of water you can salvage that split egg into a meal. That’s because the vinegar prevents the white from leaking out – meaning you end up with a perfectly boiled egg.
32. Clean fruit-stained hands
Vinegar can restore your hands to their natural hue if they’ve changed color after preparing fruit and vegetables. Simply rub the liquid on the affected area and rinse. And vinegar can also be used to remove fruit stains from clothes. Simply add a tablespoon of it with one quart of water and half a teaspoon of detergent.
31. Banish tarnish
Unsightly tarnish can ruin the look of bronze, brass and silver items. However, Today suggests using a paste made from half a cup of vinegar, a teaspoon of salt and a pinch of flour to restore their shine. Apply to the dull area and leave to work for 15 minutes, then rinse the mixture off using clean water and polish with a dry cloth.
30. Refresh your refrigerator
White vinegar makes the perfect food-safe cleaner for the refrigerator, according to Reader’s Digest. Just mix with equal parts of water and use the solution to wash the appliance – inside and out. Furthermore, use neat vinegar on a cloth in order to tackle mildew and prevent it from returning. To finish the job, place a cup of baking soda in your fresh fridge to keep it smelling good for longer.
29. Unclog an iron
Mineral residue can easily build up in irons. But you can easily get rid of it, Today claims. First, pour water and distilled white vinegar into the water reservoir in equal parts. Then turn on the iron’s steam function and leave it in an upright position for five minutes while it does its thing. After this, switch off the iron and allow to cool before pouring the liquid – and now dissolved minerals – away.
28. Clean keyboards
Laptop and PC keyboards can get pretty grimy over time, but cleaning them with vinegar can make them look as good as new. Reader’s Digest suggests simply wiping down using a cloth lightly dampened with some watered down vinegar. After this initial step, use cotton swabs to reach the tight spaces between keys. But make sure any devices are switched off before you start cleaning them.
27. Make your bathtub sparkle
You can quickly eliminate bathtub grime using products you may already have lying around the house. First, Today says, wipe the surface using some white distilled vinegar, and then rub in baking soda. When you come to rinse the mixture away, the film should lift from the sides of the tub and disappear down the drain.
26. Eliminate soap scum from showers
Along with cleaning bathtubs, vinegar can also be used to rid showers of soap scum. To prevent buildups from forming in the first place, Today suggests wiping down doors with a sponge soaked in white distilled vinegar. And you don’t need to rinse; simply let the solution work its grime-busting magic.
25. Give grease marks the slip
Vinegar’s ability to cut through grease makes it the perfect kitchen cleaner – particularly when it comes to stoves and tabletops. However, adding a few tablespoons of vinegar to your favorite liquid dish detergent can also increase its grease-busting properties. The mixture will not only leave your dishes cleaner, Reader’s Digest says, but it will also save money because you’ll use less soap over time.
24. Clean sticky scissors
You may be tempted to wash sticky scissors with water, but that would be a mistake. Apparently, this could accelerate the rusting process – therefore shortening the lifespan of your utensils. Instead, Reader’s Digest says to wipe the blades clean using white vinegar, before drying them with a clean cloth or dish towel.
23. Window cleaner
Make your windows sparkle using equal parts water and distilled white vinegar. First, Today explains, prepare the pane by removing any dust or dirt with a cloth. Then apply the mixture to the glass using a sponge before removing it with a squeegee. Pro tip: wet the blade first to ensure a smooth finish.
22. Remove stubborn bumper stickers
Soaking a bumper sticker in vinegar can help to dissolve the adhesive beneath, and this makes it easier to remove one from a car. Though before you get started, Today recommends testing the vinegar on an inconspicuous part of the vehicle to check that it won’t cause damage to the paintwork.
21. Get your glasses crystal clear
Using a cup or two of vinegar in your cycle might be the answer if your dishwasher doesn’t clean your glasses to a high standard. According to the aforementioned publication, simply add the liquid to the bottom of the machine and set it to wash as normal. And the next time you come to retrieve your glassware, it should be sparkling clean with no cloudiness in sight.
20. Remove wine stains
Wine stains on clothing can be particularly tricky to shift. However, white distilled vinegar can banish them if you act quickly. Within 24 hours of the spillage, sponge vinegar into the affected area until the mark appears lifted, Today says. After that, simply launder as per the instructions on the label to get the item looking as good as new.
19. Brighten your blinds
Vinegar can also help with the frustrating task of cleaning your blind slats. Apparently, you can brighten washable blinds by mixing white distilled vinegar with ammonia, baking soda and warm water. This solution can then be applied to blinds – before being rinsed off with warm water.
18. Remove water marks from furniture
Unsightly watermarks can ruin the look of wood furniture. But don’t despair if you have forgotten to use a coaster with your drink and ended up paying the price. According to Reader’s Digest, water rings can be removed by rubbing equal parts of olive oil and vinegar onto the affected area – being sure to follow the grain of the wood.
17. Restore rugs
Even with the best intentions, over time carpets and rugs can become grubby from everyday use. To remedy this, the publication suggests brushing them with one cup of white vinegar diluted in a gallon of water. As you work in the solution, faded threads will come back to life, and the best part is that there’s no need to rinse.
16. Soften paint brushes
Paint brushes can become stiff if they aren’t washed after each use. As a result, they’re not in prime condition and could have the potential to ruin a masterpiece. In order to fix things before your inspiration dims, Today recommends soaking the brush in some white distilled vinegar until it softens – followed by a rinse with warm water and soap.
15. Clothes rinse
Did you know that distilled white vinegar can be used in laundry to brighten, whiten, freshen and soften clothing without a harsh chemical in sight? Just add two cups to your final rinse the next time you do a load, Today says. As an added benefit, the vinegar can also be used to keep your washing machine clean by breaking down minerals and soap scum.
14. Unclog shower heads
Mineral deposits can often build up on and inside showerheads. But according to Today, these can easily be dissolved using trusty vinegar. All you need to do is tie a bag of the liquid around the head and leave it to soak overnight. When morning comes, just remove the bag and turn on the water to rinse.
13. Clean coffee machines
As we’ve seen, vinegar can be used to dissolve mineral buildups on showers. But it can do the same with coffee machines, too. Simply fill the water reservoir with the liquid and run the machine through a brewing cycle. When that’s complete, rinse the leftover vinegar away by running a full reservoir of water through the same process.
12. Brighten up brickwork
Interestingly, vinegar can apparently be used to improve the color of bricks in the home. Reader’s Digest suggests mixing one cup of white vinegar with a gallon of warm water and using a cloth to rub it all over the area. This trick works well on property exteriors, fireplaces, or any other areas of exposed brick.
11. Get tough on deodorant stains
Unsightly deodorant stains can ruin any look, but vinegar can help you to banish them from white or lightly colored clothing for good. According to today, just apply to the affected areas using a rubbing technique before washing the garment as usual. If the stain hasn’t fully shifted after being retrieved from the laundry, try placing it out in the sun for some extra bleaching action.
10. Leather cleaner
White vinegar might be the answer if your leather furniture is looking a little lackluster. Reader’s Digest recommends mixing equal parts with linseed oil in a spray bottle, shake well and apply to the item in question. Once you’ve covered the leather, rub the solution evenly across the area with a cloth, leave for a few minutes, and then wipe any excess off with an unused rag.
9. Kill grass and weeds
Vinegar contains acetic acid, and as such, it can be used as a natural alternative to herbicides when it comes to clearing unwanted weeds. According to WikiHow, you just need to spray the liquid directly onto the pesky plant life – working carefully around any foliage you may want to keep. For a stronger solution that will tackle more stubborn growths, add some salt to the vinegar prior to application.
8. Conceal scratches on wood furniture
Vinegar can be used to easily and effectively disguise scratches on wood furniture. Reader’s Digest suggests mixing it with some iodine and applying the solution to the damaged area using a small paintbrush. For light woods, use just a small amount of iodine – adding more depending on the overall shade of the grain.
7. Treat scorch marks on clothing
So, you’ve overdone it with the iron and ruined one of your favorite items of clothing. Though fear not; scorch marks can be treated with a clean cloth and some vinegar. Simply dab it on the singed area and rub lightly. The hack might not work on badly damaged garments, but it’s definitely worth a go.
6. Remove candle wax
According to Reader’s Digest, vinegar can also help getting candle wax off furniture. First, remove the bulk of the mess using a hairdryer. This will melt the wax – enabling you to blot the excess with a paper towel. After that, remove the rest by rubbing it with a 50/50 mixture of water and vinegar, and then wipe clean with a soft cloth.
5. Deodorize the kitchen drain
Keep drains smelling their best by pouring a cup of white vinegar down them once a week, Today says. Allow the product to sit for half-an-hour before rinsing the residue away with cold water. For extra fizzing power, pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain first to create a mixture that will help to blast away blockages.
4. Keep flowers fresh
Vinegar is capable of killing weeds, so it might seem counter-intuitive to use it to keep flowers fresh. However, the publication says that mixing two tablespoons of the stuff along with the same amount of sugar into vase water can keep flowers looking their best for longer. Just make sure to change the water every couple of days, or when it starts to cloud.
3. Prevent colors from running
Colored clothing can run or fade when washed due to dye that is released during the laundering process. And color bleed can also ruin other items in the same wash. So, to prevent this from happening, Today suggests soaking the items in a mixture of vinegar and cold water in the drum, before turning on the wash cycle with no added detergent.
2. Clean the garbage disposal
Lots of people may already clean their garbage disposal with baking soda and a splash of vinegar. Though there’s apparently a more effective way of cleaning this part of the kitchen that also sharpens the disposal blades. Instead of pouring vinegar straight from the bottle, the website Apartment Therapy says, freeze it into cubes and toss them down the garbage disposal once a week.
1. Hair rinse
Regular use of shampoos can cause a build-up in our tresses. To prevent this from happening, the publication suggests mixing a couple of spoonfuls of apple cider or white distilled vinegar with a cup of water to create a rinse. Pouring this through your hair will eliminate soap grime, and it’ll also leave it shiny and soft.