Most people know that frequent use of shampoo can cause a build-up in their hair. But do you realize that you can use vinegar to prevent this from happening? Yes, the humble store cupboard staple has cleaning properties that have long been hailed by grandmothers and internet influencers alike. Yet chances are that some of these household vinegar hacks – including the shampoo one – will come as a complete surprise to you.
40. 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.
39. 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.
38. Eliminate soap scum from showers
Vinegar can 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.
37. 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.
36. Brighten your blinds
Vinegar can 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.
35. 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.
34. 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.
33. 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.
32. 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.
31. 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.
30. 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.
29. 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.
28. 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.
27. 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.
26. 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.
25. 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.
24. 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.
23. 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.
22. 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.
21. 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.
20. 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.
19. 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.
18. 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.
17. 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.
16. 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.
15. 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.
14. 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.
13. 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.
12. 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.
11. 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.
10. 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.
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.
By now, you’re probably wondering what other household items can be used for multiple purposes. Well, while Epsom salt may not be suitable for seasoning at the dinner table, it still has a myriad of uses that may make your life easier – including healing a bruise more quickly. And there’s a good reason why it’s worth putting Epsom salt in the corner of a room, too.
20. It helps to remove splinters
Splinters can be a pain. Yes, while they may be tiny little things – sometimes barely visible to the naked eye – they’ll certainly let you know once they’ve got under your skin. And, sometimes, a splinter can be so far embedded into the flesh that tweezers can’t quite reach it. On such an occasion, though, Epsom salt can come to the rescue.
After immersing the afflicted part of the body in an Epsom salt bath, you see, the splinter will work its way to the surface. If the fragment has lodged itself deep into the skin, by contrast, simply apply some of the mineral to a bandage and then cover the affected area. And after you’ve left the dressing in place for 24 hours, the splinter should then be eased out far enough to enable you to get at it.
19. It’s a hair-care marvel
Each hair follicle on the body contains a sebaceous gland. And as the name suggests, the role of these glands is to generate a substance known as sebum – something that helps keeps hair looking glossy. There may be a problem, though, if you produce too much sebum, as this can lead to greasy locks and oily skin.
Fortunately, Epsom salt can draw oil out of the hair if a little is combined with regular shampoo, which should then be applied as normal. And if it’s combined with conditioner and left for 20 minutes before rinsing, the compound can even help tame frizz. As a bonus, Epsom salt can add volume to flat hair by stripping away any product buildup.
18. It’s a great relaxant
A long, hot bath can be the perfect way to unwind. But if you throw a couple cups of Epsom salt into the tub, you can crank that soak up to a whole new level. You see, the human body contains minerals such as sodium, potassium, sulfur and chlorine. The fourth most prevalent of these, however, is magnesium, which is plentiful in Epsom salt.
So, when you lie in water that has been sprinkled with Epsom salt, its key ingredient, magnesium sulfate, will infiltrate the skin. And this substance not only has a relaxing effect on the nervous system, but it can also help loosen up tense muscles.
17. It can cure a hangover
If you’ve over-indulged on a night out, Epsom salt could provide the hangover cure you need. You see, the chemicals produced by the body when processing alcohol are what causes the pain of the morning after – including those feelings of exhaustion and nausea.
Happily, lying in an Epsom salt bath can help to ease some of the ailments associated with a hangover. Even consuming a teaspoon of the stuff in a little liquid could stimulate the body’s water production and flush the toxins away. Exercise caution, though, when it comes to how much you take.
16. It promotes sleep
Getting plenty of rest is super-important for your health – even more so than you know. You see, prolonged sleep deprivation can mean running the risk of such potentially life-changing conditions as high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease and stroke. So, if you’re struggling to get those recommended eight hours a night in, you should turn once again to Epsom salt.
For one, the magnesium abundant in Epsom salt may encourage the production of melatonin – the hormone responsible for keeping sleep patterns consistent. By taking a bath in the stuff before bed, then, the magnesium content of the water could aid relaxation and so help to achieve a decent amount of shut-eye.
15. It can help produce a soothing foot spa
Feet are the workhorses of our bodies, and so we owe it to our tootsies to give them some tender loving care once in a while. All too often, though, our feet are neglected. And, sometimes, we can be unkind to them without even realizing it.
Treat your feet, then, by giving them a half-hour to an hour’s soak biweekly in a bath or spa containing Epsom salt. The magnesium in the salt will improve muscle performance, boost energy and help decrease any swelling; it may even help ease the symptoms of skin conditions such as eczema and athlete’s foot.
14. Use it as a facial cleanser
Epsom salt can be great for cleaning the face and flushing out dirt in pores. Just add a half-teaspoon into your regular cleanser and gently massage the concoction into the skin. This blend will handily improve hydration as well as scrubbing away any dead cells. Then simply remove the mix with cold water.
For a deeper treatment, however, apply Epsom salt as part of a facial mask. First, dampen your face. Then apply a recipe of cognac, powdered milk, egg, lemon juice and Epsom salt to oily skin. If your skin is normal to dry, however, the mineral compound should be mixed with mayonnaise and shredded carrot.
13. It’s a great exfoliator
Thanks to Epsom salt’s texture, it’s an excellent ingredient in a scrub. And by blending the salt with coconut oil, you’ll have a comparatively cheap and surprisingly effective body exfoliator. Grab a handful of the mixture and gently work into wet skin after a shower, then rinse it off and apply lotion.
It’s even said that Epsom salt can alleviate the effects of certain skin ailments. Some believe, for instance, that the substance can reduce the effects of acne as well as soothe sunburn. But while Epsom salt is not claimed to be a miracle cure for such afflictions, its anti-inflammatory benefits can nevertheless help ease some symptoms.
12. It can help make an effective lip scrub
Many people are prone to dry lips – not least because the skin there is thinner and more fragile than elsewhere on the body. The sun and wind, in particular, can have an impact by parching our lips and so leading them to peel and crack.
However, the body scrub recipe mentioned above can also double as a lip exfoliator. And don’t worry if you accidentally eat some during the polishing process, as Epsom salt is perfectly safe to consume in small quantities – although you should definitely hold off on adding it to your dinner.
11. It relieves stress
The health benefits of Epsom salt aren’t merely cosmetic, however. It can also help balance moods, for instance, as well as calm anxiety, reduce stress and alleviate depression. In fact, a number of specialists believe that magnesium encourages the brain’s production of serotonin – the chemical that promotes mental well-being. Doctors may encourage its use, then, even though there’s no conclusive proof of its medical properties.
How did Epsom salt get its name? Well, it’s taken from a town in southern England, which boasts a spring known for its salinity. The compound is actually comprised of sulfate and magnesium, though, rather than chlorine and sodium – hence why it’s not recommended to consume it in large amounts.
10. It can aid recovery from exercise
Many exercise enthusiasts believe that Epsom salt baths can help in their recovery from workouts. In May 2019 New York-based physical therapist Corinne Croce elaborated on this point to Runner’s World, saying, “Magnesium is known to increase relaxation, reduce inflammation and aid in muscle and nerve function. And the sulfate in Epsom salt is said to help with recovery and detoxification.”
Georgia Southern University’s Greg Grosicki has also acknowledged the link between muscle pain and a lack of magnesium in the body. He explained to Runner’s World, “By taking an Epsom salt bath or by exposing the skin to Epsom salts in a cream, we hope to increase our magnesium levels and reduce muscle soreness.”
9. It eases sprains and bruising
Yes, it’s thought that Epsom salt can not only be used to calm swelling in bruises, but also to ease the discomfort of a sprained ankle. And while it’s important not to treat a painful ankle with salt baths too soon after injury – as this can do more harm than good – such a therapy can ultimately relieve tension in damaged tissue and muscles.
That said, the medical benefits of Epsom salt for sprains and bruises or exercise recovery is entirely subjective. Indeed, while some people may feel better after soaking their limbs in the stuff, there is actually little scientific evidence to definitively say why. But as there’s nothing much to prove that Epsom salt doesn’t work in such instances, either, there’s no harm in giving it a try.
8. It helps with constipation
If a bowel blockage occurs, Epsom salt can help to shift it. Simply mix a couple of teaspoons of the substance into a large glass of water, then drink the liquid. This should go on to loosen the contents of the intestine by encouraging the production of more water. It should be noted, though, that oral consumption of Epsom salt comes with a warning.
Some people may in fact find that eating or drinking Epsom salt causes diarrhea – which in turn may lead to both dehydration and considerable distress. Try just small doses of magnesium sulfate, then, if you want to get rid of constipation quickly.
7. It can alleviate headaches
Epsom salt can be useful for soothing headaches and even easing migraines. How? Well, as mentioned earlier, the mineral compound can encourage the production of melatonin. And imbalances in the pineal gland – which is responsible for the hormone’s secretion – have been found in those who suffer from migraines. These individuals have typically shown low levels of magnesium, too.
Plus, as we’ve previously explained, an Epsom salt bath can also help ameliorate tensions that may have built up in muscles. In particular, tightness in the neck, the shoulders and the back can all be eased after a good soak. And removing the strain in those areas could go some way to alleviating migraines and headaches.
6. It improves heart health
Doctors often warn of the dangers of consuming too much salt. And that’s for good reason, as high levels of sodium in the diet can lead to health issues such as high blood pressure. The burden this places on the heart can, moreover, lead to an increased risk of a stroke or even the failure of the organ itself.
However, Epsom salt can actually help boost our health – not least because it’s sodium-free in its purest form. It’s thought, for instance, that its effects can relax the arteries and so help blood to flow more easily – thereby reducing the chances of clots and sudden heart attacks. Some even claim that the magnesium and sulfate of Epsom salt improve the benefits of insulin, thus reducing any other side effects of diabetes.
5. It’s a handy plant fertilizer
But it’s not only humans who can feel the benefits of Epsom salt, as the mineral compound can also be used around the home and garden to improve the look and health of plants. In fact, it’s believed that when Epsom salt is added to soil or water, flora will flourish – growing bigger and stronger.
What’s more, giving your lawn a sprinkling of Epsom salt may just boost its color. That’s because the magnesium contained in the substance hinders the yellowing of leaves and grass. Epsom salt can even act as a form of pesticide by keeping insects away.
4. It can repel slugs
On a related note, Epsom salt can also be used as a slug deterrent. Simply encircle your plants with the compound; that way, you’ll have created a blockade of sorts that the slimy critters won’t cross. The salt can also be applied to patios and porches to stop slugs from getting into the house.
In addition, Epsom salt can help should any bugs get too close. If you suffer an insect bite or sting, just add the salt to water and apply this mix as a paste or lotion to the affected area. The concoction will then be absorbed through the pores in your skin, and the magnesium will ease the irritation.
3. It’s a tip-top bathroom cleaner
Epsom salt makes cleaning the bathroom a breeze – even when it comes to those tough-to-tackle hard water stains. Simply create a solution of a quarter-cup of liquid dish detergent, half a cup of baking soda and one cup of Epsom salt, and use this to scrub away on surfaces for a glistening finish.
Epsom salt can even be used to tackle dirt and debris that are difficult to remove. The salt grain can help lift mold from tiles and grout, for instance, while a mixture of the substance along with vinegar and dish soap can make a good scrub for the toilet bowl.
2. Use it to clean the washer
Epsom salt is a useful helper in the kitchen, too. After using a solution of hot water, Epsom salt and white vinegar in your washing machine, the device should be rid of any nasty odors. Stop the cycle halfway through and leave it for 60 minutes to allow the mixture to really work, then run a second, clear cycle to rinse.
You can even add a quarter-cup of Epsom salt to your laundry as an alternative to fabric softener. And not only will this help soften your clothes and linen, but it’s also kinder to the environment than using a store-bought product. Mixing the salt with a few drops of essential oil will help your garments smell great, too.
1. Salt the corners of your house
Plenty of people are familiar with the idea of throwing spilled salt over the shoulder for luck. And for centuries, the condiment has been a symbol of good versus evil in religion. Famously, too, good and honest people are often described as being “salt of the earth” types.
But there’s yet another use for salt that you may just want to try out for yourself. Some believe, you see, that sprinkling the substance in the corners of your home will bring wealth, good fortune and peace. Standing in the center of the room and dusting handfuls of salt around you in a clockwise motion, meanwhile, is thought to rid the area of negative energy. And whether it works or not – and as with all the other benefits of Epsom salt – it’s worth a try.