Versatile Vinegar – My Favorite Uses

You often see vinegar used in DIY cleaning solutions but vinegar is an amazing product that can be used in many more applications than cleaning and it’s so inexpensive – try out a few of my favorite uses

  • Cleaning your coffee pot
    White distilled vinegar can help to dissolve mineral deposits that collect in automatic drip coffee makers from hard water. Fill the reservoir with white distilled vinegar and run it through a brewing cycle.  Rinse thoroughly with water when the cycle is finished. (Be sure to check the owner’s manual for specific instructions.) Works great!
  • Kill Weeds
    Spray white distilled vinegar full strength on tops of weeds. Reapply on any new growth until weeds are dead.  We tried this and found that some weeds fell over dead and a few couldn’t have cared less. I just pick those.
  • Freshen Baby Clothes
    The addition of 1 cup of white distilled vinegar to each load of baby clothes during the rinse cycle will naturally break down uric acid and soapy residue leaving the clothes soft and fresh. I particularly use vinegar on anything with urine on it.
  • Glass Front Fireplace Doors
    Wash fireplaces with a 50/50 ratio of water and white distilled vinegar to remove the blackened soot on glass front doors. If the doors have a spring-loaded clip, remove it, then take out the doors. Lay them flat on newspapers, spray with the vinegar/water solution and soak. Wipe it off with newspaper. I’ll be using this once we turn off the pilot light on our gas stove for the summer.
  • Freshen a Lunch Box
    It is easy to take out the heavy stale smell often found in lunch boxes. Dampen a piece of fresh bread with white distilled vinegar and leave it in the lunch box overnight. This is my new favorite vinegar use- it’s so hard to keep my daughter’s lunch bag smelling good!
  • Make a Volcano Explode
    First, make the “cone” of the volcano. Mix 6 cups flour, 2cups salt, 4 tablespoons cooking oil and 2 cups of water. The resulting mixture should be smooth and firm (more water may be added if needed). Stand a soda bottle in a baking pan and mold the dough around it into a volcano shape. Do not cover the hole or drop dough into it. Fill the bottle most of the way full with warm water and a bit of red food color (can be done before sculpting if you do not take so long that the water gets cold). Add 6 drops of detergent to the bottle contents. Add 2 tablespoons baking soda to the liquid. Slowly pour vinegar into the bottle. Watch out – eruption time! How cool of a mom would your kids think you were!
  • Vomit in Car
    Remove the leftover odor after a rider has been carsick by leaving a bowl of white distilled vinegar overnight on the floor. Hasn’t this happened to every mom?  It’s SO hard to get that smell out, particularly on hot days.
  • Clean Vegetables
    Get rid of expensive ‘veggie washes’ and use vinegar, particularly for non-organic produce.
  • Deter ants. Discourage ants by spraying undiluted white distilled vinegar outside doorways and windowsills, around appliances and wherever you find the pests coming in. These pesky critters often move in unannounced and next time I will be welcoming them with this great tip!
  • Remove sticky residue.  To remove the sticky residue from bumper stickers on your car, price tags on a new product or stickers your 2 year old put all over your window ( a recent development at my house ), use full strength vinegar.  This works great and replaced my bottle of Goo Gone (saving money and the use of more chemicals than we actually needed ).

For many more tips, visit The Vinegar Institute ( yes, one exists ) for their Vinegar Tips and Tricks Guide or for 1001 vinegar tips and tricks.

Vinegar is so versatile – what are YOUR tips for using it?