Vinegar is not just reserved for your salad dressing. It’s actually a highly versatile household item that serves a number of purposes. And it’s both affordable and 100% natural so you don’t have to break the bank or tamper with hazardous household chemicals when using it.
Here are some handy and effective uses for white vinegar in your home.
1. Get Rid of Clothing Stains
Before you toss the laundry into the washing machine, there will probably be an article of clothing or two that will have a stubborn stain that might not disappear after a regular wash. Certain organic stains and dirt can be removed from clothing with white vinegar first before adding them to the wash. You can also use the vinegar to remove stains from upholstery, window drapes, and other textiles as needed.
2. Soften Up the Laundry
Fabric softener is typically added to the wash in order to keep clothes and towels soft and smelling fresh. But white vinegar can do the same! Instead of using fabric softener, add some white vinegar to the dispenser to act in its place.
You’ll be left with soft laundry that actually won’t smell like a tossed salad. For towels that are particularly prone to being stiff and harsh to the touch after being washed, soak them in vinegar for about half an hour first before adding them to the laundry load.
3. Ward Off Fruit Flies
If you’ve got a bowl of fruit out on display or have a compost container in the kitchen, fruit flies might be an issue. If that’s the case, pour about 1cm of white vinegar into a mason jar and add a drop of dish soap. Then cover the jar with plastic wrap and poke some holes in it to give the fruit flies access to your concoction. They’ll be too distracted by the jar of vinegar and dish soap to bother you anymore.
4. Unclog Drains
Instead of pouring toxic chemicals down the drain to unclog them, you can use a natural and non-toxic vinegar mixture to do the trick. Combine 1 cup of white vinegar with half a cup of baking soda together and pour it down the drain. The mixture will start to foam up as it unclogs the drain.
When the foam dissipates, turn on the hot water for a few seconds to flush it. A few minutes later, turn the cold water on to get rid of any remnants left behind. You’ll notice the drain will not only be unclogged, but it will smell better too.
5. Eliminate Bad Odors
Whether it’s cigarette smoke, your dog, or last night’s fish dinner, certain smells are pretty strong and can linger for a long time. Instead of lighting scented candles all over the house, just put out a bowl with white vinegar out in spaces where the smell is strongest. Leave the bowl out for a day or so until the smell is gone.
6. Shine Up Stainless Steel Pots, Pans, and Appliances
Instead of using harsh chemicals to shine up all your stainless steel items, just use white vinegar, baking soda, and a clean cloth to wipe away greasy fingerprints, buff up the surface, and leave these items as shiny as they were when you first brought them home. While you’re at it, polish up your silverware and even your jewelry, too!
7. Remove Sticky Goo
Removing price stickers off of items you first purchase is enough of a challenge, but getting rid of the sticky goo that’s left behind is a lot tougher.
Not for white vinegar, though. All you need to do is soak the affected area with vinegar for a few minutes until the residue slides right off.
8. Remove Limescale in the Bathroom
Showerheads and faucets tend to accumulate limescale in bathrooms which often require harsh cleaning solutions to get rid of. But if you’ve got white vinegar handy in your home, that may be all that’s needed to clean, disinfect, and polish up these components.
For best results, soak these areas in white vinegar first for about an hour or so. You can do this by spraying them or filling a Ziploc bag with vinegar and placing the affected items inside, then rinse them off.
9. Brighten Up Glass and Windows
If your windows and mirrors are full of streaks, put the glimmer back into them with a few sprays of white vinegar and wipe them down with a clean cloth or paper towel.
10. Use it in the Dishwasher
Glasses and silverware tend to be left with water stains when washed and dried in the dishwasher. You can alleviate this problem by adding a little bit of white vinegar in the rinsing dispenser.
The Bottom Line
From laundry to silverware, to odors and beyond, white vinegar seems to have a number of uses in the home. Give any one of these tips a try to keep your home clean and smelling fresh the natural way.