A couple weeks ago I set side my gardening gloves for my rubber ones, and reached into the shadowy depths of my pantry for a jug of distilled vinegar. You may be like me and had a grandmother who applied vinegar on childhood sunburns or kept her windows sparkling with it, or maybe the wonder and uses of vinegar is new to you – if so, let me blow your mind! Stop crinkling up your nose for a minute and give vinegar a chance. My list will be short, but if you want to look at the 1,001 uses for vinegar you can visit the website dedicated to its “magical” and practical uses. Consider this the cliff notes of my personal favorites!
Gardening/Pests/Pets – increase soil acidity; add vinegar and sugar to vase water for fresh cut flowers; wash store bought produce; eliminate ant hills/deter ants; keep away rabbits; discourage cats from scratching or walking in a area; kill fleas; remove animal urine stains (this works for most stains, removes the offensive spot and the smell!); kill weeds or unwanted grass.
Kitchen – clean counters; disinfect/deodorize: wood cutting boards, glass jars, drains/disposals, sponges; clean coffee maker; clean baby bottles/toys; remove the grime from tops of refrigerator/microwave; get rid of fruit flies; make buttermilk by adding vinegar to regular milk
Home/Housecleaning – remove perspiration stains from shirts; spray into the air to deodorize a room; removes and kills mold; clean paint brushes; clean windows/glass; remove decals/stickers; remove stickiness from scissors; when washing cloth diapers add to rinse cycle to remove soap residue.
Health/Body – soothes sunburn; stops itching from insect bites; (All of the vinegar tips on this post are for Distilled White Vinegar. However, there are many health-related reasons to regularly consume apple cider vinegar, such as cold prevention. Read more at bragg.com)
And I couldn’t resist also adding a few great uses of baking soda, another great, safe, cleaning alternative.
Baking Soda – sprinkle on rugs/carpets to deodorize, leave for 15-30min then vacuum; put 1 cup baking soda, then 1 cup hot vinegar down your drain, let it sit maybe 5 min then run hot water down it, will deodorize and may unclog too! Use as a scouring agent: pots, showers, stovetops, etc. Laundry – pre-treat greasy stains with baking soda paste, add some baking soda to wash load. Place bowl of baking soda in refrigerator to deodorize.
This is an abbreviated list, and if you are excitable like I am, you should check out the hundreds of other ways you can incorporate cheaper, healthier cleaning agents into your everyday life!