While it may not be the best smelling ingredient in your pantry, vinegar is actually one of the most versatile cleaning items you could possibly own. It can act as both a deodorizer and a disinfectant and best of all? It’s inexpensive!
Not only can it save you a ton of money over commercial cleaning supplies, it’s a much healthier option as well. Many of the cleaning products that you’ll find in the store are filled with chemicals that most of us can’t even begin to pronounce. If you have pets or small children in your home, you’re more than likely going to want to go with a safer cleaning option.
So what, exactly, can vinegar do? These 15 genius household uses for vinegar might just surprise you!
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15 genius household uses for vinegar
1. Dishwasher not cleaning like it once was? Remove odors and soap buildup by pouring a cup of white distilled vinegar into your dishwasher and running it through an entire cycle.
2. Did the kids get a little crazy with a piece of gum? Remove gum from your clothes by warming a bowl of vinegar in the microwave for a minute or so and saturating the area. The gum should dissolve.
3. I don’t know about you, but in our house, the microwave seems to be constantly in need of a cleaning. Something is always spilling or over flowing in there and it is a major pain to clean. To make it easier, mix 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup vinegar in a microwave safe bowl and heat long enough in the appliance to bring the mixture to a boil. As the steam fills your microwave, it should loosen up the spills and stains and they should easily wipe away when finished.
4. Grilling season is almost here and while I can’t wait for summer barbecues, I could do without cleaning the grill. It will still take a little elbow grease but by scrubbing the grill with a wadded up piece of aluminum foil sprayed with a little white vinegar, you’ll save yourself quite a bit of time.
5. Are weeds overrunning your sidewalk or poking up in your driveway? Saturate them with undiluted vinegar. This works much better if done on a hot day as the heat will speed up the process.
6. Looking for a safer toilet bowl cleaner? Pour 1 cup of vinegar into the bowl and let it sit for a couple of hours. Give it a quick swipe with a toilet brush, flush, and you’re all done!
7. Need to remove soap buildup from your faucets? Give them a good scrubbing with 1 part salt to 4 parts vinegar and watch them shine.
8. Don’t have a self-cleaning oven? That’s okay! Remove grease buildup by cleaning with a sponge soaked in vinegar.
9. Have a stubborn carpet stain or two? Remove them with 2 tablespoons of vinegar and 1/4 cup salt or baking soda. Rub the mixture into the stain and let it sit overnight. Vacuum it up in the morning and you’re good to go!
10. Have you noticed that your towels are not nearly as soft as they once were or that they have a bit of a smell to them? Strip them! Instead of using fabric softener, the next time you throw in a load of towels, wash them with a bit of white vinegar. This will remove the buildup of chemicals that towels can sometimes accumulate and leave them smelling fresh and clean. You may like the results so much that you’ll decide to ditch the fabric softener for good.
11. Got a budding little artist in your house? Remove crayon from the wall by dipping a toothbrush in vinegar and scrubbing gently.
12. Terrified of tackling the soap scum in the shower? Mix up a 1:1 solution of vinegar and Dawn dish soap. Hard water stains don’t stand a chance!
13. Is your coffee starting to taste a little off? Run a pot of water (along with a cup of vinegar) through a cycle to remove any buildup that may have accumulated in your machine. Run a second pot of water through to rinse.
14. Did you recently buy some new clothes? Set the dye (to prevent bleeding) with a little bit of vinegar! Add your soap and water to your washing machine and pour in vinegar, between 1/4 cup (small load) and 3/4 cup (large load) and wash as usual.
15. Spend a little too much time in the sun? Soothe a sunburn by adding a cup of vinegar to a warm bath.
16. BONUS TIP! Vinegar can replace just about every cleaning product that you have in your home. In fact, you can find hundreds of easy recipes for homemade cleaning products using vinegar that will save you both time and money!