Incredible Uses For Vinegar That Can Save You Time And Money

Vinegar is one of those staple household items that’s been around forever, and there’s a reason for that. The natural liquid can replace a number of household products, saving you time and money. From cleaning the sink disposal to reviving wooden furniture, there’s no shortage of ways that vinegar can come in handy.

Freshen The Garbage Disposal

Callum Hill/Unsplash
Callum Hill/Unsplash

Over time, the garbage disposal can start to gather lingering bits of food, causing bacteria to grow and produce an odor. Fortunately, vinegar can help clean the depths of the disposal out.

One effective way to do this is to pour an equal amount of vinegar and of water into an ice tray. You can also add a lemon wedge to each slot for extra freshness. Freeze the tray and then stick the ice cubes down the drain while running the disposal.

Keep Fleas Off Your Pets

dog-bath
ISAAC LAWRENCE/AFP via Getty Images
ISAAC LAWRENCE/AFP via Getty Images

Fleas and other pests can’t stand the smell of vinegar, which makes it a useful repellant to spray onto your furry friends. Mix one part water with one part vinegar and pour it into a spray bottle.

If your pet doesn’t like being sprayed, it may be more useful to apply the mixture with a cloth and rub it into their coat. Be sure to avoid any open cuts and dilute the mixture with more water if your pet is sensitive to it.

Create A Natural Gnat Trap

gnat-trap
BucketsofBud/YouTube
BucketsofBud/YouTube

Gnats can be a pain, especially when they find their way into your home. Instead of buying a chemical-filled bug spray, you can make a natural repellant with just two simple ingredients.

Pour four tablespoons of vinegar into a small jar or dish and mix in some liquid dish soap. Apple cider vinegar is ideal since it will be effective at attracting the gnats. The little bigs will fly into the mixture and then get trapped in the soap.

Heal A Bruise Faster

bruise
Schöning/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Schöning/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Though bruises are minor and normal, they can be unsightly and irritating. To speed up the time it tastes your body to heal a bruise, try putting some vinegar on it.

Dilute apple cider vinegar with warm water and soak a cloth in the mixture. Hold it to the bruise like you would a warm compress. The vinegar can help increase blood flow to the area, causing the bruise to heal faster and also easing any pain.

Clean Your Dishwasher

dishwasher
Martin Gerten/picture alliance via Getty Images
marka/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Dishwashers can be an efficient way to clean dishes, but what about cleaning the dishwasher itself? Fortunately, there’s an easy and inexpensive way to do this. Just pour a cup of vinegar into an empty dishwasher and run a load!

The vinegar will help to break down any hard water residue, soap scum, or lime that may be compromising how well it cleans your dishes. Running vinegar through the dishwasher every so often can help ensure it’s sanitizing your dishes the best it can.

Wash Your Produce With Vinegar To Make It Last Longer

washing-blueberries
Mohssen Assanimoghaddam/picture alliance via Getty Images
Mohssen Assanimoghaddam/picture alliance via Getty Images

While washing produce with water can get off the dirt, it may take a stronger wash to get off all the bacteria. Vinegar is an all-natural way to get even more bacteria off your produce, which in turn can cause the food to last longer.

To try it, add one part vinegar to four parts water and mix it together in a sink or a bowl. Toss in the produce and let it soak for a few minutes before rinsing.

Buff Out Wood Scratches

wood-table
Guillermo Gutiérrez/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Guillermo Gutiérrez/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Small scratches in wood are bound to happen, but they can easily be buffed out with some vinegar. Just mix together one part vinegar with two parts oil and dip a soft cloth in the mixture.

Gently rub the mixture into the scratch and watch as it fades away! Don’t stop at the scratch, though. You can use the mixture to polish the rest of the wood to make it look glossy and new again.

Leave Your Car Windows Spotless

carwash
Norbert Buduczki/Unsplash
Norbert Buduczki/Unsplash

Glass cleaner isn’t always enough to break down the grime on car windows. Between rain, dirt, tree and bird droppings, and the debris in the air, there’s a lot to clean off.

Instead, try spraying vinegar on the windows and scrubbing them with a rag. The vinegar is highly acidic, making it tougher on glass while still keeping them clear. Use a spray bottle to disperse the vinegar evenly and wash it off with water right after.

Make Towels Soft Again

towels
Pexels/Pixabay
Pexels/Pixabay

Freshly bought towels feel soft and inviting, but they can become rough over time. One way to revitalize towels and make them feel like new again is to wash them with vinegar.

Use half the amount of detergent you normally would and add in half a cup to a cup of vinegar, depending on the load size. The vinegar will helps to strip the towels of built-up detergent, making them soft and clean all over again.

Get Green Algae Off Concrete

Dri Pak/YouTube
Dri Pak/YouTube

Green algae can quickly start to grow on concrete, making patios and other surfaces feel unclean. To clean the area, mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle.

Spray down the green algae, then wash down the area with a hose. Once the top layer of the algae is off, pour some vinegar directly onto the remaining algae. Use a brush to scrub it off the concrete, then wash the area again with the hose.

Clean Rusty Tools

rusty-tools
Lisa Padgett/Pixabay
Lisa Padgett/Pixabay

The materials used to make tools often rust over time, but that doesn’t mean you need to go out and buy a whole new tool kit! Simply pour white vinegar into a tin can or a glass, and then add in the tools so that the rusty parts are completely submerged.

Let the tools soak in the vinegar overnight and then clean it off in the morning, being sure to dry it afterward. For larger tools, wrap them in a vinegar-soaked rag and put them in a plastic bag overnight.

Lift Clothing Stains

vinegar-stain
ehowbeauty/YouTube
ehowbeauty/YouTube

Stains are more or less unavoidable, especially when it comes to kids’ clothing. Instead of using a stain removing product, try rubbing a little vinegar into the stain first.

The vinegar will help to lift the stain once you throw it in the washer. The best part is you don’t have to wash it right away. Apply the vinegar, toss the clothing in the hamper, and then wash it on laundry day and the stain should still lift.

Stain Wood

wood-stain
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Staining wood can transform any piece of furniture into something that feels like new. Rather than buying a stain from the store, you can make one at home with a few simple items.

Place a steel wood pad into a jar and top it with 1/4 cup of used coffee grounds and two cups of vinegar. Put the top on, shake the mixture, and let it sit overnight. The next day, mix the stain again and use wool to apply it, waiting 20 minutes between coats.

Get The Salt Residue Off Leather Shoes

shoe-polishing
QK/Pixabay
QK/Pixabay

Over time, leather shoes can start to form white stains due to salt build-up. This doesn’t just happen because of the salt outside. There is also salt inside of leather that rises to the surface when the shoes get wet.

To remove these stains, mix two parts water with one part vinegar and apply the solution to a cloth until it is damp. Run the cloth over the shoes to gently lift the stains.

Make Flower Food

flower-vase
Jill Wellington/Pixabay
Jill Wellington/Pixabay

Many store-bought flowers come with flower food, but what about those that don’t or that were cut straight from your garden? Well, with some vinegar and sugar you can make your own flower food.

As soon as you put your flowers in a vase, add two tablespoons of vinegar and one tablespoon of sugar to the water. The mixture will elongate the flowers’ lifespan, preventing them from wilting so you can enjoy them for as long as possible.

Cut Through Grease

gas-stove
Fernando Arcos/Pixabay
Fernando Arcos/Pixabay

Stovetops are one of the more common places in the kitchen where grease can build up. Avoid spraying chemicals in the kitchen by using vinegar to clean up grease.

Soak a cloth or a sponge in vinegar and set it on top of the greasy area. For larger areas, put the vinegar into a spray bottle and spritz it over the grease. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes and then wipe the area clean.

Get Rid Of Odors

bread-vinegar
Cookest Wow/YouTube
Cookest Wow/YouTube

Certain areas in the home can have a lingering odor that seems impossible to get rid of. Fortunately, vinegar can help. Take a slice of white bread and place it into a bowl, then pour vinegar over the top so the bread is completely soaked.

Place the bowl wherever the undesirable smell is and leave it there for 24 hours. The bread and the vinegar will work together to absorb the odor in the air, getting rid of the smell.

Thin Wood Glue

wood-glue
Gregory Rec/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images
Gregory Rec/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Wood glue can come in handy for any number of projects around the house, but it can also end up sitting for long periods of time. As the months pass, the glue can become too thick to use.

Before you toss the wood glue out, try adding in a drop or two of vinegar. The vinegar will help thin out the glue without breaking it down and making it no longer capable of bonding to wood.

Make A Natural All-Purpose Cleaner

vinegar-spray
Crema Joe/Unsplash
Crema Joe/Unsplash

The properties in vinegar make it a key ingredient in a natural all-purpose cleaner that you can easily make at home. Start with an empty spray bottle and use a funnel to pour in half a cup of white vinegar.

Add in two tablespoons of baking soda. The mixture will start to foam, so wait for the bubbles to die down. Then, add ten drops of tea tree essential oil and ten drops of eucalyptus essential oil. Fill the bottle the rest of the way with water and shake well.

Kill Pesky Weeds Naturally

heinz-vinegar-bottle-killing-weeds-640x360
Pinterest
Pinterest

Vinegar is often used in organic gardens as a natural weed killer. The acetic acid is strong enough to kill weeds on contact, making them wither up within a matter of days.

However, some horticulturists say that this isn’t as effective as pulling out the weeds by hand early on. They argue that while ACV kills weeds on contact, it doesn’t necessarily kill the roots.

Repair Scratched DVDs And CDs

cd-scratch
TheHelpfulChannel/YouTube
TheHelpfulChannel/YouTube

One thing that can make you want to toss out your DVDs and CDs for good is scratches. If breathing on the disc and wiping it down isn’t preventing those skips, you may need an extra boost with vinegar.

Apply a few drops of white vinegar directly onto the disc or dampen a soft cloth with it. Gently wipe down the disc and let it dry completely. The vinegar is acidic enough to get out any tiny particles that are causing the skip.

Freshen Clothes That Smell Of Mildew

vinegar-in-washer
ehowathomechannel/YouTube
ehowathomechannel/YouTube

If you’ve ever left your laundry in the washer overnight, you know how mildewy they can smell the following morning. Even just a few hours of neglect can turn freshly washed clothes into a yucky mess.

To be sure that the smell is completely removed when you run the washer a second time, just add half a cup of white vinegar to knock out that mildew. Put in a few drops of essential oil, too, for extra freshness.

Make A Soft Scrub

scrubbing-the-sink
STR/AFP via Getty Images
STR/AFP via Getty Images

Soft scrubs can be helpful, especially when it comes to hard mineral deposits and soap scum. Store-bought versions are often full of harsh chemicals, but you can make one at home with vinegar.

Mix together 1 and a half cups of baking soda, half a cup of castile soap, two tablespoons of white vinegar, and two tablespoons of water. Put the solution in a bottle and shake it for 2 minutes, then it’s ready to use.

Give Yourself A Foot Soak

Chantal CASANOVA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Chantal CASANOVA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

One of the most relaxing things about getting a pedicure is soaking your feet. You can still get that foot-softening treatment at home with a little vinegar! Mix one cup of Listerine with one cup of vinegar in an aluminum tin.

Add warm water so that your feet become completely covered, and let them soak for about 20 minutes. The solution will encourage any lingering dead skin to fall off. It may also help with fungus.

Wash Your Hair

washing-hair
Debrocke/ClassicStock/Getty Images
Debrocke/ClassicStock/Getty Images

Some scalps are oilier than others, especially when there’s a build-up of hair care products clinging to each strand. One way to give your hair a fresh start is to run some vinegar through it.

Mix one part apple cider vinegar with two parts water and shake it in a bottle. Pour the solution over your hair, combing it through so the vinegar is evenly dispersed. Let it sit for five minutes then wash it out!

Turn Pink Hydrangeas Blue

blue-hydrangeas
Harald Lange/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Harald Lange/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Pink hydrangeas are beautiful, but if you’d prefer them to be blue, all you need is some vinegar! Add one cup of white vinegar to every gallon of water your use while watering them.

The vinegar will increase the acidity of the soil, which is what turns the pink hydrangeas blue. It can also help prevent blue hydrangeas from turning pink. You can also try this hack on plants that benefit from higher acidity soil, like azaleas and gardenias.

Clean Lawn Equipment

rseigler0/Pixabay
rseigler0/Pixabay

Lawn equipment can become covered in dirt, grass, and other debris after being used. The acid in vinegar makes it naturally tough on such equipment without the need of chemicals.

You can pour the vinegar directly onto the equipment or use a spray bottle to spritz it. Use a cleaning brush to scrub the equipment clean and wipe it down with a wet cloth. Be sure not to get any electrical parts wet with water or vinegar.

Soothe A Sunburn

sunburn
Andia/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Andia/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Sunburns can be tricky to avoid, and the result is an annoying skin irritation that can last for several days. Fortunately, vinegar can help soothe the burn as it heals.

Place a bottle of apple cider vinegar into the fridge to let it cool, then pour some onto a soft cloth. Dab the cloth against the burnt part of your skin and feel as the vinegar soothes the burning and itching. It may also help minimize peeling.

Renew Streaky Windshield Wipers

windshield-wipers
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Over time, windshield wipers can start to gather debris that leaves streaks behind when they wipe. The streaks can be distracting and can partially obstruct your view. Before you spend money on new wipers, try cleaning your current ones with vinegar.

Pour some vinegar over a rag and wipe the rag across the part of the windshield wipers that comes into contact with the glass. This should remove any lingering particles and prevent future streaks.

Ease A Sore Throat

sore-throat
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

There are plenty of home remedies out there for soothing a sore throat, and vinegar is one of them. That’s because the acidity in vinegar makes it effective at killing bacteria, loosening phlegm, and coating the throat.

One remedy is to mix a cup of hot water with a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and honey, then drink it. If consuming the vinegar seems like too much, you can gargle the mixture instead.

Prevent Clothing Wrinkles

Phio/Pixabay
Phio/Pixabay

Nothing puts a damper on your freshly-done laundry like wrinkles do. Rather than pulling out the ironing board to do an extra chore, there’s a simpler solution that uses vinegar.

Place a tablespoon of white vinegar, a teaspoon of hair conditioner, and two cups of water into a spray bottle. Shake the bottle to mix up all the ingredients and then spray your clothes with it. The ingredients help to relax the clothing fibers, loosening wrinkles.