Vinegar is made from a variety of diluted alcohol products, the most common being wine, beer, and rice. This chemical compound is a result of a few fermentation processes that create a powerful and versatile product that has made its way into our kitchens.
Vinegar is capable of much more than just making a fancy vinaigrette. It has utility around the home, car, office, and much more. Here are 30 epic vinegar hacks specifically for the home.
1. Cleaning Your Fridge
There are times when your refrigerator has gotten to the point where baking soda stops doing the trick or, you simply run out of baking soda. If this is the case, never fear, there’s an effective solution available in the comfort of your kitchen.
Simply add a cup of vinegar to a little warm water to create a solution that can be used with dish soap or on its own. If you prefer a more concentrated liquid, add more vinegar. Use this to wipe down the shelves and doors of your fridge during cleaning.
2. Whitening Stained Mugs
For avid coffee drinkers, stained mugs are the order of the day. After a while coffee starts to set into the fiber of the interior of your mug which causes it to yellow, brown, or form a ring.
This may seem impossible to remove and might even cost you your crockery. The next time you’re tempted to toss your favorite coffee pitcher, use vinegar to get rid of that hideous stain and save your dishware.
Pour warm vinegar into the mug and let sit for at least 15 minutes. Use enough vinegar to completely cover the height of the stain. Once the time has elapsed, wash away any remaining residue with soap and water and set it to dry.
3. Clean your Brick Wall
Getting interesting features in our home is exceedingly appealing until we become overwhelmed with cleaning them. A brick wall is one example of this difficult-to-clean feature.
Whether it’s just a fireplace, an entire room, or the whole house that’s covered in that gorgeous red or tan brick, there’s a way to get it clean and looking like new.
With a solution of 2 cups of vinegar, 1 liter of water, and a tablespoon of dish soap wipe down the brick surface with a slab of scouring pad or a cleaning sponge.
Create a new mixture as the current one gets dirty. When that process is complete, wipe away the soap residue with fresh water.
4. Hide Scuff Marks on Shoes
It’s a common occurrence for shiny shoes to get scuffed either on the street, when walking, hurrying about, or on certain types of concrete.
These marks help to bring down our elevated looks or ruin our shoes over time as the material may start stripping. Keep your shoes longer by restoring them with vinegar.
Soak a piece of fabric with vinegar and massage this into the area with the scuff mark. If the material has grading, rub in the direction of the grading for the best results. Rub the vinegar over the entire shoe for a shiny new look.
5. Clean Major Appliances
Around the home, we clean and deep clean surfaces and small appliances very often. But when it comes time to clean our major appliances such as the inside of the washing machine, dryer, or dishwasher, it becomes a scary task as we think about reaching for tools to get inside.
As tempting as it is to call a specialist, save yourself some money and some stress by employing this vinegar method.
Add a liter of warm vinegar to a gallon of warm water and pour this mixture into the barrel of your appliances or apply in the same way as soap.
Do a mock load of clothes or dishes with 2 or 3 articles of clothing or dishes and run a normal wash cycle. This method will allow the vinegar to run through the galleys of your appliance to get it fresh, clean, and ready for another load.
6. Fruit Stains on Hands
Whether it’s making a tart or a pie, as long as it requires potent berries and pulverizing fruit, your hands will become involved and chances are, stains will follow.
With this hack, there’s no longer a need to dread touching fruit rich in color or not having a good processor. Just go all in with your hands, and when you’re done, pour some white vinegar into your palm with some dish soap.
Work into a larger, paying special attention to stained areas for at least 30 seconds to a minute, and rinse thoroughly. This also works for curry stains.
7. Washing Vegetables
When trying to keep a healthy lifestyle, we run into a lot of critters on our fresh vegetables. There’s a way to ensure that bacteria from living creatures in our vegetables stay at bay.
This hack also gives your vegetables a crisp flavor and adds depth to your dish. After the first rinse, place your vegetables into a container, and pour vinegar all over it until it’s completely immersed.
Then, shake and clean the crevices of the vegetables until you’re satisfied with them. After each piece is cleaned, remove it from the vinegar and rest in a separate container. When this is done, rinse with cold water and follow through with preparation.
8. Escovitch Fish
This is a dish I grew up loving and the vinegar makes it all worthwhile. After you’ve fried your fish to your heart’s content, create a marinade with 1 cup of vinegar, a large white onion, sweet bell peppers, scotch bonnet peppers, and carrots.
After you’ve sliced and fixed your seasonings the way you like, pour the vinegar over them and soak for 15 minutes to an hour. The vinegar will help them to ferment and pull the flavors forward creating a delicious sauce for your fish. Pour over the fried fish to enjoy.
9. Fabric Softener
During your laundry, you may run out of fabric softener. You may also be sensitive to the chemical compound of fabric softeners and the ones that are more friendly and less allergenic may cost a pretty penny.
In this case, comes vinegar to the rescue. Once the rinse cycle is about to start, add 3-6 cups of vinegar to the water, depending on the size of the load. This will soften your fabrics and render them odorless.
10. Air Freshener
There are times when I cringe at the thought of using an aerosol just to freshen my home. It seems like a trivial reason to risk damaging the environment.
An alternative to this is to create an air freshener from less harmful ingredients and materials. One such recipe includes vinegar.
Add one part vinegar and 2 parts water to a bottle with a spray nozzle. If you like more of a fragrance, add your favorite essential oil such as lavender, and spritz away.
11. Chewing Gum Remover
If you take the bus or public transportation in general, you end up with gum stuck to your clothes quite often. Also, if you have adventurous children, you’ll randomly find gum in unexpected places that may be a fabric surface or even your own clothes.
Now there’s no need to get into a panic or feel inclined to throw out these articles of gummed-up clothing. Simply heat up a cup of vinegar in the microwave or on the stovetop to its highest point, just before a boil.
Dip a toothbrush in the warm vinegar and brush away the gum. The vinegar will help to nullify the adhesive nature of the chewing gum.
12. Kill Grass and Weeds in your Pavement
Over time, concrete pavements become cracked and damaged with constant use and the effects of the weather. This can expose the soil underneath and cause weeds and grass to grow through.
When this happens, concrete can become slippery and create more ways for the flooring to break. Vinegar can be used to kill unwanted weeds by pouring it directly onto the areas. Within days the weeds will wilt and you can fill the cracks.
13. Clean Carpets
Cleaning carpets can be exceedingly easy with the use of vinegar. No more scrubbing stains away, no more fighting with stubborn stains and funky odors. Your cleaning will also stay fresher for longer.
Mix one part vinegar with 2 parts water and a tablespoon of baking soda. Spritz the carpet, apply to stains, and let dry. After which it’s safe to vacuum and enjoy the fresh scent and the magic of disappearing stains.
14. Poached Eggs
When poaching eggs we drop the eggs in boiling water to allow the whites to completely encase the yolk and cook. The issue with this method is that the whites can disperse and interrupt the integrity of the egg.
The amount of protein in the egg white causes it to cook at a much faster rate making it more delicate. Pour 1 cup of vinegar into the boiling water to keep the egg whites together for a more perfect poached egg.
15. Sore Throat
In the flu and cold season, a sore throat can be hard to soothe. We may spend all our time trying different ways to ease this symptomatic annoyance.
Vinegar can be used to soothe a sore throat for a longer period of time. Simply gargle 1 tablespoon of vinegar for 15 seconds and you’ll notice an immediate rehydration. Do this as needed until the sore throat subsides.
16. Clear the Air of Smoke
There are times when cooking gets a little out of control and the kitchen gets clouded with smoke. Also, around the home, accidents happen.
It could be a barbeque gone wrong or an experiment among teenagers who lost control. Whatever the cause of the smoke, soak a towel with vinegar and wave it around in the air to clear away the smoke.
17. Remove Wallpaper Cleanly
When moving or redecorating, it is difficult to remove wallpaper or any sticky adhesive we thought looked great at the time but want to take down for a fresh new look.
Or if it is that you want to decorate a rented space but are worried about permanent damage. You can rest knowing that vinegar can remove wallpaper and all its stickiness cleanly.
Simply soak the wallpaper in warm vinegar, section by section, and gently peel off. For the parts that are a bit more stubborn, scrub to remove.
18. Fly Repellent
Flies seem to come and go as they please, being as elusive as can be. They also seem to appear at the most inopportune times making everyone uncomfortable.
They aren’t just an inconvenience but can carry dangerous bacteria that can make us sick. Keep them away in the kitchen by washing our meats and fish with vinegar or wiping down the surfaces around the home on cleaning day.
19. Get Rid of Hiccups
There are various reasons for hiccups to come about. When they do, it can be slightly unnerving as it interrupts every action and comes with a slight ache.
Stop hiccups immediately using vinegar. Take 1 tablespoon of vinegar quickly and the hiccup should subside. The sour nature of the vinegar along with its natural tang will keep the hiccup away.
20. Neutralize Diaper Odor
With a new baby, it’s easy to become tired and overwhelmed. Especially if there is little to no help. Keep the workload low by employing preventative hacks.
Instead of trying to clean and disinfect to get rid of stubborn diaper odor, completely neutralize them by giving your diaper pail a quick spritz with pure vinegar. This will work when the diaper pail is empty as well as full.
21. Remove Stains From Clothes
During the laundry process, we may come across stubborn stains that can lead us to uncomfortable levels of stress. Decrease the headache by using vinegar to remove those stubborn stains. This can also be a color-safe alternative to bleach.
Add a liter of vinegar to a small wash load let the stained clothes soak for a few hours and run the wash cycle or hand wash. Vinegar can also be applied directly to the stain if that is preferred.
22. Prevent Diaper Rash
Diaper rashes can leave your baby so uncomfortable, that they may not be able to focus on any else which means nothing but tears. Apple cider vinegar can help diaper rashes heal faster and stay away with a quick rinse.
Help your baby to rest and relax by creating a bath with 1 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1 liter of water and rinse the area instead of wiping during a diaper change. You can continue this after the rash has gone to keep it away.
23. Keep Cut Flowers Longer
If you enjoy fresh flowers around the home but just can’t keep up with the daily wilting or if you just got a cut of your favorite flowers from an admirer, this one is for you.
Use apple cider vinegar to keep the flowers bright for a longer period of time. Simply add 1 part apple cider vinegar to 1 part water in a vase and rest the flowers in it to enjoy their glow for a matter of days.
24. Unclog Shower Head
Over the course of use, the showerhead gets clogged with hard water and this can affect the flow and quality of the water that comes through.
Use vinegar to clear and unclog the showerhead overnight. Add warm vinegar to a plastic bag and tie over the showerhead to immerse it completely. Leave overnight and in the morning, wipe it clean and enjoy.
25. Wine Stains
After a night out or your own wedding, you may have some wine stains to treat or risk never being able to use your clothing again.
There is a solution right in your pantry. For removal of wine stains from all-cotton, cotton/polyester, and permanent press fabrics, it’s important to treat the stain within 24 hours.
Sponge white vinegar directly onto the area until the stain disappears. Wash clothing like normal or according to the wash instructions on the label.
26. Keep Colors From Running
Sometimes you forget which fabrics and colors will transfer or run and ruin other important pieces of clothing. This is especially the case if you’re washing for kids.
Add vinegar to the laundry water to prevent colors from transferring. This has more than one benefit to the clothing. Not only will the colors stay put but the clothes will come out soft and fresh as mentioned before.
27. Non-Toxic Gnat Trap
Here’s a way to make a non-toxic, environmentally friendly gnat trap in no time. Gather a few small containers pour in 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and mix in a few drops of liquid dish soap. With the lids off, place the jars wherever you see the most gnats.
The gnats will be drawn to the sweetness of the apple cider, but once they land in the mixture, the soap makes it difficult for them to escape.
To set the free and away from your home, take the mixture away to a safe distance and pour it out.
28. Get Rid of Moss and Algae
If there’s moss in your driveway making it slippery and unsafe, get rid of it fully by using vinegar to lift it all away.
Pour full-strength vinegar over the moss the saturate it or use a spray bottle to spritz the surface until it’s completely wet. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes and scrape it away with a wooden or metal scraper. Rinse the driveway for a complete clean.
29. Get Wrinkles Out of Clothes
If you’re stuck ironing a lot of clothes or in a position where you can’t reach for an iron, you could be at a camp, retreat, or on a cruise. Take a spray bottle with vinegar and spritz the clothes. Hang it on a hanger and let it dry.
Once it’s dry it will be wrinkle-free. This works especially well if you’re in a warm climate you can also wear the clothes as they dry and they will straighten before your eyes. Spray your favorite perfume or fragrance if you don’t like the smell of vinegar.
30. Stop Cats Scratching
Cats dislike the smell of vinegar. So one way to get your cat to stop scratching and destroying your furniture, especially your couch is to spritz it with vinegar.
This can either be full strength or diluted with water, as long as the scent is still present. Also, implement vinegar into your cleaning routine and this will stop the cat in its tracks.
Vinegar is exceedingly handy around the home from adding flavor or repelling insects it is an effective way to get things done while keeping the cash in your pocket. It has proven to be a worthy investment and a consistent item on my grocery list.