If you haven’t discovered the joys of white vinegar then prepare to have your mind blown. This versatile elixir is impossibly cheap, totally natural and is useful all over the house and beyond. Take a look at our favorite uses for this simple household product below.
1. Laundry softener
Use in place of traditional fabric softener for great results without making towels non-absorbent. Add 40ml to your dispenser and your laundry will be luxuriously soft without a vinegary smell.
2. Window cleaner
Create your own window cleaner by mixing equal parts of distilled white vinegar and water. For best results apply the liquid and remove with a squeegee. For extra shine buff with newspaper.
3. Blinds cleaner
Cleaning blinds can be a long and boring process, but with this recipe it will at least be worth your time. Mix 1 cup ammonia, ½ cup white distilled vinegar, ¼ cup baking soda and 1 gallon of warm water. Using a cloth soaked in the mixture, wipe the blinds and then rinse with warm water.
4. Automatic coffee makers
Coffee makers can become stained after extended use, but vinegar will make your pot look like new. Empty your coffee pot completely. Fill the coffee pot with 3 cups white vinegar and 6 cups cold water. Pour the mixture into the coffee maker’s reservoir. Turn on the coffee maker and once the brewing cycle is complete, shut off the machine and allow the vinegar solution to sit for 15 minutes. To remove the taste/smell of the vinegar, brew water-only pots for two cycles.
5. Weed killer
Don’t bother with fancy weed killers, simply apply neat, white vinegar to the unwanted garden visitors and reapply as needed. Weeds be gone.
6. Keep cut flowers fresh
You may have heard that adding a little sugar will keep flowers fresher for longer, but adding 2 tablespoons of vinegar alongside the sugar will make them last even longer. Be sure to change the water every few days and cut the stems so the flowers can absorb the water.
7. Clean a microwave
Pour one cup of white vinegar into a measuring cup or bowl, along with one cup of water. Place the cup or bowl into your microwave, heat for 5 minutes or longer for an older appliance. Remove the cup (carefully, it will be hot) and wipe down with a microfiber cloth.
8. Hair rinse
There are many natural hair rinse ideas floating around. Washing your hair in flat beer can add shine, as can egg whites (allegedly), but vinegar is the real deal. As products build up in our hair over time we can begin to suffer with a lackluster mane. Remove this product buildup by rinsing hair with a solution of 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar and 1 cup of water. Add an extra splash of vinegar if your hair is especially oily.
9. Extra clean dishes
If you are using a dishwasher, add 1½ to 2 cups of white distilled vinegar to the bottom of the dishwasher. Wash on regular cycle using the usual amount of detergent. See the sparkle!
10-12. Copper, brass and pewter cleaner
If any of these metals are tarnished, then vinegar is your gentle cleaning friend. Apply a mixture of 1 teaspoon salt, ½ cup of white distilled vinegar and enough flour to make a paste. Apply to the metal and allow it to stand for 15 minutes. Rinse with clean water and gently polish with a soft, dry cloth.
13. Bathtub film
Ew. We all know how annoying this can be. You fancy a soak in the tub and you’re met with that familiar ring around the bath. To clean it quickly, make a past from baking soda and white vinegar and apply quickly to the area. (Speed is important as the baking soda and vinegar react with each other.) Rinse with warm water.
14. Shower doors
The soap scum build-up on shower doors can be really unattractive. To prevent it, wipe the glass with a cloth soaked in vinegar. No need to rinse.
15. Clogged shower head
I just used this tip recently with excellent results. Add about a cup of vinegar to a plastic sandwich bag. Place the shower head in the bag and secure with a rubber band. Allow it to sit overnight and prepare to be amazed in the morning. No, seriously, mine looked like a new shower head after this treatment.
16. Pet urine in carpets
We love them but they do occasionally, well, pee on things. If your precious pooch has made a mess on the rug again, start by blotting up most of the urine, then soak the area in equal parts vinegar and water. After an hour blot again and then sprinkle the area with baking soda (which helps deodorize), and finally vacuum the area.
17. Piano keys
If your piano keys are plastic, dip a cloth in equal parts vinegar and water and wipe each key. If you piano has ivory keys, however, use a mild soap and water and do not allow them to get too wet.
18. Rings on furniture
Who didn’t use a coaster!? To remove rings left by wet glasses on wood furniture, mix equal parts vinegar and olive oil and apply it with a soft cloth while moving with the wood grain. Use another clean, soft cloth to buff it.
19. Restore rugs
It can be expensive to have carpets professionally cleaned. To make your own rug cleaner, start by liberally applying baking soda to the carpet and working it in with a stiff brush, allow to sit overnight and then vacuum. Next, mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle, and liberally coat the area. Brush the rug again and let it dry. The smell of vinegar will dissipate after a few hours, and you’ll be left with a clean and fresh looking patch of carpet.
20. Brighten up brickwork
This method works on brick walls and even brick floors. Just go over the bricks with a damp cloth dipped in 1 cup white vinegar mixed with 1 gallon warm water and allow to dry.
21. Revitalize leather furniture
Leather furniture is incredibly durable but it can lose its luster if not properly cared for. To restore it to its former glory, mix equal parts white vinegar and boiled linseed/flaxseed oil in a spray bottle, shake it to mix, and spray it on. Spread it evenly over your furniture using a soft cloth, give it a couple of minutes to settle in, then rub it off with a clean cloth and marvel at that soft new leather chair before you.
22. Unclog and deodorize drains
This is a tip I use all the time. Throw 1 cup baking soda plus 2 cups vinegar down the stinky drain. Pour in the baking soda, then vinegar on top; it will start fizzing and bubble up. Let it sit a couple of minutes, then run hot water. Voila!