Few products out there have as many household uses as vinegar. From soothing feet to cleaning a computer mouse to removing streaks from your dishes, vinegar is definitely a product to have on hand in large quantities. I’ve compiled a list of just a few of the many household uses for vinegar below.
Vinegar foot soak to remove dry skin. Pour a 50/50 solution of vinegar and warm water and dip two bath towels in the vinegar solution. After wringing out the towels, wrap them around your feet and let them “soak” for about twenty minutes. When you remove the towels and wiped your feet down with a fresh towel the dry skin practically falls off, leaving your skin smooth.
Substitute for expensive rinse aids in dishwashers. Skip the Jet Dry and simply put some vinegar in the rinse aid compartment of your dishwasher. Dishes will come out “squeaky clean” and without streaks. If you are skeptical of this one, note the primary ingredient in commercial rinse aids is, what else, vinegar!
Clean trackball computer mouse. Dust and lint accumulates under the trackball and impedes its movement. Disconnect the mouse, remove the trackball and use a soft cloth dampened in a 50/50 vinegar-water solution to wipe off fingerprints, dust and accumulate grime from the trackball itself. Then use a cotton swab or Q-tip moistened in the same solution to clean out the little chamber the trackball is housed. Let parts dry about two hours before replacing the trackball and plugging the mouse back in.
Removing mildew. Simply apply a solution of equal parts vinegar and water to the mildew (for heavy build up you may need to try full strength vinegar). The nice thing about using vinegar is you don’t have the ventilation or skin irritant concerns you have when using commercial cleaners.
Remove stickers and window decals. Vinegar is great for removing stickers and decals. Apply full strength vinegar to the sticker and let it sit for a few minutes. Then scrape the sticker off using a credit card (preferably one you paid off!).
Make your car windows frost-free. Spray windshields with a solution of three parts white vinegar to one part water. Each application can last up to several weeks.
Remove bad odors. Have you ever had this experience? We recently found a three-month old container of food in the very back of the refrigerator. The smell was almost bad enough to peel paint from our kitchen walls. Even after running it through the dishwasher it still smelled NASTY!! We soaked a slice of white bread in vinegar and left it in the container overnight. Voila, no more bad smell!
Disinfect cutting boards and counter tops. After chopping up chicken for tonight’s dinner, it is a good idea to disinfect your cutting board and surrounding counter tops to remove bacteria and bugs such as Salmonella. Wipe them clean with full-strength white vinegar. The acetic acid in vinegar is an excellent disinfectant.
Freshen up your garbage disposal. After a few weeks, garbage disposals start to smell a little like that old container of tuna fish as foods rot and bacteria grows. Instead of buying those expensive disposal deodorizing tablets, make your own at home. Mix equal parts vinegar and water and freeze in an old ice tray. Drop a few cubes in the disposal once a week and flush with cold water.
Remove cigarette odors from suits and coats. Ever been trapped in the same room with a smoker for a couple hours? Chances are your coat or suit jacket now smells like cigarettes. To eliminate the odor, fill a bathtub with the hottest water your water heater will produce and pour in one cup of vinegar. Hang your suit or coat on the shower curtain bar and close the bathroom door overnight. The smell should be gone by morning. Warning: lock the bathroom door, or avoid this tip altogether if you have small children as a filled tub presents a potential drowning hazard.
Use it to clean out your coffee maker. A simple mix of some vinegar and water, run it through just like you were brewing coffee, and it takes all of the scale buildup out of the internal parts. Way better than spending a buck or two on one of those little powder cleaning packets that do the same thing.
Just spray on straight vinegar, let it sit for a few minutes while I do something else. When I come back almost all of it can be wiped right off without any scrubbing. Way better than any commercial stove cleaner I’ve used.
Clean windows and mirrors. However, there is one trick to doing it without leaving streaks: use newsprint (i.e. a sheet from a newspaper). Surprisingly you can clean it without streaks (just rub with dry newsprint if any are left behind). Not only do you save on the cleaner, you also save by not having to buy paper towels as most people already have some newspapers lying around waiting to be recycled
As I stated in the opening, this is only a partial list of the many household uses for vinegar. Please share with us your frugal vinegar tips in the comments below.