Vinegar has been produced commercially for about 2,500 years, making it one of the oldest products in use by humans. There are many different types of vinegar out there, all produced by the oxidization of alcohol into acetic acid, but white vinegar is the most useful and the most versatile by far. If you’ve got guests coming for the holidays and you want your house sparkling and smelling fresh, break out the white vinegar!
Here are ways to use white vinegar, one of the best household finds for the frugal-minded individual.
- Streakless windows:
Simply wash with a mixture of equal parts of white distilled vinegar and warm water. Dry with a soft cloth. This solution will make your windows gleam and will not leave the usual film or streaks on the glass.
- Brass polish:
Brass, copper, and pewter (think holiday candle holders) will shine if cleaned with the following mixture: Dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of white distilled vinegar and stir in flour until it becomes a paste. Apply the paste to the metals and let it stand for about 15 minutes. Rinse with clean warm water and polish until dry.
- Toilet bowl cleaner:
Stubborn stains can be removed from the toilet by spraying them with white distilled vinegar and brushing vigorously. The bowl may be deodorized by adding 3 cups of white distilled vinegar. Allow it to remain for a half-hour, then flush.
- Kill weeds (in spring/summer):
Spray white distilled vinegar full strength on tops of weeds. Reapply on any new growth until plants have starved. (Note: vinegar solution only works on emerging young plants, not mature leaves).
- Chicken digestion tonic:
Vinegar can be used as a tonic to aid digestion for chickens and backyard poultry. Just add 1/4 teaspoon to two gallons of water.
- Pest fighter:
A teaspoon of white distilled vinegar for each quart bowl of drinking water helps keep your pet free of fleas and ticks. The ratio of one teaspoon to one quart is for a forty-pound animal.
- Paintbrush softener:
Soak the paintbrush in hot white distilled vinegar, and then wash out with warm, sudsy water.
- Cleaning vintage lace:
Soak the lace in cold water, rinsing it several times. Next, hand-wash the lace gently with a wool detergent, such as Woolite. If rust spots are a problem, try removing them with a mixture of white vinegar and hot water.
- Laundry additive:
Add 1 cup of white distilled vinegar to the final rinse cycle. Leaves towels fluffy, whites whiter and colors more vibrant.
- Getting the last drops:
When you can’t get the last bit of mayonnaise or salad dressing out of the jar, try dribbling a little of your favorite vinegar into it, put the cap on tightly and shake well. You’ll be amazed at how much you’ve been wasting.
- Treat sinus infections and chest colds:
Add 1/4 cup or more vinegar to the vaporizer. (Be sure to check vaporizer instructions for additional water measurement.)
- Cooking helper:
Add a tablespoon of white vinegar to the boiling water when making poached eggs to keep the whites uniform.
- Remove underarm stains and smells:
Spraying vinegar onto shirt armpits before the wash (and let it work in for a bit) can remove the discoloration and perspiration smells.
- Deodorize the disposal:
Clean and deodorize the garbage disposal before guests arrive by pouring equal parts white vinegar and baking soda down the drain. After letting it fizz for a few minutes, turn on the disposal while running warm water to rinse. It also works great on stubborn clogs!
- Degrease the range hood: Pour white vinegar into a small spray bottle and add 4 drops of dish soap. Spray the surface of the range hood. Use the sponge to wipe away as much of the grease as you can. Wash the sponge with warm water and clean up any leftover residue on the hood.