Uses for Vinegar

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

I recently came across some good recipes/uses for vinegar. Here are two that we use at our house:

1. Fabric softener. I pour 1/4 cup of plain white vinegar in the fabric softener reservoir of my washer and fill it to the top with water. I buy gallon jugs of vinegar for about $1.25, and I figure it costs $.02 per load to use this vs. Downy or the sheets. No, your laundry won't smell like pickles - in fact, vinegar tends to remove other odors so when your clothes are dry they will smell even fresher. (You may notice a vinegary smell in your washer, but it dissipates after the laundry's done as long as you keep the lid raised on your machine between uses.

2. Laminate floor cleaner. We installed Pergo-style flooring in our living areas last year. It's very low maintenance, but it does need to be mopped occasionally. The special cleaner is pretty expensive. Here's supposedly the ingredients in those cleaners:

1 part vinegar
1 part rubbing alcohol (speeds up the drying time)
1 part water
1 drop liquid dishsoap

I keep a spray bottle filled with this stuff for touch up jobs. When I need to mop all over, I mix it up in a small mop bucket, doubling the water vs. the other ingredients, and just make sure I wring out my mop well.

Any other frugal uses for vinegar?

Baker City, OR(Zone 5b)

Use vinegar to remove lime deposits around your fawcetts, and soak the shower head in vinegar to clean it when it plugs up.

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Philadelphia, PA(Zone 6b)

I use vinegar for a few things:
...1 pint of white distilled 5% vinegar plus 2 gallons water=changes soil acidity for rhododendrons (use sparingly, although this is the cheater's way of changing alkalinity)
....weed killer (not in flower beds but on concrete cracks!)
3 parts vinegar/1 part dishwashing detergent=goodbye crabgrass and
....routine antiparasitic for rabbits. I use this 2X a year on bucks and non-pregnant/non-nursing does in my rabbitry. Mix 3 tablespoons of APPLE CIDER VINEGAR ONLY with 1 gallon of water. Use this mixture as the only drinking water for the bunnies for 3 consecutive days, changing the water mixture daily. This seems to help everything from parasites, pinworms, coat condition and overall health. Do not use on sick animals, for this is the preventative method.

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(Zone 9a)

1. Run straight vinegar or 4 parts vinegar/1 part water through coffeemaker. Cleans oils and mineral buildup. Run 2-3 pots clear water to rinse.

2. Baking soda and vinegar in sinks and toilets will remove ALL odors and disinfect as well.

3. Vinegar removes soap residue.

Philadelphia, PA(Zone 6b)

Hi Patty,
I wouldn't use the vinegar mixture exclusively for worming but it is more of an aid in ridding parasites. We still worm with Piperazine-17 (diluted ratio) 2X a year, in addition to the apple cider method. The apple cider has an overall health benefit/conditioner for the bunnies, whereas the Piperazine-17 is directed for internal parasites.

Scotia, CA(Zone 9b)

Vineger and Baking soda will "boil" out most dried blood stains so long as they have not been heat set. This has save me a fortune in otherwise ruined clothes over the years!

Lyndeborough, NH

Here's a few more.

Plus for you horse owners a couple cups in the water buckets
helps repell most flies..

> Heinz Vinegar Uses.
> Kill bacteria in meats.
> Marinating meat in Heinz Vinegar kills bacteria and tenderizes the meat.
> one-quarter cup vinegar for a two to three pound roast, marinate
> overnight, then cook without draining or rinsing the meat. Add herbs to
> vinegar when marinating as desired.
> Dissolve warts.
> Mix one part Heinz Apple Cider Vinegar to one part glycerin into a lotion
> and apply daily to warts until they dissolve.
> Stains.
> Remove stubborn stains from furniture upholstery and clothes. Apply Heinz
> White Vinegar directly to the stain, then wash as directed by the
> manufacturer's instructions.
> Grow beautiful Azaleas.
> Occasionally water plants with a mixture of two tablespoons Heinz White
> Vinegar to one quart water. Azaleas love acidic soil.
> Relieve arthritis.
> Before each meal, drink a glass of water containing two teaspoons Heinz
> Apple Cider Vinegar. Give this folk remedy at least three weeks to start
> working.
> Kill unwanted grass.
> Pour Heinz White Vinegar in crevices and between bricks.
> Remove corns.
> Make a poultice of one crumbled piece of bread soaked in one-quarter cup
> Heinz Vinegar. Let poultice sit for one-half hour, then apply to the corn
> tape in place overnight. If corn does not peel off by morning, reapply the
> poultice for several consecutive nights.
> Washing machine.
> Clean the hoses and unclog soap scum from a washing machine. Once a month
> pour one cup of Heinz White Vinegar into the washing machine and run the
> machine through a normal cycle, without clothes.
> Cure an upset stomach.
> Drink two teaspoons Heinz Apple Cider Vinegar in one cup water to soothe
> upset stomach.
> Kill germs on bathroom fixtures.
> Use one part Heinz Vinegar to one part water in a spray bottle. Spray the
> bathroom fixtures and floor, then wipe clean. Clean soap scum, mildew, and
> grime from bathtub, tile, and shower curtains. Simply wipe the surface
> Heinz Vinegar and rinse with water.
> Deodorize the air.
> Heinz Vinegar is a natural air freshener when sprayed in a room.
> Relieve itching.
> Use a cotton ball to dab mosquito and other bug bites with Heinz Vinegar
> straight from the bottle.
> Lime deposits.
> Clean lime deposits and calcium sludge from an automatic drip coffee
> Once a month fill the reservoir with Heinz White Vinegar and run through
> brew cycle. Rinse thoroughly with two cycles of cold water.
> Relieve a sore throat.
> Put two teaspoons of Heinz Vinegar in your humidifier.
> Soothe sunburn pain.
> Apply undiluted Heinz Vinegar to the burn.
> Clean food-stained pots and pans.
> Fill the pots and pans with Heinz White Vinegar and let stand for thirty
> minutes. Then rinse in hot, soapy water.
> Clean rust from tools, bolts, and spigots.
> Soak the rusted tool, bolt, or spigot in undiluted Heinz White Vinegar
> overnight.
> Turn a chicken bone into rubber.
> Soak a chicken bone in a glass of Heinz Vinegar for three days. It will
> like rubber.
> Prevent bright colored clothes from fading.
> Before putting the article in the washing machine, soak it in Heinz White
> Vinegar for ten minutes.
> Keep a garbage disposal clean and smelling fresh.
> Mix one cup of Heinz Vinegar in enough water to fill an ice cube tray,
> the mixture, grind the cubes through the disposal, and flush with cold
> Clean a toilet bowl.
> Pour in one cup of Heinz White Vinegar, let it stand for five minutes, and
> flush.
> Clean dentures.
> Soak dentures overnight in Heinz White Vinegar, then brush away tartar
with a
> toothbrush.
> Remove perspiration stains from clothes.
> Apply one part Heinz White Vinegar to four parts water, then rinse.
> Cigarette smoke?
> Deodorize a room filled with cigarette smoke or paint fumes. Place a small
> bowl of Heinz White Vinegar in the room.
> Cure the hiccups.
> Mix one teaspoon Heinz Apple Cider Vinegar in one cup of warm water, and
> drink.
> Eliminate odors from used jars.
> Rinse peanut butter and mayonnaise jars with Heinz White Vinegar.
> Condition dry hair.
> Shampoo, then rinse hair with a mixture of one cup Heinz Apple Cider
> and two cups water. Vinegar adds highlights to brunette hair, restores the
> acid mantel, and removes soap film and sebum oil.
> Clean mineral deposits from a steam iron.
> Fill the water tank with Heinz White Vinegar. Turn the iron to the steam
> setting and steam-iron a soft utility rag to clean the steam ports. Repeat
> the process with water, then thoroughly rinse out the inside of your iron.
> Remove light scorch marks from fabrics.
> Rub lightly with Heinz White Vinegar, then wipe with a clean cloth.
> Repel ants.
> Use a spray bottle or mister filled with a solution of equal parts Heinz
> Vinegar and water around door jambs, window sills, water pipes, and
> foundation cracks.
> Keep drains open.
> Pour one-half box of old baking soda down the drain followed by one cup
> White Vinegar. When the bubbling stops, run the hot water.
> Prolong and brighten propane lanterns.
> Soak new wicks for several hours in Heinz White Vinegar and let them dry
> before inserting. Propane lanterns will burn longer and brighter on the
> amount of fuel.
> Remove decals or bumper stickers.
> Soak a cloth in Heinz Vinegar and cover the decal or bumper sticker for
> several minutes until the vinegar soaks in. The decals and bumper stickers
> should peel off easily.
> Deodorize a wool sweater.
> Wash sweater, then rinse in equal parts Heinz Vinegar and water to remove
> odor.
> Prevent lint from clinging to clothes.
> Add one cup Heinz Vinegar to each wash load.
> Prevent ice.
> Prevent ice from forming on a car windshield overnight. Coat the window
> a solution of three parts Heinz White or Apple Cider Vinegar to one part
> water.
> Prolong the life of flowers in a vase.
> Add two tablespoons of Heinz White Vinegar plus three tablespoons of sugar
> per quart of warm water. Stems should be in three to four inches of water.
> Prevent cracked hard-boiled eggs.
> Add two tablespoons of Heinz White Vinegar per quart of water before
> to prevent the eggs from cracking. The egg shells will also peel off
> and easier.
> Clean windows.
> Use undiluted Heinz Vinegar in a spray bottle. Dry with a soft cloth.
> Eliminate unpleasant cooking odors in the kitchen.
> Boil one tablespoon of Heinz White Vinegar with one cup of water.
> Remove wallpaper.
> Mix equal parts Heinz Vinegar and hot water. Use a paint roller to wet the
> paper thoroughly with the mixture. Repeat. Paper should peal off in
> Eliminate animal urine stains from carpet.
> Blot up urine, flush several times with lukewarm water, then apply a
> of equal parts Heinz White Vinegar and cool water. Blot up, rinse, and let
> dry.
> Relieve a cold.
> Mix one-quarter cup Heinz Apple Cider Vinegar with one-quarter cup honey.
> Take one tablespoon six to eight times daily.
> Deodorize a stale lunch box.
> Soak a paper napkin in Heinz Vinegar and leave it inside the closed lunch
> overnight.
> Prevent soapy film on glassware.
> Place a cup of Heinz White Vinegar on the bottom rack of your dishwasher,
> for five minutes, then run though the full cycle. A cup of white vinegar
> through the entire cycle once a month will also reduce soap scum on the
> workings.
> Unclog a shower head.
> Unscrew the shower head, remove the rubber washer, place the head in a pot
> filled with equal parts Heinz Vinegar and water, bring to a boil, then
> for five minutes.
> Relieve a cough.
> Mix one-half cup Heinz Apple Cider Vinegar, one-half cup water, one
> cayenne pepper, and four teaspoons honey. Take one tablespoon when cough
> up. Take another tablespoon at bedtime.
> Retard patching plaster from drying.
> Add one tablespoon white vinegar to the water when mixing plaster to slow
> drying time.

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

I put a 1/2 cup of white vinegar in my rinse water when I do my dishes. It removes the soapy residue and leaves things squeaky-clean. :o)

I've tried using 1/4 cup of it as a fabric softener in my machine's automatic dispenser, but my clothes retained the vinegar smell even after hanging to dry. What am I doing wrong? I ended up buying the cheapest fabric softener I could and using it. Smells nice, anyway! :o)

(Zone 5a)

Good Grief! Had no idea vinegar would do all that, but.....why would you want a chicken bone to bend like rubber?

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Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

So.....after a fashion, you'd be making a rubber chicken?

:-D -- Kimberley, who always seems to end up with
the short part of the wishbone.

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New Paris, OH

A word of caution on Apple Cider Vinegar. Note on most apple cider vinegars it says apple cider "Flavored" vinegar. if you are eating the vinegar or giving it to your animalos you would do better to use true apple cider vinegar which most healthfood stores have. The flavored stuff is made from grain not apples.

(Zone 9a)

I'm ROFLOL Lana! That was a good one.

Middle, TN(Zone 6b)

This is pretty gross but here is what I found out yesterday. I have had a case of thrush mouth for many months now. I had surgery in Nov. and wound up with thrush. I can't get it to go away. I used the stuff you swallow but it made me sick so I had to stop. I have used salt water rinse followed by a peroxide and water rinse but it just won't clear up. It seems to linger in my throat and then come back when I stop treating it. My great nephew who is a young dentist told my hubby to tell me to try vinegar. I don't know how much vinegar to use but thought I would use maybe pickle juice to have a sip or so sev. times a day to see what would happen. Does anyone have any superior knowledge on this subject since I am hoping that it will work for me?

This message was edited Tuesday, May 22nd 12:42 PM

Middle, TN(Zone 6b)

Thanks so much Jewel. I wiil follow your instructions and let you know sometime in the future if it works for me. I will have to swallow it though as the problem is remaining in my throat even when it leaves my mouth. My throat has been sore ever since the Thanksgiving surgury when they put the tubes down my throat for the second time in 3 months. (The first time they had to put a scope down the throat.) I haven't been able to swallow the peroxide to get at the condition in my throat and I think that there-in lies the problem. I had both surgeries at Mayo clinic in Florida and haven't really had a doctor who has been interested in my problem here. It is not terribly important to them it seems but has been a real nuisance to me.

This message was edited Tuesday, May 22nd 6:11 PM

Springfield, MA(Zone 6a)

i just posted this elsewhere, but vinegar and water, sprayed onto carpeted area where an animal has had an accident urinating, will eliminate the odor and the animal will never go there again because they can't smell the urine, it has been chemically eliminated. "-) worked like a charm when i was training any of my animals.
debi z

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Middle, TN(Zone 6b)

What is Gentian Violet, Patty?
Jewel, I will see if the vinegar works first. thanks for all the help folks. It is nice to know that someone cares.

Gardeners are really great people aren't they?

My grandmother taught me (as an adult with a child) that vinegar and water will clean glass without streaking. If you are involved in a large cleanup, just add newspaper as the transfer medium, and whalaa!

Anyone who dyes faded cloths should always 'set' the dye with a cup of vinegar in a water rinse, keeps the new color from leaving as fast as the first.

I am the palest person you could even meet, and all I use for bad sunburns are aloe and cider vinegar. The vinegar stings like the devil when first applied but beats days of not being able to move without discomfort. When I sunburn the part in my hair (bad one that summer, my ears peeled in whole chunks) I apply vinegar and it leaves my long hair soft and shiny by stripping out the other hair products that never quite leave. DH says it's not his favorite dressing for wife, but...

When my lungs go on the fritz I use the vinegar-on-the-sponge and add-baking-soda-for-fizz as a cleaner from the tub to the oven. Oh, and leave two cups of vinegar overnight in the oven and it is MUCH easier to clean the next day.

Wonder drug/cure that has been forgotten. Thanks for the thread.


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Edgewood, MD(Zone 7a)

Any pharmacy will have, or can get it for you within three days, Gentian Violet. Just ask the pharmacist. BUT be careful..wear old clothes! Gentian Voilet will STAIN everything it, clothes, etc.
Not exactly on threadd but you could try gargling with a bit of Tea Tree Oil in warm water. Tea Tree Oil kills fungal infections, which is what yeast/Thrush is. You can also use a Tea Tree, Aloe Vera, water mixture will will both soothe and kill the thrush.
If you want more details email me , and I will point you to info/give you what information I have so as to keep fromm loading up this thread with off topic info. :-)


Gardendale, AL(Zone 7a)

Vinegar will remove rust from metal. Just soak in vinegar, but be sure to wash/rinse/dry object soaked really well aftewards.

Vinegar will also loosen glue.

My favorite is that I pour vinegar (ammonia will work too) in the garbage cans to keep the racoons and cats out. When they knock off the lids they get a whiff of the stuff and off they scamper leaving me just to put the lid back on the can....not picking up scattered garbage.

Jonesboro, GA(Zone 7b)

My Mom used to paint my throat with Gentian Violet (she was an RN. I used it on my 2 year old's thumb to stop the thumb sucking - bitter stuff. We warned her several times that if she did not stop, we would "paint her thumb" purple and everyone would know she sucked her thumb, it broke her!!! The stain lasted at least a week.

Jonesboro, GA(Zone 7b)

Sorry, I completely forgot we were discussing vinegar. I always made my own Easter Egg dye with just a few drops of food coloring and a tablespoon of vinegar in a cup of hot water, it won't rub off.

Southwest , NH(Zone 5b)

Will vinegar work to get grease/motor oil out of fabric? If so, diluted or full-strength?

Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

Donnie, I don't know about vinegar for grease in material, but you can try the orange hand cleaner mechanics use. Once long ago my son got grease on the carpet and it took it out.

The red apple cider vinegar when gargled with will remove mouth ulcers.

Red Apple Cider Vinegar is great for the flu.....two teaspoons in a half of glass of water....sip if necessary, drink down if you can. Adding ice might help it go down easier. Take it as soon as you feel the weakness and nausea coming on, the sooner you will feel better. It is said that a virus can't live in an acid solution. Repeat every few hours. It really helps! It is basicly vitamin C.

If you drink 2 tsp apple cider vinegar in 1/2 glass cold water periodically it will help prevent colds.

My Mom had strept throat. You could see the white puss pockets on her tonsils!
She gargled with the Apple Cider Vinegar / water faithfully two or three times a day and in a week the strept was gone! I wouldn't have believed it, if I hadn't seen it!

If you rinse your hair in Apple Cider Vinegar it will cure dandruff.

White vinegar mixed with creme of tartar is supposed to be great for cleaning bathroom fixtures. I'm going to give that a try.

The white is also good for cleaning our your refrigerator.

Vinegar is wonderful!

Southwest , NH(Zone 5b)

....and sooooooooo affordable! It has always baffled me that something that can kill plants could be so good for us! Go figure! Thanks, Texasgal!

Cascade Mtns, WA(Zone 6a)

Just learned a nifty trick from our local hardware guy.
My latest project is hanging some rustic shelves in the living room.
(see pic).... the screws were 'silver' and my brackets are wrought iron.

Per my handy guy.... soak the screws in vinegar for a day and the coating will
'dull'. Then spray paint to the color of choice (black for me) and whala! custom fittings.
I also found the cheap angle brackets or 'corner brackets' can be done the same way and
make easy book ends.

Thumbnail by CascadeMom
Bloomington, CA(Zone 9b)

My science teacher would poor some baking soda down his drains and follow it with vinegar once a month to keep clogs from building up. Its better for septic tanks the Draino and doesn't kill off the bacteria in your septic like the harsh cleaners (don't think ew I want that bacteria dead, you need it to break down all the stuff in your septic).

Never tried it, but I heard if you apply straight vinegar to bathroom mirrors they wont fog.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Be careful with the baking soda and vinegar down the drains if your drains are slow though...baking soda + vinegar is how they make those science fair "volcanos"! The volcano effect won't do any permanent harm, but you don't want to be standing over the sink when it happens, might sting your eyes a bit and make a big mess!

Bloomington, CA(Zone 9b)

good thing to point out. You definitely don't need a whole box of baking soda, probably be pretty neat to watch though (until it bubbles onto the floor).

Cascade Mtns, WA(Zone 6a)

1 part Vinegar to 3 parts water used as a hair rinse after shampooing
will cure most 'itchy scalp', remove soap film, and keep white hair from yellowing.

Mid-Michigan, MI(Zone 5b)

I use 1 tsp white vinegar, 1 tsp vegetable oil and 1 qt of warm water to scrub my 50+ yr old wood floors. Love it!!!
I have 2 kids plus all the neighborhood kids, 3 dogs and 3 cats so my floors can get cruddy quickly. :)

Michelle in Michigan

Cascade Mtns, WA(Zone 6a)

MsKatt; I am interested in what kind of finish is on your wood floors. ?
I stripped the urethane off my living room floor and put on a natural 'wax'.
Very expensive but holding up well so far. (1.5 years later)

Guess I am wondering if cleaning with vinegar and oil would be beneficial or
take off the wax finish. ? Might try it in a spot an see.

Mid-Michigan, MI(Zone 5b)

I have no idea what finish is on it. We bought this house about 3 years ago and I've been using it ever since. I tried it in the closet first, lol.

Claremore, OK(Zone 6a)

My mother used vinegar for everything. No really, I mean everything.

She put it on cuts, scratches, washed clothes, dishes, stoves, floors,
counter tops. Disinfected sick area rooms. Deodorized everything you can think of......... if it smelled bad, she put vinegar on it. She cleaned the refridgerator, toilet, glass cleaner, everything you can clean, she used it on it. EXCEPT teeth. Never use vinegar on teeth, it will eat the enamel. She used it as a spermacidal douche,
a sinus rinse, a gargle, a poltice for anything that ached, a soak for anything that was swollen, a fungacide, made a salve for infections, soothed burns, ............on and on....

She was truly old fashioned in every way. She lived to be 83 yrs old and I can't remember her ever going to the doctor for anything except
childbirth. She took no medications in her old age, remaining healthy until she died. Anything she ever got wrong, she fixed it with either vinegar, salt or vaseline, and only took aspirin.

If you couldn't cure it with one of those, ......... well, I don't know.

I used to scoff at her being so old fashioned, and behind the times.
But....she was way smarter than I ever realized.

Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

Your Mother was a very wise woman, and looks like she raised a very wise daughter!

My daughter is in her 30's and she has finally began to realize that I do know a few things! She seeks my advice much more now that her children are teens, and often apologizes for things she did in her teens! LOL! Amazing!

Vinegar really is useful for many things!

Have a great day!

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