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Uses for Vinegar - Do you know of any?

-South Central-, IL(Zone 6a)
I found this article, and I want to share it with you... some more ways to save that hard earned $$$

It's a far cry since the days vinegar was used by soldiers and mariners to stop food rotting on long journeys and to kill maggots and add flavour to meat that had already decomposed.

Since then this common food additive has developed hundreds of alternative uses, many every bit as good as proprietary health, beauty and household products, meaning you also get to save money by keeping a few spare bottles of vinegar handy.

* Beauty Care: Add a cupful of apple cider vinegar to the bathwater to soothe tired muscles and relieve dry itchy skin and sunburn.

* Condiments: Make your own mint by gathering and stripping leaves from the stalks when dry. Tear into tiny pieces and spread evenly in a shallow dish. Cover with vinegar and leave for two or three hours before straining and pressing leaves lightly in a screw-top jar. Store in a cool, dry place.

* Children: Make your own playdough by mixing 2 cupfuls of flour with one cupful of salt, one-half cupful of water and 1 teaspoonful of vinegar. Mix the flour and salt first then slowly add water and vinegar, stirring all the time until the mixture is stiff. Use your hands to kneed the dough. The dough is ready to use or can be brightened with the addition of a little food colouring.

* Cleaning and Polishing: Remove heavy dirt stains from children's toys and baby hardware, tiles and other heavy duty surfaces, by using a cloth wrung out of lukewarm water to which a little vinegar has been added. Leave to dry before buffing with a clean fluff-free cloth.

* Clothing: Make your own fabric softener by mixing bicarbonate of soda, vinegar and water (parts: 2/2/4). Add a quarter cupful of the mixture to the final rinse for hand or machine washing.

* Cooking and Food: Make your own red food colouring by mixing one cupful of beetroot juice (tinned or fresh), two tablespoonfuls vinegar and water to your desired colour. Bottle and leave in a cool place.

* Health Care: In folk medicine vinegar is considered an elixir for a long healthy life and is recommended for internal and external use. Make a daily drink from one tablespoonful of apple cider vinegar to a cupful of warm or cold water, according to preference. The practice is believed to benefit the memory and to help the body fight many diseases of advancing years.

* Ironing Disasters: If linen is badly scorched take a cupful of vinegar to which is added half an ounce of soap, two ounces of fuller's earth and the juice of one lemon. Boil well and spread over the damaged parts. Leave to dry and wash the linen. You'll find the stain has completely disappeared.

* Smells: Make your own air spray by mixing two cupfuls of white vinegar with one cupful of crushed herbs, choosing from rosemary, lavender, cloves, thyme or pine needles. Place the ingredients in a saucepan and boil gently for ten minutes then leave to cool. Pour into a large jar with close-fitting lid. Leave to stand for three or four weeks. Strain and add the mixture to a spray container or atomiser. Use in the same way as commercial air sprays.

* Stain Removal: Ink stains can be removed by soaking the fabric in vinegar for an hour or two before washing in the usual way.

Do you have any more?

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Kills you want it as concentrated as possible so don't dilute it, and it works best if you spray it on the weeds when the sun's out. Fries them nicely!

Vancouver, WA(Zone 8a)

are you talking about white vinegar or cider vinegar, ecrane3?

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

I use vinegar to remove the lime and mineral deposits off my granite countertops and the shower walls.

Sugar Valley, GA(Zone 7b)

That recipe for clothing softener is also one my Grandmother used to wash walls and wood cabinets and paneling..1 gallon hot water, 1 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup amonia, 1/4 cup baking soda ..Wash well and rinse with clean water.

Poppa smoked a pipe, and Gram washed walls and ceilings twice a year with that stuff , and I use it to this day for everything


San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

For killing stubborn weeds, I use pickling vinegar. It's stronger at 9%. For stubborn stolons of Bermuda and Johnson grasses in the cracks of the sidewalk, I trim off the foliage to the ground level so the vinegar can run down to those deep-seated roots.

For the microwave, use a cup of vinegar in an open bowl (I reuse the vinegar I have just run through the coffeemaker) and run on high for eight to ten minutes. (Careful removing the bowl - its hot!) Then any stuff that was spattered on wipes off easily with a damp sponge or cloth.

How does that mixture smell? And are there any fume problems?

Scroll through the pages on the left side of the page:

Brockton, MA(Zone 6a)

Anastatia, Any vinegar with a 5% acid will kill some weeds, if sprayed full strength while plant is in the sun. A higher acid vinegar may work better on tough weeds as Yuska mentioned. Careful though, it also kills non-weeds.
Andy P

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

You are so right, Andy. That's why I don't spray it (so it doesn't get blown to other plants) and I use it only on roots - just enough to get the job done. Too much will alter the pH of the surrounding soil.

-South Central-, IL(Zone 6a)

crowelli, thanks! I've got a shower to deal with this weekend :)

DFW area, TX(Zone 7b)

If you have really bad heartburn, take 2 tablespoons of
vinegar. Within 5 minutes, it will be totally gone.
Any kind of vinegar will do. Not only will it work, but
you won't get any more heartburn for a long time.

I thought this was nonsense, but I tried it and it works.

-South Central-, IL(Zone 6a)

Mahnot, doesn't it take your breath away? Do you dilute it in water or something?

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

Flowrlady, I don't know what type of tile you may have in your shower area. The vinegar is safe on all ceramic and porcelain. As for marble, I've been told it can etch some types of it. On my granite kitchen counters, I got a sample piece of the few types and colors I was considering having installed and poured vinegar, alcahol, tomato paste and several other kitchen spill type items on them before making a final selection. Also tried scratching them with a knife and beer opener. The granite held up to all, but I do understand that some of the lighter colors of granite can show water marks from some liquids allowed to dry on them. Test a small, inconspicous spot before doing a large area if you have a natural stone of any kind. Better safe than sorry. For me, the vinegar works much better (and cheaper) than Lime-Away.

Concord, NH(Zone 5a)

Check thisout

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Don't use vinegar on marble--it's acidic and will etch the surface. If you have granite, it won't hurt the actual stone, but it can eat through the sealer (as can many cleaners)

Marysville, WA

Are you SURE about that?? Heartburn is CAUSED BY ACID, seems unlikely that adding MORE ACID would help. I drank some vinegar (on a dare) that my brother had used on his fish and chips, and was puking within three hours.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

I agree--that's why you use antacids like Tums to neutralize the acid that causes heartburn. But if for some reason drinking acidic things would help with heartburn, I would opt for orange juice over vinegar any day!

Marysville, WA

I HAVE heard of mixing a couple teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) to water to relieve heartburn, as the soda netralizes the acid, which it does to vinegar.

DFW area, TX(Zone 7b)

OK - here's what I learned on the radio one day.
I'll repeat it the way I remember it, but I don't have total

The way the doctor was explaining it is this - by the way,
it was the guy who found that ulcers are caused by bacteria,
not by your diet, and the whole medical community
pooh-poohed him for years, but now it is an accepted fact.

He said that most of us do not eat properly. We do not
chew our food enough or eat slowly enough to produce the
saliva in our mouths which helps with digestion.
To make things worse, we drink with our meals, which
dilutes the stomach acids that break down the food into
whatever it breaks it down into. I'm no scientist, OK?

Now, all you gardeners know that some of your plants
need acidic soil in order to thrive, right? Well, your
stomach needs a certain amount of acid in order to be in
balance, and when the ph level in your stomach is too low,
it starts to make acid - and this is the part where I forget
some of the things he said, BUT I do remember that he said
an occasional tablespoon of vinegar will keep your stomach
in proper balance.

He dared the audience to take TWO TABLESPOONS of ANY
kind of vinegar, undiluted, the next time they had heartburn,
and see what happens. Quit being a baby.
So I did. And it works. And what's more, there's no more
heartburn for weeks and weeks, at least that's my experience.

He said that taking antacids makes things worse.
Your poor stomach is trying to get in balance, and here you
go, trying to goof up the ph.

That's all I know, but I know it works. What's the problem with
taking 2 Tablespoons of vinegar anyway? We're all big boys
and girls here. You pick yukky stuff off your plants and deal
with creepy bugs and slithering things in your gardens, so
you can't be a bunch of wimps, right?

All you have to do is try it ONCE, that's all. Prove me wrong.

OR - if you just CAN'T do it, the next time your husband or
wife has heartburn, make THEM do it :o)

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

My doc advises apple cider vinegar, a couple of teaspoons, for heart burn. I said the same thing, "But it's acid" and she said it helps to speed up digestion and movement of the food. It works, even though it does sound just backwards to me.

Sugar Valley, GA(Zone 7b)

AndiDandi.... I use the Lemon Ammonia... Once the mixture is made up there really isnt any fume smell.. just a clean smell... Be sure and use rubber gloves if your skin is sensitive..


Frankfort, KY

Before I retired there was a man who ate in our cafeteria every day at lunchtime. He always got three glasses, one filled with tea and two filled with ice. He would also pick up the vinegar cruet and mix tea and vinegar in his glasses of ice, half and half. I called him the Vinegar Man because I didn't know his name.

(Linda) Winfield, KS(Zone 6a)

MAHNOT, I am a big girl, and the very next time I get heart burn I am taking some vinegar. I wonder what it would hurt if a person just took a tablespoon once a week to keep there stomach in working order.

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

I don't think taking it often is a problem. My neighbor takes 2 teaspoons of the apple cider vinegar every day. She's had digestive problems in the past and this seems to help. My grandmother also swore by it. I remember her thinking she was getting food poisioning once from eating unrefridgerated potato salad at a family reunion. She was getting a little nauseated and immediately took the vinegar and it solved the problem. I don't take it regularly, but know people who swear by it and it seems like at worst it would be harmless and at best, a cheap remedy. Worth a try anyway.

(Linda) Winfield, KS(Zone 6a)

Check this site out, very very interesting.

DFW area, TX(Zone 7b)

2pugdogs - Thanks for that link. Lots of information
on there. Will study it more later.

-South Central-, IL(Zone 6a)

This has turned out to be a really good thread!!

DFW area, TX(Zone 7b)


Moorhead, MN

Hi- no one mentioned using vinegar as a hair rinse to get all the gunk and residue from gels and sprays out. I just add 1/4 c. to 2 c. of water and pour through hair after shampooing. Use your cream rinse after rinsing as usual. Also vinegar sprayed or patted on a bad sunburn will cool the sting. Keep the burn moist with the vinegar for at least 1/2 hour and you won't peel nearly as bad. I have used both for over 35 years and find they work great

Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

I wonder if you could use dill pickle juice in place of just 2 T of vinegar to take for heartburn. The pickle juice would be much better, IMO.

-South Central-, IL(Zone 6a)

Shelly, just try it and let us know!

Cardiff, ON(Zone 4a)

Reading about the vinegar for heartburn is so cool. I was waiting for my chiropractic app't last month and the receptionist and a patient were having the exact same conversation. I haven't gotten around to trying it yet though. This was a good reminder. I remember my sister and I used to use diluted apple cider vinegar for our 'tea' parties when we were younger. My grandmother swore by it.

Crete, IL

I use vinegar in my coffee pot. Cleans the mineral deposits. Then my coffee brews alot fast.

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

I've also used vinegar to get smells out of my deep freeze. Someone accidentally left the door partially open overnight and lots of things partially thawed. Wouldn't you know it, the only thing that leaked was a zip loc bag of fish! I thought I'd never get that smell out. I tried different cleansers, baking soda, water/alcohol mix and nothing worked. I finally wiped all interior surfaces with pure vinegar, put more on several paper towels and left them in the freezer on each shelf for a few days and that did the trick.

West Orange, NJ(Zone 6a)

To Mahnot and all the other vinegar lovers for heartburn:
Only SOME ulcers are caused by bacteria (Heliobacter pylorus, if you want to be specific). Your MD can do a test to determine this. Other causes of heartburn, besides ulcers, include gastro-esophageal reflux disease, and in the case of GERD, the last thing on the menu is acid like vinegar. The radio cannot be sued for malpractice and doesn't care how you feel. My older daughter has had GERD for about 7 years, it is torture. This winter and spring she was hospitalized twice when the acid created 2 huge ulcers in her GI tract. She cannot have caffeine, alcohol, acidic foods (OJ is diluted in water) and so on. She was negative for H. pylorus, BTW. Her father and I both are faculty at the local medical school; her father teaches the microbiology course and I'm an immunologist doing research. Any MD who recommends drinking vinegar to "aid" digestion is someone I'd question. Your stomach acid is 10 to 100 times more acidic (on the pH scale) than household vinegar.

DFW area, TX(Zone 7b)

I'm so very sorry to hear about your daughter's problem, and
wish her well.
Thank you for the information. Anyone who has GERD is not
seeking medical advice from this site, as GERD is a serious
condition. I know. My daughter also has it, as well as a slew
of other serious medical problems,

We were merely discussing simple remedies for ordinary
heartburn. Taking an antacid is one such simple remedy which
does not require a prescription. Putting a Band-Aid on a cut
is another. Of course, if someone has a serious problem, a
physician needs to be consulted.

As for myself, I heard of a possible simple remedy, I tried it, and
it works for me and for others who have tried it.

My mother was from Europe, and when she developed serious
ulcers, she did what the farm people there did to cure them.
When her doctor next examined her, he was surprised that
her ulcers were gone and there was no scar tissue. He wanted
to know what she had done.

She told him, and I have seen her do this, that she took the leaf of
an aloe vera plant, rinsed it, then dipped it in honey and chewed
it until all of the juices were gone. She then spat out the pulp.
She did this twice a day for about a month.
Her ulcers never returned. Some home remedies work.

It's a sad and terrible thing when our children suffer, and it must
be that much more heartbreaking when you are in the medical
field and can help so many others but cannot heal your own child.
God bless and strengthen you all.

This message was edited Sep 1, 2006 12:46 AM

Framingham, MA(Zone 6a)

Hi, I am very new to the site, but I can't resist talking about vinegar/ I am Brazilian and vinegar is one of the most used things in my family.... first of all I hate vinegar but I will use it when I need... but not in my salad

... when I was a kid any cuts we had my mother use to put vinegar with salt... yes, it seems cruel but never infected cuts!

So true for heartburn.... but if like me you absolute hate the smell, drink it quick... don't even think too much... I use apple cider vinegar ... I haven't had heartburn now for more than a year!

My aunt is a nurse and she told me that once they had a high incidence of nosocomial infections in the hospital where she worked and vinegar was the way to get rid of that... it does kills bacteria... if you have a septic tank, you guys know bleach is a no-no , but vinegar poses no problem - if anyone has the horrible experience of a sewage back up (believe me I know what it means to move into your new house and 2 days later have a a back up!!!!!!) vinegar is the the one thing you can use to desinfect shower/tub areas and floors... it works and is safe...

My mother was a instructor at a beauty school and one thing you can do for people that has dandruf and other scalp problems (as long as there are no sores) is apply white vinegar to your hair (leave if for 20 minutes , wash it and voila! your hair will smell for a few hours but, it neutralizes the scalp pH and your hair will be silky and very clean... NOT for people with colored hair ... really works... I have done many times... also you can add a tablespoon to your shampoo and use every other day... it helps on the long run...

Fairfield County, CT(Zone 6b)

I dab vinegar on bug bites - it stops the itching for me.

Blythe, CA(Zone 10b)

I was ready to trade in my black truck because I couldn't get the water spots off of it after the sprinkler soaked it. I read about vinegar on the web and decided to try it. I washed it with straight vinegar and it worked.

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