Frugal Uses for Vinegar

I come from a family of thrifty recyclers. We were recycling and saving money way before it was the "in" thing. Mom and Dad taught us all to find new uses for things. Dad was a great believer in duct tape fixing everything! His favorite chair wore out at the arms and he promptly covered them in duct tape. Not so pleasing to the eye, but that chair lasted 10 extra years.


When I left home and married, I too became a thrifty housewife. Neither my husband or myself had large paying jobs, so we tried to find others uses for everything. I found hundreds of uses for plain cheap white vinegar.

Here's some:

  • Put in last rinse cycle to keep clothes static free and to remove the last of the detergent, so you will not need fabric softener.

  • Freshen baby clothes or diapers by removing uric acid with 1 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle.

  • Deodorant stains can be removed by lightly rubbing with vinegar and laundering.

  • To keep clothes color fast. soak 10 minutes in vinegar and launder as usual.

  • Clean no wax floors by adding 1/2 cup vinegar to a half gallon of warm water

  • For no streak window washing, mix equal parts of vinegar and warm water. Dry with soft cloth.

  • Remove water marks on wood by rubbing with equal parts vinegar and olive oil. Rub with the grain then polish.

  • Clean your garbage disposals by filling an ice tray with 1 cup of vinegar and freezing it. Pop 5 or 6 in disposal, turn it on. then run cool water through it for 1 minute.

  • Clean your coffee maker every 2 weeks by filling the reservoir with vinegar and running the brew cycle. Rinse thoroughly by running cold water through the brew cycles 3 times.

  • Deodorize the kitchen drain, by pouring 1 cup vinegar through the drain once a week. Let it stand for 30 minutes then flush with cold water.

  • Keep kitchen drains running smoothly by putting 3 tablespoons of baking soda in drain then adding 1 cup vinegar. It will bubble up, cleaning all drains and keep them running smoothly. Do this once a month and rinse cold water after allowing it to sit 30 minutes

  • Clean the microwave by boiling a solution of vinegar and 1 cup water in microwave. It will loosen any splattered food and keep it smelling clean.

  • Clean the refrigerator by washing the inside with a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar.

  • Clean wooden cutting boards with full strength vinegar and wipe the board down well.

  • Remove refrigerator odors by using 1 cup of cider vinegar and letting it sit. In two days all smells will vanish.

  • Clean shower doors with a sponge soaked in vinegar, Wipe dry with a soft cloth.

  • Make a toilet cleaner with 3 cups of vinegar and vigorously scrubbing to remove stains. Allow to sit 1/2 hour then flush.

  • Unclog shower heads by filling a plastic bag with 1 cup of vinegar and securing it to shower head overnight. Remove then turn on cold water to flush.

  • Kill weeds by spraying full strength vinegar on weeds.

  • For those morning when you know the windows will be frosted, take one part water to three part vinegar and wipe them the night before. They will not frost the next morning.

  • Use vinegar to clean gold jewelry (NOT FOR USE ON ANY CONTAINING PEARLS). Submerge gold for 15 minutes in apple cider vinegar, remove, and dry with soft cloth.

  • Vinegar can fix worn DVDs (that stick or freeze frame). Apply vinegar with a soft cloth, making sure dvd is completely dry before inserting it in player.

  • To get the last drops of mayonnaise or salad dressing out of the jar, put a few drops of vinegar in the jar and shake well.

  • Make a fruit and veggie wash, by adding 2 tablespoons of vinegar to 1 pint of water. Wash your produce with the vinegar water then rinse well.

  • To make a meat tenderizer, take 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup of bouillon or your favorite marinade and allow to stand in this for 2 hours.

  • Soothe a bee or jellyfish sting by dousing it with vinegar.

  • You can relieve sunburn, by lightly run vinegar on the affected area.

  • Fight dandruff by using 1/2 cup of vinegar and 2 cups of warm water to rinse head after shampooing.

  • Treat sinus infection and chest colds by adding 1/4 cup of vinegar to your vaporizer. Check your instructions for addional water measurements.

  • Soothe a sore throat by mixing 1 teaspoon of vinegar in a glass of warm water. Gargle with this.

That's just a FEW of the things regular white distilled or cider vinegar can do and save a lot of money!

By Bonnie from Hillsboro, Ohio

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November 11, 20100 found this helpful

Great ideas. I use it in the wash and it does make a difference.

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February 1, 20170 found this helpful

Wonderful hints! I especially like the ones which don't cost a lot.

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