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Uses for Vinegar

In addition to use as a salad dressing and pickling base, vinegar has numerous uses in cleaning, cooking, gardening, and home remedies to name a few. This is a page about uses for vinegar.


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May 9, 2014

Vinegar is really great stuff with many cool uses. Here are the the 2 best ones I know of.

  1. Remove rust from metal. Just let the metal (pliers, blade etc.) soak overnight in the vinegar. Rub off with old cloth, rinse with water and dry or place in sun. Bye-bye rust.

  2. Paint the undiluted vinegar on wood to keep nasty woodborers and other insects away. It's better if you can submerge the wood for an hour but not necessary.
Considering the prices nowadays of rust remover and wood treatment, this tip can save you many, many $$!

Source: My own experiments. It works!

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November 29, 2012

I have stopped buying expensive and fume cleaning products and have gone to vinegar for everything. It is the oldest, safest and most effective cleaning product there is.

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March 10, 2015

Clean Blocked Drains - Pour half a cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar into the blocked drain. It'll foam for a while but the drain will get cleared out. Wash with hot water. This can be used to clean toilets too.


Remove Tape Residues - Spray some vinegar onto the sticky residue area and saturate it. Wait for 5 seconds and clean with a cloth.
Remove Smell from Dustbins - Dustbins, over time, accumulate a rotten smell even when empty. To clear it, soak a piece of bread with vinegar and place it at the bottom of the dustbin. By morning, the dustbin won't smell anymore.
Tile Cleaner - Mix one parts vinegar with two parts water and a few drops of dish soap. You can put this in a spray bottle and it works really well.
Keep Flowers Fresh Longer - Along with the water that you put in the vase for the flowers, put 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. This keeps flowers fresh longer.
Clean Sunglasses - Spray some vinegar on your glasses and clean with a soft cloth. It will remove all dirt and dust and make them shine.
Removing the Smell of Urine - Vinegar wonderfully cleans urine smell and prevents animals from urinating again at the same place.
Clean the Microwave - A small bowl of vinegar heated up in the microwave will loosen even the most hardened stains. All you have to do is wipe them away with a cloth.
Kill Bacteria in Meat - Marinate the meat in a little vinegar to get rid of all the microscopic bacteria that may infect you.
Prevent Lint from Clinging to Clothes - Add one cup vinegar to each washload. It keeps the lint away!
Keep Cats Away from Furniture - Spray a little vinegar on the fabric of the sofas. The mild acidic smell is hated by cats and keeps them away.

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February 10, 2016

I keep a bowl of white vinegar on my stove to keep cooking odors down. When a closet or room starts to smell musty or stale, I put a bowl of white vinegar on a shelf for a few days.


This usually takes care of just about any smell. It was especially good when my son was a teenager.

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After a nasty fall in my bath tub, I became extra careful to not have it happen again. My first idea was to always just throw a facecloth in the tub to stand on. My latest and very effective method that keeps me safe as well as my family is to spray my vinegar/water cleaning solution on the bottom of the tub.

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April 29, 2015

If you don't have any cleaner in the house, you can always use vinegar. It makes your floors shine and cuts the grime off your floor. It makes your house smell cleaner than regular cleaner.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

July 14, 2005

There are tons of uses for vinegar. From cleaning to killing weeds. Post your ideas.


March 14, 20050 found this helpful

Use vinegar soaks to clean dentures, rusted tools and faucets


By imaqt1962

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March 14, 20050 found this helpful

Vinegar adds an amazing sheen to dark hair.....(similar to lemon juice for blondes) ....apparantley!

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By Ang (Guest Post)
March 14, 20050 found this helpful

I use white vinegar in the rinse-aid dispenser of my dishwasher. My dishes are squeaky clean and my glasses shine.
A huge saving.

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By C Tewksbury (Guest Post)
March 14, 20050 found this helpful

My showerhead clogs after a while. I just remove it and soak in vinegar all night . The next day its perfect and ready to go.

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By (Guest Post)
March 14, 20050 found this helpful

Use vinegar in your fabric dispenser in your washing machine. Clothes will not smell like vinegar and they come out of the dryer real soft.

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March 15, 20050 found this helpful

I like to use a mix of vinegar and baking soda to clean my drains. It can often unclog them (found this out in a clogged bath tub drain). I also use vinegar and water to clean my ceramic-top stove (leaves it with a nice shine). Vinegar and water clean my car windows and my house windows.


You can use vinegar and water as windshield-washer fluid if you put some alcohol in it to keep if from freezing in the winter. I use it to clean my glass tables. It works very well to clean mineral buildup on all sorts of glass and metal products, although you have to be careful - vinegar is an acid, and it can eat holes in certain metals!

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By Monkey Gurl (Guest Post)
March 20, 20050 found this helpful

When you have a sore throat drink 1 TEASPOON of white vinegar and drink a small glass of water. My family has done that for years and it always works. The vinegar kills the infection.

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December 8, 2004

I am a big fan of natural, non-toxic cleaners such as baking soda and vinegar. My question is, can you use vinegar to kill germs? For example, would vinegar be sufficient to kill germs from raw meat on your counter? Also, I am assuming that vinegar is totally non-toxic - please let me know if this is not correct! Thanks.


Ann in Mint Hill


December 9, 20040 found this helpful

Here is just one site I found that says vinegar kills germs. I had heard about a study that proved this a few years use it without guilt!!!

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December 9, 20040 found this helpful

Vinegar is a wonderful cleaner; but, there are two options I would suggest. 1st: spray the vinegar on the area that you want and let it sit 5 minutes and wipe that off and then spray hydrogen peroxide and do the same thing. separately sprayed on they kill germs well. mixed together they are not as effective. 2: my recommendation and what I use, I add a tsp of tea tree essential oil to a sprayer bottle of about 1 cup of water. shake each time before you use it. Tea tree oil kills just about everything. Ecoli and salmonella. And it smells clean as well and you only have the one step.

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December 9, 20040 found this helpful

Is vinegar sprayed directly on a laminate surface, such as the kitchen counter, and then left to stand for 5 or more minutes harmful to the counter top? It seems like it would be too harsh to use undiluted.

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December 9, 20040 found this helpful

If you use a chopping board for all raw meat, (kept solely for that purpose - do not mix chopping boards for cooked and raw foods), you can wash it in very hot water with detergent and then just wipe over with vinegar if you want - but this should not be necessary as long as all food residue and fat is scrubbed off in very hot water. Allow to dry thoroughly following cleaning.



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December 10, 20040 found this helpful

for mkymlp
I don't believe vinegar should hurt your counter top even if left on for 5 minutes. You do not need to use it full strength however. I would think 1 part water to 1 part vinegar would be a good disinfectant. If you know the manufacterer of the counter top you may want to google them to see if they have a website. Often they have cleaning tips or even a support number or email address where you can contact them.

Susan from ThriftyFun

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By Ann in Mint Hill (Guest Post)
December 10, 20040 found this helpful

Thanks for the info. I'm glad to know I can use the vinegar to kill germs. My countertops aren't anything special so I don't worry about harming them...maybe something like marble would be a problem. I've never had a problem with it damaging anything. I've poured it full strength on carpet and upholstered furniture (when napping children have wet the furniture) and it's never done anything to the fabric.

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By John (Guest Post)
January 5, 20050 found this helpful

I work for a commercial cleaning agency and I found that using vinegar to rid indoor brick of a dusty appearance caused by soap residue seems to work best. However I would like to know is there a ratio of vinegar to water that can be used in over a 1000 sq ft area? This is simply to help with cost.

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By Natalie (Guest Post)
April 1, 20050 found this helpful

First of all, spraying any product, wether its vinegar, or a hospital grade quat. disinfectant, onto a surface, and wiping it off, is not going to kill anything. All disinfectants need at least a 10 minute kill time, before you can wipe them off. Second of all, vinegar and disinfectants have 0 cleaning capabilities, they do not penetrate a surface, or loosen soils. There is a huge difference between cleaning and disinfecting, they are 2 seperate things all together. Using a good cleaning product, and doing a good job of cleaning, removes 98% of all bacteria. Thirdly, there is a huge differenc between a disinfectant, antibacterial, and sanitizer. Vinegar may be a good sanitizer, or antibacterial at best, but it is not a disinfectant.

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What are some alternative uses for vinegar around the house?

By Holly from Lancaster, WI

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June 4, 2006

I use iron out in my laundry to get my whites whiter. I saw on this site about using white vinegar, does this really work and how much do I use?

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January 29, 2017

Adding a bit of vinegar to your home humidifier can help freshen the air. This is a page about adding vinegar to your humidifier.

A humidifier blowing steam.

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July 4, 2017

This is a page about vinegar and dish soap fruit fly trap. A simple effective fruit fly trap can be made with apple cider vinegar and a few drops of dish soap.

trap next to bananas

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January 17, 2017

Vinegar is a great odor eliminator, not only is it natural and non-toxic but it really works! Learn how to use vinegar as a natural odor eliminator in this page.

Hand spraying sofa with vinegar.

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December 13, 2016

This is a page about using white vinegar for dandruff. Instead of trying expensive medicated shampoos, try using vinegar instead.

A woman noticing dandruff in her dark hair.

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November 29, 2016

This common fermented liquid can be an inexpensive product for many household uses. This page is about frugal uses for vinegar.

Frugal Uses for Vinegar

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October 2, 2011

A frugal and effective natural cleaner is vinegar. It can be used to disinfect surfaces, soften and brighten laundry, deodorize and much more. This is a page about cleaning with vinegar.

A bottle of white vinegar.

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April 3, 2018

This page offers some advice about treating your hair with vinegar to remove shampoo build up. Vinegar works well to remove hair product buildup. Some people also use it to treat dandruff.

Woman bending over to wash hair.

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February 15, 2017

There are several common household products that can be used to remove mildew. This is a page about vinegar for removing mildew from a tent.

Two women setting up a tent.

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February 6, 2017

Spray clothes with a mixture of vinegar and water prior to ironing to help remove creases. This is a page about removing creases with vinegar spray.

A spray bottle with a fine mist on a black background.

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January 28, 2017

Newspaper is relatively lint free and works well with vinegar to clean windows, leaving them streak free. This is a page about use vinegar and newspaper for cleaning windows.

A bunch of crumpled up newspaper.

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