5 Ways with... Vinegar

By , SparkPeople Blogger
From our partners at Woman's Day

Learn how to make the most of common household items, like hair dryers, dryer sheets and toothpicks, when you watch our 5 Ways video series! Each week we will feature a different item, which you most likely have lying around the house, and show you five new uses for it—surprising even the most savvy homemaker. For instance, did you know the absorbent powders in sidewalk chalk can soak up stains on clothing? Or that dryer sheets can calm frizzy-hair flyaways? Today, tune in to their latest installment, in which WomansDay.com Assistant Editor Brynn Mannino demonstrates five new ways to put white vinegar to use as a cleaning product, gardening tool and more!

    1. Clean cloudy glassware. Soak a paper towel or cloth in white vinegar and use it to cover both the interior and exterior surfaces of the glass; let sit for 10 minutes, then rinse clean. Acetic acid, the main ingredient in vinegar, will work to dissolve any lingering mineral deposits, grease and soap scum that’s dulling the glass.

    2. Make towels more absorbent. Add a solution of 1 cup white vinegar to your regular rinse cycle once the machine is filled at least a quarter-way with clean water. The acid will break down minerals, salt and other chemicals that have accumulated on your towels, leaving the fabric more absorbent.

    3. Tackle weeds. Spray unwanted plants or weeds with white vinegar. The acid acts as an eco-friendly herbicide, and will work to destroy the growth with just a few applications.

    4. Remove rust. Acetic acid, found in vinegar, can easily dissolve rust. Revive old tools by soaking them in undiluted vinegar for several hours, then rub away any stubborn residue with an old rag.

    5. Clean salt off shoes. Has winter sidewalk salt tarnished your leather shoes? Simply dip a cloth in white vinegar and wipe away the marks. The acid will dissolve rock salt residue and restore shine.

Do you use vinegar for anything aside from cooking? What?

Related stories:
5 Ingredients That Boost Flavor

Cleaning Tasks That Take 15 Minutes or Less

Get Rid of Mildew for Good

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I put 1/2 cup baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar down my garbage disposal once a month. Then I run it with hot water for a few minutes. My kitchen sure smells a lot better. Report
Found the article and comments very informative. Thanks everyone! Report
I have used it for years with baking soda to clean and deodorize our drains. I also soak new clothes and fabric, especially red and blue, in vinegar and water to help set the dye. Report
I have found this article very informative and very useful......Thanks Report
I clean my coffee maker by running vinegar through the cycle; also clean my tea kettle same way. Also ... when/if my dog has an accident on the rug, a mixture of vinegar & water sprayed on the spot and scrubbed, takes out the stain and deodorizes it!
And on my salads I use a splash of cider vinegar and a splash of olive oil ... delicious! Report
Many new uses I didn't know about. I've used it to clean our coffee maker, run 2-4 cups through a brew cycle, I've also diluted it in a spray bottle to clean all the glass in the house, streak free shine, it's great! I've done that for years, saved a load of money on glass cleaner. Will definitely try it full strength on my shower glass, soap scum and hard water, ugh! Thanks great article! Report
Brin is getting cuter and cuter. Good tips - I need the one about the shoes during this time of year especially. Report
I use it to clean the coffee maker, but to get rid of weeds or soften laundry or clean up other things in the house, it doesn't make the grade, the regular stuff works far better. I wish vinegar really worked as well as they like to think though, have tried it in different areas of the country where the water is different, but it didn't do enough, only kinda-sorta. Report
Spray a little vinegar on a wash cloth and clean kitchen counters. The smell quickly goes away and your counters are not only clean, but nearly bacteria free.

Works for bathrooms, too. Report
White vinegar helps hurting feet..ut hot water in your bathtub or a pan.Use 1 cup of white vinegar.Soak your feet in water until cools.Does wonders Report
Vinegar is the only weed killer we use in our yard. Report
Fabric softner, I mix it with water to make household cleaner, use it to clean out the coffee maker, and for pet accidents. I'm sure I use it for more things than this.... I am just not thinking of all of them right now.

Great post! Report
For heavy duty weed control or for stubborn trees and shrubs that pop up in your garden or flower beds, mix a bit of salt with your vinegar, not much, no more than 1/4 c salt per 2 cup vinegar, add water. You can either spray the plant, or put some on a cloth or your garden gloves, and wipe down the plant with the solution. Don't over do, as the plant carries the solution into the soil, and adding salt to the soil can affect your soil quality. Report
I've used vinegar for years with great success but I love some of the new ideas here. And I never heard of the Vinegar Insittute... sounds worth checking out. Report
Both white vinegar and baking soda are both staples in my house. Very versatile! Report
Great article and video - thanks Spark People and Women's Day! I knew about some of these but not all. Report
We have very hard water and the ONLY thing that cleans the scale out of our 'stuff'....glasswear, toillet, Keureg coffee maker....is Vinegar Report
Our water is very hard which leaves a residue on everything. I put a tablespoonful of vinegar: in the dishwasher, in the clothes washing machine, clean chrome taps and build-up around taps. It is also good as a disinfectant so I soak and then wash my water-filter paraphenalia with it each time I change the filter. A drop of white vinegar in a marinade helps to soften meat; when making sauce or gravy it will give a zest without the taste. Report
I've tried all but the weed killer idea successfully so I can hardly wait to try this in the spring. Report
I like this new feature. Will save me a bit of money and a lot of extra work! Report
Itīs an environment friendly supercleaner! I use it in the bathroom to easily take away limestone. Report
I just found out through some internet research that vinegar gets cat urine smell out of clothes. I was desperate, since my cat decided to get herself locked in the laundry room and peed in a pile of dirty clothes. I tried washing them several times and the smell wouldn't come out! But after a little research, I poured 1/4 cup vinegar into the regular wash (and another 1/4 cup in the rinse cycle for good measure) and now there isn't a trace of smell left! Report
i love the weed idea! Report
All of sudden, my dishes weren't coming clean in the dishwasher. I tried everything - including cleaning my dishwasher with one of those "special" dishwasher cleaners. It worked, but my dishes still weren't coming clean. There was still a residue that would not come off. My mom suggested we run the wash cycle with white vinegar and sure enough - they are clean again. It definitely works, and it's less expensive too! Report
yes i use it to clean my Bunn coffeemaker, after about 3 months it gets clogged up and about 2cups of vinegar with 2 cups of water and i pour it in the coffee maker and reuse the mixture about three times and then i rinse out the coffee maker with about 4 pots if clean water, alot cheaper than the coffee maker solutions in the grocery... Report
Yes vinegar has many uses and is very inexpensive. Report
Thanks for the article, I didn't know about the towels and rust remover. Report
i use white vinegar for everything you have mentioned. plus there is a site called the vinegar institute that gives you more ideas. Report
I pour a little in the cat box when I change the litter. After I empty the old litter, I pour enough to just cover the bottom and let it sit about 15 min or so, then swish it around and pour it into the toilet and flush it. then I wait until the box has dried, sprinkle a layer of baking soda over it, then put in clean litter. The vinegar helps remove old odor, and the baking soda helps absorb new ones. Report
This and a little baking soda in the garbage disposal works great. Report
I have used it for cleaning and it work well. Report
Thanks for sharing! Report
Wow... who knew?? I'm off to try the cloudy glassware trick on my pyrex measuring cup right now! Report
Great tips!!
Thanks alot!
Loved the boots!!!!! Report
All good ideas above and below.
I put a cup of vinegar in a microwave safe dish for 5 minutes on high. Then let stand for another 5 minutes. Microwave quickly wipes clean. Then I pour the vinegar into the toilet and sprinkle baking soda on top. Let it bubble, swish it around and flush, or let the vinegar sit in toilet overnight without the baking soda. Swish around and flush.
You can also pour it down the sink drain, sprinkle the baking soda (1/4 cup or so) over it, let it bubble and sit for about an hour. Pour a kettle full of hot to boiling water down the drain to rinse. Should run clear! Report
How cute is she? Report
Lots of uses for vinegar as listed above and below. Thanks.... Report
presoak for pork dishes(ribs especially), cleaning coffee pot, cleaning mirrors and sometimes to clean my glasses. Report
Vinegar cleans mirrors really well. Also swish a little in your mouth once a month for super clean teeth! Report
We use it to wash the windows, inside and out. It makes them streak free, dissolves the water deposits, and is cheap! I also use it to run through my coffee maker to remove hardwater deposits. Report
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