In life, sometimes, things that we usually consider mundane and insignificant can prove to be heroes in an hour of need. We often underestimate them, and regale them to dark, obscure corners while shinier objects that are much less-used take pride of space in our home. One such undercover superhero in our homes is that humble looking bottle of vinegar.
Vinegar is nothing but a mixture of acetic acid and water, and is predominantly used in cooking. There are several flavors of vinegar, the most common ones being apple cider, balsamic and coconut. But besides cooking, vinegar has several uses around the house, mainly due to its mildly acidic nature which helps dissolve mineral deposits. Here are 15 household uses for vinegar. Trust us; you’re going to love these!
15 Household Uses for Vinegar
1. Sticky Residue
We’ve all been annoyed by that sticky residue left behind from stickers, price tags and labels. Rather than scrape it and damage the surface, use a cloth dipped in vinegar to rub the sticky area. Strong adhesives might require stronger vinegar solutions.
2. Pen Marks
If you have a toddler at home, pen marks on walls and furniture are inevitable!! Stay stress free by using a cloth dipped in vinegar and dab at the surface till the marks are gone. Wipe with a dry cloth afterwards.
3. Paint Brushes
Another kid-related vinegar emergency – hardened paint brushes! Soak the brush in warm vinegar and leave till the bristles are completely soft. Wash with soapy water and leave out to dry before using.
4. Candle Wax
Melted candle wax that has solidified on furniture or other surfaces can be a real pain to get rid of. First soften the hard wax with a hair dryer and wipe off as much as you can. Clean the residue with a 1:1 solution of vinegar and water.
5. Water Rings
Friends and family members not using coasters despite numerous reminders from you? Never mind! Let them enjoy their drinks, and let vinegar deal with the ring marks left behind by their glasses. Dip a cloth into a 1:1 solution of olive oil and vinegar and wipe the table top. Finish with a soft, dry cloth.
You can wipe and wipe your windows and still have streak marks left behind. Clean your windows and shower doors etc. with a solution of 2 tbsp white vinegar and 3.5 liters of water. Use a spray bottle and wipe with newspaper for sparkling glass.
Over time, showerheads get clogged with residue and can prove difficult to clean with soap. Soak a small towel in vinegar or fill a plastic bag and tie it around the shower head for 8 hours. Let the shower run for a while to rinse it out. This makes vinegar great for clogged drains like the kitchen sink.
Carpet stains don’t have to mean a visit to the cleaner’s anymore. Dissolve 2 tbsp of salt in ½ cup vinegar and use this to rub the stain. When dry, vacuum the carpet. To make old carpets look fresh, dip a broom brush in a solution of 1 cup white vinegar and 3.5 liters of water and brush the carpet through.
9. Brick walls
If you have ornate brick walls or a fireplace in your home, vinegar is a great way to clean them and make them look as good as new. Make a solution of 1 cup white vinegar and 3.5 liters of water and wipe down.
Leather, if treated well, is a material that ages beautifully and looks better with time. Keep your leather furniture, jackets and shoes well maintained with vinegar. Mix vinegar and linseed oil in a 1:2 ratio and wipe, followed by buffing with a dry cloth. You can also substitute linseed oil with distilled or plain water. Remember not to rub suede leather; rather wipe along the fabric.
Get rid of deodorant stains on clothes by rubbing with vinegar before washing as usual. Clothes and blankets appear fresher when a cup of vinegar is added to the last rinse. Vinegar gets rid of residual soap and detergent, leaving clothes soft and new.
12. Gold Jewelry
Want to give that dull wedding ring a new lease of life? Soak it in a cup of apple cider vinegar for 15 minutes. Take it out and dry with a soft cloth. Now that the ring is fresh, maybe we should try it on our spouses too!
There are enough of horror stories around about fruits and vegetables being treated with all kinds of chemicals; so much so that washing with plain water isn’t enough. But you needn’t buy the latest vegetable wash; make your own with a 1:3 ratio of vinegar and water. Spray on produce, then rinse with water.
14. Fruit Flies
Fruit flies or gnats are those super-annoying tiny little flies that hover around our kitchens. Make a trap for them in a bowl with ½ liter water, 2 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar and two drops of dish wash liquid.
We was our dishes regularly, but often ignore our microwaves, mostly because of the effort involved. But vinegar makes life easy – Put a large bowl of 1 cup water and ¼ cup vinegar in the microwave and heat at full power for five minutes. Leave it there for another 10-15 minutes, then dip a sponge in the vinegar mixture and wipe down the insides. Dry with a soft cloth.
Any variety of vinegar can be used for these, unless mentioned otherwise. When in doubt, use a mixture of water and vinegar to ensure that the acid does not spoil the item you’re trying to clean. If you’re tired of all the toxic cleaning products available today, all you need to get yourself is an extra-large bottle of vinegar – frugal, eco friendly and antibacterial!!
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*All of my reviews are based on my own personal experiences with the brand/products. If it is a sponsored post, it is indicated. Most of the brands and products reviewed are what I have tried and tested and truly recommend! All Photographs are (C) Pratibha unless stated otherwise.*