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Share to PinterestUnexpected Uses for Vinegar

Unexpected Uses for Vinegar

By Jo Marshall
Share to PinterestUnexpected Uses for Vinegar

All vinegar is produced by acetic fermentation, but it can have a long list of base ingredients that result in different types. It’s a kitchen staple, not only for the flavors it can create but also for its ability to stimulate chemical reactions, like tenderizing meat or creating a fluffier batter.

For centuries, vinegar has also proven itself effective for a wide range of household uses, making it a cheap and simple-to-use vital addition to every cupboard.


Eradicate mildew smell from clothes

Share to Pinterestpouring vinegar into washing machine

We’ve all washed a load of clothes and forgot about them. It's so discouraging to smell the mildew when you finally remember and return to the washer. Not only is it unpleasant, but that odor is also hard to get rid of.

White vinegar can't save you from having to rewash your clothes, but adding a cup to the wash water could solve the stink. Some people even add in a few drops of essential oil.


Fruit flies, be gone

Share to Pinterestjar to catch fruit flies

Ripened fruits and veggies in the kitchen attract these pesky critters, but they also like to hang out in drains, garbage bins, mops, cleaning rags, and garbage disposals. Eliminating the source of attraction stops the infestation.

In a small saucer or jar, add some apple cider vinegar and a few drops of liquid dish soap. If you place the jar in the problem area, you’ll soon see that the fruit flies have landed in the liquid. The fruit flies drown in the vinegar and soap remedy, but they won’t be swarming your meal prep areas any longer.


Banish odors from garbage bins

Share to Pinterestkitchen garbage can with take out containers

Sometimes, things you discard can leave behind some less-than-pleasant odors, and emptying the bin doesn’t remedy the problem. Pour vinegar over a piece of bread, lay it on a paper towel, and place it in the bottom of the bin.

Leave the vinegar-soaked bread overnight, then remove it the next day. The smell will have magically disappeared! You can also try this technique in other spots that have lingering odors.


Bring back the fluff in your bath towels

Share to Pinterestpouring vinegar into washing machine to clean clothes

Over time, bath towels lose their soft, absorbent fluffiness. Revitalize your towels by adding just a half-cup of vinegar in the wash cycle, but wait until the final rinse cycle. Not only will your towels come out fluffier, but they’ll smell fresher!

Cleaning experts suggest that for high-efficiency top-loaders or front-loaders, filling the fabric softener dispenser to the maximum level with vinegar allows it to dispense during the final rinse.


Get rid of stubborn stains

Share to Pinterestspraying stained t-shirt

This hack works best if you rub a bit of vinegar into the stain as soon as possible. You can then throw it into your hamper with the rest of your clothes until you do a load of laundry.

Vinegar is great for coffee and tea stains, as well as mustard, tomato, sweat, grass, and bloodstains. For super-stubborn stains, try making a paste of equal parts of baking soda and vinegar.


Release the wrinkles

Share to Pinterestspraying vinegar on wrinkled shirt

Who has time to iron wrinkled clothes? This handy tip calls for a teaspoon of hair conditioner, two cups of water, and just a tablespoon of white vinegar, mixed in a spray bottle.

Once you remove your clothes from the dryer, spray them lightly with the concoction. This DIY spray relaxes the fibers and releases wrinkles, like magic.


Keep your dishwasher sparkling clean

Share to Pinterestwoman cleaning her dishwasher

Hard water has high calcium and magnesium levels, leaving behind a mineral buildup that can lead to problems with your dishwasher. You’ll notice a chalky residue inside the dishwasher first, and then it starts to appear on your glasses and dishes as well.

Vinegar’s acidity not only removes hard water buildup but can also unclog a dishwasher drain hose. Pour one cup of vinegar into a dishwasher-safe container and set it on the top rack. Cycle through a regular wash. The vinegar breaks up food particles and grease as it’s dissolving the hard water deposits. Leave the door open afterward and allow the inside to dry.


Wash away the grime on car windows

Share to Pinterestperson cleaning car windshield with vinegar spray

Glass cleaner doesn’t always cut it when trying to clean off the dirt and grime buildup on your car’s windshields and windows. Spray vinegar on the glass, full-strength, and then scrub the filth away.

It’s the acid in the vinegar that does the trick. It cuts through the buildup and leaves those vital viewers clear and grime-free.


Remove gunk from your garbage disposal

You’ll need an ice tray, some lemon wedges, water, and vinegar for this easy-to-use cleaning hack for your garbage disposal. Place a lemon wedge in each of the ice tray compartments, then fill with one part water and one part vinegar. Place in the freezer til frozen solid.

When you need to freshen up your disposal, drop in one or two cubes and flip the switch. This process gets rid of the disgusting buildup and leaves behind a fresh lemon scent in your kitchen.


Soak fruits and vegetables in vinegar to remove bacteria

Share to Pinterestusing vinegar to wash fruits

Researchers say that soaking fresh produce in one part vinegar and three parts water is a safe and effective way to remove bacteria and fungi. Clean the sink thoroughly before adding the water and vinegar and soak the produce for five to 10 minutes.

Although washing with cold water should remove about 98% of the bacteria present on the outside of fruits and veggies, it doesn’t hurt to take a few extra steps if you’re concerned. Some people claim that soaking produce in a sink filled with vinegar and water will extend the shelf life of fruits and veggies, too, but research hasn’t proven this to be true.



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