Vinegar. It’s pungent, acidic, tangy, makes you crumple up your nose and tear up, or brings up memories of eating fish and chips out of newsprint. Whether vinegar brings a smile or a scrunch to your face, you can’t argue the tons of household uses it has.
So because January is national vinegar month, somewhere in the world, I’m sure if I just checked Wikipedia I’d find it, I want to honour it by sharing 10 interesting cleaning uses for vinegar. We know a lot of them already, so I decided to focus on some lesser-known tips for you.
Whether they are in the kitchen, craft room or garage, scissors get grimy. When your scissor blades get sticky, wipe them down with a cloth dipped in full-strength white vinegar. Unlike soap and water, vinegar won’t ruin the blades or rust the metal.
Ooey, gooey stickers
When you get that great new thing from that store and it has a sticker on the bottom, rather than breaking every nail on scratching off the sticky residue left behind, simply rub some vinegar onto the sticky area, let it sit for 5 minutes, and then wipe it away. Vinegar will break down the residue!
Clean the dishwasher, kettle & coffee pot
Give your large and small appliances a good cleaning by using vinegar to deodorize, break down and descale. Simply add a cup of vinegar to the appliance (which uses water), let it sit, and then run a full cycle through. Dump the vinegar and you are in great shape. We have a video on each one of these topics.
Steam clean your microwave
Easy, quick and painfully effective, microwave cleaning will never be the same. Simply add equal parts water and vinegar and microwave for 4 minutes. Carefully remove the bowl with oven gloves and wipe the insides with a clean microfiber cloth. The steam created will literally melt off any microwave mess and make clean up a piece of cake.
Naturally refresh fabrics and upholstery
We just did a holiday video on this, but it’s worth mentioning again, especially since you are willing to spend 6 bucks on a bottle of Febreeze. All you need to do is add plain white vinegar to a spray bottle, Fill a spray bottle with equal parts white vinegar and water and use this to mist your fabrics instead. It quickly neutralizes odours and the vinegar smell disappears in minutes.
Rejuvenate your bathroom tools
Your bathroom tools like loofas, pumice stones and razor blades need a cleaning too. To do this, simply fill your sink with equal parts of vinegar and water, soal the items for an hour and then rinse and dry. Soap residue, body oils and smells will be gone. These items will be cleaned with literally no effort on your part!
Defrost car windows
This trick need not apply to our friends in sunny parts of the world. For the rest of you that know the drill of scraping ice off your car windows, try this next time the forecast calls for frost. Before the storm hits, wash a solution of 3 parts vinegar to one part water over the windows. Since the acidity of the vinegar prevents ice, you won’t have frosty glass after the storm hits. Lovely, huh?
Replace dryer sheets & fabric softener
If you are ready to do away with fabric softener and dryer sheets, try this instead. During the wash cycle, add in a half cup of white distilled vinegar. Believe it or not, the acid reduces static and keeps dryer lint from sticking to your clothes. Further to that, it can also help brighten, soften and deodorize the clothing. It’s a no-brainer!
If you like to cook but hate the smell of onions, garlic, meat, fish and spices on your hands or the dreaded red beet hand syndrome, try this. Clean your hands with soap and water, and then rinse well with vinegar. The vinegar will remove those strong odours and leave your hands looking and smelling clean afterward.
Clean your wood cutting board
I don’t cut any meat on my wood cutting board, but I cut everything else on here. So, to keep it clean simply wash it with a vinegar-soaked cloth after each use and you’ll remove the bacteria. You will also need to use an oil to condition your board from time to time, but we’ll discuss that in another video.
A couple of quick notes:
- Don’t mix vinegar with Ammonia, unless you want to end up in the emergency room.
- Never use white distilled vinegar on stone surfaces including limestone, travertine, granite or marble. The acid can damage the surface.
- White vinegar, distilled white vinegar and full-strength vinegar (a stronger version of white vinegar specifically for cleaning) are the only kinds you should be using when cleaning. Any other kind is for cooking, so don’t mix them up.
And that’s the size of it!
I’ve picked 10 interesting cleaning uses for vinegar out of a sea of vinegar cleaning tips, now it’s your turn..
What are your favourite vinegar cleaning tips? Leave a comment below!