Wednesday, January 20, 2010

1001 Uses for White Vinegar

Did you know that there are literally 1001 uses for the plain old white distilled vinegar that you have in your pantry? From cooking and cleaning to caring for your pet, there are so many reasons to use eco-friendly and inexpensive vinegar.

I'm always looking for new ways to use something I already have. I love it even more when it allows me to replace toxic everyday products with something that is better for my family and our planet.

Here are some great tips and some additional links for the many vinegar uses.


1. Make nail polish last longer. Wipe fingernails with cotton balls dipped in white distilled vinegar before putting on nail polish.

2. Keep a cat out of a garden area- Place a paper, a cloth, or sponge there that has been soaked in white distilled vinegar.

3. Get cleaner laundry! Add about 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar to the last rinse. The acid in white distilled vinegar is too mild to harm fabrics, yet strong enough to dissolve the alkalies in soaps and detergents. Besides removing soap, white distilled vinegar prevents yellowing, acts as a fabric softener and static cling reducer, and attacks mold and mildew. * This is my favorite use and a great way to avoid toxic fabric softeners (unless they are pure, natural and eco-friendly brands, they are toxic to lungs and skin. I promise your laundry won't smell like pickles!

4. Deodorize and clean the garbage disposal- Make vinegar ice cubes them by freezing full-strength white distilled vinegar in an ice cube tray. Run several cubes down the disposal while flushing with cold water.

5. Get decals off walls or doors-Let undiluted white distilled vinegar soak into them for several minutes before trying to peel them off. Repeat if necessary.

6. To clean and disinfect baby toys- Add a good-sized splash of white distilled vinegar to soapy water. You can also clean vinyl baby books or board books by wiping with white distilled vinegar. Wipe clean with a damp sponge or cloth.

7. Loosen chewing gum stuck to carpeting or upholstery- Do this by soaking it in white distilled vinegar.

8. Make onion odors disappear from your hands- Rub them with white distilled vinegar.

9.  If you’ve added too much salt to a recipe- add a spoonful of white distilled vinegar and sugar to try correcting the taste.

10. To Keep Boiled Eggs from Cracking while Cooking- Add a tablespoon or two of white distilled vinegar to water.

11. Remove Baked-on food from your Microwave- Place a mug with 1/4 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup water in the microwave for 90 seconds. Once done leave it in the microwave as the acid and vapors will help remove the baked-on food. Now you can clean it with ease.

12.  Use Vinegar as a Dishwasher rinse aid- Instead of high priced rinse aid, you can fill up your rinse aid container with vinegar. It does an amazing job of making dishes sparkle. You can also pour a little inside the dishwasher before it begin to help create vapor to remove stubborn baked-on food. It can also be used between loads to keep the dishwasher smelling fresh.

I go through quite a lot of white vinegar in our home for cleaning vs. cooking. I like to spray it in the shower area and on the shower curtain liner to keep mildew and hard water stains away. I love it for the dishwasher, especially at the beginning of a load along with my eco-friendly Method dishwasher tabs and I never experience baked-on food. Nothing rinses floors better than white vinegar and water, it leaves them clean and shiny.

My favorite usage as listed above is in the clothes washer. It really does keep soaps from dulling dark clothing, it helps lighten whites and makes all my clothing and towels fluffier without the need for harsh chemicals. My clothing, towels and sheets NEVER smell like vinegar afterwards. I've also used it many times to make perfect boiled eggs.

By the way, I prefer not to cook with white vinegar (or buy products with that as an ingredient) as it makes your body more acidic when consumed, which isn't good from a health perspective. However, apple cider vinegar (Bragg brand is my favorite) helps restore the pH in your body and provides many wonderful health benefits like eliminating arthritis, curing skin conditions like acne, aiding in weight loss, strengthening the immune system, preventing urinary infections and the list goes on. HERE is a whole site dedicated to just that!

For many more vinegar tips for health, pets, cooking, cleaning, laundry and gardening, click HERE. It's my favorite site for vinegar tips and tricks! Here is another website for your reference also.

Check out our spring cleaning post on natural cleaning ingredients that make everything sparkle without polluting your home!

What is YOUR favorite use for white vinegar? How did you discover it?


  1. I use vinegar in my laundry all the time. It's a wonderful way to help towels regain their absorbency.

  2. Both grandmothers used white vinegar for laundry. It's what everyone used before the advent of commercial softeners (Downy and the like), Also many uses throughout the home,


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