50 Best Uses for White Vinegar – The best places and ways to use vinegar in your everyday life; from cleaning to eating, vinegar is basically the best thing in your kitchen! How to use white vinegar everywhere in your house to save money and live frugally.
Did you know that you can basically stop buying 50 different products and just buy 1 gallon of white vinegar instead?
It’s true. White vinegar is the frugal duct tape for the home. You can use it quite literally almost anywhere and get the same or even better results as a store-bought alternative!
When I was young, the only time I’d ever seen white vinegar was when my dad would wash all of the windows in springtime. He used white vinegar and newspaper to wash all of the windows and they would be spotless for months.
We all thought he was nuts. But WOW it worked so well.
As I grew up and got my own place, I never realized how expensive buying cleaning products for every little thing was. Thankfully, that lead me to Pinterest (way back in 2009) and that was where my eyes were opened to all of the uses for vinegar. I had no idea how many totally different and obscure uses there were for vinegar!
Pick a room in your house and you can find at least 4 uses for vinegar from this post. Check them out and try out some new (weird, but effective) ways to use vinegar in your house today.
(Disclaimer: I am just aa frugal mom. These things have worked in my home for my family and myself, but always do a spot check before trying these uses of vinegar in your own home. Vinegar is acidic and you should wear gloves if you’re scrubbing anything for a long time.)
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50+ Best Uses for White Vinegar
Freshen up the fridge. Cleaned the shelves and walls with a solution of half water and half vinegar with a few drops of lemon essential oil. I use this monthly for deep cleaning.
Cleaning a dirty microwave. Fill a small microwave-safe bowl with equal parts water and vinegar with 2 drops lemon essential oil, and place it in the microwave on high for 5 minutes. As the steam fills the microwave, it loosens the mess and you can literally wipe the mess clean. Then you can use vinegar to wipe the inside if there are any stuck-on spots left.
Eliminate odors in the trashcan. Spray the inside of the trashcan with a mixture of vinegar, essential oils and water first.
Use vinegar and lemons to clean and deodorize the stinky garbage disposal. In an ice cube tray, place a slice of a whole lemon (peel and all) and fill with 1:1 vinegar and water. Freeze. When you need one, throw it into the garbage disposal to help keep it smelling fresh. (Use more than one if needed.)
Kill gross boy-bathroom-smell. Put vinegar into a spray bottle (not diluted) and spray the toilet to kill stinky bathroom smells (from men and boys… ugh).
Keep the shower streak-free. This is one of my favorite uses of vinegar! Fill a sponge wand with vinegar and a few drops of Dawn dish soap. Keep it by the shower and when you’re done with your shower, do a quick wipe down of the shower walls. Just rinse off with water when you’re done. You’ll never need to spend hours scrubbing soap scum-y walls.
Brighten dingy coffee cups and teacups. If you’re a coffee drinker like I am, stains happen. Just gently scrub stains with equal parts vinegar and baking soda.
(Use can use vinegar in the same way if you’re a tea-drinker, too 🙂 )
Clean a Keurig. Run a cup of vinegar through your Keurig like you do normally. You’ll need to run at least 2 cups of plain water through it before using it again to make sure that all of the vinegar is out.
Clean your coffee maker. Run a full pot of half vinegar and half water and run it through the coffee maker. If you have any buildup on your coffee pot, you can let the hot mixture sit in the coffee pot before scrubbing lightly with baking soda if there are any residual hard water marks. Once it’s clean, run 2 full cycles of plain water to make sure to use up any vinegar left in the system before making coffee.
Clean and deodorize the toilet. Pour a cup or more of diluted (1:1 water and vinegar) white distilled vinegar into the bowl. Let sit for several hours or overnight. Scrub well with a toilet brush and flush. Add in a few drops of your favorite essential oils (my favorites are lavender and tea tree oil). Keep a spray bottle of this mixture handy in the bathroom to use when needed.
Eliminate carpet stains. Mix 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar and ¼ cup salt or baking soda into a paste. Rub the mixture into the stain and it let dry completely. Vacuum the residue the next day. (Always test an out-of-sight part of the carpet first.)
Got a big carpet stain? Use the same mixture and add 2 tablespoons of borax. Use the same process to clean the area.
Got a ground-in stain that you can’t seem to get rid of (or forgot about)? Use 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon white vinegar to make a paste. Rub the paste into the stain and let it sit there (preferably without moving it) for 2 days. Then vacuum it up thoroughly.
Clean dried-on paint off of brushes. To remove old paint, place brushes in a pot with vinegar. Soak for an hour, then turn on the stove and bring the vinegar to a simmer. Drain and rinse clean. This one sounds crazy, but we’ve used this a few times. (Not recommended for plastic brushes.)
Remove ballpoint marks. If you get pen on your walls (not that my kids would ever do that…*eyeroll*) wet a sponge or rag with full-strength white vinegar and use on the marks. Repeat until the marks are gone.
Wipe off a dirty faucet. To get rid of lime buildup on a faucet, make a paste of 1 teaspoon vinegar and 2 tablespoons salt. Apply to sink fixtures and rub with a cloth. Use until it’s gone.
Use it to clean blinds. To get those hard-to-wash washable blinds, use a mix ½ cup white distilled vinegar, ¼ cup baking soda and 1 gallon of warm water. Mix thoroughly. Using a sponge or cloth, wipe blinds with the mixture. Rinse with clear water.
Make your own reusable cleaning wipes. In a large mason jar, mix 1/4 cup white vinegar, 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 1/4 cup water, along with sweet orange essential oil. Fill the mason jar with reusable rags (these are the ones I bought 2 years ago and still have). Shake so that the rags are evenly coated. let it sit upside down if you need to. Add more water if needed. Now you don’t need to go through one-time-use wipes all the time to clean surfaces in the home.
Stop static cling. Add ½ c. of white distilled vinegar to your wash cycle. The acid reduces static and keeps dryer lint from sticking to your clothes.
Get rid of that mildew smell from clothes. If you forget about a load of laundry in the washer overnight, don’t worry. Just rewash the load of laundry with 1/2 c. white vinegar and a few drops of lemon or tea tree essential oil, and you’ll never know that you forgot the laundry. I use this one at least once a week, and never have funky smelling clothes after it.
Make your towels fluffy again. If your towels are starting to get dingy and are just not fluffy anymore, run a load of laundry with 1/2 c. vinegar. (Super fluffing bonus when you use wool dryer balls instead of dryer sheets in the dryer!)
Use vinegar to avoid new colored clothes from running. Soak new colored clothes in vinegar for a few minutes before washing them.
Make old socks look new. Get the stains out of old socks and sweaty gym clothes by letting them soak in the washer for a few hours with 1 c. vinegar. Just fill the washer with plain water (not detergent) and 1 c. vinegar and let it sit for a few hours. When it’s done, just add detergent and finish the laundry cycle.
Clean yoga mats. Use 1/4 cup white vinegar in a spray bottle with warm water and your favorite essential oils (lavender might work best for yoga and trying to relax). Spray on and wipe off after each session for a stink-free mat.
Get rid of weeds and unwanted grass. Pour white distilled vinegar into a spray bottle and spray liberally on the weeds growing in the cracks of your walkway and driveway. Soak the plant so the vinegar can reach the roots. For stubborn weeds, use warm or hot vinegar in a spray bottle with 1/2 c. salt to spray the weeds and kill them.
Liven droopy flowers and keep them alive longer. Are your anniversary flowers starting to droop? Don’t throw out cut flowers once they start to wilt. Instead, just add two tablespoons of vinegar and one teaspoon of sugar to a quart of water. Pour the solution into your vase, and the flowers will perk up. Use this vinegar mix as flower food.
Put an end to itching. Dab a cotton ball soaked in white vinegar on mosquito bites and any other insect stings. It will stop the itching and help disinfect the area so that they heal faster.
Whiten your teeth. Brush your teeth once a week with white distilled vinegar. Dip your toothbrush into the vinegar and brush thoroughly.
Get rid of bad breath. Get rid of the store-bought mouthwash and gargle with white vinegar to get rid of bad breath. Add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to combat the taste of the vinegar. (Another weird but effective use. Not the most pleasant taste, but it works.)
Make nail polish last longer. Wipe your nails with a cotton ball soaked in white distilled vinegar before using nail polish. The clean surface will help your manicure last longer.
Use vinegar as a foot soak for soft feet. Use 1/4 cup Listerine and 1/4 cup white vinegar in a small tub (like one that fits your feet, not the actual bathtub) with hot water for a relaxing foot soak. Soak for 20 minutes and exfoliate your feet. Super soft.
Keep car windows frost-free. Prevent windows from frosting over in the winter by coating them with a solution of three parts white distilled vinegar to one part water. The acidity hinders ice, so you won’t have to wake up early to scrape off your car. (I was so skeptical until I used this on my car. Note: don’t get it on the paint of the car.)
Keep your dog’s fur shiny. Spray your dog with 1 c. vinegar mixed with one quart of water. The solution is a cheap alternative to expensive pet-care products. Plus, it helps get rid of the funky dogy smell between baths. Bonus: the vinegar will help repel fleas and ticks.
Fight a stinky litter box. Get rid of a stinky litter box by pouring a half-inch of vinegar into the empty litter box. Let it stand for 20 minutes and then rinse with cold water. Let it dry completely before adding the fresh litter to it.
Kitty Litterbox hack #2: Another way to use this is to clean out the litter box completely and spray with the vinegar. Let it dry and then put the litter back in.
Use vinegar to clean up pet urine in carpets. First, use a paper towel to blot up as much of the urine as possible. Layer the towels and step on them to really get the extra urine out. Repeat this until the towels are dry (so you know the urine is gone). Soak the stained area with 1:1 ratio water and vinegar. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. Repeat the blotting process (towels, stepping on them until the spot is almost dry). Then sprinkle baking soda on the spot. After an hour, vacuum up the dry baking soda from the carpet. The baking soda will clear up any remaining odors. This use of vinegar and baking soda helps clear up the stain and makes it so your pet doesn’t use the same area as a bathroom again.
Remove pit stains from shirts. To remove light underarm stains or deodorant stains, rub gently with vinegar with a clean cloth. Let sit for a little. Use it again if necessary.
Use vinegar to remove wine stains. The sooner you treat the stain, the better! Use a sponge of white vinegar directly onto the area until the stain disappears. Make sure not to blot the stain into the other side of the shirt. Clean as usual.
Repair DVDs. If you have a worn DVD that skips or freezes, wipe it down with white distilled vinegar applied to a soft cloth. Make sure the DVD is completely dry before reinserting it into the player.
Get those last drops. Never waste mayo, ketchup or salad dressing that’s still stuck in the jar. Add a little bit of vinegar to the jar and shake vigorously. Maybe my favorite use of vinegar. This will get the remaining food out of the jars without watering down the taste.
Rinse fruits and vegetables, and preserve them for an extra week. Fill a sink with warm water and mix in 1/2 c. white vinegar. Stir the produce lightly and let sit. You’ll see all of the gunk at the bottom of your sink in no time. Rinse them off with water and let them dry before storing them.
Dye and brighten Easter eggs. Before your kids dye Easter eggs, mix 1 teaspoon of vinegar with ½ cup of hot water, then add food coloring. The vinegar keeps the dye bright and prevents the color from streaking.
Use vinegar when tie-dying clothes to make the colors stick and stay brighter. Any time you dye clothes, soak them in white vinegar before washing them. Also add white vinegar into the wash cycle as well.
Loosen a rusted screw. Pour vinegar onto the screw, and it will easily unstick. Use a rubber band under the screwdriver to help if you need to.
Remove gum. To get gum out of fabric or hair, heat a small bowl of vinegar in the microwave. Pour the warm vinegar over the gum, soaking the area. The gum will dissolve in the mixture.
Restore handbags and shoes. Wipe vinegar on scuffed leather bags and shoes. It will restore their shine and help hide the marks.
Renew a loofah. Soak your loofah in equal parts vinegar and water for 24 hours to dissolve soap residue, then rinse in cold water. This should probably be an after every shower use of vinegar honestly ( I’m not that meticulous though).
Remove wax. If you get melted candle wax on your wood furniture or floors, just gently wipe it away with a cloth soaked in a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water. For stuck-on wax, you might want to spray the vinegar on the area and soak it to loosen the wax.
Use vinegar to get rid of ring stains on wooden furniture. Mix 1:1 parts of vinegar and olive oil and apply it with a soft cloth while moving along with the wood grain of the furniture. Use another clean, soft cloth to shine it up.
It also works for water rings on leather furniture. To remove white water rings off leather furniture, use a sponge soaked in full-strength white vinegar and dab them.
Use it to shine leather furniture. Mix 1:1 parts white vinegar and boiled linseed oil in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray onto the furniture evenly. Use a soft cloth to spread it around. Let it sit for a few minutes and then wipe off with a clean cloth.
Take a relaxing bath. Add ½ cup of vinegar to warm bath water for a cheap spa session at home, but add a few drops of essential oils to truly soothe and offset the smell. The vinegar removes dead skin, leaving you feeling soft and smooth.
Brighten your hair. Remove hair product buildup by rinsing a tablespoon of vinegar through your hair once a month.
Freshen couches and carpets. Stinky dog pillow? Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and spritz your home to neutralize odors in fabrics, carpets, shoes or any sprayable surface.
Erase crayon. If your kids get crayon marks on the walls or floor, dip a toothbrush in white vinegar and gently scrub. The vinegar breaks down the wax, making for an inexpensive, nontoxic way to clean up after children.
Use it to un-stick stickers. Don’t scratch at the residue left by stickers or price tags. Instead, apply vinegar to the gunk, let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe the glue away. For more stuck-on stickers, soak in a hot sink of water and a tablespoon of Oxiclean. Works every time.
Clean the dishwasher. Reduce soap buildup and food residue by pouring a cup of vinegar into your empty dishwasher once a month and letting it run a full cycle.
Use vinegar as a rinse agent to get cleaner dishes and glasses. Forget buying specialty rinse agents. Pour white vinegar straight into the little drawer for the rinse agent and watch it work. (I use this and we have exceptionally hard water and haven’t had a problem).
Sanitize pet accidents. You can remove the stain―and smell―of your pet’s accident by mixing ¼ cup vinegar with a quart of water and blotting the mixture onto the mess with a washcloth. Continue dabbing until the spot is gone.
Prep for summer grilling. To remove charcoal buildup from your grill, spray white distilled vinegar on balled up aluminum foil and scrub the grate thoroughly.
Restore showerhead pressure. If you have a clogged shower head, remove the mineral deposits by soaking it overnight in a Ziplock baggie full of 1 part vinegar, 1 part water. Secure with a rubber band and let sit overnight.
Use to clean that nasty bathtub ring and film. Spray the inside of the tub with vinegar, wipe it away, scrub with baking soda, spray the vinegar again, and even stubborn stains will disappear. (This is the only way I clean my bathtub with babies and little kids taking baths regularly. Harsh chemicals scare me with them.)
Clean your scissors. When your scissor blades get sticky or grimy, wipe the blades down with a cloth dipped in full-strength white vinegar, and then dry it off with a rag or dish towel.
Use vinegar to help keep wood pannels looking new. In 2 cups warm water, miz in 4 tablespoons white vinegar, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Miz it around as much as you can, then apply it to the wood with a clean rag. Let it soak in for a few minutes. Finally, wipe it away with a dry rag.
Unclog drains naturally. For a nontoxic way to unclog and clean pipes, pour one cup of baking soda, followed by one cup of white vinegar, down the drain. Let the products bubble and foam, then flush the pipes with a pot of boiling water.
Eliminate dandruff and create a healthy scalp. If your scalp is feeling dry or flaky, vinegar can be a simple at-home remedy. Once a week, pour one cup of apple cider vinegar over your scalp and let it sit for 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with cool water.
Soften your feet. Do summer sandals leave you with cracked heals and calluses? Soak your feet for 20 minutes a day in one part vinegar to two parts warm water. Again, I use a few drops of essential oils too. The vinegar removes dead skin, leaving your feet soft and smooth.
There are tons of great, easy uses for white vinegar that make a difference.
These 50 best uses for white vinegar are great ways to save money by using just ONE cleaner instead of tons of different ones. Some of my favorite uses for white vinegar are the easiest.
You can find more ways to save money easily here:
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- 10 Habits of Highly Frugal People
- How to Save Money on Your Electricity Bill
- 6 Steps to Drastically Reduce Your Grocery Budget
Have you ever used white vinegar around you home? What’s your favorite way to use it?