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100+ Brilliant Uses for Vinegar You’ll Wish You Knew Sooner

Think vinegar is just for salad dressing? Think again! Here are dozens of brilliant new uses for vinegar all around the house.

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Uses for vinegarPhoto: Shutterstock

Wash fruit and vegetables

You can’t be too careful when it comes to handling the foods you eat. Before cooking and serving fruit and vegetables, a good way to eliminate hidden dirt, pesticides and even insects, is to rinse them in four tablespoons apple cider vinegar dissolved in four litres cold water.

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Remove salt stains from shoes

Ice, slush and snow are hard on shoes and boots, but the worst thing by far is the salt that is used to melt it. It leaves an unsightly white stain and can cause your footwear to crack and disintegrate if it is left on indefinitely. To remove it and prevent long-term damage, wipe fresh stains with a cloth dipped in undiluted white vinegar.

Find out how to get rid of salt stains in your car.

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Uses for vinegarPhoto: Shutterstock

Banish bruises

Speed healing and prevent black-and-blue marks after a painful fall by soaking a piece of cotton gauze in white or apple cider vinegar and leaving it on the injured area for an hour.

Try these money-saving tricks using everyday items.

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Uses for vinegar - clean plastic food containersPhoto: Shutterstock

Clean plastic containers

Remove pesky stains and odours from plastic containers by coating them with white vinegar and letting them sit overnight. Rinse thoroughly.

Don’t miss these clever new uses for cooking spray.

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Uses for vinegar - freshen up a mattressPhoto: Shutterstock

Freshen up a mattress

Combat pesky dust mites, mildew and odours with a solution of white vinegar, a splash of rubbing alcohol and a few drops of tea tree oil. Pour mixture into a spray bottle, spritz the mattress, and allow to dry thoroughly before making the bed.

Read this before buying a new mattress.

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Uses for vinegar - cleaning tile floorsPhoto: Shutterstock

Clean tile floors

Mix 1/2 cup white vinegar with a gallon of warm water and mop floor tiles. Allow to air dry. (Do not use on stone tiles or unsealed grout.)

Check out these clever tips for cleaning vinyl floors.

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Use vinegar to brighten hairPhoto: Shutterstock

Use vinegar as a hair brightener

Remove product buildup and brighten your hair by rinsing with one tablespoon of white vinegar from roots to ends once a month.

Don’t miss these household uses for rubbing alcohol.

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Use vinegar to soften rough feetPhoto: Shutterstock

Soften rough feet

Keep your soles feeling smooth by soaking your feet in one part white vinegar to two parts water. Scrub gently to remove rough spots.

Consider these other tips for soothing sore feet.

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Use vinegar to remove scuffsPhoto: Shutterstock

Remove scuffs

Reduce the appearance of scuff marks on your shoes or handbags and restore their natural shine by wiping them down with white vinegar.

Here are the best ways to clean white sneakers.

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Use vinegar to clean glass tabletopsPhoto: Shutterstock

Clean glass-top tables

To remove fingerprints, smears and water spots from glass-top tables, wipe with a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar.

Learn how to clean the dirtiest items in your home.

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Use vinegar to clean windowsPhoto: Shutterstock

Clean windows

To get rid of dirt and streaks on windows, mix 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol and 1/3 cup white vinegar in a 32-oz. spray bottle and fill with distilled water. Spray windows and wipe off with a lint-free cloth.

These are the spots you shouldn’t skip when spring cleaning.

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Use vinegar to clean a grillPhoto: Shutterstock

Clean a grill

If your grill grate is full of gunk from too many charred steaks or burgers, try removing the buildup by spraying white vinegar on crumpled up aluminum foil and vigorously scrubbing the grate.

Check out more uses for aluminum foil.

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Use vinegar to loosen a screwPhoto: Shutterstock

Loosen a screw

If you have a stubborn screw that won’t come loose, try pouring vinegar slowly over the screw until thoroughly saturated. Let the vinegar sit for a few minutes, then loosen the screw.

Make any DIY job easier with these home improvement hacks.

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Use vinegar to clean a litter boxPhoto: Shutterstock

Deodorize a litter box

Don’t forget the cat! Remove odours by pouring 1/2 inch of white vinegar into an empty litter box. Let the vinegar stand for 20 minutes, then rinse the box with water.

Here are the easiest ways to get rid of pet odour.

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Cleaning keyboard and caring computerNokHoOkNoi/Shutterstock

Clear dirt off PCs and peripherals

These vinegar uses will have your office looking clean and new. Your computer, printer, fax machine, and other home office gear will work better if you keep them clean and dust-free. Before you start cleaning, make sure that all your equipment is shut off. Now mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a bucket. Dampen a clean cloth in the solution—never use a spray bottle; you don’t want to get liquid on the circuits inside—then squeeze it out as hard as you can, and start wiping. Use cotton swabs to get in tight spaces (like around the keys of your keyboard).

Find out how often you need to back up your computer.

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Close-up of business woman hand with mouse. Shallow depth of field. Selective focus.Alex Veresovich/Shutterstock

Clean your computer mouse

If you have a mouse with a removable tracking ball, use a 50/50 vinegar-water solution to clean it. First, remove the ball from underneath the mouse by twisting off the cover over it. Use a cloth, dampened with the solution and wrung out, to wipe the ball clean and to remove fingerprints and dirt from the mouse itself. Then use a moistened cotton swab to clean out the gunk and debris from inside the ball chamber (let it dry a couple of hours before reinserting the ball).

Here’s how often you should restart your phone.

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Pen and paperMattz90/Shutterstock

Erase ballpoint-pen marks

Has the budding young artist in your home just decorated a painted wall in your home with a ballpoint original or scribbled all over your desk while playing “office?” Don’t lose your cool. Rather, dab some full-strength white vinegar on the “masterpiece” using a cloth or a sponge. Repeat until the marks are gone. Then go out and buy your child a nice big sketch pad.

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old tailor's scissors on a light wooden tableSimonSPb/Shutterstock

Burnish your scissors

When your scissor blades get sticky or grimy, don’t use water to wash them off; you’re far more likely to rust the fastener that holds the blades together—or the blades themselves—than get them clean. Instead, wipe down the blades with a cloth dipped in full-strength white vinegar, and then dry it off with a rag or dish towel.

These are the everyday items that are dirtier than a toilet seat.

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Spring cleaning, Dirty sections of white sun blinds and hand of worker who clean it up with special tool rubber protection glove window glass cleaningAlex Brylov/Shutterstock

Clean your window blinds

These vinegar uses will bring your house cleaning game to another level. You can make the job of cleaning mini-blinds or Venetians considerably less torturous by giving them “the white glove treatment.” Just put on a white cotton glove and moisten the fingers in a solution made of equal parts white vinegar and hot tap water. Then slide your fingers across both sides of each slat and prepare to be amazed. Use a container of clean water to periodically wash off the glove.

Here are the best temperatures to set everything in your home.

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dirty piano, wipe dust from a piano, a woman's hand with a rag for cleaningDenis Val/Shutterstock

Clean your piano keys

Here’s an easy and efficient way to get those grimy fingerprints and stains off your piano keys. Dip a soft cloth into a solution of 1/2 cup white vinegar mixed in two cups water, squeeze it out until there are no drips, then gently wipe off each key. Use a second cloth to dry off the keys as you move along, then leave the keyboard uncovered for 24 hours.

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Spot from a cup of coffee on wood table / Coffee Stains Set / coffee paint stainsOoddySmile Studio/Shutterstock

Get rid of water rings on furniture

If your family is too lazy to use coasters, you might end up with white rings dotting the coffee table. To remove marks left by wet glasses on wood furniture, mix equal parts vinegar and olive oil and apply it with a soft cloth while moving with the wood grain. Use another clean, soft cloth to shine it up. To get white water rings off leather furniture, dab them with a sponge soaked in full-strength white vinegar.

Try these tricks to remove water stains from wood!

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Cleaning the carpet close up. Women hand brushing the carpet. Copy spaceArt_rich/Shutterstock

Restore your rugs

If your rugs or carpets are looking worn and dingy from too much foot traffic, bring them back to life by brushing them with a clean push broom dipped in a solution of one cup white vinegar in one gallon (3.7 litres) water. Your faded threads will perk up, and you don’t even need to rinse off the solution. You can also prevent mildew from forming on the bottoms of rugs and carpeting by misting the backs with full-strength white vinegar from a spray bottle.

Make sure to try these homemade carpet cleaners as well.

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Cup of coffee spilled on white carpet, close upAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

Remove carpet stains

Here are some vinegar uses for more stubborn stains:

  • Rub light carpet stains with a mixture of two tablespoons salt dissolved in 1/2 cup white vinegar. Let the solution dry, then vacuum.
  • For larger or darker stains, add two tablespoons borax to the mixture and use in the same way.
  • For tough, ground-in dirt and other stains, make a paste of one tablespoon vinegar and one tablespoon cornstarch, and rub it into the stain using a dry cloth. Let it set for two days, then vacuum.

To make spray-on spot and stain remover, fill a spray bottle with five parts water and one part vinegar. Fill a second spray bottle with one part non-sudsy ammonia and five parts water. Saturate a stain with the vinegar solution. Let it settle for a few minutes, then blot thoroughly with a clean, dry cloth. Then spray and blot using the ammonia solution. Repeat until the stain is gone.

Check out more clever uses for ammonia.

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brick wall, with clean and dirty bricksMaciej Rawluk/Shutterstock

Brighten up brickwork

Try these vinegar uses around the outside of your home to give it an update. How’s this for an effortless way to clean your brick fireplace? Just go over the bricks with a damp cloth dipped in one cup white vinegar mixed with one gallon (3.7 litres) warm water. The hearth will look so good you’ll wonder why you didn’t try this sooner! You can also use this same solution to brighten up any other exposed brick, even brick flooring.

Discover the things you didn’t know about house fires.

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Wooden pallet (Before & After scrub)InkHeart/Shutterstock

Revitalize wood panelling

Does the wood panelling in your den look dull and dreary? Liven it up with this simple homemade remedy: Mix one pint warm water, four tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar, and four tablespoons olive oil in a container, give it a couple of shakes, and apply with a clean cloth. Let the mixture soak into the wood for several minutes, then polish with a dry cloth.

What is the best temperature for a house in the winter?

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Hand applying polish on black carNor Gal/Shutterstock

Wipe off wax or polish buildup

When furniture polish or wax builds up on wood furniture or leather tabletops, get rid of it with diluted white vinegar. To get built-up polish off a piece of wood furniture, dip a cloth in equal parts vinegar and water and squeeze it out well. Then, moving with the grain, clean away the polish. Wipe dry with a soft towel or cloth. Most leather tabletops will come clean simply by wiping them down with a soft cloth dipped in 1/4 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup water. Use a clean towel to dry off any remaining liquid.

These are the bad cleaning habits you didn’t realize you had.

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Careful cleaning of sofa of genuine leatherLabutin.Art/Shutterstock

Revitalize leather furniture

Has your leather sofa or easy chair lost its luster? To restore it to its former glory, mix equal parts white vinegar and boiled linseed oil in a recycled spray bottle, shake it up well, and spray it on. Spread it evenly over your furniture using a soft cloth, give it a couple of minutes to settle in, then rub it off with a clean cloth.

Are you a borderline hoarder? Maybe it’s time to minimize! Find out how to declutter every room of your home.

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Old scratched oak table top texture backgroundTaigi/Shutterstock

Conceal scratches in wood furniture

Got a scratch on a wooden tabletop that grabs your attention every time you look at it? To make it much less noticeable, mix some distilled or cider vinegar and iodine in a small jar and paint over the scratch with a small artist’s brush. Use more iodine for darker woods and more vinegar for lighter shades.

You’ll want to steal these cleaning hacks from professional house cleaners.

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Close up burning yellow candle light against a dark blurred backgroundHarry KiiM/Shutterstock

Remove candle wax

Candles are great for creating a romantic mood, but the mood can quickly sour if you wind up getting melted candle wax on your fine wood furniture. To remove it, first soften the wax using a blow-dryer on its hottest setting and blot up as much as you can with paper towels. Then remove what’s left by rubbing with a cloth soaked in a solution made of equal parts white vinegar and water. Wipe clean with a soft, absorbent cloth.

This waxed paper hack will get rid of grease and dust in the kitchen.

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Person Putting The Baking Soda On Drain In The WashbasinAndrey_Popov/Shutterstock

Unclog and deodorize drains

The combination of vinegar and baking soda is one of the most effective ways to unclog and deodorize drains. It’s also far gentler on your pipes (and your wallet) than commercial drain cleaners.

Use a funnel to pour 1/2 cup baking soda followed by one cup vinegar into the drain. When the foaming subsides, flush with hot tap water. Wait five minutes, and then flush again with cold water. Besides clearing blockages, this technique also washes away odour-causing bacteria.

Here are more things to do with baking soda!

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Overhead view of dirty and harmful cigarette butts in ash trayThamKC/Shutterstock

Get rid of smoke odour

There are also many vinegar uses for your kitchen. If you’ve recently burned a steak—or if your chain-smoking aunt recently paid you a surprise visit—remove the lingering smoky odour by placing a shallow bowl about three-quarters full of white or cider vinegar in the room where the scent is strongest. Use several bowls if the smell permeates your entire home. The odour should be gone in less than a day. You can also quickly dispense of the smell of fresh cigarette smoke inside a room by moistening a cloth with vinegar and waving it around a bit.

Use these shortcuts to make everything in your home smell amazing.

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Stainless steelFotoDuets/Shutterstock

Clean chrome and stainless steel

To clean chrome and stainless steel fixtures around your home, apply a light misting of undiluted white vinegar from a recycled spray bottle. Buff with a soft cloth to bring out the brightness.

Watch out for these mistakes you might be making with stainless steel cookware.

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Dirty plate with stains and greaseGoncharov_Artem/Shutterstock

Give grease stains the slip

Eliminate grease stains from your stove, broiler, kitchen table, or counter by wiping them down with a cloth dampened in a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water. This method takes advantage of multiple vinegar uses: in addition to removing the grease, the vinegar will neutralize any odours on the surface (once its own aroma evaporates, that is). For daily grease-fighting action, pour 3-4 tablespoons white vinegar into your favourite brand (especially bargain brands) of liquid dishwashing detergent and give it a few shakes. The added vinegar will not only increase the detergent’s grease-fighting capabilities but also provide you with more dishwashing liquid for the money because you’ll need less soap to clean your dishes. You can also boil two cups vinegar in your greasy pan for about 10 minutes to give it a natural non-stick quality that lasts several months, or boil one cup vinegar and water in a stainless steel pot to melt off stubborn slicks.

Find out how to organize your kitchen like Marie Kondo!

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Healthy lunchbox meals for children. Spill Photography/Shutterstock

Deodorize lunch boxes

Has your child’s lunch box has taken on the bouquet of week-old tuna? Quit holding your breath every time you open it, and save them from lunchtime embarrassment, with a quick deodorizing treatment. Soak a slice of white bread in white vinegar and leave it in the lunchbox overnight. The smell should be gone by morning.

Use these tricks to keep fruits and vegetables fresh longer.

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Microwave oven inside viewleungchopan/Shutterstock

Steam-clean your microwave

To clean your microwave, place a glass bowl filled with a solution of 1/4 cup vinegar in one cup water inside, and zap the mixture for five minutes on the highest setting. Once the bowl cools, dip a cloth or sponge into the liquid and use it to wipe away stains and splatters on the interior.

Could your kitchen use a deep-clean? Banishing burned-on gunk and grease is a breeze with these easy microwave, stovetop and oven cleaning tips.

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The empty fridge as backdropStanislav Khokholkov/Shutterstock

Refresh your refrigerator

Did you know that vinegar might be an even more effective safe cleanser for your refrigerator than baking soda? Use equal parts white vinegar and water to wash both the interior and exterior of your fridge, including the door gasket and the fronts of the vegetable and fruit bins. To prevent mildew growth, wash the inside walls and bin interiors with some full-strength vinegar on a cloth. Also, use undiluted vinegar to wipe off accumulated dust and grime on top of your refrigerator.

These refrigerator mistakes could be taking years off your expensive appliance.

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top view of wooden cutting board on old wooden tableMaraZe/Shutterstock

Disinfect cutting boards

To disinfect and clean your wood cutting boards or butcher block countertop, wipe them with full-strength white vinegar after each use. The acetic acid in the vinegar is a good disinfectant, effective against such harmful bugs as E. coliSalmonella, and Staphylococcus. Never use water and dishwashing detergent, because it can weaken surface wood fibers. When your wooden cutting surface needs deodorizing as well as disinfecting, spread some baking soda over it and then spray on undiluted white vinegar. Let it foam and bubble for five to 10 minutes, then rinse with a cloth dipped in clean cold water.

Don’t miss these clever household uses for kitchen tongs!

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Cleaning gold and silver jewelry. Cleaning women jewelry concept.Stanislav71/Shutterstock

Shine your silver

Make your silverware—as well as your pure silver bracelets, rings, and other jewelry—shine like new by soaking them in a mixture of 1/2 cup white vinegar and two tablespoons baking soda for two to three hours. Rinse them under cold water and dry thoroughly with a soft cloth.

Follow these other tips to make your tarnished silver shine like new.

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cleaning and polishing old brass jar