Vinegar is one of the most versatile things in your cupboard. It can be used in lieu of dozens of specialized household products. Here are just a few ways a bottle of vinegar can freshen up your home.
Cleaning kitchen and bathroom surfaces
Kitchens and bathrooms have two things in common: they’re the two rooms that seem to get the dirtiest the fastest, and they’re the two rooms that you want to be as clean as possible. Vinegar’s ability to disinfect and remove unpleasant odors makes it an ideal product to use in both. In the kitchen, you’ll find that vinegar will cut through grease on stovetops and range hoods; in the bathroom, it will get rid of both mildew and mildew stains. For most cleaning purposes, a mixture of 4 parts hot water and 1 part vinegar will do the job. For extra grungy surfaces, use vinegar undiluted.
For the same reasons listed above—disinfecting, deodorizing, and cutting through tough grime—vinegar is great for cleaning out the insides of microwaves and refrigerators. In fact, it’s a better choice than other household cleaning products, since it won’t leave a chemical residue that might leach into your food. Two parts hot water, one part vinegar, and a squirt of dish soap will leave the insides of your appliances sparkling. Bonus: undiluted vinegar is great for polishing stainless steel, so you can use it on the outside of your fridge too!
Dissolving mineral deposits from hard water
Whether it’s a ring inside the toilet, crust on a shower head, or buildup in your dishwasher, vinegar can take care of it. For bathroom buildup, soak the problem area with undiluted vinegar to soften it before scrubbing it away. Run a quick cycle with nothing in the dishwasher but a small bowl full of vinegar on the top rack.
Unclogging and deodorizing drains
Got a stinky garbage disposal or a slow-draining tub? Vinegar to the rescue! Try pouring ½ cup of salt and 2 cups of boiling vinegar in, then rinsing with warm water. If that doesn’t do the trick, use baking soda instead of salt.
Removing sticker residue
Peeling off a price tag is rarely as easy as just peeling it off. More often than not, you’re left with some sticker remnants that just won’t come off. Try wiping that stubborn mess with a damp washcloth and some vinegar. So much better!
Freshening, softening, and brightening laundry
There’s little need for expensive bleaches and fabric softeners when you have some white vinegar on hand. Add a cup to the rinse cycle of your laundry and you’ll see some incredible results: brighter whites, less lint and static, and softer fabrics. Vinegar is especially great on funky smelling towels, dishrags, or cloth diapers, since it kills any bacteria and helps eliminate any lingering odors.