50 Uses for Vinegar That Can Save You Money

by Rae Osenbaugh
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Break out those gallons of vinegar. This natural, all-purpose liquid can save you a lot of time and money.

Most of us have a bottle or two of vinegar in the pantry and probably use it primarily for cooking.

But vinegar has so many other uses that can save you money around the house and even out in the garden.

So what else can you use white vinegar for? Here are 50 different ways white distilled vinegar can save you both time and money.

Editor’s note: While there are a lot of different ways to use vinegar around the house, it isn’t safe for some surfaces. To find out when should you not use white vinegar, read Things You Shouldn’t Clean With Vinegar.

Natural Health Uses for Vinegar

  1. Relieve a sunburn. Lightly apply white vinegar to sunburned skin to ease the pain and reapply as necessary.
  2. Condition hair. Just a tablespoon of vinegar will dissolve any residue left by shampoo.
  3. Fight dandruff flakes and itch. Shampoo and then rinse hair with vinegar and a few cups of warm water.
  4. Relieve itchy and dry skin. Add a few tablespoons to bath water and take a soak.
  5. Soothe a sting. Dot a bee or jellyfish sting with vinegar to relieve itching.
  6. Soothe a sore throat. Add a teaspoon of vinegar to a glass of water. Gargle and then swallow.
  7. Treat chest colds and sinus infections. Add 1/4 cup or more vinegar to your vaporizer. (See: Inexpensive Natural Chest Congestion Remedies.)
  8. Control cravings. A teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water, with a bit of honey added for flavor, will curb your appetite.

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Uses for Vinegar in the Kitchen

  1. Tenderize meat. Soak meats in vinegar over night.
  2. Freshen vegetables. Add a tablespoon of vinegar to 2 cups of water and soak wilted vegetables. (See How To Never Waste Another Vegetable or Fruit: A 4-Step Plan.)
  3. Boil eggs without them cracking. Add 2 tablespoons to the water before boiling eggs.
  4. Deodorize the kitchen drain. Pour a cup of vinegar down the drain once a week. Let stand 30 minutes and then flush with cold water.
  5. Eliminate onion odor. Rub vinegar on your fingers before and after slicing onions.
  6. Clean and disinfect wood cutting boards. Wipe boards down with full strength vinegar.
  7. Remove fruit stains from hands. Rub stained hands with vinegar.
  8. Cut grease and odor on dishes. Add a tablespoon of vinegar to hot soapy water.
  9. Clean a teapot. Boil a mixture of water and vinegar in the teapot and then wipe away the grime.
  10. Freshen a lunchbox. Soak a piece of bread in vinegar and let it sit in the lunchbox over night.
  11. Clean the refrigerator. Wipe down the inside of fridge with a solution of equal parts water and vinegar.
  12. Unclog a drain. Pour a handful of baking soda down the drain and add 1/2 cup of vinegar. Rinse with hot water. (See How to Clear a Clogged Drain Naturally and Inexpensively).
  13. Clean and deodorize the garbage disposal. Make vinegar ice cubes and feed them down the disposal. After grinding, run cold water through it. (See Prolong the Life of Your Garbage Disposal: 10 Maintenance and Care Tips.)
  14. Clean and deodorize jars. Rinse mayonnaise, peanut butter, and other jars with vinegar when empty.
  15. Clean the dishwasher. Run a cup of vinegar through the whole cycle once a month to reduce soap build up on the inner mechanisms and on glassware.
  16. Clean stainless steel. Wipe down stainless steel appliances with a vinegar-dampened cloth.
  17. Clean china and fine glassware. Add a cup of vinegar to a sink of warm water. Gently dip the glass or china in the solution and let dry.
  18. Get stains out of pots. Fill pot with a solution of 3 tablespoons of vinegar to a pint of water. Boil until stain loosens and can be washed away.
  19. Clean the microwave. Boil a solution of 1/4 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of water in the microwave. It will loosen splattered on food and deodorize so you can easily wipe it clean.
  20. Get rid of cooking smells. Let simmer a small pot of vinegar and water solution. (See 13 Ways to Remove Odors Naturally and Inexpensively.)
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Outdoor Uses for Vinegar

  1. Keep ants away. Spray vinegar around doors, appliances, and along other areas where you see ants. (See Inexpensive All-Natural Ant Repellent Safe for Indoor Use.)
  2. Polish car chrome. Apply full strength for a full-strength shine.
  3. Kill grass on walks and driveways. Just pour little on and give it a little time.
  4. Kill weeds. Spray full strength on weeds until plants have starved.
  5. Increase soil acidity for flowering shrubs. Add to one gallon of tap water for watering rhododendrons, gardenias, or azaleas.

Vinegar Uses for Pets and Animals

  1. Remove smelly skunk odor from your dog. Rub Fido’s fur with full strength vinegar and then rinse.
  2. Keep kitty away. Sprinkle vinegar on areas you don’t want the cat walking, sleeping, or scratching on.
  3. Keep dog from scratching his ears. Use a clean, soft cloth dipped in diluted vinegar to wipe out Fido’s ears.
  4. Keep chickens from pecking each other. Put a little in their drinking water.

Uses for Vinegar in the Laundry Room

  1. Get rid of lint in clothes. Add 1/2 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle of each load of laundry. (See 9 Creative Ways To Repurpose Dryer Lint.)
  2. Keep colors from running. Immerse clothes in full strength vinegar before washing.
  3. Freshen up the washing machine. Periodically, pour a cup of vinegar in the machine and let in run through a regular cycle (no clothes added). It will dissolve any soap residue.
  4. Brighten fabric colors. Add a 1/2 cup vinegar to the rinse cycle.
  5. Take grease off suede. Dip a toothbrush in vinegar and gently brush over grease spot.
  6. Remove tough stains. Gently rub on fruit, jam, mustard, coffee, tea and other stains. Then wash as usual. (See Inexpensive Homemade Stain Remover Recipes and Remedies.)
  7. Get smoke smell out of clothes. Add a cup of vinegar to a bath tub of hot water and hang smoky clothes above the steam.
  8. Unclog a steam iron. Pour equal amounts of vinegar and water into the iron’s water chamber. Turn to steam and leave the iron on for 5 minutes in an upright position. Then unplug and allow to cool. Any loose particles should come out when you empty the water.
  9. Clean a scorched iron plate. Heat equal parts vinegar and salt in a small pan. Rub the solution on the cooled iron surface to remove dark or burned stains.

And a Few Additional Uses for Vinegar

  1. Remove decals. Brush with a couple coats of vinegar. Allow the vinegar to soak in and then wash off.
  2. Clean eyeglasses. Wipe each lens with a drop of vinegar.
  3. Dissolve rust from bolts and other metals. Soak in full strength vinegar.
  4. Freshen cut flowers. Add 2 tablespoons vinegar and 1 teaspoon sugar for each quart of water.

Reviewed August 2023

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