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Many people swear by white vinegar and the dozens of different things it’s good for. I just happen to be one of those people. From homemade cleaners to my beauty routine, I always have to have it on hand. Once I started using it, I realized what an amazing money saver it is. It’s my go-to choice on a daily basis.
This post is about the numerous ways you can use white vinegar to cut costs. Below you’ll find 35 unique and highly effective uses for it. Whenever possible, I’ll do cost comparisons to show how much money you’re saving.
I’ll base the comparisons on one gallon (128 fluid ounces) of Great Value Distilled White Vinegar, which costs $2.48. Please keep in mind that all prices listed in this article are from August 7th, 2017 and may be subject to change. Let’s take a look.
White Vinegar Cleaning Uses
1. Drip Coffee Machine Cleaner
If you use a drip coffee machine, it’s important to clean it regularly. Coffee residue, oils, hard water deposits, and other substances build up over time. There are store bought cleaners for coffee makers, but they’re not really necessary. White vinegar and water can get the job done just fine. I follow this routine for cleaning my coffee maker:
- Fill your coffee maker’s reservoir with one part white vinegar and two parts cold water. For a full-sized drip coffee maker, this should be about three cups of vinegar and nine cups of water.
- Run one brew cycle using the vinegar and water mixture. Shut off your coffee maker and let the mixture sit in the carafe for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Fill your coffee maker’s reservoir with solely cold water.
- Run one brew cycle, shut off your coffee maker, and let the water sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Repeat steps three and four twice.
That’s all there is to it. Many store bought coffee cleaners list citric acid as the main ingredient. Since vinegar is acidic, it gets the job done just as well.
Cost Comparison: Brew Rite Coffee Maker Cleaner – $8.79 at WalMart.com
2. Refrigerator Freshener
Cleaning the refrigerator is a must-do chore for many reasons. Aside from sticky spills, you want to prevent and kill mold, mildew, and bacteria.
White vinegar kills 99% of bacteria, 82% of mold, and 80% of germs. This makes it a great alternative to harsh chemicals. To clean out your refrigerator, add one part vinegar to three parts hot water into a spray bottle.
Empty out the refrigerator and spray every surface. Let it sit for a few minutes, dry with paper towels or a microfiber cloth, and restock your food. It’s so simple and very effective.
Cost Comparison: Lysol Power Kitchen Cleaner, 22 oz – $4.79 at Jet.com
3. All-Purpose Cleaning Spray
All-purpose cleaning sprays are super convenient to have around your home. Some people opt for cleaners that use natural ingredients, but store bought options can be pricey. Fortunately, making your own all-purpose cleaning spray is incredibly easy. Combine the following ingredients in a 32-ounce spray bottle:
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar (disinfectant and deodorizer)
- ¾ cup isopropyl rubbing alcohol (disinfectant)
- 10-15 drops of essential oil (deodorizer; I enjoy using a few drops of orange essential oil and lemongrass essential oil)
- one tablespoon lemon juice (optional, but it helps cut through grease)
Fill the remainder of the bottle with warm water and shake well. You can add a few drops of dish soap for extra cleaning power if you’d like. However, I find that this four-ingredient recipe is effective as is. Plus, making this costs less than $1 per 32-ounce bottle!
Cost Comparison: Seventh Generation All-Purpose Cleaner Spray, 32 oz – $3.99 at Target.com
4. DIY Air and Fabric Freshener
Last time I was cleaning my apartment, I noticed I was out of Febreze. I figured that I could whip up a DIY air freshener in a pinch. It was a thrill happy to find dozens of different recipes that contained white distilled vinegar. I used the following recipe, and I’m so satisfied with how it turned out. I found this recipe on The Prairie Homestead:
- ¾ cup water
- two tablespoons of rubbing alcohol, vodka, or real vanilla extract (I substituted this for two tablespoons of white vinegar. White vinegar has no odor once it dries.)
- four drops tea tree oil
- eight drops lemon essential oil
- six drops eucalyptus oil
Combine all of these ingredients in a small spray bottle; amber glass bottles are ideal for essential oil. I can honestly say this air freshener smells better than anything I’ve ever purchased. Plus, making it is super simple and very affordable. It can be used on fabric and as an air freshener, so there’s no need for two products.
Cost Comparison: Febreze Extra Strength Fabric Refresher, 16.9 oz – $3.73 at PharmaPacks.com and Febreze Air First Bloom Champagne Blossoms Air Refresher, 8.8 oz – $2.97 at WalMart.com
5. Non-Toxic Toilet Cleaner
Cleaning the toilet is never a pleasant chore. I absolutely dreaded it when I used bleach to clean. The smell is so headache-inducing, but white vinegar is a great alternative. As mentioned above, it effectively kills bacteria, mold, and germs.
For basic cleaning, you’ll just need to pour ½ cup vinegar into the toilet bowl. Let it sit for about 15-20 minutes, scrub thoroughly, and flush.
You can let it sit for about an hour if you’ve got hard water buildup. To remove stubborn stains, mix ½ cup of Borax powder into the toilet bowl along with the bleach. Let it sit for several hours or overnight. Scrub thoroughly and you’re good to go.
Cost Comparison: Lysol Power Toilet Bowl Cleaner & Disinfectant, 24 oz – $1.99 at Target.com
White Vinegar Laundry Uses
6. Fabric Mildew Remover
Mildew accumulation is pretty common on towels and other fabrics that get damp. This pesky fungus is easy to get rid of using distilled white vinegar.
Add the mildew-covered towels to your washing machine, pour in 1-2 cups of vinegar (no detergent), and run it on the hottest setting. After this, wash the towels as you normally would with laundry detergent. When the towels are dry, they should smell mildew-free.
7. DIY Dryer Sheets
One of my favorite frugal lifestyle tips is cutting down on paper waste. An easy way to do this is to make homemade dryer sheets.
They smell wonderful, vinegar gently softens your clothes, and these are so easy to make. If you’ve got a few spare towels or t-shirts laying around, you’re halfway there. I don’t follow an exact recipe, but I do like one from Popsugar.com. I’ve summarized it below.
- Cut cotton cloths into small squares the size of traditional dryer sheets. If you don’t have spare towels or t-shirts, the article suggests getting some cheap dollar store dish towels.
- In a glass bowl, combine ½ cup vinegar with eight drops of essential oil. Tea tree oil is suggested, but you can use whatever scent(s) you like the most.
- Place the cotton cloths in a sealable glass container. Ones like these are airtight and affordable.
- Pour the vinegar and essential oil mixture over the cloths until they are dampened well. You don’t want them soaking wet. Close the lid on the container when you’re done.
When you’re ready to use them, grab a dryer sheet and wring out excess liquid. Place into the dryer, and then put the cloth back into the jar when you’re done. In my experience, a single cloth can last through 15-20 dryer loads. Not too bad at all!
Cost Comparison: Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Dryer Sheets, Lavender, 80 ct – $7.99 at Target.com (I chose this comparison because these sheets use essential oils and other natural ingredients.)
8. Laundry Stain Remover
With a toddler in my household, clothing stains are a regular occurrence. Treating them quickly is essential, but the cost of stain remover adds up quickly. Fortunately, vinegar is an excellent stain remover. You can use it alone as a spot treatment, and rinse the stain with cold water after 15 minutes. Additionally, there are some combinations that I find to be very helpful.
- Vinegar and salt – This is a great combo for sweat stains. Apply vinegar and coarse salt to the stained area. Rub it in using your fingers or a spare toothbrush. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes, and rinse off the excess salt. Wash and dry as usual.
- Vinegar and baking soda – This combo works well for stubborn stains in general. Apply both to the stain and work it in with a spare toothbrush. The scrubbing and the chemical reaction can help lift grass stains and food stains.
For more tips and tricks for natural stain removal, I suggest checking out this Greenopedia article. You’ll find all sorts of ways to remove stains with common household ingredients.
Cost Comparison: Oxi Clean Laundry Stain Remover Spray, 21.5 fl oz – $2.99 from Target.com.
9. Secondhand Clothes Odor Eliminator
Garage sales and thrift stores are great ways to get super inexpensive clothing. Unfortunately, these clothes often smell less than spectacular.
The good news is that this problem is usually easy to fix. Fill up a 32-ounce spray bottle with one cup of vinegar and two cups of warm water. Spray the garments thoroughly and allow them to air dry. This should remove most unpleasant odors, and as a bonus, it kills off bacteria and germs.
10. Leather Fixer Upper
Are your leather shoes scuffed? Maybe your purse is looking a little dull. Before you get too frustrated, know that you can easily remedy these problems using white vinegar. An eHow article outlines the process pretty well. I’ve summed it up below:
- white distilled vinegar – Dampen a clean cloth with white distilled vinegar. Rub the vinegar into the leather, and allow it to soak in thoroughly. Use a new clean cloth to buff the leather
- white distilled vinegar and water – This mixture is designed to remove salt stains from leather boots and shoes. Mix one part vinegar with one part water. Dampen a light-colored, clean cloth with the vinegar and water mixture. Blot the mixture onto the salt stains to remove them.
It’s really that simple to clean leather with vinegar. Additionally, you’ll only be spending mere pennies to get the job done.
Cost Comparison: Magic Leather Cleaner & Conditioner Spray, 14 oz – $4.98 at WalMart.com
White Vinegar Beauty Uses
11. Post-Hair Dye Color Sealer
I learned about this beauty hack a few months ago on hair dye brand Manic Panic’s Tips page. According to the brand, rinsing your hair dye out with white vinegar helps extend color longevity. This is because of white vinegar pH level. Here’s how to do it:
- Mix one cup cold water with one cup white vinegar. The site says to use ½ cup cold water mixed with ½ vinegar. I find that this doesn’t saturate my fairly short hair, so I use more.
- Pour the mixture onto your dyed hair. I usually lean over the tub or sink to do this and wrap a towel around my shoulders.
- Comb the mixture through your hair.
- Rinse hair with cold water until all dye is removed.
That’s all you’ve got to do! I’ve definitely noticed a difference in the longevity of my hair color. If you’re worried about your hair smelling like vinegar, it’s surprisingly very mild. However, following up with styling products or misting your hair with a bit of body spray should fully mask any odor.
12. Soothing Foot Soak
There are several reasons why vinegar is an ideal foot soak ingredient. It has antifungal properties and effectively eliminates odors. Vinegar also has mild exfoliant properties, so it can help remove dead skin cells. Lastly, vinegar can help soften dry feet.
There are lots of recipes to choose from. However, a mixture of one part warm water and one part white vinegar does the trick just fine. Feel free to add in ingredients to customize your soak. Some examples include Epsom salt, essential oils, coconut oil, and so on. No matter what, the vinegar and warm water will help clean and soothe your feet!
13. Pre-Manicure Nail Prepper
Have you ever had trouble with nail polish bubbling up or not looking smooth? That’s often because natural oils and oils from moisturizers accumulate on nails.
You need a totally oil-free surface for a perfect manicure, and a bit of white vinegar is your simple solution. I’ve also used acetone for this purpose, but it’s simply too harsh. Vinegar removes oil without causing damage like acetone.
To prep your nails simply put an ounce or two of white vinegar into a small dish. Dip cotton swabs into the vinegar, and clean each of your nails thoroughly. Alternatively, you can soak your nails in a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and cold water for 5-10 minutes. Do this before you apply your base coat, and you’ll likely notice a difference in how your DIY manicure looks.
Cost Comparison: Onyx Professional Pure Acetone, 8 oz – $2.98 at WalMart.com (Please note that acetone can be used to strip oils and remove polish. Vinegar will only strip oils; it cannot be used as a nail polish remover.)
14. Effective Acne Fighter
Most people deal with a pimple now and then, but others have persistent acne that never seems to go away. I’ve been in the latter group before, and spot treatments to banish acne can be expensive. That’s why I was happy to learn that white vinegar can effectively treat acne, and there are many reasons why this is true.
One of the primary causes of acne is bacteria. The other three main causes are oil production, clogged pores, and the accumulation of dead skin cells. As I’ve mentioned above, white vinegar kills 99% of bacteria. It also has antimicrobial properties; this means it can stop the growth of bacteria. Here’s how you can treat acne with white vinegar:
- Wash your face using your regular cleanser. Rinse the cleanser off, but leave your face damp.
- Apply white vinegar to acne-prone areas using a cotton ball or cotton swabs. If you have sensitive skin, you may need to dilute the vinegar with water.
- Let the white vinegar sit for about 5-10 minutes.
- Rinse well with cold water, and follow up with your regular moisturizer.
If you don’t have sensitive skin, you can do this every night until you see results. If your skin feels increasingly dry after this treatment, you may want to reduce treatment to every few days or so.
Cost Comparison: Neutrogena On-the-Spot Acne Treatment, 0.75 oz – $4.79 at Target.com
15. Simple Shine Booster
This tip is similar to number 11, but it’s for regular use versus post-hair coloring. If you want to add natural shine to your hair and remove hair product residue, vinegar is the answer. Vinegar also helps remove excess oil from your hair and scalp. You can do this treatment weekly or bi-weekly. I usually follow these steps to get shiny hair:
- Mix three parts vinegar and one part warm water in a large bottle or cup. I use recycled water bottles for this.
- Apply the mixture to your hair. I’ve applied this to both dry hair and damp hair. The results are the same for me, so I just apply the mixture during a shower.
- Comb the mixture through your hair. This helps distribute the vinegar evenly.
- Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes.
- Rinse, shampoo, and condition your hair as you normally would.
That’s all that you’ve got to do. Since I have oily hair and my scalp isn’t sensitive, I can easily do this treatment twice a week. If you have dry hair or sensitive skin, consider diluting the vinegar more. You may also want to do a patch test or only use the treatment once per week.
White Vinegar Health Uses
16. Bad Breath Eliminator
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is typically caused by bacteria. Bacteria occur naturally in the mouth, especially as food breaks down.
Since white vinegar kills bacteria, it naturally eliminates halitosis. You can rinse your mouth with white distilled vinegar for about 30 seconds to kill bad breath. If undiluted vinegar feels or tastes too strong, use a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and warm water. You can use this all-natural mouthwash as often as you’d like.
Cost Comparison: Tom’s of Maine Wicked Fresh! Mouthwash, Cool Mountain Mint, 16 fl oz – $3.99 at Target.com (I choose this mouthwash because it’s a natural mouthwash like vinegar.)
17. Natural Sunburn Soother
When I read that white vinegar can relieve sunburns, I was curious about the science behind it. The primary component in white vinegar is acetic acid. Acetic acid is also a component of aspirin, the well-known over the counter medication. Because of this, white vinegar can treat inflammation and pain caused by sunburns much like aspirin relieves these symptoms.
There are two main ways that you can use white vinegar to relieve your sunburn. You can create compresses using clean cloths or paper towels soaked in white vinegar. Apply the compresses to your sunburn throughout the day. You can also add 1-2 cups of vinegar to a lukewarm bath for soothing relief.
Cost Comparison: Ocean Potion Burn Relief, 8.5 oz – $3.99 at Walgreens.com
18. Calcium Absorption Aid
Proper calcium absorption is essential for bone health, strong muscles, heart health, and much more. If you’re unable to absorb enough calcium, you may face numerous health problems. Fortunately, there is significant evidence that ingesting vinegar can aid in calcium absorption.
As mentioned above, vinegar is made mostly of acetic acid. Acetic acid helps food break down properly and neutralizes compounds that prevent your body from absorbing calcium. To get these benefits from white vinegar, you’ll need to ingest it.
In my experience, the easiest way to ingest vinegar is to heavily dilute it in water. This article about vinegar and digestion suggests consuming one tablespoon of vinegar diluted in a glass of water. You can also incorporate white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar) into your diet. I use it to make homemade salad dressing, and that’s an easy way to get a sufficient amount.
(If you have issues with calcium absorption, make sure to talk to your doctor before trying this home remedy or any other natural remedies.)
19. Dry Skin Reliever
There are several causes of dry, itchy skin. Some examples include eczema, bug bites, poison ivy contact, and changes in weather.
No matter what the cause may be, you naturally want to find quick and effective relief. White vinegar is said to relieve dry and itchy skin by restoring the skin’s pH balance. The antibacterial and antifungal properties can also help relieve dryness and itching.
To relieve dry skin with white vinegar, simply add it to a warm bath. Adding 2-3 cups should do the trick; make sure to soak for at least 15 minutes. Follow up with a gentle and unscented moisturizer. You can take vinegar baths daily until your dry skin and related symptoms are better.
20. Gentle Wart Remover
Benign warts don’t pose any health risks, but many people still opt to remove them. You may notice that there are different wart removal ointments and patches at pharmacies. Most of these products contain salicylic acid; this ingredient softens and dissolves the skin cells warts are comprised of. Salicylic acid is also found in products for acne and blackheads.
The acetic acid in white vinegar works similarly to salicylic acid, but it’s a bit gentler on the skin. If you want to treat your wart naturally, you can try treating it with vinegar. I’ve read a few different methods that people use, but they’re all pretty similar. Follow these steps:
- Wash the wart with antibacterial soap and warm water. You can also use rubbing alcohol as an astringent.
- Soak a cotton ball in white vinegar and press it against the wart.
- Use medical tape or a water-resistant bandage to hold the cotton ball in place. Many instructions recommend doing this in the evening so you can leave the bandage on overnight.
- Remove the bandage and cotton ball, and wash the area thoroughly again.
- Repeat this procedure until the wart turns dark and falls off. This can take as long as two weeks.
This wart removal method is pretty simple and gentle. Additionally, the entire treatment cost is less than a dollar or two.
Cost Comparison: Compound W Wart Remover, Maximum Strength, Medicated Strips – 14 strips – $6.96 at WalMart.com
White Vinegar Outdoor Uses
21. DIY Weed Killing Spray
Do you have weeds or grass growing through sidewalk cracks? This problem is unsightly, and it may cause damage to the foundation over time.
Before you buy an expensive weed killing spray, consider using white vinegar as an alternative. Many recipes I found suggest combining white vinegar and table salt, and some recipes also suggest adding dish soap. An SF Gate article has a great recipe and usage instructions that I’ll summarize below:
Pour one gallon of regular white distilled vinegar into a bucket. You can use the regular household kind that’s used throughout this post.
- Add in one cup of table salt. Stir until all of the salt is dissolved in the vinegar.
- Add in one tablespoon of dish soap. Mix well. Whatever you already have on hand is fine.
- Use a funnel to pour the mixture into a plastic spray bottle. Store the extra liquid in an airtight plastic container, and keep it in a cool, dark place.
- Saturate all weeds and unwanted grass with the DIY weed killer. Do this on a dry and sunny day. Make sure that the weeds and surrounding surfaces are very well coated.
Within days, this mixture will kill all of the weeds. According to the SF Gate article, this is a permanent solution and repeating the process isn’t necessary. That’s pretty impressive for a simple recipe that uses everyday household products!
Cost Comparison: Spectracide Weed Stop for Lawns, 32 fl oz – $7.99 at Target.com
22. DIY Slug Killer Spray
If you have a garden, you likely know that insects and other pests can be a big problem. Slugs are one pest that feeds on plants. They often come out during the evening or on dark, cloudy days.
At these times, you can use a simple white vinegar spray to eliminate the slugs. Fill a spray bottle with a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water. Look for slugs during the common times that they’re out, and spray them with the mixture. This should kill them quickly – problem solved!
Cost Comparison: All Natural Snail and Slug Spray, 32 oz – $16.16 at HomeDepot.com
23. Natural Rust Remedy
Rust is a pretty common problem for items that you store outdoors. Items like gardening tools are prone to rust, especially if you live in an area with lots of rain or moisture. Fortunately, removing rust from objects like these is easy to do with white vinegar. Vinegar reacts when exposed to rust and dissolves it naturally. Simply follow these steps for rust removal:
- Put your gardening tools or other small rusty objects in a bucket.
- Pour enough white vinegar into the bucket to cover the tools.
- Let the rusty items soak overnight or for 24 hours. The longer you let the items soak, the easier it will be to scrub off the rust.
- Remove the items and scrub the rust off. You can do this using steel wool, a toothbrush, or an old dish brush.
You can also use white vinegar on larger objects that you cannot soak. Saturate the items in vinegar, let it sit for a few hours, and scrub. This may take a bit more scrubbing, but it still works. You can also soak an old rag in white vinegar and cover the rusty parts of an object.
Cost Comparison: Rust-Oleum/Rust Dissolver Spray Gel – $11.29 at AutoZone.com
24. Bumper Sticker Remover
Are you tired of looking at that faded bumper sticker on your car? I know the feeling. Unfortunately, picking at it usually just causes more frustration. There are pre-made adhesive removers designed to remove stickers, but they aren’t always necessary. You can give white vinegar a try. It can effectively remove pesky stickers by dissolving adhesive. Here’s how to do it:
- Combine one part vinegar, one part water, and one tablespoon of dish soap. You can do this in a bowl or a spray bottle.
- Saturate the sticker with the vinegar mixture. If you’re using a spray bottle, simply spray the sticker thoroughly. If the mixture is in a bowl, soak a paper towel in it and lay it over the sticker.
- Let the vinegar mixture sit for about five minutes.
- Gently scrape the sticker off of your car or any other outdoor surface.
- If the sticker does not come off, repeat the process above 1-2 more times.
With just a few basic ingredients and steps, your sticker problem is solved! And if you have these common items on hand, it won’t cost you a dime.
Cost Comparison: Duck Adhesive Remover, Fresh Citrus Scent, 5.45 fl oz – $4.61 at WalMart.com
25. Clay Pot Stain Remover
If you have plants growing in clay pots, you may notice stains over time. This deposit buildup is pretty normal, but you don’t need to replace your pots once they look dull.
White vinegar gently and effectively removes these deposits along with mildew, dirt, and other substances. To clean the pots, make a mixture of two parts cold water and one part vinegar. Let them soak overnight, then wash them with soap and water. Rinse them off, let them dry, and they should look as good as new.
White Vinegar Cooking Uses
26. Hard Boiled Egg Booster
There are all sorts of folk remedies for making the perfect hard boiled eggs. I’ve tried quite a few myself. While they help, they never seem like the miracle they’re touted as. That’s why I was excited to learn the science behind white vinegar and hard boiled eggs.
According to ChowHound, vinegar helps dissolve some of the shell’s calcium carbonate. This makes the shell softer, which in turn makes it easier to remove. Most suggestions I’ve read recommend simply adding about one tablespoon to the pot of water you boil the eggs in. Give it a shot next time!
27. DIY Buttermilk Substitute
Buttermilk is an essential ingredient for many cooking recipes. Like me, you may not keep it on hand. Whenever I first needed it, I Googled “ buttermilk substitute” and found the white vinegar method.
Buttermilk is acidic, and it often has a tart taste to it. Since vinegar is also acidic, adding it to plain milk makes a fantastic buttermilk substitute. You only need to add a spoonful or two depending on how much milk you’re using. Overall, I’ve found this simple kitchen hack to be very effective.
Cost Comparison: Saco Cultured Buttermilk Blend, 12 oz – $3.98 at WalMart.com (I realize this is a powdered version of buttermilk. However, finding an accurate price for liquid buttermilk online did not return results.)
28. No-Stick Starch Additive
Growing up in a Japanese family, white rice was a staple dish for most meals. My grandmother cooks rice as if it’s an art form, but I was never quite as good at it.
I happened upon a tip when I was researching methods for making fluffier rice. The Heinz Vinegar website suggests adding a teaspoon of white vinegar to rice as it’s cooking. This is supposed to reduce the stickiness and make it easier to serve.
Once again, I was curious about the science behind this tip. This eHow article explains that vinegar helps rinse off excess amounts of starch on white rice. This reduces sticking and produces the fluffy white rice that I love. This tip personally works well for me, and it doesn’t change the flavor of the rice at all!
29. Vegetable Pick-Me-Up Soak
Have you ever wanted to make a salad but discovered your veggies look wilted? When this happens, you don’t always need to toss them out.
It’s easy to perk up leafy green vegetables with a bit of vinegar and some cold water. Since leafy greens are 90 to 96 percent water, they start wilting from the moment they’re harvested. Most guides I found had similar steps, so I’ve summarized them below:
- Begin by cutting any brown spots from the green vegetables.
- Prepare a bowl of ice cold water. This gives the leafy greens the hydration boost they need to look crisp again.
- Stir in 1-2 tablespoons of white vinegar. The acid in white vinegar is supposed to help the cells of the vegetables absorb more water.
- Submerge the leafy greens in the water for 20 minutes minimum. If you’ve got extra time, the longer the better.
- Remove the veggies and rinse them with cold water.
This process is simple and effective; celebrity chef Alton Brown even mentioned it on his show. Give it a go next time you find wilted lettuce in your refrigerator.
Cost Comparison: It’s a bit difficult to state an exact price for fresh produce. However, leafy greens and bagged salads cost anywhere from $1 to $5 or more in my area.
30. Flavor Fixer Upper
When you’re cooking, small errors can make or break a dish. It’s easy to make a dish that’s far too salty or sweet. The good news is that you don’t have to toss your food out. Another Heinz Vinegar tip suggests adding a dash of white vinegar to dishes that are either too salty or too sweet.
I did some further reading, and a One Green Planet article also suggests this. It seems that adding a bit of acid – white vinegar, lemon juice, etc. – helps neutralize food that’s too salty. The same logic applies to food that’s too sweet. Start out using a very small amount of vinegar, taste the dish, and add more if needed. You may find that this trick saves the day.
White Vinegar Miscellaneous Uses
31. Cat Scratch Stopper
If you’ve ever owned a cat, you know that they can be quite stubborn. Changing their behavior is sometimes difficult, but you can use that to your advantage. Cats are twice as sensitive to smell compared to humans. Because of this, you can use white vinegar to stop cats from scratching up furniture. Just follow these steps:
- Combine a 1:1 ratio of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle.
- Spray a small amount of the mixture on furniture that your cat scratches.
- If this does not deter them, you can dilute the vinegar less or use undiluted vinegar. However, you may also notice the smell if you do this.
You can also use this tip to keep cats away from items like plants, linens, and so on.
Cost Comparison: Four Paws Keep Off! Repellent Cat & Kitten Spray, 16 fl oz – $7.59 at Chewy.com
32. Clogged Drain Remedy
Clogged drains are a huge pain in the neck. Store bought drain cleaner may be effective, they can cause significant damage. From corroding metal pipes to cracking porcelain, products like that really aren’t worth the risk.
Since I love natural remedies, I use baking soda and vinegar to unclog my drains. I was skeptical the first time I tried it on my kitchen sink, but it worked incredibly well. There are lots of tutorials online, but one by CrunchyBetty.com is my favorite. Here’s a summary of the article.
- Boil a pot of water and pour it down the clogged drain. I use roughly six to eight cups of water for this step.
- Dump a ½ cup of baking soda into the clogged drain. Let it sit for about five minutes.
- Combine one cup of very hot water and one cup of white vinegar. I do this in a glass measuring cup.
- Pour the mixture down the drain and quickly put the drain stopper in place. This allows the baking soda and vinegar to react in the problem areas.
- Let it sit for 5-10 minutes. In my experience, a minimum of 10 minutes works best.
- Remove the stopper and pour another pot of boiling water into the drain.
I’ve found that this works best on mild to moderate clogs in sinks and bathtubs. For stubborn clogs, I repeated the process 2-3 times to achieve great results. Try this out before dropping cash on a liquid drain cleaner.
Cost Comparison: Instant Power – Disposal & Drain Cleaner, 1 Liter – $5.33 at HomeDepot.com
33. Indoor and Outdoor Ant Eliminator
Ants are highly annoying pests that never seem to go away. Whether they’re indoors or outdoors, I prefer to keep them away from my home. Fortunately, it’s easy to avoid pesticides that are harmful to humans and animals. You can create your own natural insecticide using vinegar.
Vinegar does many things to repel ants: It eliminates pheromone trails and prevents them from smelling food. It also kills ants when they’re directly sprayed with it. I pour undiluted vinegar into a spray bottle and add about one teaspoon of dish soap. I start by spraying this on any visible ants, and it quickly kills them.
After cleaning them up, I spray areas where ants may go. Examples include windowsills and kitchen cupboards. It may take a few rounds of this to eliminate them altogether, but it’s very worthwhile.
Cost Comparison: TERRO Ant Killer Spray, 16 oz – $5.99 at Target.com
34. Canine Ear Cleaner
Like humans, dogs need thorough cleaning to prevent discomfort and disease. It’s not uncommon for dogs to get ear infections. Unfortunately, heading straight to the veterinarian’s office isn’t always possible. Many pet care websites and veterinary blogs alike recommend using vinegar to treat dog ear infections.
There are a few reasons why vinegar can be an effective remedy. First, it helps dissolve excessive earwax buildup. It can also kill dog ear mites, which are very contagious and infectious. Lastly, vinegar kills bacteria and germs naturally.
An article from PetHelpful.com provides thorough details on how to use vinegar to clean your dog’s ear. I’ve highlighted the main points below:
- Mix a 50/50 blend of white vinegar and water. If you have any leftover solution, don’t re-use it; this poses a risk for contamination.
- If your dog’s ear is red or inflamed, dilute the vinegar more. A ratio of nine parts water to one part vinegar can help prevent discomfort.
- Soak a few cotton balls in the mixture of vinegar and water.
- Lift your dog’s ear and clean the visible areas thoroughly.
- If you see dirt or excessive wax in the ear canal, gently squeeze some of the mixture into it.
- Repeat these steps until both ears are clean.
Many resources note that this is great for regular cleaning. But for an infection, it’s best to visit the vet when you can. Be aware of dog ear infection symptoms, and keep an eye on your furry friend.
35. Cut Flower Freshener
Freshly cut flowers are a wonderful way to brighten up any room. When I started keeping them in my dining room, I looked for ways to make them last longer. I’d always used sugar before, but I came across an article that suggested both sugar and vinegar. Sugar feeds the cut flowers, and vinegar helps with the pH balance. It also helps keep microbes – AKA bacteria – at bay.
To keep your flowers fresh, add equal parts white vinegar and dissolved sugar to the vase water. If you’re using a quart-sized vase, two tablespoons of each ingredient will work. Some people also prefer using soda as a source of sugar versus trying to dissolve sugar.
Try whichever option suits you the most. You’ll be happy to see that your flowers may look fresh much longer than they normally do.
Cost Comparison: Miracle-Gro for Fresh Cut Flowers, 8 fl oz – $11.99 at AceHardware.com
This comprehensive post makes it clear that white vinegar is a money saving must-have. Over time, you can truly save hundreds of dollars by using it. For example, replace a $5 bottle of cleaner or a $16 bottle of insecticide with vinegar. You’ve instantly saved $21 dollars. This all adds up so quickly!
If you’re a fan of frugal life changes, Frugal For Less is a great resource for you. There are several articles that guide you like this one; I’ve picked a few favorites of mine. Check out 12 Money Saving Meal Ideas To Cut Down On Fast Food Costs and 12 Beauty Uses For Coconut Oil That Will Save You $250 for more ways to save money. You may be surprised to find how much you can cut costs in every aspect of your life.