the amazing power of vinegar

I keep a gallon bottle of white vinegar in the house at all times. Not because I only eat salads all day long (I have balsamic for that). Vinegar has an astonishing array of uses. And of course, the regular household version is non-toxic (it’s edible for goodness sake!). It’s also really cheap (shouldn’t cost more than a couple bucks for a gallon — in your face Clorox!). Here are just a few ways vinegar works its magic:

Fabric Softener
Add about 1/4 cup of vinegar to your laundry load. Your clothes will be soft and won’t smell like a salad.

Deodorizer
I can attest to the power of vinegar as a deodorizer — I use it to get the stink out of my yoga mat after Bikram class. I just put the mat in a bath of water and about 1/4 cup of vinegar and presto, chango — no stinko!

Glass Cleaner
Who needs Windex? Just mix 1 part vinegar with 5 parts water and spray. It works on any glass surface.

Multi-surface Grease and Grime Remover
Use vinegar on greasy countertops, stoves, and even walls. It naturally breaks up the nasty mess. You can also use it to clean the floors. Add about 1/4 cup to a bucket of water and clean the whole house.

Mineral Deposit Remover
Wipe vinegar on the sink or bathtub to break up mineral deposits.

Weed Killer
I generally think lawns are a waste of good food growing space, and I actually like crab grass and so-called weeds like dandelion (it makes a yummy salad!) and clover. But if you’ve got a lawn and hate the sight of invasive plants, vinegar can kill them. The regular 5% acetic you can find in the supermarket should work, but you may have to apply more than once.

Be sure to apply the vinegar only to the unwanted plant, as vinegar is a non-selective herbicide (i.e., it will kill your grass if you’re not careful). You can paint the vinegar on with a brush or spray it directly, avoiding the grass around it. Vinegar disturbs the pH balance of the soil, but only temporarily; it should recover in a matter of days. Also, be sure to apply the vinegar to dry grass on a sunny day and reapply if it rains. There are also other household ingredients you can add to make your weed killer more effective like soap and salt (read about Grandma’s Weed Killer and this recipe from Thrifty Fun).

Before
application of vinegar (5% acetic acid)

After
application of vinegar (5% acetic acid)
[Images: Todd in Texas, Garden Web]

[Sources: About.com and Garden Web]

Jellyfish Sting Reducer
Pour some vinegar on the affected area and it will kill the sting. It worked for me when I got stung in St. Lucia (something bit me real bad!).

Check out 1001 uses for vinegar [via Mizkan]

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One Response to “the amazing power of vinegar”

  1. the seemingly benign white vinegar Says:

    […] it for cooking however. I use it to clean surfaces in our home. Vinegar has so many household uses (which I wrote about a while back). I got to thinking about how white vinegar was made when reading the […]

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