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Vinegar Hacks: Everything You Can Do With Vinegar Beyond Cooking

Ah, vinegar, who doesn’t love it? Sure, vinegar might not be the sort of liquid you enjoy drinking from a glass, but if you like to cook or prepare your own salad dressings, you know how great it is. Whether white vinegar is more your bag, or you have that same exact bottle of apple cider vinegar in the pantry that everyone has, you’re at least somewhat familiar with the conventional uses of this fermented, acidic liquid. What if we told you, though, that when it comes to vinegar hacks, cooking is only the tip of the iceberg?

From laundry detergent, to dandruff relief, to windshield wiper solvent, to a facial cleanser used by major celebrities, you won’t believe how many uses vinegar really has: in fact, vinegar might be the single most useful item in your house. Read and learn, and don’t forget to SHARE these vinegar hacks with your friends!

Dishwasher Assistance

Yes, even your dishwasher needs to be cleaned. Weird, right? To prevent scum, mold, and a musty smell from destroying this valuable machine, clean it every few months with a simple combination of white vinegar and baking soda. Easy-peasy. In addition, if you want to make your dishes extra clean and sterile, you can add some apple cider vinegar next time you do a load, which will help kill off any particularly hardy bacteria. Dishes and vinegar, in general, are a good mix.

Unclog the Drain

Don’t you hate those days where you are washing your hands in the bathroom sink, look down, and come to the sinking realization that the pipes are clogged? That can’t be good, right? Between gunk, skin particles, toothpaste, hair, and all the other things that go down there, the pipes can get pretty stuffed, and it ain’t pretty. Luckily, instead of using a harsh chemical cleaner, all you need to do is stuff the drain full of baking soda, and then flush it out with white vinegar. Voila!

A Better Way to Clean Car Windows

No matter how hard you might try to keep your beloved car clean and spotless, it eventually gets dirty and scuffed up. There’s no avoiding it. The picture gets even worse when you finally grow tired of that dumb bumper sticker on the back window, but don’t know how to get it off without leaving an icky residue. Luckily, to make your car windows look good as new, all you need to do is wash them with white vinegar. Side benefit? This also helps them avoid forming frost in the winter.

Hard Water Stains No More

If you’re a clean freak, you know full well that one of the greatest banes of 21st century existence are those hideous hard water stains that form in people’s bathrooms. Gross, right? These lime deposits are bad enough from an aesthetic viewpoint, but if they get into faucets or showerheads, they can impact function. The best way to fix this, believe it or not, is a white vinegar solution, which will loosen that lime right up. Who would’ve guessed?

Kill Bad Odors Fast

Believe it or not, conventional deodorants aren’t necessarily the best thing for your skin, body, or smell. That’s why numerous folks have crafted a variety of vinegar-based deodorants. Don’t think you can just rub pure vinegar on your pits and call it a day, though: some people prefer white vinegar recipes, others like stuff that involves apple cider, and there are still others who find none of it satisfactory. If you decide to go for it, definitely don’t test it out on the day of your next big date!

Sunburn Relief

Sunburns suck. There’s no denying that. They’re pretty much the only thing that can ruin a nice day at the beach, and once your skin goes red, it can feel like you’re not going to sleep again for a good few days. That said, one great way to sooth the pain and itching is white distilled vinegar, particularly if you keep it in the fridge. In addition, vinegar can help re-balance the pH of sunburned skin, which will promote healing, and hopefully help the red go away faster.

The Great Laundry Cure

Honestly, if you only knew how great white distilled vinegar was for laundry, you might keep it next to your whole washer/dryer setup instead of in the pantry. For one, if you’re trying to resurrect a bunch of musty clothes from the basement, adding some vinegar to the mix will wipe all those funky smells away in no time. Furthermore, vinegar is amazing for removing some of the toughest stains out there — especially if applied immediately afterward — including marinara, grass, and mustard, just to name a few.

Bruise Relief, Fast

Sometimes the little kid next door throws a baseball at you, and you miss, only to take it in the eye instead. Ouch. Other times, you trip over the curb. Ouch, again. Either way, it results in a bruise. The initial purple splotch is unsightly enough, but the yellowing that comes later on isn’t something you necessarily want to spend your time looking at in the shower. There are many people who argue that one of the best ways to treat bruises is to apply a mixture of vinegar and warm water directly onto the bruise. This won’t prevent its formation, but it may promote healing.

Fix That Athlete's Foot Problem

Athlete’s foot isn’t something you’d wish on your worst enemy, if only because you probably won’t want to picture that infection between their toes. Gross, right? That said, it happens, and one way to make it go away (hopefully as fast as possible!) is to take nightly footbaths in a white vinegar and water solution. Seriously, try it out. Also, make sure that when you dry your feet, the spaces between the toes are 100 percent dry. Don’t leave any moisture, or you’ll regret it later!

Dandruff No More

Getting tired of your significant other complaining that the pillows are always covered in dandruff every morning? Sick of seeing those little white flakes over your keyboard? Totally understandable. One way to fix your dandruff issues is to create a solution that is half-water, and half-apple cider vinegar, mixed in a regular spray bottle. After you take a shower, spray it onto your hair, and wash out about ten or twenty minutes later. After a few weeks of this, you should be good to go.

Keep Kitty Away from Bad Places

Cats are curious creatures. No matter how badly you might want them to stay away from that one fragile shelf or keep their claws off the furniture, they’ll do whatever they want to do, almost as if they just know that it’ll bug you. Now, admirable as this trait may be, you should know that white vinegar is your secret weapon: cats hate the smell, so if you spray it onto places where you don’t want them to go, they’ll (hopefully) stay away… depending on how stubborn they are, of course.

Paint Brush Revival

Cleaning is one thing, but have you ever tried to clean a paintbrush that got left sitting out overnight? Talk about a horrendous chore. No matter how much you scrub away at it, it seems like it’s stuck for good, which can be upsetting if you invested the money in a nice one. Luckily, if you just drop your paint brushes into a pot of white distilled vinegar, bring them to a boil, and simmer for a while, the old paint gunk should come right out.

Hangover Prevention

Sometimes, you knock back a few too many drinks, and you just that the next morning is going to be hellish. Your head is spinning. Your stomach feels like spoilt soup. Now, sure, everyone and their mother’s brother’s uncle has their own hangover cure, but if you want real results, have a shot of apple cider vinegar before you hit the sack. This will restore your body’s PH level to a less intense level, will guard against fluid retention, and make you feel a whole lot better the next day.

Sock Restoration

When socks get nasty, well… they get really nasty. A few years of use and even your nicest pair will look like something you found on the sidewalk, particularly if you wore it outside a few too many times. That said, if you want to clean the sweaty odor out of your old gym socks, try boiling them in a water/white vinegar solution. Keep them simmering for a while, and then let them stay in the water overnight. By the morning, they should be good as new.

Sore Throat Relief

Everybody knows that honey and hot beverages can help soothe the symptoms of a sore throat, but some swear that adding a little apple cider vinegar makes this mixture work a thousand times better. Basically, you’ll want to take a cup of warm water, a few teaspoons of honey, and then top it off with a little apple cider vinegar. Sip on this for a while, rather than gargling, and hopefully it should help your throat feel a little bit better.

Microwave Recovery

Yes, yes, vinegar is obviously great at cleaning household appliances, as you’ve probably gathered by now. Using it to clean the inside of a microwave, though, is something special. You know all those hard, crusted bits that coat the inside, and never seem to come off? The magic trick is to fill a small bowl with a mixture of water and white distilled vinegar, and then turn the microwave on for a few minutes. Once the water is steaming hot, it will coat the inside of the microwave, making it ridiculously easy to scrub everything clean.

A Little Vinegar Keeps Cut Flowers Fresh

Cut flowers are sweet, pretty, and all that, but come on: they don’t last long, and it’s annoying. It can often feel like as soon as you put them on the table, they start wilting into a brown mess. Never fear, though, because vinegar is a nice solution: all you have to do is add a little bit of white distilled vinegar into the water of the vase — just a little, not the whole thing! — and it will increase the lifespan of the flowers, ensuring they stay sweet and pretty a little while longer.

Rub Some Vinegar on Those Sore Muscles

Once you get into a good rhythm about going to the gym, it’s easy to get hooked. When you first start out, though, the achy muscles you develop can be a harsh deterrent. Not good! Surprisingly enough, pressing a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water to the parts that hurt will actually help take away the aches. How so? It’s because the aches are caused by a buildup of lactic acid, which the apple cider vinegar pulls out. Pretty cool, even if it is, admittedly, rather weird.

An Amazing Facial Cleanser

You know what’s great for skincare? Apple cider vinegar. What, you don’t believe it? Then talk to Scarlett Johansson, one of the biggest celebrities in the world, and someone who definitely can give good advice on the matter. Johansson swears that apple cider vinegar helps control any skin issues, or as she puts it, “If your skin is problematic or you’re having a lot of breakouts, it’s really healing. It’s a little bit stinky but if you’re not sleeping over at your boyfriend’s it’s really effective!”

Got Fruit Flies? Vinegar Will Fix That

If your kitchen is swarming with fruit flies, it can start to seem hopeless. What are you going to do, keep all your bread and apples in the fridge? Ugh. Luckily, this is yet another arena where apple cider vinegar flies to the rescue. Just pour a little of the bitter stuff into a bowl, add some dish soap, and let it sit overnight. All those annoying little buggers will dive right in and drown themselves… which isn’t a pleasant though, but at least it takes care of the issue, right?

Make Your Old Rugs Look New Again

Rugs get dirty. Sure, you can tell people not to drink red wine over your prized rug, but what about foot traffic, accidents, kids, or — gasp! — pets? While being careful about one’s rugs should be commended, when bad stuff happens, one of the best ways to treat it is a little white distilled vinegar with a lot of hot water. Seriously, try it. Not only will it remove the stains, but it also brings the bright colors out of your old yellowed rugs in no time. Just make sure to act fast, for best results!

The Wipers Work Again

Okay, so windshield wipers are great and all… but how often do they work the way that they’re supposed to? Sure, having streaky or noisy wipers is a lot better than driving through a rainstorm, much less a blizzard, without them. Wouldn’t it be nice if they did nice, clean swipes, though? Well, vinegar to the rescue! The trick here is to spruce up the rubber part of the blades with some white distilled vinegar. This will make the wipers work like new again, and thus improve your visibility by leaps and bounds.

Help Your Blood Sugar

If you have diabetes, the chances are that you’ve already heard about apple cider vinegar. If not, though, here’s the deal: some studies have demonstrated potential benefits, in regard to insulin sensitivity (34 percent) and reduced blood sugar levels, when one consumes apple cider vinegar shortly after a carbohydrate-heavy meal. Interesting, right? That said, while many people will swear by this trick, you should absolutely make sure to talk to your doctor before trying it, particularly if you already take diabetes medication.

Kill Those Weeds

Ah, those weeds never go away! While one might be tempted to spray toxic chemicals, you’re honestly way better off sticking with more natural solutions — for your own health, if nothing else. Many gardeners suggest using pure apple cider vinegar on the little green nuisances, sprayed directly on them, undiluted. Some people suggest adding lemon juice to the mix, or even soap. Others say that white vinegar works better. Whatever your preferences, though, it’ll be better for you, your family, and everyone in your neighborhood if you don’t spray the toxic stuff.

Rinse Out Rover’s Skunky Smell

When your adorable pup goes roaming around the backyard and gets himself sprayed by a skunk, the odor presents a big problem. Yes, he’s giving you those heart-melting puppy dog eyes and begging to come back inside, but how are you going to clean him off enough that he can ever lay on the couch again without making everybody choke? The acidic properties of vinegar, thankfully, will do the trick. Just use white vinegar in a one-to-four ratio with water, and scrub until the smell comes right out.

Restore Your Veggies

If you have some leafy green vegetables that are, well, showing their age some vinegar might just be what the doctor ordered. Toss the lettuce or etc. in a mixture of ice water and vinegar and it should perk up a bit.

Natural Defroster

We’ve already told you how vinegar can clean your windshield wipers, but it can also protect your windshield itself from the weather. Wiping down your windows with three parts vinegar/one part water will prevent them from frosting over.

Clean Hardwood Floors

That’s right, you can use vinegar to clean hardwood floors. Simply mix a ½ cup of white vinegar with 1 gallon of warm water, and use the solution to mop the floorboards. They’ll be looking fresh as new in no time.

Reduce Lint

No, we’re not suggesting douse your clothes in vinegar. But if you mix 1/2 a cup of distilled vinegar with your usual laundry detergent, it will lessen the amount of lint your clothes pickup.

Clean Your Washing Machine

If your washing machine is developing a musty odor, vinegar may be your best friend. Throughly deep cleaning the washing, including wiping down the rubber seal around the door with equal parts vinegar and water can help get rid of the smell almost completely.

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