White vinegar is a wonderful thing. It removes calcium and lime deposits, odors from plastic, discolorations, and stains, and it is a great cleanser for almost everything except marble surfaces. (The acid in vinegar etches marble.) For cleaning various items, use undiluted full strength vinegar, or make a scouring paste by mixing vinegar with baking soda, salt, or cream of tartar. For jobs that require soaking time, liberally soak a small cloth with vinegar, apply, and wait several hours or overnight. Use hot or boiling vinegar for extra power. Suit the application to the job… for stubborn cases, you might need to apply the vinegar more than once, but vinegar works so well it is truly amazing.

Vinegar…

  • Removes calcium and lime deposits from glass
  • Removes stains from coffee and tea cups
  • Removes odors and stains from plastic food containers
  • Cleans metal
  • Removes dark stains in aluminum pots
  • Cleans cooked-on grease off grills
  • Eliminates mildew
  • Cleans toilet bowls
  • Cleans and deodorizes drains
  • Shines faucets
  • Removes the glue left behind by labels and stickers

Flowering almond (Prunus glandulosa)

You will probably think of other uses, too, once you discover for yourself how well vinegar cleans. Just last week I was cleaning my cockatiels’ cage and tried repeatedly without success to remove a white calcium stain from the dark-colored tray. The stain would disappear when I scrubbed it and reappear once the tray dried. I suddenly thought of vinegar, soaked a cloth, and put it against the stain. After only a few minutes of gentle rubbing, the stain was completely gone and has not reappeared. An added benefit is that I don’t have to worry that the birds might have been exposed to chemicals.

Last night I used vinegar to clean an unsightly mineral stain off the inside of the touchscreen of a small handheld computer. The computer had been ruined by an accidental encounter with water (don’t ask!), and we had previously taken it apart and dried it out, but the mineral stains that were left made using the touchscreen impossible. A small amount of vinegar took the stains away immediately and allowed the electrical connections to be made, and now the computer works again.

Vinegar is a cost-effective cleanser, too. An eight-ounce bottle of white vinegar costs less than a dollar, and larger sizes are even more economical.


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Comments

Tracy

It works great for getting the sour smell out of clothes/towels if they’ve mildewed. Just a cup in a hot wash works like a charm!

Shirley (Choosing Voluntary Simplicity)

Thanks… I’ll have to add that to my list of hints.

Lois

I use vinegar and crumpled up newspaper for washing windows. The glass dries completely streak free. I also like vinegar for removing lime deposits. Our water is mineral heavy and lime was a bad problem for me until I started using vinegar. Great tips by the way.

Yolanda

I use vinegar a lot this summer when we were vacationing at my in-laws near a lake. The mosquitos practically ate my poor kids up until my mother-in-love suggested we put vinegar on the bites. The vinegar was very soothing and also seemed to act as a repellant.

Sue

I use a very weak solution of vinegar and water to clean tear stain residue from my dog’s white fur. I have found this to be more effective than the commercial products I have been buying and I feel good about it too, because I know the vinegar isn’t harmful if my other dog happens to lick her eyes. Just be VERY careful to make the solution weak and not to get any of it in the eyes.

Shirley (Choosing Voluntary Simplicity)

Great tips for using vinegar. I think I will need to add them to my list!

Frugal Babe

We buy vinegar in gallon jugs at Costco. I put it in a Downey ball for the rinse cycle when I wash our son’s diapers, we use it as hair conditioner, we clean counters, windows, bathrooms, and floors with it… vinegar and baking soda are the only cleaning products I use. I love all the ideas you have here – nice work with the computer touchscreen!

Jill

When I was a kid my mom use to treat my sunburns with vinegar. She would just pour it over the burned area and it took the sting out. Sure, I smelled a bit like a pickle, but it was a small trade-off for the relief I got.

Hannah

Vinegar is a wonderful weed killer as well. I sprinkle it on with a watering can. Harmless to people and pets with the added benefit that it won’t harm groundwater. Plus, have you priced weed-killers lately? I’d much rather a natural product. I love your website by the way so much helpful, inspiring info.

Hannah