Unique Uses For Common Household Products: Vinegar

Vinegar is a wonderful all-puprose product. Tips on how to get the most out of this resource for cleaning.

Many people write off vinegar as a stinky, sour -tasting liquid. Who knew it would have so many practical uses? Frugal homemakers knew. People who prefer the use of home remedies to chemicals and convenience products knew. After reading this, hopefully you'll know too.

Vinegar makes an awesome all-purpose cleaner. Used full strength it takes stains out of clothing, the carpet, towels and linens. Add a cup of vinegar to a bucket of water and you have a glass cleaning solution guaranteed to make your windows shine. Used as a detergent booster in the washing machine, it will not only clean your clothes, but it will soften them and take out static cling as well. If you wash your windshield with vinegar, it's said to keep away ice and frost and it also shines the chrome on your car. Pour full strength down the toilet to freshen and also to clean the septic tank. Half of a cup of vinegar added to a gallon of water will also make your vinyl floors shine. When you run straight vinegar through the coffee maker it cleans and freshens, ensuring an awesome pot of coffee. Just be sure to run a couple of pitchers of clear water through afterwards so your coffee won't pick up the smell and taste.

Even though it has a funny smell, vinegar also freshens the air. Pour a cup of vinegar into a stew pot filled with water and boil with the cover removed. Let simmer as the vinegar purifies the air in your house. Vinegar will also remove the smell from pet stains when poured full strength onto the stain. Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of vinegar and 2 cups of water. Pour the solution into a clean, empty spray bottle and use as you would any other spray air freshener.

If you rinse your hair with vinegar, it will remove the residue left behind by other shampoos and conditioners and will make your hair shine. It's also handy for removing chewing gum from hair. Warm vinegar and saturate the area around the gum. The chewing gum should begin to dissolve making for easier removal.

Here are other practical uses for vinegar:

- Rub vinegar on wood cutting boards to clean and disinfect.

- Use with baking soda to unclog drains. Pour one cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by one cup of vinegar. When the two get together they foam and fizzle cleaning out the drain in the process.

- When you combine one part vinegar to two parts water in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high, it will loosen any food particles stuck to the inside of the microwave.

- Use as a solvent to remove wallpaper glue, bumper sticker residue and the sticky film left behind by band-aids.

- To remove calluses from your feet, saturate a cloth in vinegar, wrap around your foot and leave on overnight. (A piece of bread soaked in vinegar is said to work as well.)

- Drink a tablespoon of vinegar to rid yourself of hiccups.

- For a sore throat remedy, mix one tablespoon of vinegar in a glass of warm water and gargle. After gargling, drink the vinegar solution. Repeat often throughout the day.

- Pour vinegar in the cracks in your sidewalk and between bricks to kill off grass and weeds growing there.

- Use as a meat tenderizer. Add to soups, stews or marinades.

- Pour in the water when soaking dry beans or peas over night. You won't have as much gas after eating.

- A couple of teaspoons of vinegar in pasta or rice water helps to reduce starch.

- Soak your showerhead in vinegar to reduce mineral deposits.

- Spray around doorways and windowsills to repel ants.

- Apply to insect bites and stings to soothe and stop itching.

- Add two to four tablespoons to bath water to soften dry skin.

- Use after shampooing to fight dandruff.

- Boil vinegar and water in pots and kettles to remove stains.

- Soak rusty nuts, bolts and other small parts in full strength vinegar to remove rust.

As you can see, a large bottle of vinegar can serve many purposes. It can be used to clean, eliminate odors and serve medicinal purposes. The next time you're making up a shopping list, chances are, you can cross off several items and just add a gallon of vinegar instead.

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