Since ancient times, vinegar has been used for just about everything from disinfecting wounds to cleaning kitchens. We’ve posted about many great uses for vinegar already, but there are so many practical ways to utilize this inexpensive, all-purpose liquid, we can’t help but give you some more amazing tips! Here are eight new alternative ways to use vinegar:

1. Weed killer

If you have weeds growing through your sidewalk or driveway, douse them with vinegar. It's environmentally friendly and much less expensive that weed killers like Roundup. The acetic acid in vinegar is what kills the weeds, and the higher the percentage of acetic acid, the better it works. Vinegar used for cooking is relatively low in acetic acid (about 5 percent), so you may have to apply it a few times to kill the weeds. Warning: it kills grass too, so be careful where you pour or spray it!

2. Eliminates athlete's foot

The acetic acid in vinegar kills the fungus that causes itchy, annoying athlete's foot. Apply full-strength vinegar twice a day until the fungus goes away, or soak your feet in a mixture of half vinegar and half water twice a day. Don't forget to wash your socks in hot water and add half a cup of vinegar to help kill the germs. You may also want to keep your shoes out in the sun to kill any fungus that could still be living in them.

3. Stops itchy bug bites

When an insect stabs or bites its victim (you) it injects a liquid containing digestive enzymes and anticoagulants into your skin. Our body interprets these proteins as invaders and fights to defeat them, which is why we get the inflamed, itchy bumps. Vinegar is great for easing this discomfort because it acts as an antiseptic to alleviate the itching, as well as reduce swelling and promote healing. Soak a cotton ball in white distilled vinegar and dab it on the bites until the itchiness is gone. It works faster (and is much cheaper) than calamine lotion.

4. Ant remover

If you have anthills in your yard or an ant problem in your kitchen or garage, use vinegar to evict those pests. For ants in your home, spray a vinegar and water mixture around the entryways and any location where you’ve seen ants. Ants hate the smell of vinegar, and the solution also destroys the pheromone trail the ants use to get around. If the ants are persistent and try to return when the vinegar scent fades, simply reapply. If anthills outside your home are your source of aggravation, try pouring full-strength vinegar over them to get the ants to leave quickly.

5. Stops itchy animal ears

Cats’ and dogs’ ears get dirty, which can make them itchy and uncomfortable. Also, dirty ears can cause bacteria and yeast to grow which can cause further discomfort and even infections. Vinegar cleans the ears, kills any bacteria or yeast, and takes away the itchiness all at the same time. Soak a cotton ball in full-strength vinegar and gently clean your pet's ears.

6. Frost-free car windows

To keep your windshield frost free in the wintertime, use a mixture of 3 cups distilled white vinegar to 1 cup water and spray on your car windshield (don't rinse off). Why does this work? The acetic acid in vinegar lowers the melting point of water, preventing it from freezing on your windshield. It's both time saving and economical!

7. Fruit fly killer

Fruit flies are attracted to the smell of vinegar and will attempt to land on the surface of the liquid to drink it. When a drop or two of dish soap is added to the vinegar, it reduces the surface tension of the liquid and the fruit flies fall in and drown. Set out a dish of undiluted white distilled vinegar (apple cider vinegar works too) where you see the fruit flies, and add a drop of dish soap. The fruit flies will be gone quickly.

8. Smoky odor remover

My bachelor friend has a tendency to burn his dinner. I suggested soaking a towel in vinegar to absorb the smoky odor in his kitchen (my grandmother used white bread soaked in vinegar, but I find a towel works just as well and doesn't waste food). He has discovered that when he burns his food, he can soak a towel in vinegar and wave it above his head like a helicopter to catch the smoke before his smoke alarm goes off. The acetic acid in vinegar absorbs the odor, and I'm not sure why, but the waving seems to help! Whether you use the 'helicopter method' or not, vinegar absorbs smoky odors so that no one needs to know you burned dinner.

8 New Alternative Uses for Vinegar