Vinegar is inexpensive, widely available, non-toxic and lasts for a long time without losing strength. It's been used for centuries in food preparation and as a preservative and condiment. But that doesn’t mean it's only helpful in the kitchen. Just a small amount of this amazing multitasker goes a long way – in every room of the house.
1. Enhance Your Manicure
Soak a cotton ball in white distilled vinegar and wipe off your nails. After allowing them to dry completely, apply your favorite nail polish. The clean, smooth surface will help your nail polish last longer. You can also soak your fingers in a bowl of undiluted white vinegar for five minutes to soften your cuticles, which makes them easier to push back or remove.
2. Drain Maintenance
Drain clogs seems to happen frequently in our house. And it's not just because my four-year-old daughter tends to "accidentally" drop Barbie's high heels down the bathroom sink. I use a funnel to dump in 1 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup baking soda into a clogged drain. After the mixture stops foaming, I flush the drain with hot and then cold water.
3. Produce Clean Up
Those special produce washes can get expensive – and I'm not even sure if they work half the time. I like to use vinegar to help remove any pesticide residue and bacteria from veggies and fruits. Just mix up one part vinegar with three parts water in a spray bottle. After rinsing them off, the produce is ready to serve.
4. Sticker Removal
Price tags, decals and stickers (which regularly appear on my walls although my daughter denies knowing anything about it) can be easily removed with vinegar. I completely saturate the sides and corners of the sticker with white vinegar and then scrape it away with an old store card or credit card. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before scraping if the sticker is particularly sticky.
5. Egg Perfector
I like to add 2 tablespoons of distilled vinegar to the water when I boil eggs. The vinegar helps prevent the eggs from cracking while cooking and makes them easier to shell later. You can also add a few tablespoons of vinegar to the water when you poach eggs to keep your eggs whites from spreading.
6. Shower Head Cleaner
Tired of clogged shower heads? Just add 1/2 cup of distilled vinegar to 1 quart of boiling water. Remove the shower head and soak it for 10 minutes to dissolve and wash away any mineral deposits and blockages. If your shower head is not removable, try filling a freezer bag halfway with just vinegar and tape it to your shower head. Allow the bag to sit for about an hour before removing it. Wipe away the gunk with a clean cloth, and you are ready to shower!
7. Hair Conditioner
Rather than spending $20 or more on a deep conditioner for my hair, I just whip up my own in the kitchen. I mix 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar with 3 eggs and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. After rubbing the mixture into my hair, I cover it with a shower cap (or you can use plastic wrap if you are feeling especially frugal) and allow it to sit for 30 minutes to an hour. When the timer goes off, I rinse the mixture out of my hair and shampoo and condition as usual.
8. De-wrinkle Spray
To iron your clothes without having to lug out the ironing board and iron, make a solution of 3 parts water and 1 part vinegar. Pour the concoction into a spray bottle and mist your clothes. When you are done, allow your clothes to air-dry on a hanger. I find that this approach is not only more convenient, it's a lot gentler on my family's clothing.