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Spring is the perfect time to freshen up your home, do some deep cleaning, and get rid of the clutter and dust that has accumulated over the winter. But before you break out the harsh cleaning chemicals, consider all of the uses for vinegar instead. It’s affordable, readily available, and safe to use on a variety of surfaces, making it an excellent all-purpose cleaner.
Not only is it an effective cleaning product, but it’s also an eco-friendly alternative that won’t harm your family or the environment. One of the great things about using vinegar for spring cleaning is that it can be used in so many different ways. In fact, we’ve got a list of all the different uses for vinegar to help clean your home this spring (and any time of year, really).
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Try these surprising uses for vinegar in your home for safe cleaning and deodorizing.
From removing stains and odors to disinfecting surfaces and unclogging drains, there’s almost no limit to the uses for vinegar. Plus, it’s affordable and widely available, making it a convenient choice for anyone who wants to do their part in creating a cleaner, healthier world. Check out all of these household uses for vinegar and swap out the chemical-laden products. And we’re even providing you with a shopping list for these projects, most of which are easily available at Amazon or Walmart.
Shop helpful supplies for cleaning with vinegar:
Remove the smell from workout clothing.
To remove the smell from workout clothing using vinegar, add half a cup of white vinegar to your washing machine during the rinse cycle. The vinegar will help to break down and remove any lingering odors from your clothes. You can also soak your clothes in a mixture of one part vinegar and four parts water for 30 minutes before washing them as usual.
One of the most effective uses for vinegar: repel ants and other pests.
The strong smell of vinegar helps to keep ants, spiders, and other bugs away. To repel ants and pests using vinegar, mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and use it to spray around windows, doors, and any other areas where pests may enter your home. You can also soak a cloth in the vinegar and water solution. Use it to wipe down surfaces in your kitchen or pantry to deter ants from entering.
Related: 13 Natural Bug Repellents You Can Find in Your Pantry
Clean and remove odors from your washing machine.
Though it is constantly cleaning your clothes, front-load washing machines are susceptible to odors and milder. Clean and remove them by adding two cups of white vinegar (four cups for a top-loading machine) and running it through a normal cycle without any clothes. This will help to break down any buildup of detergent or fabric softener that may be causing odors. You can also wipe down the drum and door with a cloth soaked in vinegar to remove any residue or mildew that may be present.
Combine vinegar and baking soda to unclog drains.
Before you grab your go-to name brand drain saver, try one of the uses for vinegar. Start by pouring a pot of boiling water down the drain to loosen any debris or buildup. Next, pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by one cup of white vinegar. Cover the drain with a plug and let the mixture sit for 10-15 minutes. Finally, pour another pot of boiling water down the drain to flush away any remaining debris and residue. The baking soda and vinegar will create a reaction that helps to break down clogs and clear the drain.
Apple cider vinegar conditions hair.
Mix one part apple cider vinegar with two parts water in a spray bottle. After shampooing, spray the mixture onto your hair and scalp, making sure to cover all areas. Leave it on for a few minutes, then rinse thoroughly with warm water. The vinegar helps to restore the pH balance of your hair, leaving it shiny and smooth. It can also help to soothe an itchy scalp and prevent dandruff.
Kill weeds in your garden.
This is one of our favorite outdoor uses for vinegar because it’s safer for pets than commercial weed killers. Fill a spray bottle with undiluted white vinegar and spray it directly on the leaves and stems of the weeds. Be careful to avoid any nearby plants or grass that you want to keep, as the vinegar can harm them as well. The acetic acid in the vinegar will cause the weeds to dry out and die, although it may take several applications to completely eliminate them. This method is effective for small weeds or as a spot treatment, but may not be suitable for large or established weeds.
Remove odors from your home.
Fill a bowl with white vinegar and place it in the room where the odor is most concentrated. The vinegar will help to absorb and neutralize it, leaving the air smelling fresher. You can also add a few drops of essential oil to the vinegar for a pleasant scent. Additionally, you can use a spray bottle to mist a mixture of vinegar and water onto fabrics, carpets, and upholstery to remove any lingering odors.
Clean your glassware.
Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a bowl. Soak the glassware in the mixture for 10-15 minutes, then rinse with warm water and dry with a lint-free cloth. The vinegar will help to dissolve any buildup or stains on the glassware, leaving it sparkling clean. You can also use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda to scrub away any stubborn residue on the glassware.
Remove dirt and germs from fresh produce.
Mix a solution of three parts water to one part white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto your fruits and vegetables, then rub them gently with your hands to remove any dirt or residue. Rinse the produce thoroughly with water and dry it with a clean towel. The vinegar solution helps to kill bacteria and other germs, making your produce safer to eat.
Keep your laundry colors bright.
Add half a cup of white vinegar to your washing machine during the rinse cycle. The vinegar helps to remove any residue or buildup that may be dulling the colors in your clothes. It also helps to prevent color bleeding and fading, especially in new or brightly colored clothes. You can also add a few drops of essential oil to the vinegar to add a fresh scent to your laundry.
Prevent your windshield from frosting when it’s cold.
One of the lesser-known uses for vinegar: prevent the windows on your car from freezing! Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture onto your windshield the night before a frosty morning and let it sit overnight. The vinegar helps to prevent frost from forming on the glass by lowering the freezing point of water. In the morning, simply wipe away any remaining liquid with a cloth or scraper, and your windshield should be frost-free.
Descale your coffeemaker.
Combine equal parts of white vinegar and water in the water reservoir. Run the coffee maker through a brew cycle as if you were making a pot of coffee, but without adding any coffee grounds. Discard the vinegar solution and run a cycle with plain water to rinse the coffee maker. The vinegar helps to dissolve any buildup of minerals or scale in the coffee maker, leaving it clean and functioning efficiently. Repeat this process once a month to keep your coffee maker in good condition.
Help keep flowers fresh.
Fill a vase with water and add two tablespoons of white vinegar and two tablespoons of sugar. The vinegar helps to prevent the growth of bacteria in the water, which can cause flowers to wilt and die. The sugar provides nutrients to the flowers, helping them to stay fresh and healthy. Change the water and vinegar solution every few days to ensure the flowers stay fresh for as long as possible.
Deodorize your dishwasher with a vinegar cycle.
One of the many uses for vinegar for cleaning your home, you can deodorize your dishwasher using the stuff. First, remove any debris or food particles from the dishwasher. Place a cup of white vinegar on the top rack of the dishwasher and run a cycle with hot water. The vinegar will help to eliminate any lingering odors and break down any buildup that may be causing the smell. Repeat this process every few months to keep your dishwasher smelling fresh and clean.
Remove mineral deposits from your shower head.
Fill a plastic bag with white vinegar and secure it around the showerhead with a rubber band or twist tie. Allow the showerhead to soak in the vinegar for at least an hour or overnight, then remove the bag and wipe away any remaining residue with a clean cloth or sponge. The vinegar helps to dissolve the mineral buildup and leave your showerhead clean and functioning properly.
Clean your microwave by heating vinegar.
To clean your microwave using vinegar, mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a microwave-safe bowl. Place the bowl in the microwave and run it on high for five minutes. The steam from the vinegar solution will loosen any food or grease that may be stuck to the walls or ceiling of the microwave, making it easy to wipe away with a damp cloth or sponge. This simple and effective cleaning method is an easy way to keep your microwave looking and smelling clean.
Banish the smell from your garbage disposal.
Can you tell that one of the main uses for vinegar is to get rid of odors? To freshen your garbage disposal, pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a cup of white vinegar. Let the mixture fizz for a few minutes, then pour boiling water down the drain to flush out any remaining debris. The baking soda helps to deodorize the drain, while the vinegar helps to break down any buildup that may be causing the smell. Repeat this process once a week to keep your garbage disposal smelling fresh and clean.
Remove rust from tools.
Fill a container with white vinegar and submerge the rusted tools. Let them soak for several hours or overnight, then remove them and scrub off any remaining rust with a wire brush or steel wool. The acid in the vinegar helps to dissolve the rust, making it easy to remove and restore your tools to their former condition. Rinse the tools with water and dry them thoroughly before use.
Make your windows sparkle.
We love that one of the uses for vinegar involves cleaning windows (a dreaded chore). Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the windows and use a squeegee or a clean, lint-free cloth to wipe away the solution, working from top to bottom. The vinegar solution helps to cut through grease and grime, leaving your windows streak-free and sparkling clean. For best results, clean your windows on a cloudy day to avoid streaks caused by the sun.
Remove gum from your carpet.
One of the excellent uses for vinegar for parents, you can use it to get gum out of the carpet (or hair, or clothes, or whatever else your kids stick it to). Apply a small amount of white vinegar to the gum and let it sit for a few minutes to soak in. Then, use a scraper or a dull knife to gently remove the gum from the carpet fibers. The acid in the vinegar helps to break down the gum, making it easier to remove. Once the gum is removed, rinse the area with water and blot dry with a clean cloth.
Sanitize your wooden cutting board.
First, wash the board with hot, soapy water and rinse it well. Then, spray or pour undiluted white vinegar over the surface of the board and let it sit for a few minutes. Rinse the board with water and dry it with a clean towel. The acetic acid in the vinegar helps to kill bacteria and other germs on the surface of the board, making it safe to use for food preparation. Repeat this process once a month to keep your cutting board clean and sanitized.