Vinegar. It’s such a wonder substance that whole websites are devoted to vinegar—and only vinegar. In the original Latin, the word vinegar translates as "sour wine" (“vinaigre”). The discovery of vinegar—like many of the world's greatest discoveries—was made totally by accident. One day, a winemaker stumbled upon an overlooked cask of wine and, upon tasting it, found it had gone sour. Voila—"vinegar" was born! Today, vinegar can do many things known, and many more things we’re only just continuing to learn about. This post will acquaint you with some of the ways vinegar can save you cash just by doing what it does best—being vinegar.

1. Restore your old brushes 

Perhaps that "thorough" cleanup job wasn't as thorough as you thought, and now all your expensive paintbrushes are gummed and hard. Here’s what to do to make them good as new again.

  • What to do: Fill a stovetop pot with vinegar. Allow brushes to soak for one hour. Then transfer pot, vinegar and brushes to the stove and turn the burner on med-low. Allow the vinegar to simmer for another hour. Drain out the vinegar, rinse your paintbrushes, and marvel at their fresh, soft bristles.

2. Use vinegar instead of dryer sheets 

Dryer sheets can give you that soft, static-free, lint-free, freshly washed feel you love. But so can vinegar—for a fraction of the price!

  • What to do: Just pour ¼ – ½ cup vinegar (depending on your washer type) in along with detergent for your wash cycle—then enjoy static-free, lint-free, soft clothes.

3. Fix an ironing accident

Did you leave the iron on a favorite item of clothing just a bit too long and now there’s a scorch mark? Vinegar can rescue it—no problem.

  • What to do: Rub a bit of vinegar into the scorch mark. Wipe the scorch mark with a clean cloth to remove the excess vinegar. Repeat if needed.

4. Relieve itchiness from insect bites or stings

Insects—they truly can make even the prettiest day a misery! But now you don't have to itch your way through a lovely spring day, thanks to vinegar.

  • What to do: Soak a paper towel or cotton ball in vinegar, then press to the bite or sting area. Leave on for 15-20 minutes. Repeat throughout the day as needed.

5. Whiten your teeth

Today's culture is literally obsessed with having the white, whiter, whitest smile. To that end, you can literally spend a fortune on various pastes, gels, strips, brushes and even in-office professional dental whitening treatments. But why spend when vinegar will get you the same result for cheap?

  • What to do: Once per week, brush your teeth with vinegar—great for white teeth, healthy gums and fresh breath!

6. Cure your pet from fleas and ticks

There are so many expensive pet products for sale today that promise to get rid of ticks and fleas. But many contain toxic chemicals and deliver only marginal results for the price. Instead, give vinegar a chance to keep your pet comfy and safe during flea and tick season.

  • What to do: Get a bucket and fill with one quart water. Then add one cup vinegar. Wash your dog in this solution and watch the fleas and ticks run for cover.

7. Keep hard boiling eggs from cracking 

Nothing is more irritating than deciding to hard-boil your last few fresh eggs, only to watch them crack open and leak out into the hot water! Vinegar can guard your eggs as they harden.

  • What to do: Add two tablespoons of vinegar to the water. Your eggs will harden with shells intact, and when you go to peel the eggs, the shells will come away with ease.

8. Save cheese from from mold

Cheese is so delicious—and so expensive. And mold can quickly ruin a perfectly good round of flavorful cheese. Luckily, vinegar can prevent this from happening.

  • What to do: Soak a soft natural cloth (cheesecloth, a thin washcloth, even burlap or muslin) in vinegar. Wrap the cheese in the cloth. Place the cheese with cloth in an airtight storage container. Refrigerate until ready to use.

9. Make your shower head new again 

Shower heads can become clogged over time with the natural minerals in water. If your tap water is particularly mineral-rich, this may happen more than you like…ruining pricey shower heads in the process. Vinegar can restore your shower head.

  • What to do: Fill a bucket with one quart water. Add ½ cup vinegar. Soak the shower head for at least 15 minutes (more if the mineral deposits are particularly old or stubborn). Reattach and enjoy a renewed water flow!

10. De-clog sink and shower drains 

Not only are many of the de-clogging products on the market full of toxic chemicals that can harm throats and pipes, but they’re expensive. Vinegar is cheap and safe to use for pipes and people.

  • What to do: Pour one cup of baking soda into the drain, quickly followed by one cup of vinegar. Wait until the soda and vinegar produce bubbles and foam. Then flush the drain with a quart of boiling water.

11. Fix scratches and skips on your favorite CDs or DVDs

Favorite music CDs, movies and games aren’t just family gems—at anywhere from $10 to $25 a pop, they’re investments. So it can be a real bummer when a favorite CD or DVD begins to skip or freeze. Let vinegar bring your CD or DVD back to life.

  • What to do: Dampen a very soft cloth (like a microfiber or chamois cloth) with vinegar. Wipe the CD or DVD with the cloth. Let it air dry completely. Then re-insert and play!
11 Alternative Vinegar Uses: What You Don’t Know Could Be Saving You Money Now!