Vinegar doesn’t just belong in your kitchen…it can be used in every room in the house as well as the outdoors and in your car!   It is very intriguing to think that in today’s high-tech, digital world, we’re still using a product that was discovered- quite by chance- more than 10,000 years ago.   The French called it: vin aigre – meaning sour wine.

Although nowadays we have several new varieties and flavors of vinegar, but the production process has stayed pretty much the same as ancient times…Vinegar is made by fermentation of natural sugars to alcohol and then secondary fermentation to vinegar.

The Babylonians used vinegar as a preservative and as a condiment around 5,000 B.C. and they began flavoring it with herbs and spices.  Romans used it as a beverage.  During the American Civil War, vinegar was used to treat scurvy, and as recently as World War I, it was being used to treat wounds.

Common Household Uses of Vinegar:

1. Clean windows, mirrors and glass surfaces
Cleans and disinfects glass. I use undiluted distilled white vinegar to clean our glass dining table, windows, mirrors, the glass shower doors and even my car’s windshield and windows.  It is amazing how it removes water spots and leaves the glass all sparkling with no film or streaks.

2. Clean hardwood floors
Add 2/3 cup of white vinegar to 1 gallon of warm water and use it to mop the hardwood floor.  This is a great natural, non-toxic way to clean floors, ideal for families with babies crawling all over the floor.

3. Best facial toner and mask for oily skin
Dab a few drops of apple cider vinegar on a cotton pad and wipe your face to remove excess oil.   Or mix 2 tablespoon of bentonite clay with enough apple cider vinegar to create a paste.   Apply to face (avoiding the eye area).   Wait 10 minutes then rinse with lukewarm water.

4. Add natural shine to hair 
Ideal for dull looking hair, or excess oil in the scalp.   After shampoo and conditioning, rinse your hair with one cup of apple cider vinegar.   Comb through to spread it evenly and wait for 5-10 minutes.   Rinse with water.

5. Get natural highlights and babylights in your hair using vinegar
Spray apple cider vinegar on your hair until completely wet.   Comb through to spread it evenly throughout the hair.   Sit in the sun for 10-15 minutes.  Repeat once or twice a week for best result.   Make sure you have sun protection on your skin while you are doing this.   This works best on virgin hair.  It will lighten colored hair as well but it will fade the color so watch out!

6. Detox body and eliminating body odor
If you feel like taking shower alone isn’t enough to eliminate your body odor, you probably need a full body detox.   Vinegar can change the pH of your skin and as a result it eliminates odor-causing bacteria.   Here are a few remedies for full body or partial detox:  Fill the bathtub with warm water.   Add 2 cups of apple cider vinegar (or distilled white vinegar), 1 cup of bentonite clay and 1 cup of epsom salt to the tub.   Soak your body for 20 minutes.   For stinky feet, you can use 1 cup vinegar in a bowl of warm water and soak your feet for 15 minutes.   Repeat twice a week.   To eliminate armpit odor, soak some cotton pads in vinegar and use them to wipe your armpits daily.   You will be amazed at the result and you won’t even need a deodorant.

7. Clean and disinfecting Yoga Mat
Wiping down your yoga mat after each use keeps it clean and germ-free.   Mix 1 cup of distilled water, 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar and 20 drops of Melaleuca essential oil.   Spray the mixture on your mat and wait for 5 minutes, then wipe it down.  You can add other essential oils such as lavender, eucalyptus, lemon or lemon grass.

8. Wash vegetables, herbs and fruits
Use equal parts of white vinegar and cold water to wash all herbs, fruits and vegetables.  Vinegar can also help freshen up wilted vegetables.   Soak for 5-10 minutes, then rinse with water.

9. Clean kitchen surfaces exposed to raw meat
Vinegar is ideal for disinfecting kitchen surfaces after each meat cutting session.

10. Clean/ polish gold jewelry
Use one cup apple cider vinegar.   Submerge solid gold jewelry item in vinegar for 15 minutes.   Remove and dry with cloth.

11. Polish brass, copper and pewter
Dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of white distilled vinegar and stir in flour until it becomes a paste. Apply paste to the metal and let it stand for about 15 minutes.   polish gently, rinse with clean warm water and dry.

12. Polish chrome appliances, fixtures and sinks
Use it undiluted for a streak-free shine on chrome fixtures.

13. Remove lime and hard water deposits from faucets/shower heads
Spray or if possible, soak the clogged faucet/ shower head in white vinegar for 15-20 minutes.    Rinse and you will be amazed at the increased flow.

14. Unclog a steam iron
Spray the holes with vinegar and let it sit to dissolve the hard water deposits.   Wipe and use the steam to clear out any remaining vinegar or tiny pieces of deposits that are breaking off.

15. Remove mold
Dissolve 1 part borax with 4 parts white vinegar and spray it on the mold.   Leave it for 30-40 minutes then wipe it off.  The mold and the stain will come right off.

16. Remove all stains (even red wine) from clothes and carpet
Spots caused by wine can be removed from 100% cotton, cotton polyester and permanent press fabrics if done so within 24 hours.   To do it, sponge white distilled vinegar directly onto the stain and rub away the spots.  Then clean according to the directions on the manufacturer’s care tag.

17. Deter ants, gnats and fruit flies
Ant and gnat invasions can be deterred by washing counter tops, cabinets and floors with white distilled vinegar.

18. Clean and deodorize the Refrigerator, microwave and oven
Wash with a solution of equal parts of water and white distilled vinegar.   Use baking soda and vinegar for tough stains or burnt food stuck to the oven.

19. Clean and deodorize garbage disposal 
Mix 1 cup of vinegar and enough water to fill an ice tray and then freeze it.   Run the vinegar ice-cubes through the disposal, then flush it with cold water for a minute or so.

20. Laundry and dish washing machine addition
Clothes will rinse better if 1 cup of white distilled vinegar is added to the last rinse water, which dissolves the alkalies in soaps and detergents.   It will also remove the mildew smell from old towels and will make them fresh and fluffy again.

Dishes coming out of dishwasher will be spotless if 1 cup of white distilled vinegar is added to the bottom of the dishwasher.

21. Clean and deodorize Toilets
Stubborn stains can be removed from the toilet by spreading baking soda in the bowl and then spraying it with white distilled vinegar.   Let it sit and watch the fizzy action remove stains, then brush vigorously. To deodorize the bowl, add 3 cups of white distilled vinegar.    Allow it to remain for a half hour before flushing.

22. Get rid of pests on your pets
Add a teaspoon of white distilled vinegar for each quart bowl of drinking water to help keep your pet free of fleas and ticks.   The ratio of one teaspoon to one quart is for a forty-pound animal.

23. Kill weeds and unwanted grass
Spray white distilled vinegar full strength on the weeds.   Re-apply on any new growth until weeds and unwanted grass are dead.

24. Keep cut flowers longer in the vase
Add 2 tbsp of white distilled vinegar to the water in the vase.   This will keep the water fresh which will help the flowers stay fresh longer.   The vinegar prevents the growth of bacteria in stagnant water.

25. Coffee maker machine cleaner (automatic machines)
White distilled vinegar can help to dissolve mineral deposits that collect in automatic drip coffee makers from hard water.   Fill the reservoir with white distilled vinegar and run it through a brewing cycle.   Rinse thoroughly with water when the cycle is finished. (Be sure to check the owner’s manual for specific instructions.)

Do you know of any other uses for Vinegar? I would love to hear about them!