Frugal Household Hints: Vinegar is sweet

Vinegar is the cheapest household cleaner around. Nothing does a better job of cutting through a film of grease.

1. Put vinegar in a squirt bottle (you can dilute it about 50-50 with water). Spray the kitchen counter and wipe dry with a soft cloth or paper towel.
2. Spray mirrors or windows with vinegar. Wipe dry with a microfiber cloth.
3. Pour about a cupful of vinegar into the dishwasher before adding detergent and running the cleaning cycle. This will eliminate hardwater film, especially if you use an enzyme detergent.
4. Pour 50-50 vinegar and water into your steam iron. Let it sit for an hour. Then turn the iron to “Linen,” hold it over the sink, and squirt steam out of it until the reservoir is mostly empty. Drain; refill with plain water, and drain again. After the iron is cool, wipe the sole clean.
5. Soak a paper towel or small rag with vinegar. Wrap it around a calcium-crusted spigot. Layer a piece of plastic wrap over it and secure with a rubber band or wire tie. Let stand for several hours. Remove vinegar wrap and use a plastic scrubber to clean off mineral gunk. (Do not try this on fancy finishes!)
6. To polish copper: first put on a pair of rubber gloves. Wet tarnished copper with vinegar. Sprinkle with salt. Rub with a sponge or rag. Rinse well. (Do not even think of trying this on silver!)

Got other uses for vinegar? Please share!

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susan marcero February 10, 2010 at 11:00 am

pour 1 cup vinegar in the bath water when you have a cold. It lowers your ph and you get rid or the cold.

Marc February 10, 2010 at 11:00 am

Put a half box (small box) of baking soda in the garbage disposal and then pour a half bottle of vinegar and watch the show. After the bubbly volcano is over, rinse with hot water and look inside your G.Disposal..Like new and it doesn’;t smell

frugalscholar February 10, 2010 at 11:29 am

Microfiber cloths will clean lots of things w/out anything other than water–sometimes, even water isn’t necessary.

And, I don’t use vinegar for ironing–I don’t iron.

S. Williams February 11, 2010 at 11:46 am

Mix a couple squirt bottles half and half with vinegar and water, put one in the kitchen, one in the bathroom. The kitchen bottle can be used to clean fruit and vegetables; tests show this mixture removes as much dirt/pesticide residue etc. as the costly commercial brand. The one in the bathroom can be used to retard mold. Once the stall and wall have been cleaned, just squirt down the surface every time you take a shower to keep mold at bay.

You can also add 1/2 to one cup of white vinegar to the rinse dispenser on your washer; while it rinses beautifully, just be aware it’s a mild acid and may dull colors. For whites, it’s great.

celanire August 4, 2010 at 3:54 pm

When washing a new textile with several colors or a dark color, put a cup of white vinegar in the wash water. It helps set the colors and keeps them from running into each other. I was told to do this by a rug cleaner and it kept the colors in a small hooked rug in place. The rinse water was free of color and I didn’t need to repeat the addition for later washes.

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