45 Surprising Uses for Vinegar

You've got a household superhero hiding in your pantry! White vinegar can be used for so much more than adding a little tang to salad dressings and dishes. Learn how easily this inexpensive vinegar can help you

In the bathroom
1. Kill bathroom germs. Spray full-strength vinegar around the sink and tub. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.
2. Tidy up a toilet. Pour a cup or more of diluted white distilled vinegar into the bowl. Let sit several hours or overnight. Scrub well with a toilet brush and flush.
3. Wipe off a dirty faucet. To get rid of lime buildup, make a paste of 1 teaspoon vinegar and 2 tablespoons salt. Apply to sink fixtures and rub with a cloth.
Related: Go green! 11 Cleaning products you can make yourself
4. Restore showerhead pressure. If your showerhead gets clogged with mineral deposits, soak it for 15 minutes in a mixture of ½ cup vinegar and 1 quart water.
5. Unclog drains. For a natural, nontoxic way to clean clogged pipes, pour one cup of baking soda, followed by one cup of white vinegar, down the drain. Let the products bubble and foam, then flush the pipes with a pot of boiling water.

In the laundry
6. Save a garment. To remove light scorch marks on fabrics, rub gently with vinegar. Wipe with a clean cloth. This technique also works on antiperspirant stains.
7. Stop static cling. Add ½ cup of white distilled vinegar to your wash cycle. The acid reduces static and keeps dryer lint from sticking to your clothes.
Related: Do laundry faster (and better!) with our easy tips
8. Make old socks look new. Get the stains out of old socks and sweaty gym clothes by soaking them in a vinegar solution. Add 1 cup of white distilled vinegar to a large pot of water, bring to a boil and drop in the stained clothes. Let them soak overnight, and in the morning stained clothes are fresh and bright.
9. Restore handbags and shoes. Wipe white distilled vinegar on scuffed leather bags and shoes. It will restore their shine and help hide the marks.

As a beauty booster
10. Whiten your teeth. Brush your teeth once a week with white distilled vinegar. Dip your toothbrush into the vinegar and brush thoroughly. It will help prevent bad breath, too.
11. Make nail polish last longer. Before you apply your favorite polish, wipe your nails with a cotton ball soaked in white distilled vinegar. The clean surface will help your DIY manicure last.
12. Renew a loofah. Soak your loofah in equal parts vinegar and water for 24 hours to dissolve soap residue, then rinse in cold water.
13. Eliminate dandruff. If your scalp is feeling dry or flaky, vinegar can be a simple at-home remedy. Once a week, pour one cup of apple cider vinegar over your scalp, and let it sit for 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with cool water.
14. Soften your feet. Have cracked heals and calluses? Soak your feet for 20 minutes a day in one part vinegar to two parts warm water. The vinegar removes dead skin, leaving your feet soft and smooth The vinegar removes dead skin, leaving your feet soft and smooth.
Related: Save money (and get your feet ready for summer) with our home pedicure tips.
15. Brighten your hair. Remove hair product buildup by rinsing a tablespoon of vinegar through your hair once a month.

In the kitchen
16. Kill bacteria in meat. Marinating in vinegar knocks out bacteria and tenderizes the meat. Create a marinade by adding ¼ cup balsamic vinegar for every 2 pounds of meat to your own blend of herbs and spices. Let the meat sit anywhere from 20 minutes to 24 hours, depending on how strong you want the flavor, then cook it in the morning without rinsing.
17. Prevent cracked eggs. Prevent eggs from cracking as they hard-boil by adding two tablespoons of white vinegar to the water. The eggs will stay intact, and the shells will peel off more easily when you're ready to eat them.
18. Get those last drops. If you can't get that final bit of mayonnaise or salad dressing out of the jar, dribble in a few drops of vinegar. Put the cap on tightly and shake. The remaining condiments will slide out.
19. Rinse fruits and vegetables. Add 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar to one pint water. Use the mixture to wash fresh fruits and vegetables, then rinse thoroughly. The solution kills more pesticide residue than does pure water.
20. Steam away a microwave mess. Fill a small bowl with equal parts hot water and vinegar, and place it in the microwave on high for 5 minutes. As the steam fills the microwave, it loosens the mess, making clean up a breeze.

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