You know what I love most about this post? You can get an ENORMOUS jug of plain old white vinegar for less than 3 bucks. It’s harmless to use as a cleaner around your home, and the stuff actually has antibacterial properties and can curb growth of mold and mildew! The list of things that you can do with the stuff goes on for days, but here are my favorite ways to use it around our house.
1.) De-funking dish towels.
I’m putting this as number one because it is the easiest way I’ve found to use white vinegar with huge rewards. A while back, my brutally honest younger brother was over at our house for dinner. After washing his hands in the kitchen sink, he used the dish towel hanging on the oven to dry his hands. “Umm, this towel reeks!!!” It was fresh from the laundry, and he was right, it stunk. I reached for another one in the drawer, only to find that that one smelled funky, too. And another, and another… What the?!
That evening I spent some time researching easy ways to get the stench out. (My inner self wanted to throw them all away and start over, but I have to keep that part of myself in check.) I do the obvious things already..don’t leave them sitting damp for too long, wash them in hot water, etc. And I’m sorry Google, but I refuse to use my precious kid free hour in the evening boiling batches of dish towels over a hot stove. Please.
The only suggestion I found online that looked easy and appealing was to simply pour a cup of white vinegar into the washer with the towels and some detergent, wash on hot and make sure they get dry all the way. Guess what?? It worked! Like, no smell! Now I randomly grab my entire inventory of dish towels every so often and wash them with some vinegar. So. Easy.
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2.) Getting the floor super clean.
This is how I first started using white vinegar around the house, and it’s still my fave. It works SO well as a floor cleaner. Take a medium sized bowl and squirt in a little dish soap. Preferably one that smells really good. (Seriously, a little goes a long way. Use too much and you’ll be trying to scrub soap scum off of your floor.) Now fill the bowl with hot water until it’s sudsy. While its filling up with water, add a few shakes of baking soda. This is not an exact science. It’s going to look pretty foamy at this point, but watch out, we’re going to add a good sized glug of white vinegar. It’s going to foam like crazy.
Next step is to find a rag and start scrubbing! I employ the two handed method. One wet rag to scrub an area, then another rag to dry the area so no one slips and breaks their neck. If it seems too thick or slippery, you’ve probably added too much dish soap. (PS- I have heard that too much vinegar can damage real of wood flooring. We have laminate floors and it works great, but use with caution on actual wood.) This is awesome when you have little ones in the crawling stage and don’t want to worry about putting weird chemicals all over your floor.
2.5). Same mixture as above, but use it to clean out your fridge. It’s amazing. Really, you could use this cleaner anywhere. Your bathroom counter, the tub, etc. The opportunities are endless…
3.) Deodorizing the kitchen sink and drain.
Nasty smells coming out of the kitchen sink/garbage disposal are the ones I despise the most. Almost every morning after we’ve eaten breakfast, I shake a bunch of baking soda all over our sink and down the drain. About 20 minutes later I come back with my trusty jug of white vinegar and pour it all over the baking soda and down the drain and let it all foam up. Then later (ie: when I remember or just happen to use the sink again), I rinse it and wipe whatever residue there is with a damp paper towel. It takes almost no effort and keeps our sink clean and odor free. And if I have a little piece of lime or lemon hanging around, I’ll run it through the garbage disposal for extra points.
4.) Keeping the coffee pot residue-free.
In case you haven’t noticed, I really love my coffee. Along with that comes an incessant need to keep all of our coffee making equipment clean and free of weird odors. About once a month, I run a half-and-half mixture of water and white vinegar thro
ugh our drip coffee maker. Warning, it kind of stinks up your house like vinegar, but it gets the job done. After the first run through with vinegar, you’ll need to run the coffee maker a couple of times with plain water to get the vinegar smell out. I also have a stainless steel stovetop espresso maker that I hit with a half-and-half water and white vinegar mixture every so often.
There are so many more uses for white vinegar, these just happen to be a few of the things I do on a regular basis in my home. Let me know if you have a favorite way to use white vinegar in your home!