I never leave ALDI without buying a gallon of distilled white vinegar. Sure, I’ll forget to grab the bread, eggs, and milk, but never the vinegar.
Why? Because vinegar has a plethora of uses around the home. Besides…vinegar is cheap! So why not have it on hand?
Typically, I purchase distilled white vinegar because I find it’s best for cleaning. Red wine vinegar or cider vinegar are avoided because their coloring may cause staining.
So let’s be like our grandparents and great-grandparents to save money and use vinegar to get our homes and gardens into shipshape this fall and winter.
Ok…but unlike grandma, I’m not washing and reusing tinfoil and categorically refuse to save the elastic in my old underwear.
But I digress.
Here are 10 ways you want to use vinegar each week.
And scroll to the bottom of this post to enter our General Tools Tape Measure giveaway! 5 Winners!!!!
But first…..why distilled white vinegar over traditional household cleaners?
- It’s biodegradable – a mildly organic acid
- It’s less likely to leave harmful residues behind
- It’s easy to dispense and control
- It’s relatively non-toxic and stable, so safe for handling
- Its has a pleasant and even clean smell
- It’s safe for stainless steel, used by the food industy
- It can be used where environmental considerations are especially important
- It’s cheap. Cheap. Cheap. I could repeat that one hundred times
Vinegar insider tip!!
When creating cleaning solutions out of water, I always use distilled or purified water with the distilled white vinegar. Tap water has far too many impurities in it. We have a water filter that does the trick!
1.) Dishwasher cleaner
Dishwasher look crusty? Opaque with lots of calcium, limescale and magnesium deposits? Despite looking yucky, these hard water deposits will ruin your dishwasher over time.
Long gone are the days when you could replace a dishwasher for $300. We’re now looking at over $1k for a “cheap” dishwasher. Bleh.
There are lots of pricey chemically-laden products you can buy to clean your dishwasher. But why would you when you can use white vinegar to do the job?
When I know we’ll be away for over 48 hours, I layer the empty bottom dishwasher interior with white vinegar.
I also keep the dishwasher open with the lid down and let the vinegar soak on top for at least a day if possible. White vinegar literally eats away at the hard water deposits.
The final step is to run the dishwasher empty with just the white vinegar. When you open it you’re in for a pleasant surprise. The dishwasher looks brand new, shiny, and clean.
To save a few bucks on pricey rinse aids, instead, pour 3 tablespoons of vinegar into your dishwasher rinse cycle for streak-free, sparkling dishes.
Best of all, you’re maintaining an appliance that’s super expensive to replace. Kind of like changing the oil in your car.
2.) Humidifier Healer
We have six humidifiers running simultaneously in the house from October to April. This helps offset the intense dryness caused by our wood-burning stove.
Do they ever get icky, gross and gunky.
As a maintenance tool, rinse out humidifiers every few days and add two tablespoons of vinegar to prevent mold and bacteria from forming.
Running this in the bathroom with the door and window closed will eliminate mold. Rinse and run again with clean water. It’s important to renew the water each time, rather than just topping up the reservoir.
3.) Cheap & effective cleaning solution made with distilled white vinegar
Get a clean spray bottle from the dollar store and fill the bottle with the below proportions for a cheap cleaning solution.
- 1/3 part white vinegar
- 1/3 part rubbing alcohol
- 1/3 part water
- 3 drops mild dishwashing liquid
4.) Jacuzzi/Bathtub cleaner
After the birth of my second daughter, my husband and father-in-law installed a tub with jets in our bathroom. It’s amazing!
What’s not so amazing is knowing that when those jets get clogged (as they frequently do) the tub could get ruined.
Have you’ve checked out the price of jet tubs these days? It could give you high blood pressure. Not to mention the hassle of replacing a tub. I’d rather shut the bathroom door permanently and call it a day.
To cover my bases, twice a year, I fill the tub just over the jets and pour a whole gallon of white distilled vinegar in the water. I run the tub for an hour.
Then I drain. It’s that simple. But it’s a simple maintenance procedure that gives the tub new life. Bu-bye soap scum!
5.) Cleaning that showerhead
Yucky shower head? It happens over here too. Clean a shower head or faucet by unscrewing it to remove the rubber washer.
Place the head in a pot filled with equal parts vinegar and water, bring to a boil, then simmer for five minutes.
Alternatively, soak the showerhead in vinegar overnight, then rinse in hot water to keep it flowing freely.
We tried this with a faucet at our cottage that was so clogged water would not even flow though at all. This white vinegar technique saved our facet.
While you’re in the shower, pour a little vinegar down the drain for a cheap and effective unclogging after you’ve shut the water off.
6.) Clean microwave with distilled white vinegar
If you were to visit my house in-person, I would literally blockade you from seeing the inside of my microwave.
Mostly because I’ve noticed recently both food grade stalactites and stalagmites cropping up both top and bottom. Ewww.
But cleaning the microwave with vinegar is easy peasy. Put a couple of tablespoons of vinegar in a bowl with a cup of water.
Microwave on high for 45 seconds to 1 minute.
Carefully take the bowl out and wipe your microwave with a paper towel or two. Any splatters will be softened and easily removed.
7.) Toilet stain buster
No one likes to think about it let alone talk about it. But toilet stains are real. Remove those unsightly stains from the toilet by spraying them with vinegar and brushing vigorously.
Deodorize the bowl by adding 2 1/2 cups of white vinegar. Leave for at least 1/2 hour but longer if you can! Tell the family that this toilet is off-limits.
Or, wait until you are leaving the house with the entire gang, and pour in your 2 1/2 cups and hopefully several hours of saturation will work its magic.
8.) Coffee & kettle cleaner
If you get lime deposits in your kettle (we do!) gently boil 5 fl oz of white vinegar with the water. Rinse well.
For your coffee maker, fill the water reservoir half way with vinegar and run the coffee maker or Keurig as you usually would. Then run it once full of water.
The coffee maker will be spotless.
9.) All-purpose window wash made from distilled white vinegar
While you’re at the dollar store, grab two cheap spray bottles to make this simple but effective window wash.
- 3 tablespoos distilled white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon mild dish soap
- 2 1/2 cups water
Spray your new window cleaner and be amazed when you squeegee (yes I’m using that word as a verb) or rub with paper towels.
Always label your bottle!
10.) Cleaning the garbage disposal
The garbage disposal. Is there a worse offender in your house besides your teenage son’s socks?
Clean and freshen the garbage disposal by running a tray of crushed ice through it with 6 tablespoons of vinegar.
For extra good luck, add a small piece of lemon with the mixture. Enjoy this small victory!