Whether your house is home to constant spills, pet messes or crayon marks, it could use an affordable, all-in-one cleaning solution. Vinegar is nontoxic, versatile, inexpensive and does a thorough cleaning job so you can feel good about keeping a tidy home.
Don't believe us? Well, just use vinegar in these following ways, and you'll be a believer.
1. Detox the bathroom. Vinegar kills germs and cleans mildew, soap scum, mineral deposits and hard water stains in one of the hardest-working places in any home. Spray vinegar on the sink and tub, then wipe. Let vinegar sit in the toilet bowl overnight before scrubbing. Make faucets and fixtures shine with a vinegar and salt paste.
2. Eliminate odors. Disgusting gym bag? Smelly raincoat? Dampen a cloth with white vinegar and wipe away the stink. Lightly mist shoes, carpets, curtains, upholstery and more with white vinegar to neutralize odors.
3. Renew the carpet. Say goodbye to carpet stains with a cleansing paste made of white vinegar (2 tablespoons) and baking soda (1/4 cup). Use elbow grease to rub the stain, let it dry, then vacuum the following day. (Always a good idea to test your mixture in an out-of-the-way spot first to make sure your carpet doesn't react negatively.)
4. Refresh your pet. White vinegar mixed with water not only keeps the dog's coat looking shiny, but also helps keep fleas and ticks away.
5. Erase crayon marks. Crayon wax is easily broken down by white vinegar and a toothbrush scrubbing. Vinegar can work on a ballpoint pen too.
6. Wash away stains. Seemingly impenetrable clothing stains can be broken up with a boiled white vinegar solution. Drop in the items, let them soak overnight, and enjoy fresh, stain-free clothes in the a.m.
7. Banish water rings. If your coffee table is covered in rings from wet glasses, apply an equal mix of vinegar and olive oil along the wood grain.
8. Un-stick the stickiness. Apply vinegar to the sticky area (even bumper stickers) until it is saturated, let it soak in for a few minutes, and wipe away to eliminate the glue.
9. Combat chewing gum. Whether stuck in your child's hair or ground into fabric, gum can be dissolved by pouring a heated bowl of vinegar over the gum-covered area.
10. Super-shine the oven. Mix white vinegar and baking soda together until you have created a thick paste. Remove oven racks and coat the entire surface of the oven with the paste (besides the heating mechanisms), then let sit overnight. Wipe the paste away with a damp rag.
11. Tidy technology. Keyboards, smartphones and screens are dirt-laden, smear-covered and littered with crumbs and dust. Shut off equipment, lightly dampen a cloth with equal parts white vinegar and water, then wipe away debris and mess (use cotton swabs for the tight spots).
12. Conceal wood furniture scratches. Mix apple cider vinegar with iodine and paint delicately over the scratches on wood furniture to reduce the appearance of scratches. For dark woods, use more iodine; for lighter woods, use more vinegar.
13. Clean up lunchboxes. Deodorize the family's lunchboxes by tossing in a slice of white bread that has been soaked in white vinegar. Let it sit overnight to eliminate the odors by morning.
14. Rejuvenate clothes. Make your kids' clothes look new for longer. Soak shabby garments overnight in a solution of white vinegar (1 part) and warm water (12 parts) before laundering according to the care label .
15. Make your wash work for you. Say goodbye to bleach and fabric softeners. One cup of white vinegar added to the rinse cycle can kill bacteria, create soft and pleasant-smelling clothes, brighten fabrics and eliminate lint and static.
16. Unclog drains. Slow-moving drain? Pour baking soda (1/2 cup) followed by vinegar (1 cup) into the drain to unclog and deodorize for an economical alternative to brand-name drain cleaners. Flush with hot water when the foaming dies down.
17. Sanitize scissors. Using water to clean scissor blades can potentially cause rusting, instead wipe the blades with white vinegar then dry.
18. Protect the beds. Bed-wetting accidents can ruin a mattress. Clean the spot with a vinegar and water mixture, pour on baking soda, and vacuum once the area is dry.
19. Ward off mildew. Protect your bath mats and throw rugs from mildew by misting the backs with white vinegar.
20. Cover up foot traffic. When your family walks the same routes in your home, often with shoes on, carpets can look worn and dirty. Dip a push broom in a solution of white vinegar (1 cup) and water (1 gallon) to bring the carpet threads back to life.