We just cleaned out my parents’ house to help them move. They had a case of distilled white vinegar they never used. I brought it home instead of throwing it out because supposedly vinegar does not go bad. Just in case, I don’t want to try cooking with it. So what cleaning uses for vinegar are there?
Melissa J., Minneapolis, MN
Vinegar is naturally antimicrobial, which makes it a safe way to sanitize all sorts of things around your house. The secret to its power is acetic acid that breaks down bacteria and viruses. The acid also removes hard water stains and sticky residue.
You can use vinegar to clean the inside of the fridge, your cutting boards, counters, and even your toilet. To clean laptop screens and a computer monitor dilute it with water.
Combine vinegar with baking soda, and you can use it to naturally unclog drains and prevent any smelling sewer. Mix it with dish soap to get the perfect glass cleaner and make old glass bottles smell better. In fact, you can deodorize your whole house with vinegar. But if you don’t like the odor of white vinegar, you can add lemon juice to make it smell better.
Vinegar can also help relieve the pain of a mild sunburn. If you add it to your bath water with some lavender essential oil, you can soothe sore muscles.
For a homemade shoe deodorizer for stinky shoes, wipe the interior with vinegar and let it dry.
Note, we are talking about white wine vinegar above. You could use other types of vinegar (e.g. sherry vinegar, apple cider vinegar) as well, but it would be way too expensive to use for cleaning purposes.