95+ Household Uses for Vinegar

With so many different uses around the house, this super item — in its white vinegar as well as its apple cider vinegar versions — deserves a special place in your pantry.

From Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things (Reader's Digest Association Books)

AROUND THE BATHROOM

cleaning outrageous messes, shower

Wipe away mildew

When you want to remove mildew stains, reach for white vinegar first. To eliminate heavy mildew accumulations, use it full strength. For light stains, dilute it with an equal amount of water.

Shine ceramic tiles

If soap scum or water spots have dulled the ceramic tiles around your sink or bath, bring back the brightness by scrubbing them with 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1/2 cup ammonia, and 1/4 cup borax mixed in 1 gallon (3.7 liters) warm water. Rinse well with cool water and let air-dry.

Clean sinks and bathtubs

Put the shine back in your porcelain sinks and bathtubs by giving them a good scrubbing with full-strength white vinegar, followed by a rinse of clean cold water. To remove hard-water stains from your tub, pour in 3 cups white vinegar under running hot tap water. Let the tub fill up over the stains and allow it to soak for four hours. When the water drains out, you should be able to easily scrub off the stains. To whiten the grout, dip a toothbrush in white vinegar and scrub away.

Shine up your shower doors

To leave your glass shower doors sparkling clean — and to remove all of those annoying water spots — wipe them down with a cloth dipped in a solution of 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1 cup ammonia, and 1/4 cup baking soda mixed in 1 gallon (3.7 liters) warm water.

Wash out your rinse cup

If several people in your home use the same rinse cup after brushing their teeth, give it a weekly cleaning by filling it with equal parts water and white vinegar, or just full-strength vinegar, and let it sit overnight. Rinse thoroughly with cold water before using.

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Remove mineral deposits from showerheads

Wash away blockages and mineral deposits from removable showerheads by placing them in 1 quart (1 liter) boiling water with 1/2 cup distilled vinegar for 10 minutes (use hot, not boiling, liquid for plastic showerheads). When you remove it from the solution, the obstructions should be gone. If you have a nonremovable showerhead, fill a small plastic bag half full with vinegar and tape it over the fixture. Let it sit for about 1 hour, then remove the bag and wipe off any remaining vinegar from the showerhead.

Disinfect shower door tracks

Use vinegar to remove accumulated dirt and grime from the tracks of your shower doors. Fill the tracks with about 2 cups full-strength white vinegar and let it sit for three to five hours. (If the tracks are really dirty, heat the vinegar in a glass container for 30 seconds in your microwave first.) Then pour some hot water over the track to flush away the gunk. You may need to use a small scrub brush, or even a recycled toothbrush, to get up tough stains.

Wipe down bathroom fixtures

Don’t stop at the shower when you’re cleaning with vinegar! Pour a bit of undiluted white vinegar onto a soft cloth and use it to wipe your chrome faucets, towel racks, bathroom mirrors, doorknobs, and such. It’ll leave them gleaming.

Fight mold and mildew

To remove and inhibit bathroom mold and mildew, pour a solution of 3 tablespoons white vinegar, 1 teaspoon borax, and 2 cups hot water into a clean, recycled spray bottle and give it a few good shakes. Then spray the mixture on painted surfaces, tiles, windows, or wherever you see mold or mildew spots. Use a soft scrub brush to work the solution into the stains or just let it soak in.

Disinfect toilet bowls

Want an easy way to keep your toilet looking and smelling clean? Pour 2 cups white vinegar into the bowl and let the solution soak overnight before flushing. Including this vinegar soak in your weekly cleaning regimen will also help keep away those ugly water rings that typically appear just above the water level.

Clean your toothbrush holder

Get the grime, bacteria, and caked-on toothpaste drippings out of the grooves of your bathroom toothbrush holder by cleaning the openings with cotton swabs moistened with white vinegar.

Next: Uses for vinegar around the laundry room