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 GARAGE

tools

Get rid of rust

If you want to clean up those rusted old tools you recently unearthed in your basement or picked up at a tag sale, soak them in full-strength white vinegar for several days. The same treatment is equally effective at removing the rust from corroded nuts and bolts. And you can pour vinegar on rusted hinges and screws to loosen them up for removal.

Disinfect air-conditioner and humidifier filters

An air-conditioner or humidifier filter can quickly become inundated with dust, soot, pet dander, and even potentially harmful bacteria. Every 10 days or so, fill a bucket with equal parts white vinegar and warm water and let the filter soak in the solution for an hour, then simply squeeze it dry before using. If your filters are particularly dirty, let them soak overnight. You can also keep them clean by periodically wiping them down with full strength vinegar.

Keep the paint on your cement floors

Painted cement floors have a tendency to peel after a while. But you can keep the paint stuck to the cement longer by giving the floor an initial coat of white vinegar before you paint it. Wait until the vinegar has dried, then begin painting. This same technique will also help keep paint affixed to galvanized metal.

Revive your paintbrushes

To remove dried-on paint from a synthetic-bristle paintbrush, soak it in full-strength white vinegar until the paint dissolves and the bristles are soft and pliable, then wash in hot, soapy water. Does a paintbrush seem beyond hope? Before you toss it, try boiling it in 1-2 cups vinegar for 10 minutes, followed by a thorough washing in soapy water.

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