Cheap Household Tips: Ten Ways to Use White Vinegar

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A bottle of white vinegar is an inexpensive household helper. Not only is it an excellent cleaner that kills most mold and germs, there many ways to use vinegar including killing weeds, removing stickers, cleaning stinky lunch boxes, deodorizing drains, cleaning the coffee maker, and even clearing the air in a smoke-filled room.

Try these money-saving household tips using white vinegar-- all while avoiding harsh chemicals.

COFFEE MAKER: Getting rid of stains in your coffee maker is easy when you fill the reservoir with one part white vinegar and two parts water. Set the coffee maker to brew and you will have a clean coffee maker.

WILTED VEGETABLES: Soggy, leafy vegetables (such as celery or leafy green lettuce) will become perkier if you soak them in two cups of cold water mixed with one tablespoon of white vinegar for ten minutes. Rinse well, dry and serve!

DEODORIZE DRAINS: Using a funnel, pour 1/2 cup baking soda quickly followed by 1 cup of white vinegar down your sink or tub drain. Once the foaming stops (kids think this is cool), flush with hot water. Wait about five minutes and flush the drain with cold water. Say good-bye to bacteria and minor blockages.

KILL WEEDS: If you have weeds or grass growing in between bricks or pavers on your walkway, pour vinegar on them. Weeds will be killed by the vinegar in one application. Get an empty spray bottle to keep the vinegar handy in the garage or shed.

LAUNDRY: Vinegar will help keep clothing and towels from losing color. Soak them in one part vinegar and one part cold water for fifteen minutes before you wash them. Stains caused by spaghetti sauce, barbecue sauce, ketchup or mustard will vanish if you soak them in equal parts of water and vinegar as soon as possible after the clothing is stained. Soak for thirty minutes and then wash as usual.

LUNCH BOXES: Children’s vinyl lunch boxes take on a not-so-pleasant odor if they aren’t cleaned frequently.  Soak a slice of white bread in a cup of white vinegar. Stick that wet bread right in the lunch box and keep there overnight. Wake up to  a fresher-smelling lunch box in the morning.

SMOKE FILLED ROOM: Did you burn dinner again? Get rid of the smoky smell by putting a small bowl of vinegar in the room. It will absorb the odor.

GARBAGE DISPOSAL: Clean your garbage disposal by placing several frozen vinegar ice cubes (put vinegar, full strength, in ice cube tray and freeze) down the garbage disposal. Run cold water while and turn on the garbage disposal.

STICKERS and DECALS: Remove decals and stickers from walls or doors by soaking a clean sponge in white vinegar and saturating the sticker or decal for several minutes. Peel off sticker. Repeat if all of the sticker does not come off.

WATER RINGS: If you forgot to use a coaster on a wood table, remove the  white rings left behind by wet glasses with a 1:1 mixture of vinegar and olive oil. Rub mixture onto the stain with a clean cloth (like an t-shirt) in the direction of the wood grain. Use a dry cloth to shine the wood up and say “see ya’ later” to the water rings.

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