If I had to choose one item that our family uses more than any other item every week, it would be white vinegar. It is a staple item on our grocery list. For this reason, we always purchase vinegar by the gallon.
The vast majority of our vinegar use is beyond cooking. We have found white vinegar to be a great cleaning solution for items around the house. Having little kids that put everything in their mouths made us switch to a white vinegar solution early on. If the kids spray the vinegar on themselves, the worst case scenario is that they will smell like vinegar or hate the taste.
Below are a list of places that we use white vinegar to help keep our house, clothes, and other items clean.
Vinegar as a household cleaner
Our son Jude, loves to clean. It seems like everytime we turnaround, he is “cleaning” the wall, table, floor, or his toys. Because we use vinegar and not chemicals for our cleaning solution, we let our son help us clean.
If you are concerned about using vinegar as a cleaning solution due to the smell, there are ways to combat the issue. For example, you can make an infused vinegar cleaning solution. If you use essential oils in your cleaning solution, you will want to use glass spray bottles. Undiluted essential oils can break down the plastic which leaches into your cleaning solution. The broken down plastic is then being sprayed around your house, which is not ideal.
Clean your dishwasher with vinegar
We don’t have a water softener, so we deal with the effects of hard water. We have noticed that limescale and soap scum can build up on the dishwasher over time, so every few weeks we throw in a cup or two of vinegar into our empty dishwasher and run it. By doing this we are able to keep the limescale and soap scum at bay. Not only does the dishwasher work better, but we are prolonging its life by maintaining it.
We also use white vinegar on our drinking glasses. Over time our glasses get spots from hard water that are difficult to get off. However, after a few minutes soaking in a tub of vinegar, the glasses look like they just came out of the box.
Clean stained and smelly clothes with white vinegar
When we first had our oldest, Jude, we were constantly cleaning clothes that had been wet or soiled. I would wash the clothes and then dry them, only to find out later that they still had a funky odor.
After hearing from a family friend that adding white vinegar to laundry detergent eliminates odor when washing clothes, I thought it was worth a shot. For us, the odors completely disappeared. Now, there is always at least one gallon of white vinegar sitting in our laundry room. Not only does the vinegar help clean stains and the kids’ clothes, it also helps keep the washing machine from building up limescale and odor.
Clean your boat or jetski with vinegar
A number of years ago, when I was single, I would go boating with a buddy of mine after work and on the weekends. It was always a blast getting out on the water and attempting to waterski, wakeboard, or kneeboard. After we decided to call it a day on the water, we would put the boat back on the trailer and help clean the boat off. Everyone who went boating grabbed a spray bottle mixed with half white vinegar and half water. We would spray the entire boat with this solution and wipe it off with towels. By doing this we kept the boat clean and free from water spots.
Once I bought my jetski, I maintained this practice after every use. It only takes a few minutes and really makes a difference. Also, it is a lot easier to keep spots and stains off watercraft if you clean it after every use rather than wait and try to clean the watercraft after a few months.
Get bright Easter Egg colors with vinegar
In a previous post, I’ve written about a game that my family plays during Easter called Egg Tapping. The main item needed to play the game is colored Easter eggs. To get the brightest colors we can on our eggs, we add 1 teaspoon of white vinegar in with the hot water and dye.
Certain things you shouldn’t use vinegar on
While vinegar is great and used in many areas in our house, I should note that there are items that you want to keep away from vinegar. Items such as granite and marble countertops should never be cleaned with vinegar. Doing so can cause etching and can ruin the finish and look of your countertops.
Also, beware of mixing vinegar with other chemicals such as bleach. If you clean your toilet with bleach and then add vinegar, you will create a toxic gas.
Most importantly, be sure to do your own research before using vinegar to make sure you will not harm yourself or ruin the item you are trying to clean.
What useful ways do you use white vinegar in your family?