Check your kitchen pantry and you will probably find a bottle of vinegar. While this substance can add much-needed tang to favorite recipes and even improve the leavening function of some baking ingredients, its power extends far beyond the kitchen.
Many are surprised upon learning how much vinegar can do. A sour-tasting liquid that contains acetic acid, vinegar can be used as a cleaning product and an influential ingredient in many recipes. Vinegar also is relatively inexpensive, making it a cost-effective home staple.
If you are ready to get more from that versatile vinegar in your kitchen pantry, explore the following ways to put it to use.
Vinegar is an effective cleaning fluid, perhaps best known for producing streak-free windows. Vinegar also can dissolve dirt from painted walls and remove grime from woodwork.
By boiling 1⁄4 cup of white distilled vinegar in the microwave with a cup of water, you can loosen splattered-on food and deodorize the appliance. Vinegar also can be used to deodorize garbage disposals, coffee makers and kitchen drains. It's an effective means to removing pet odors from carpeting as well.
Around the bathroom, use vinegar to remove soap scum film from shower doors and tile surfaces. Remove stubborn toilet bowl stains as well. Corrosion and hard water can clog showerheads, and by soaking the shower nozzle in vinegar overnight, you can dislodge any material.
You can rely on vinegar when cleaning up around your home office as well. Vinegar can help clean sticky scissor blades or remove ballpoint-pen marks from surfaces. A vinegar-and-water solution can be used to clean keyboards and other electronic equipment. Apply with a damp cloth rather than spraying the solution directly onto the electronics.
Lawn and garden
Vinegar makes an effective weed deterrent and can kill grass that grows between the cracks on sidewalks and driveways.
Acid-loving plants, such as rhododendrons or azaleas, can benefit from a little vinegar mixed in when watering.
If you want to keep ants at bay, use vinegar when cleaning outdoor patio furniture or spray it around areas that are susceptible to ant infestations. You may find the ants steer clear of the smell.
Health and beauty
Some people say that vinegar can be used as an appetite suppressant. Using it on prepared foods may help you to eat less.
Vinegar is handy for relieving the pains associated with sunburns and jellyfish stings. Dot irritated areas with vinegar to relieve pain and itching.
Because vinegar can act as an antibacterial, gargling it can alleviate some throat ailments. Even if it can't prevent illness, a vinegar gargle can soothe throat soreness. Apple cider vinegar also may help soothe an upset stomach. Use two teaspoons of the vinegar to one cup of water.
Some people have used vinegar to soften skin and remove corns from feet. It also may dissolve warts. Be sure to check with a doctor before using vinegar to verify its safety with regard to your particular situation.
In addition to each of these uses, vinegar is handy in the laundry room, helping to remove stains and rinse detergents from fabrics more easily.