You might not know it, but there are 100s of vinegar uses!
Historically, vinegar has been used since ancient times when it was accidentally discovered that wine, left undisturbed, turns into vinegar.
This wasn’t heralded with as much enthusiasm as the discovery of the wine that created it. However, over many long years, lots of uses for vinegar have been discovered!
While there are no records before 5000 BC, legend has it that the seminarians a civilisation of ancient Babylonians used vinegar as a cleaning agent.
The Babylonians discovered that vinegar slows the action of bacteria that spoils food and used it as a preservative. They also used it as a condiment.
Caesar’s army’s used vinegar as a beverage. The Egyptian queen Cleopatra, demonstrated its solvency powers by dissolving precious pearls and vinegar to win a wager that she could consume a fortune in a single meal!
In more modern times, vinegar continues to play a valuable role in society.
During World War I vinegar was used to treat wounds on the battlefields. Today, white vinegar is recommended for the treatment of insect bites and other minor ailments.
Vinegar has become most popular however as a condiment on chips and as an ingredient in food and baking.
Speciality kinds of vinegar, such as balsamic and rice kinds of vinegar are becoming increasingly popular as you’ll see by their presence on supermarket shelves.
For centuries women have used white vinegar for cleaning and passed on the usage tips to their families. However, in our time” many of the great and varied uses of vinegar had been forgotten.
This article provides a broad range of vinegar uses that are easy to implement and that really work. The advantages to the purse, the planet and our health, compared to toxic cleaners, will hopefully speak for themselves.
Types Of Vinegar
There are many different types of vinegar and this article will cover the more well-known ones and the more common uses of vinegar.
- Apple cider
Using Vinegar in Laundry
For these tips, it’s best to use white distilled vinegar. a word of caution here do not use vinegar if you add bleach to your rinse water as it will produce harmful vapours.
Clean Your Washing Machine – An easy way to periodically clean out soap scum and disinfect your washing machine washer is to put 450mls, (2 cups) of white distilled vinegar.
Run the machine through a full cycle without any clothes or detergent.
Fabric Conditioning – Instead of expensive fabric conditioners, add 275 ml (half a pint) bracket of white vinegar to your rinse cycle which will keep your clothes soft.
This doesn’t make your close smell of vinegar all it does is make them soft.
Antibacterial Rinse – If you add 275 ml (half a pint) of white vinegar to your rinse cycle this will kill any remaining bacteria. It will also eliminate soap residue.
Colour Fading – To brighten your colours, instead of using all coloured bleach you can get the same results using vinegar. Add 275 ml (half a pint) of white vinegar to your machine’s wash cycle to brighten up the colours in each load.
Colour Running If you buy a piece of clothing a fabric that you think will run, soak your new garments in a few cups of undiluted distilled vinegar for 10 to 15 minutes before the first wash.
You can also add 225 mls (1 cup of white vinegar) to the last rinse, and that will set the colour of your newly dyed fabrics.
This will also get the chemicals and dust and odour out of your brand-new or second-hand clothes and increase the life of the garment.
Lint Reduction – Add 275 mls (half a pint) of white vinegar to your rinse cycle and you will notice a dramatic reduction in lint on your clothes.
Swimming Costumes – White vinegar is also great for preserving the colour of swimming costumes. Put a little in water and soak new swimwear. The color will last a lot longer even if you use swimming pools with a lot of chlorine
Blankets – wool and cotton blankets come out soft and fluffy if you add 500 mL of white vinegar to your rinse cycle.
Yellowed clothing – to restore the yellowed clothing, let the garment soaked overnight in a solution of 12 parts of warm water to 1 part of white vinegar. Wash them the following morning.
Shrunken Woollens – shrunken woolen jumpers and other items can usually be stretched back to the original size or shape after washing them in a solution of one part of white vinegar to 2 parts of water for 25 minutes. Let the garment dry after you finish stretching it.
Whiten Sports Socks Add 225 mL (1 cup) of white vinegar to one and a half litres (2 1/2 pints) of tap water in a large pot. Bring the solution to a boil, then poured it into a bucket and drop in new socks.
Let them soak overnight then, the next day, wash them as you normally would.
Odour Removal – When your laundry doesn’t get dry fast enough it gets that musty mildew smell. Re-wash the clothes adding 275 mls of white vinegar to the rinse cycle.
This also removes cigarette smells on clothes it also removes the smell of diesel if you get it spilt on your clothes. It will also remove bleach smells if you’re using bleach for stain removal
Vinegar For Stain Removal
Vinegar can be used to remove a number of stains very effectively.
- Dirt rings from collars and cuffs – Make a paste from 2 parts white vinegar to 3 parts baking soda, Scrub the stained area with the paste. Let the paste set for about 30mns, before washing. You can also remove light mildew this way.
- Rust Stains – Moisten the rust spot with some full strength white vinegar and then rub in a bit of salt. Dry in the sunlight if possible or a sunny window. Then wash as normal.
- Serious Stains on cotton washables
- Hair dye
- wine stains
These should be treated as soon as possible (within 24hrs). Sponge the area with undiluted white vinegar and wash straight away. For really bad stains, add 250to 500mls (up to a pint) of vinegar to the wash cycle.
- Water soluble stains – You can remove many of these stains, including beer, fruit juices coffee and vomit by patting the spot with a cloth moistened with undiluted white vinegar prior to washing. For larger stains, soak overnight in 3 parts vinegar to 1 part cold water.
- Suede stains – Gently brush grease marks with a soft toothbrush dipped in white vinegar. Let the spot air dry. You can also smarten u suede items by lightly sponging with white vinegar.
Vinegar and Ironing
- You can keep your iron in tip top condition by giving it an occasional cleaning with white distilled vinegar. Fill the reservoir, put the iron in an upright position and switch on the steam setting. Let the vinegar steam through for 5 to 10 mns. Refill the chamber with clean water and repeat. Finally, give the chamber a good rinse with cold clean water.
- For cleaning the soleplate, scrub with a paste made from equal parts of vinegar and salt. Heat these up in a small pan first. Use a rag dipped in cold water to wipe away any remaining residue.
- Getting rid of hemlines can be done by moistening the area with a cloth dipped in equal parts of white vinegar and water.
- Scorch marks can be removed by rubbing the spot with a cloth dampened with the white vinegar, then blotting with a clean towel.
- Want those sharp creases? Lightly spray with equal parts of white vinegar and water. To make the creases extra sharp, moisten with the water and vinegar, then place a brown paper bag over the crease while ironing.
- Shiny seat marks look terrible but can easily be removed with a soft toothbrush dipped in equal parts of water to vinegar. Pat dry with a soft towel.
- Remove wrinkles without ironing is done by simply spraying the garment with a mix of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water. Hang up to air dry. This method is gentler on clothes than ironing.
Use half the recommended laundry soap and skip the fabric softener. Instead, put the clothes through an additional rinse by filling the softener dispenser with white vinegar.
This sterilises and neutralises any residue left by the detergent.
For those of you who still use cloth nappies, soak in a bucket of 275mls (1/2pint) of white vinegar to 9 litres (16pts) of water.
This neutralises the urine and helps to prevent staining.
Adding 275mls (1/2 pint) of white vinegar to the rinse cycle also helps prevent skin irritation and nappy rash.
You can even use vinegar to clean shoes!
- Wipe patent leather with a soft cloth moistened with white vinegar.
- Remove price stickers by soaking a cloth in undiluted vinegar. Hold the cloth on for several minutes till the liquid penetrates. The sticker should then come off without leaving a residue.
- Remove water marks by soaking a cloth with 1 tablespoon of vinegar to 275 (1/2 pint) of and gently wiping the shoes.