Cleaning Tips + Tricks


It’s so secret that vinegar is practically a “miracle solution”. It can do pretty much anything from clean, deodorize, unclog a drain, to get rid of hiccups.
For the past year or so, I’ve been compiling a list of uses for vinegar in a Word document (yes, before Pinterest, there was Microsoft Word). When the list hit #77, and seven being sort of a theme around here, I thought it was high time to post my vinegar-solution findings. Note: Unless it says otherwise, all of these tips will work with any type of vinegar (white, distilled, apple cider, etc). But when using vinegar on fabric or to clean something, it’s always best to use white vinegar so you don’t discolor the surface.
  1. You know when you leave a paper in your jeans pocket, wash the jeans, and lint is all over everything in the washer? Just add 1/2 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle, and it will flush out all of the lint.
  2. Soothe bee or jellyfish stings with vinegar.
  3. Get rid of deodorant stains by rubbing the stain with vinegar, then wash as usual.
  4. Make homemade stickers. Boil vinegar in a pan, then turn down to low and add some gelatin. Let the mixture cool and brush it on the back of your “sticker art” then cut in  your desired shape. Let dry and you have homemade stickers (from here)!
  5. To keep your washing machine squeaky clean, pour 1 cup of vinegar in to the washing machine and run the machine through a normal cycle (on hot water) without clothes. This will clean the hoses and unclog soap scum.
  6. Have the hiccups, swallow 1 tablespoon of vinegar and they will stop instantly. I’ve done this several times and it really works!
  7. Sometimes when we grill, the smoke smell stays around on our clothes. To get rid of it, fill the bathtub with HOT water, pour a few cups of vinegar in the bath and hang the clothes on the curtain rod to let the “vinegar steam” hit the clothes.
  8. Remove fruit stains from hands by rinsing them with vinegar.
  9. Put about 8 oz. of vinegar into a glass. Put a dot of food coloring on a spoon and then cover it with baking soda. Give each child a spoon and let them add the “magic powder” (gelatin) to the vinegar. The contents of the glass will bubble and change colors (from here).
  10. Remove candle wax from wood furniture. Soften the wax with a blow dryer an blot of as much as you can with paper towels. Remove the left-over by rubbing with a cloth soaked in equal parts water and white vinegar and wipe clean.
  11. Brighten up brickwork by going over them with a damp mop dipped in 1 cup white vinegar mixed with 1 gallon of warm water.
  12. Take 1 cup of vinegar and warm water and rinse your hair after shampooing. Vinegar adds highlights to brunette hair, restores the “acidic mantel” and removes soap scum and oils. Not sure what my colorist would say about this.
  13. Keep nylon hose looking better and last longer by adding 1 tablespoon of vinegar when you wash them.
  14. Clean coffee and tea stains from china with a mixture of salt and vinegar.
  15. Prevent soapy film on glassware by placing a cup of vinegar on the bottom rack of your dishwasher when you wash the dishes.
  16. Boil better eggs by adding 2 tablespoons of vinegar before boiling. This keeps them from cracking and helps the peel to come off easier.
  17. Have a mosquito bite? Rub a little vinegar on the bite to relieve itching.
  18. Clean linoleum with 1/2 cup of white vinegar and 1/2 gallon of water for extra shine.
  19. After cleaning the bread box (or drawer) keep it smelling sweet by wiping it down with a cloth moistened in distilled vinegar.
  20. Deodorize the kitchen drain by poring a cup down the drain once a week.
  21. Clean soap scum, mildew, and grime from bathtub, tile and even the shower curtain buy simply wiping the surface with vinegar and rinse with water.
  22. If you accidently put too much detergent in the wash, add a cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle. This will dissolve the alkalis in soaps/detergents and cut away any leftover soap.
  23. Prevent grease build up in the oven by wiping it with a cleaning rag moistened with vinegar and water.
  24. Remove blue toilet bowl cleaner stains with a few drops of vinegar.
  25. Clean food-stained pots and pans by filling them with vinegar and let stand for 30 minutes. Then rinse out with hot soapy water.
  26. Unclog a drain by pouring a 1/3 cup of baking soda down the drain, then add 1/2 cup of vinegar, and rinse with hot water.
  27. Relieve a sunburn by lighting rubbing it with vinegar. Reapply a few times until the burn goes away.
  28. To remove hard water stains from a faucet, soak a cloth in vinegar, ring it out and wrap it around the faucet. Let set for an hour (or two, depending on how bad the stains are).
  29. Clean brass, copper and pewter with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 cup of vinegar.
  30. Firm up gelatin (and help those molded desserts stand up the the summer heat) by adding a teaspoon of vinegar for every box of gelatin used.
  31. Kill germs on bathroom fixtures by using one part vinegar to one part water in a spray bottle. Just spray and wipe clean.
  32. De-bug fresh veggies by washing them in water, vinegar and salt.
  33. Clean and disinfect wood cutting boards by wiping with full strength vinegar.
  34. When ironing clothes, to get a sharper crease in knit fabrics, dampen the area with a cloth that’s been soaked in 1/3 vinegar and 2/3 water. Place a brown paper back over the crease and iron. Then cluck like a chicken… no, I’m kidding.
  35. Clean the dishwasher once a month by running a cup of vinegar through the rinse cycle.
  36. Remove mustard, tea, and coffee stains with a few dabs of vinegar. Once the stain is out, wash the surface/clothes as usual.
  37. Make you rice fluffier by adding a teaspoon of vinegar to the water when it boils.
  38. Keep bright colors from running by soaking clothes in pure vinegar for 10 minutes before  you wash them.
  39. Keep wool or cotton blankets soft and fluffy by adding 2 cups of distilled vinegar to the rinse cycle.
  40. When cooking with fresh fish, scale fish easily by rubbing the skin with vinegar for 5 minutes.
  41. Treat a sinus infection or chest cold by adding 1/4 cup (or more) of vinegar to a vaporizer.
  42. After you remove a seam or hem in fabric, there are little holes left, right? Remove the holes by placing vinegar-moistened cloth under the fabric, then iron.
  43. Replace lemon juice in a recipe by using 1/4 teaspoon of vinegar for 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. It delivers the acidity you need for the recipe.
  44. To clean wood with a mixture of vinegar and linseed oil.
  45. This also works for leather!
  46. Clean eyeglasses by wiping each lens with vinegar.
  47. Get stains out of cooking pots by filling the pots with 3 tablespoons of vinegar and a pint of water. Boil the solution until the stains loosen and can be wiped away.
  48. Clean a teapot by boiling a mixture of water and vinegar, then wipe away the grimy residue.
  49. Relieve dry/itchy skin by adding 2 tablespoons to bath water.To get rid of water deposits in your iron, pour a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water in the water chamber. Turn to steam and leave the iron for 5 minutes (in the upright position!). Then  unplug the iron to cool and empty the water chamber.
  50. Clean your garbage disposal by pouring a few cups of ice followed by a cup of vinegar (or just make vinegar ice cubes) then turning on the disposal.
  51. Working on a craft project and got glue residue on the table? Just use a few sprits of vinegar and it will loosen right up.
  52. Make ceramic tile shine by scrubbing them with 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1/2 cup ammonia, 1/4 cup borax and 1 gallon of warm water. Rinse with cool water and let air dry.
  53. Whiten grout (to it’s original shade) by scrubbing it with a toothbrush dipped in pure white vinegar.
  54. Remove corrosion from shower heads or faucets by soaking them in diluted vinegar overnight.
  55. Make buttermilk. Add a tablespoon of vinegar to a cup of milk and let it stand for 5 minutes.
  56. If you’ve scorched your iron  (which I have definitely done), just heat a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and salt in a small pan, then rub the solution on the iron surface (while it’s unplugged).
  57. Not sure why you would want to do this, but kids might think it’s cool… turn a chicken bone into “rubber” by soaking it in a glass of vinegar for three days.
  58. Soothe a sore throat by putting a teaspoon of vinegar in a glass of water. Gargle and swallow.
  59. Take grease out of suede by dipping a cleaning toothbrush in vinegar and gently scrubbing over the grease spot.
  60. If you have a shirt that always seems to attract lint, next time you wash it, add 1 cup of vinegar to the load when you add the soap.
  61. I have no idea if this works, but I read that you can suppress your appetite by sprinkling a little vinegar on your food. You never know, probably just because it tastes bad!
  62. Freshen wilted vegetables by soaking them in 2 cups of water and a tablespoon of vinegar.
  63. Dieting but have a craving for carbs? Take a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar mix it with a bit of honey and water and drink. It will curb your appetite.
  64. Deodorize the air in a room but spraying a few spritz of vinegar.
  65. Get rid of glass rings on wood furniture by rubbing a mixture of equal parts of distilled vinegar and olive oil. For best results, rub with the grain.
  66. Use vinegar as a top-coat paint on wood crafts for home decor items (more on that here).
  67. Settle an upset and heartburn stomach by drinking two teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar.
  68. Relive a cough by drinking 1/2 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar, 1/2 cup water, one teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and four teaspoons of honey.
  69. Clean the microwave by boiling a solution of 1/4 cup vinegar and 1 cup of water in the microwave. This will loosed any splattered food and deodorize.
  70. Make you silverware shine by soaking them in 1/2 cup white vinegar and 2 tablespoons of baking soda for two hours. Rinse them under cold water and dry really wall with a soft cloth.
  71. Clean your computer mouse (if you have one with a removable tracking ball) with 50/50 vinegar and water. Remove the tracking ball, and use a cloth with the mixture to remove the debris and “gunk”. A q-tip works really well too. Let dry for a few hours before putting the ball back in.
  72. Unclog a shower head by unscrewing it, remove the rubber washer, place the head in a pot filled with equal parts vinegar and water, bring to a boil, then simmer for five minutes.
  73. Remove decals and bumper stickers by covering the decal/sticker with a vinegar-soaked cloth for several minutes.
  74. Clean windows and don’t leave any streaks by using vinegar in a spray bottle and dry with newspaper.
  75. Make plastic anti-static by wiping it down with a solution of 1 tablespoon of vinegar to 1 gallon of water. This will also cut down the tendency to attract dust.
  76. Remove non-oily stains from carpet by rubbing the stain with a mixture of one teaspoon of liquid detergent and 1 teaspoon of distilled vinegar in a pint of warm water. Rinse with a towel moistened with clean water and blot dry. Repeat until stain is gone.
  77. Clean piano keys with 1/2 cup of white vinegar mixed with 2 cups of water. Dip a soft cloth into the solution and squeeze it out until there are no drips. Gently wipe off each key. Use a second cloth to dry off the keys as you move along, then leave the keyboard uncovered for 24 hours.

Have any other tips to add to the list?


You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Jenny @ House Full of Pretty
    April 11, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    I agree – this is an amazing product! I would have never thought to use it on leather, so thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    April 11, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    AMAZING list. I didn’t know MOST of this. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Robin @ Our Semi Organic Life
    April 11, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    wow talk about buying vinegar in bulk!

  • Reply
    April 11, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    I recently wiped up cod liver oil with a dish rag and threw it in the wash with the other towels. Of course they all smelled like fish. I put some vinegar in the wash with them the 2nd time and the smell is gone. I am constantly finding new uses for vinegar!

  • Reply
    Meghan M.
    April 11, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    I’m not trying to be the annoying person that points out typos, I just really am curious which cycle to use! Rinse cycle? Regular cycle?

    #35. Clean the dishwasher once a month by running a cup of vinegar through the “while” cycle.

    • Reply
      April 11, 2012 at 5:04 pm

      Hahaha! I’m the queen of typos! Rinse : )

  • Reply
    April 12, 2012 at 8:31 am

    Fantastic list!

    I always eat a bit of peanut butter to cure my hiccups, but we don’t always have it on hand. This was super helpful!

  • Reply
    Sarah S
    April 12, 2012 at 11:20 am

    This was incredibly helpful! You are my hero! I have been considering going “green” and no longer buying cleaners. With this list I can totally do that!

  • Reply
    April 12, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Thank you!! I am excited to try the tip about how to get deodorant stains out. I have not been able to figure it out and have honestly gotten rid of shirts because they wouldn’t come out! Hooray! I will definitely try that. Question: for these tips does regular store bought white vinegar work?

    • Reply
      April 12, 2012 at 12:38 pm

      Yep, regular white vinegar from the grocery store : )

  • Reply
    Home Remodeling
    April 17, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Wow, this list predicts a loads of efforts to me and i’m surely going to check mark the most of them 🙂
    i never new that vinegar is such useful thing.

    ~Aansy Stone

  • Reply
    April 19, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Great post! Vinegar could be used in so many different ways. Do you know how to make your home more eco-friendly….here are a few tips from us (eieihome). Let us know what you think!

  • Reply
    June 20, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    i hardly new 7 of these but 77 is undoubtedly a great number. I guess i’ve to schedule Vinegar in my daily household chores.

    Tom @

  • Reply
    annette ollivier
    September 17, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    use vinager on a paper towel to wipe down your oven after using oven cleaner,removes the white haze and gets rid of that horible smell the first time you use the oven after cleaning

  • Reply
    April 12, 2013 at 9:57 am

    I used to get bleeding noses when I was a little kid that would last for hours and my mom would soak an old wash cloth in vinegar and I’d hold it to my nose for a few minutes and it would stop the bleeding.

    I’m a huge fan of using vinegar for cleaning my house now. I keep a spray bottle of vinegar and water under my kitchen sink and bathroom sink and it works for everything from cleaning windows, floors, dog pee, everything. I also keep open containers of vinegar in our scary basement so that it doesn’t get musty smelling.

  • Reply
    April 9, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    latisse for sale cheap claire danes latisse youtube, piracetam ultimos estudios why do you need choline with piracetam, champix online co uk medicijnen stoppen met roken champix,

  • Reply
    April 9, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    latisse clinic uk latisse for scalp hair growth, piracetam for bodybuilding piracetam dosage with choline, does champix work forum champix compresse effetti collaterali,

  • Reply
    April 9, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    prix latisse cils latisse cost comparison, piracetam otc buy bulk piracetam online piracetam made from, does champix delay withdrawal symptoms champix contraindicaciones,

  • Reply
    April 9, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    acheter latisse usa latisse before and after photos asian, piracetam chemical name piracetam dmae colina, champix tartarato de vareniclina champix effets positifs,

  • Reply
    April 10, 2015 at 1:34 am

    how often do i apply latisse before and after latisse asian, piracetam suppliers in india took too much piracetam, champix in india price champix preco,

  • Leave a Reply