Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Vinegar - Multi-Purpose Stuff!

Great Uses for Vinegar
Borrowed from WiseBread.com

  • Hair rinse - Vinegar neutralizes the alkali left by shampoos.
  • Window cleaner - A quarter cup in a quart of water makes a good window cleaner. Additional Tip: When you use vinegar in your water to wash windows, dry with newspapers. Your windows will sparkle!
  • Air freshener - Use 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 tablespoon vinegar and 2 cups of water. After it stops foaming, mix well, and use in a (recycled) spray bottle into the air.
  • Chewing gum dissolver - saturate the area with vinegar. If the vinegar is heated, it will work faster.
  • Stain remover for stains caused by grass, coffee, tea, fruits and berries. Soak clothing in full strength vinegar.
  • Corn and callus remover - soak a piece of stale bread (a cloth would probably do as well) in vinegar, and tape it over the callus or corn overnight.
  • Remedy for age spots - Mix equal parts of onion juice and vinegar and use it daily on age spots. This will take a few weeks to work, just like its expensive relative from the store. [ABL: Seriously, if someone tries this and it works -- let me know. I don't think I am brave enough to sleep with myself with how awful this would smell...!]
  • Kill weeds - Pour white vinegar straight from the bottle on the weeds and grasses that come up through the pavement. Pour it on and let set a couple of days and the weeds will die back and wont reappear for several months. This may take a couple of applications to work but is enviro- and pet-friendly.
  • Fights ice & frost - Wash your windshield with vinegar in the winter to help keep ice and frost away.
  • If you have a septic tank, use vinegar instead of harsh chemicals to clean the toilet bowl. Let it set overnight if you can; it will help keep germs down.
  • Soft hands? Spray your hands with a mist of vinegar, or dip them in vinegar and dry after washing dishes or having them in soapy water to keep your hands soft.
  • Pet Odors - Mix equal parts of vinegar and water together to take pet odors out of carpets. Find the spot, and saturate it with about 1 1/2 times the original volume. Let set for awhile then blot up. Repeat if your cloth is very dirty after blotting. I make sure to turn on a fan and open a window, especially for large spots! It can be very smelly.
  • Varicose veiens - Splash vinegar on your varicose veins. The vinegar is supposed to reduce the veins and relieve the pain and swelling. Of course, you might smell like a tossed salad!
  • Sore throat - Use 1 tablespoon vinegar to an 8 ounce glass of warm water for a sore throat. Gargle every hour and swallow after gargling. I got this from a Vermont Folk Medicine book by D.C.Jarvis many years ago. If started at the first hint of a sore throat, it always works, usually within a night's sleep. I don't mind the taste, but some children might.
  • Lice - If you take warm vinegar and put it on the hair, and also take your nit comb and dip it in the vinegar. As you run it through the hair it helps remove the nits. It is supposed to be able to help break down the glue the nits use to stay attached to the hair.
  • Icky odors - Set a container (shallow bowl) of vinegar throughout the house to absorb unpleasant odors. Works great on burned food odors. *Do NOT use styrofoam.* It will soak thru it. Added by another reader: Put vinegar on white bread around a house to get rid of smoke smell fom a fire.
  • Remove wall paper - You can use vinegar to remove wall paper. It is a snap. First remove top layer of wallpaper. Then spray vinegar on and let set for a minute or two. Then pull backing away. Scrape excess glue off wall. Wipe remaining glue off with vinegar and rinse with water. You don't have to use harse chemicals and it is cheap, cheap, cheap.
  • Vinyl floors & dust mites - Add 1/2 cup vinegar to a gallon of water to keep your vinyl no wax floors clean and shining. A reader adds: Not only does it keep the floors shiny but it kills the dust mites! great for us since we have severe allergies.
  • Meat tenderizer - Add a tablespoon to water when boiling ribs or meat for stews, and even the toughest meat will be so tender you can cut with fork or will fall off the bone.
  • Hiccups - One teaspoon to one tablespoon of cider vinegar gets rid of hiccups.
  • Calcium deposit build up - Use full strength and allow to set. Time depends on condition.
  • Sunburn Remedies: At bedtime, cover sunburns with a towel soaked in water and vinegar and try to persuade the victim to sleep this way. Younger ones, of course, will have a struggle with this, especially because of the smell! Put vinegar in a spray bottle and spray on sunburn. It soothes for quite a length of time. Just like store bought stuff. A reader wrote this: I used this on my son when his legs were sunburned. I used half and half which was half water and half vinegar. I saturated tea towels in it and layed them on his legs and he said it didn't smell too good but it sure took out the burning. You must do this several times but it works and then it gives you a nice tan.Vinegar will take the sting out of a sunburn - just soak a paper towel and apply to burn. Smells bad but, hey, if you're in pain, who cares?To relieve swelling and fluid from too much sun, mix a paste of baking soda and apple cider vinegar and apply. This reader says it will draw out the fluid.
  • Sore muscles - Use 2 cups of cider vinegar in the tub to soak sore muscles and add potassium to muscles.
  • Lime deposits - Heat vinegar to boiling point. Then poor over your fixtures that have deposits of lime.
  • Cloth diapers - Use a cup of vinegar in two gallons of water in the diaper pail to neutralize the urine in cloth diapers. It also helps keep them from staining.
  • Coffee pot cleaner - Fill the water reservoir half way and run the coffee maker as you normally do and then run it once full of water and the coffee maker will be spotless. (Well, cleaner anyway.)
  • Athlete's Foot - I read in a magazine that you should soak in full strength vinegar to rid youself of the problem Something was said about it changing skin ph so that the fungus could not grow.
  • Keep a spray bottle of 50% vinegar, 50% water near the laundry station. Spray it on stains before tossing the clothing into the washer (just as you would a commercial spray stain remover).
  • Note: A reader cautioned against using vinegar with bleach because it produces chlorine gas, so I asked about it on our chemistry guide's forum at About.com. He said that, while the mixture does produce chlorine gas, using a few drops at a time (to rinse hands or counter, as opposed to gallons) as a spot neutralizer would cause no problem.

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