Is vinegar really a miracle clean-all? According to eco lore (and vinegar marketers), this affordable kitchen staple can be used to remove blood stains from fabric, whiten bathroom grout and cleanse the human scalp. Some contend the non-polluting astringent can also soothe a bee sting or a sunburn, cure hiccups, bleach yellowed armpits on a t-shirt, banish coffee stains from a mug and even brighten a tired complexion. The killer ingredient is acetic acid, which destroys germs and bacteria and dissolves mineral deposits, along with making you taller and more likely to win a Pulitzer (some claims may be exaggerated). My mission was to put a handful of these allegations to the test. Previously, I’d used vinegar only in salads.
Mix 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons warm water, pour over clean hair from root to tip, rinse with cold water.
The purpose of this rinse is to cleanse your hair of the buildup from styling products. After shampooing my hair, I rinsed with the vinegar and then rinsed with water. The result was clean feeling hair, but it had no sheen, and looked a shade darker when it dried. I also had some scalp flake-age when my hair dried.
Fill box with 1/2 inch white distilled vinegar, soak for 20 minutes, rinse with water.
Though I use liners, even a clean cat box has that hint of urine. I soaked my cat box, rinsed it with water, then stuck my nose in there hoping for the best. It was like a brand new never-been-peed in cat box! It had no smell at all, no urine, no vinegar, nothing. My cat didn’t even notice. This odor eliminating power of vinegar could be used in any container with a remainder stench; trash cans, diaper pails, recycle bins.
Rub white distilled vinegar on stain, let soak for 20 minutes.
Oh, pit stains, why must you taint my favorite t-shirt? After scrubbing my t-shirt’s pits, I rinsed it with water and let it dry. I excitedly held up my beloved shirt to check the results and found two pit stains staring back at me like a pair of unblinking eyes.
Add equal parts salt and white distilled vinegar, add a splash of lemon (optional), and scrub.
I play favorites with my coffee mugs, and always return to the same one. So it pains me to see it blemished with coffee stains that defeat even the toughest of dishwasher detergents. I took my mug added a half-inch of salt and half-inch of vinegar, squeezed a half of lemon in and scrubbed it with a sponge. The coffee stains began to disappear while I was scrubbing. I rinsed it out and found the inside of my mug stain free. This was so successful and amazing I even did my roommate’s favorite mug.
After I chopped/tried to mash the strawberries, I added the apple cider vinegar and egg white and whisked it all around to create something that looked like a salad dressing. I attempted to apply it to my face, but it went about as well as trying to smear a fruit smoothie on like a face mask and ended up more like a face rinse. My skin felt refreshed and clean afterward—much like every other time I wash my face.
Add half water, half white distilled vinegar to spray bottle. Spritz on windows, then wipe.
Since I had no spray bottle to use, I dabbed a cloth in water and then in vinegar. I wiped down my kitchen window, bathroom mirror, and bedroom mirror. I looked over the results with a skeptic’s eye, and was surprised to find great results. How have I lived so long and never known vinegar and water make such a great window cleaning team?
Dip a toothbrush in white distilled vinegar and scrub affected area. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.
For this one, I didn’t have a toothbrush I could spare so I used a wash cloth. I poured vinegar on the cloth and began scrubbing my grout. To my shock and amazement the vinegar was successful at removing the brown soap scum. I wanted to compare how the vinegar cleaned the scum versus a cleaner with bleach. I poured some Clorox with Bleach on a different piece of the cloth and scrubbed the grout. The grout I cleaned with Clorox was no whiter/cleaner than the grout I cleaned with vinegar.
So while I discovered lots of new and exciting uses for vinegar, there’s one thing this miracle cleaner can’t do—deodorize itself. How to get rid of that sour smell after you’ve used vinegar to clean every room in your home? One article suggests scenting the offending liquid with the squeeze of a lemon, or a few drops of essential oils. If that sounds like too much, there’s always Seventh Generation.