Plain old simple and cheap vinegar is one of the most underrated household products that most of us keep buried in the back of our cupboards. Once we discovered how many amazing DIY uses there are for vinegar, we now buy it in bulk at Costco and save a crazy amount of money not having to buy chemical-laden commercial cleaners.
There are so many surprising household uses for vinegar!
The inspiration for this post on DIY household vinegar ideas surprisingly came from my 17-year-old son after he asked me about a vinegar hack he’d heard about at school.
Yep, that’s right….my teenage son didn’t come home talking about drugs or parties, he came home talking about interesting uses for vinegar…it was basically a proud mom moment haha.
We have two adorable shedding yellow labs that unfortunately shed way too much, the vinegar hack that my son heard about at school (and I instantly went to research of course) solves this little problem…
#1 ~ Reduce Dog Hair Sticking to Your Clothes
By running a vinegar rinse cycle in your washing machine, the vinegar reduces the static cling to your laundry which causes the dog hair to stick to your clothes in the first place. Running a 1/2 cup of vinegar through your empty washing machine is what Clean My Space recommends. If I can ever get to the bottom of our massive load of laundry, I’ll be testing out this vinegar hack so my son can report back to his buddies at school haha.
Just make sure you’re also cleaning your lint trap regularly so you don’t send the dog hair back through your next wash cycle.
If dog hair is a huge problem in your home, like it was for us too, once we switched to this awesome dog hair brush, the amount of dog hair in our home literally went down 80-90%.
#2 ~ Clean Your Washing Machine
By doing vinegar hack #1, this actually accomplishes two amazing things, it reduces static cling AND it sanitizes your washing machine.
If you’re specifically just trying to clean your washing machine, I use an extra hot wash cycle, add in 3/4 of a cup of vinegar (or until the fill line if it’s less than 3/4c) to the bleach dispenser and run a full cycle with no clothes in the washer. If your washing machine has an extra rinse cycle option, I highly recommend adding that just to make sure there’s no vinegar lingering before washing your clothes.
#3 ~ Get the Mildew Smell Out of Towels
I promise, this the last hack that relates to your washing machine haha. Like most of us, when your towels start getting a yucky odor, do you just keep using them anyways or do you replace them?
By following this handy vinegar trick by Holly at Spend with Pennies, you can get your old towels smelling fresh again by buying yourself a $2 bottle of vinegar instead of spending $100-$200 bucks on new towels! And your towels are left smelling odorless and not like vinegar at all.
#4 ~ Weed Killer
This is my most favorite vinegar hack, it’s been a lifesaver for killing the weeds in our gravel paths and for tacking the weeds that pop-up in our driveway cracks.
Having kids, pets, a vegetable garden and trying to do our part to save the honey bees, using chemicals isn’t something we want to use in our yard.
Here’s the super inexpensive and easy vinegar-based DIY weed killer recipe that we use to keep our paths weed free!
4 cups vinegar
4 cups water
1 T Dawn dishsoap (or another type of biodegradible soap)
After making your own DIY vinegar cleaning solutions, you can easily store your cleaning solution in inexpensive high-quality spray bottles. If you aren’t a fan of the vinegar odor, many people add a few drops of their favorite essential oils like lavender to make the scent customizable.
Do not use this weed killer in your flower beds or to remove weeds in your grass! Vinegar kills everything around it and it’ll kill your pretty little plants and flowers too. Just use this in places where you don’t want weeds at all.
Image from our garden 🙂
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#5 ~ Gets Rid of Burnt Coffee Taste
While we should disinfect our coffee pots on a monthly basis, when your coffee starts to taste burnt, that’s when you know it’s time to do a vinegar rinse through the coffee pot. Or as Gina from The Kitchn’s husband said to her, “this cup of coffee tastes like foot.” Be sure to read Gina’s post on all the steps you should take to sanitize your coffee pot and get your coffee tasting great again.
#6 ~ Kills Mold
If you live in a damp location like we do, an occasional pop-of bathroom mildew isn’t uncommon. While people usually grab for the harsh chemicals or household bleach, your basic vinegar solution actually does a better job! Bleach only kills mold on the surface, whereas vinegar completely removes over 80% of all common household molds.
#7 ~ Homemade Shower & Bathroom Cleaner
Jillie from One Good Thing makes a super powerful DIY bathroom cleaner that’ll do the job well, and you’ll feel so much better saving money compared to using harsh chemicals.
#8 ~ Clean and Sanitize Your Shower Head
Have you EVER cleaned your shower head? Yeah, me neither. Actually, if you stop and think about it, how often do we clean the things in our lives that are meant to clean us or clean for us??
That being said, if you have problems with hard water stains or simply are all of a sudden grossed out at the thought of how many germs are living in your shower head, The NY Melrose Family has an easy solution!
Word of caution– I only recommend you try this if your shower head is something like black plastic or stainless steel. If you have an inexpensive shower head that’s basically a “steel look” coating, vinegar will deteriorate the finish.
Image by the NY Melrose Family
# 9 ~ Gets Rid of Kitchen Drain Stink
For those times you smell a foul odor from our kitchen sink, neutralize the yucky odor by pouring either a 1/2 cup of vinegar down your drain. Lemon juice also works great for this! The key is using something acidic. Jillie, by One Good Thing, combines the vinegar and lemon and makes these amazing freezer cubes! How clever!
Image credit to One Good Thing
#10 ~ Streak-Free Glass Cleaner
Vinegar also makes a fantastic streak-free window cleaning solution! Shannon from Homemade Lovely shared her DIY homemade glass cleaner with me, and I can’t wait to try it for myself! Image by Homemade Lovely
#11 ~ Cleaning Your Dishwasher
This falls along the lines of tip #2 on cleaning your washing machine or tip #8 on cleaning your shower head. We also have to periodically clean the household items that are meant to help us clean!
Dishwashers are one of those household items that seem to help us out day in and day out until basically one day, it just doesn’t seem to clean as well.
Giving it a good clean with vinegar and baking soda will help get your kitchen best friend back to doing a thorough job on your dishes and remove hard water spots from your dishwasher.
Image by Drugstore Divas
#12 ~ Kills Nasty Germs Inside of YOU!
Supposedly there are tons of health benefits to drinking vinegar also. It sounds nasty doesn’t? It honestly makes sense, if vinegar cleans and sanitizes your house, it can also kill bad bugs inside of your body too.
While I don’t drink this daily since vinegar is also known to weaken your teeth enamel, since I’ve started drinking apple cider vinegar a couple times per week, I’ve had less problems with allergies and sinus infections. I’m not claiming to be a health expert by any means, but here’s the recipe I drink that’s mixed with pineapple juice if you want to learn more about it.
Don’t like the smell of vinegar? I hear ya, me neither! Bren Did has an awesome DIY recipe to make scented vinegar cleaners so you’re DIY vinegar-based cleaners will instead smell like lemons, limes or other pleasant scents.
It’s hard to beat fresh citrus, but for a solution, you want to store for longer periods or you want something other than a citrus scent, this essential oils starter gift set is amazing!
Image by Bren Did
While vinegar seems like a miracle cleaner, it’s not meant to be used on all household surfaces. Vinegar can corrode cast iron and aluminum pans, it’s not meant for wood floors, grout or natural stone. I used it to clean an old sink and it deteriorated the drain sink ring since it wasn’t made of stainless steel.
What other amazing uses to you have for vinegar and what are your favorite essential oils to add to your DIY homemade cleaning products?
We’d love to hear about them, please post below or add your tips to the comment section to our Pinterest pin! 🙂