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May 25, 2010 | Posted By: Jeanne Lubin
Vinegar has so many uses, it’s a must-have for every household looking to save money. So how versatile is vinegar? In the Middle Ages, it was thought to cure fever, snake bites, leprosy, and the plague. While we now wouldn’t recommend it for anything more severe than a sunburn, it has dozens of applications in the kitchen, backyard, and beyond. Here are ten of our favorites.
1. Label Remover
If you’re having trouble peeling off a label or sticker without leaving a gooey mess behind, trying applying white vinegar until it’s saturated. It will peel right off!
2. Help for Sunburned Skin
You had a great day on the beach, but now your back is burned to a crisp. To help ease the pain of a sunburn, rub vinegar on the affected area with a cotton ball or soft cloth. You may smell a bit like salad dressing, but your skin will immediately feel cooler.
3. Dazzling Dishes
Don’t buy expensive “dish rinsing agents” like Jet Dry. Instead, just add a capful of white vinegar to your dishwasher’s rinse cycle, which will do the exact same thing for a fraction of the cost. In newer dishwashers, you can add the vinegar directly to the compartment on the door that’s reserved for rinsing agents.
4. Prolong the Life of Your Propane Lantern
If you have a propane lantern or tiki torch, soak the wick in vinegar for several hours before you use it. This will prolong the life of your wick, helping you get more for your money.
5. Get Rid of Weeds
Use white vinegar straight from the bottle to pour on the weeds and grass that come up through the cracks in your sidewalk or patio. After a couple of days, the weeds will die and won’t reappear for several months.
6. Use as a Buttermilk Substitute
Next time you need buttermilk in a recipe, don’t go buy a whole carton that you’ll later throw away half-full. Instead, make an easy buttermilk substitute by adding a tablespoon of vinegar to a cup of milk and letting it stand for five minutes to thicken.
7. Remove Smoke Odor from Clothes
Been out with smoky friends all night? To remove the smoke smell from your clothes, hang them on your shower-curtain rod and fill the bath with warm water. Add a cup of vinegar to the bath water and the smell will be gone from your clothes by the morning.
8. Quickly and Easily Clean a Grill
A great way to clean your barbecue grill is with newspaper soaked with vinegar and water. Spray a mixture of half water and half vinegar onto some old newspaper, then simply place it on the warm grill after cooking. Leave the lid on for an hour, and you’ll be amazed how easily the grime comes off.
9. Remove Brown Spots on Your Lawn
Is your dog leaving brown spots on your lawn where he’s decided to pee? Put a few drops of vinegar into his water bowl every time you refill it and brown spots will be a thing of the past.
10. Blondes: Combat Chlorine Coloring!
If you’re a fair-haired person and an avid swimmer, you’ve probably noticed that the chlorine in pools can wreak havoc on the color of your hair—often turning it green! Rub apple cider vinegar into your hair before getting into the pool to prevent your hair from changing color.
Jeanne Lubin and her husband Bruce Lubin are the proud parents of three boys and seven books on how to get more out of your money. After saving thousands per year using simple, everyday techniques, they started their own business in the hopes of sharing their knowledge with others. They currently reside in Northern New Jersey, where they run the website WhoKnewTips.com and have been known to list innumerable household uses for vinegar as a party trick.