Don’t Be Sour: Try Vinegar

If we trusted commercials and the aisles of our grocery stores we would think we would need about a million different products to care for our home.  Things that clean, things that disinfect, things that treat.  The problem is that most of these things are less than desirable.  They are toxic, expensive and unnatural.  Needless to say I don’t want them in my house.

So, what’s a girl (or boy!) to do? According to the idiom, ‘you catch more flies with honey than vinegar,’ but who really wants to catch flies?!  The answer to many household needs is vinegar. Yes, I am talking about you average white distilled vinegar found in most kitchens.  Not only is vinegar cheap and all natural, but it also has a ton of non-salad dressing uses.

  • Clean Your Wood Floors: After vacuuming hardwood floors you can create a vinegar-based mixture to bring out the shine.  The mixture should have a ratio of a ½ cup of white vinegar to 1 gallon of warm water.  Use a mop that has been wrung damp-dry.  Be careful not to walk on the floor until it has finished drying.  Because vinegar is non-toxic there is no need to rinse.
  • Help Brighten Laundry: Often your colorful and black laundry can begin to look dull.  Often this is due to residue left by detergents.  Overcome the dreariness by adding ½ cup of white distilled vinegar during the rinse cycle.  Voila!  Suddenly your clothing has a new lease on life.
  • Discourage Cats (& Dogs) Bad Behavior: Has your cat ruined your couch?  By spraying a bit of vinegar on your furniture your cat will be deterred from continuing the shredding.  The spraying is also excellent way of getting cats and dogs to quit marking their territory in certain areas.  Just be sure to spot test the vinegar in any location where fabric may discolor.
  • Kill Mold: There is this false belief that mold is destroyed by bleach.  Not the case.  Vinegar however kills mold while simultaneously disinfecting.  After scrubbing a moldy surface clean with soap and water, spray vinegar directly to affected surface.  Not only is this solution much more effective than bleach, it is much safer as well.
  • Make Your Nail Polish Last: Doing a home manicure?  After washing your hands use a cotton ball to apply vinegar.  This removes any natural oils that can cause polish to bubble and chip.  Make sure that your nails dry completely before applying the polish.

Hopefully you find these uses helpful, check out for many more uses for everyday distilled white vinegar!


  1. […] On Harper‘s Don’t Be Sour: Try Vinegar has been included in All Things Eco Blog Carnival Volume 118!  Check out all the great Eco advice […]

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