Uses for White Vinegar

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I’m starting to believe that white vinegar can do anything. There are just so many ways that it makes itself useful. It cuts through grease, disinfects, and combats odors (deodorizers). If I had to list all the things that you can do with distilled white vinegar, I’d write a book. Here is a list of a few uses to get you started.

Do not use vinegar on:






Cast iron


Natural stone tile



Never mix vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. They are fine to use on their own but if you mix them you’ll make peracetic acid. It is corrosive and irritating.

Never ever mix vinegar with chlorine bleach. It will produce chlorine gas which is extremely harmful.



Insect bites and stings

  • Pat some white vinegar on insect bites or stings to stop the sting and itch. It will also disinfect the skin and promote healing.



  • Combine 1 gallon of white vinegar, 1 tbsp of Epsom salts and 2 tbsp of dish soap.

  • Spray the weeds generously and repeat daily for about 3 days. I tried doing it just once. It killed the little weeds but the bigger ones needed a couple of sprays.

  • Spray the cracks in your sidewalk and driveway regularly to discourage weeds.

  • It will kill any plant so be careful where you spray

  • You could buy the agricultural grade vinegar which has a 15 – 20% acetic content. It is more effective than the 5 – 6% vinegar that you buy in the grocery stores.


Sanitize your bathroom:

  • Spray the entire bathroom with white vinegar and wipe it with a microfiber cloth.


Insect repellent:

  • Pour equal parts of white vinegar and distilled water in a spray bottle

  • Add 20 drops of peppermint, citronella or lemongrass oil

  • Spray it around doors and windows to repel spiders, cockroaches, and ants


Sanitize the refrigerator:

  • Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar.

  • You can put a few drops of lemon essential oil in the mix

  • Wipe inside the fridge



  • Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar in a microwave-safe bowl

  • Place in the microwave and heat on high for 2 minutes.

  • Let it sit for a further 2 minutes with the door closed

  • Remove the bowl and wipe the microwave down with a microfiber cloth



  • Pour a cup of white vinegar in the dishwasher and run a full cycle to remove soap and food scrap build up.

  • Use as a rinse agent. You can also add white vinegar to the rinse drawer of your washer to combat water droplet stains on your dishes.


Deodorize the trash can:

  • Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar.

  • Add a few drops of lemon essential oil

  • After emptying out your trash can, spray the inside with the mix and leave to dry


Window and mirror cleaner:

  • Mix equal parts of warm water and white vinegar.

  • Pour it in a spray bottle and spray on windows and mirrors

  • Wipe it off with a lint-free or microfiber cloth


Shower doors:

  • Mix vinegar with a few drops of dish soap in a spray bottle.

  • Spray onto the shower doors after a shower when the bathroom is still hot.

  • Rinse with water



  • In a Ziploc bag mix equal parts of white vinegar and water.

  • Tie the bag over the showerhead so that the head is completely submerged in the vinegar mix

  • Leave it to soak overnight to remove all the mineral build.

  • Remove in the morning and rinse with water


Ring around the bathtub:

  • Spray the tub with plain white vinegar

  • Make a paste of 1 part vinegar and 1 baking soda and scrub the ring

  • Then spray with plain vinegar again

  • Rinse with water


Coffee and tea stains:

  • Coffee and tea stains are hard to get out of ceramic cups

  • Mix equal parts of white vinegar with baking soda

  • Scrub the stains off and rinse with water

  • This works well to un-fog vases too.


Descale coffee makers:

  • Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar.

  • Drain all the water out of the maker

  • Run it through the coffee maker

  • Then run two cycles with clean water



  • Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar.

  • Pour it in the toilet bowl and let it sit overnight

  • Flush the toilet in the morning

  • Scrub the bowl first if needed


Carpet stains:

  • I haven’t tried this so spot test it first.

  • Mix 2 tbsp of white vinegar with ¼ cup of baking soda to make a paste.

  • Rub the mix into the stain and let it dry for 24 hours

  • Vacuum it up

  • I’m told this works well for pet urine stains because it removes the odor too.

  • You could just blot the area with a rag soaked in vinegar


Dried paint on brushes:

  • Place the brush in a pot of vinegar

  • Soak it for an hour

  • Bring the vinegar to a boil and simmer for a few minutes

  • Remove from the heat and rinse.

  • Not suitable for brushes with plastic handles


Remove ink on walls:

  • Soak a sponge or rag in vinegar and dap on the ink mark until it’s gone


Clean faucets:

  • Mix 1 tsp of vinegar with 2 tbsp of baking soda

  • Wipe the faucets gently to clean and shine

  • Rinse with water


Clean the grill:

  • Spray white vinegar on the grill

  • Then use a scrunched up ball of heavy aluminum foil to scrub it clean.


Sticker glue and glued up scissors:

  • Spray pure white vinegar on sticker glue residue or sticky glued up scissors.

  • Let it sit for a while

  • Wipe it off and rinse with water

  • Repeat if needed


Sanitize yoga mats:

  • Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar.

  • Spray on the mat after a yoga session and wipe to dry


Perk up fresh flowers:

  • Pour 2 tbsp of white vinegar in the vase to perk up droopy flowers.


Antiperspirant stains:

  • Pour vinegar on a microfiber cloth and dab on the stain until the fabric is soaked.


Sweat stains on t-shirts and red wine stain:

  • Pour white vinegar on the stain and let it sit for a few minutes before you launder it.

  • Soak a rag or sponge with white vinegar and dab on the wine stain until it is soaked. Then launder immediately.


Fruit and vegetables:

  • Rinse your fruit and vegetables in a bowl of water. Add ½ cup of white vinegar and let it sit for a few minutes

  • Rinse with clean water and dry


Candle wax and crayons:

  • Soak a rag in equal parts white vinegar and water

  • Wipe the wax gently until it is removed.

  • This works well to remove crayons off walls and floors too.


Freshen upholstery and carpets and mattresses:

  • Pour white vinegar in a spray bottle and mist the upholstery and carpets

  • You can freshen up mattresses by misting them with vinegar too. Just allow the mattress to dry well before you put the sheets back on.


Remove water rings on wood and leather:


  • Mix equal parts water and white vinegar

  • Add a few drops of olive

  • Follow the wood grain and wipe away the stain


  • Soak a sponge in white vinegar

  • Wipe the leather in one direction until the mark is gone

  • Works well on leather handbags, shoes, belts and furniture


Smoke and food odors:

  • Simmer a pot of white vinegar on the stove. It will eliminate cigarette smoke and strong food odors like fish.

  • Your home will smell like vinegar for a little while but the other offensive odors will be gone.

  • You could also just leave a bowl of undiluted vinegar in a room overnight. It will help to neutralize some odors.


Stainless steel appliances:

  • Spray undiluted vinegar on a rag and wipe down all your stainless steel appliances


Plastic containers:

  • Some food like onion will leave an odor in your plastic containers.

  • Spray the container with undiluted white vinegar and allow it to dry before you wash it.


Washing machine:

  • Pour vinegar into the laundry detergent and fabric softener tray and run the machine on a full cycle.

  • It will combat that musty wet smell that machines often get


Fabric softener:

  • Add ¼ cup of white vinegar to the softener dispenser of your washing machine.



Do not use any essential oils or essential oil blends if you have any underlying health conditions. Some oils are not safe for children, pregnant women, or pets. Always check with your doctor or certified aromatherapist, if you are unsure about the benefits or contra-indicators of a recipe or its ingredients. ‘A Scented Story’ is solely my platform to share my experiences with essential oils and other natural products. I do not prescribe any treatments.