Monday, May 3, 2010

More Uses for Vinegar

I've written about vinegar before, but I found an article on the website that discusses even more uses for this old household standby. Turns out, white vinegar (which contains acetic acid) is more useful than I'd thought. Though I haven't tried all of these suggestions myself, I'll pass them along and you can try them for yourself.

--Add a few tablespoons of white vinegar to the water when poaching eggs to help the whites stay formed. Add a few tablespoons to the water when boiling eggs, and if any shells crack, the whites won't leak out.
--Soaking leafy veggies that are wilted in cold water with a little vinegar will perk them up.
--Rub your hands with white vinegar after chopping onions to get rid of the smell. [The smell of the vinegar with dissipate very quickly.]
--When cooking vegetables from the cabbage family (i.e. broccoli or cauliflower), add a little vinegar to the water to perk up the taste and reduce the gassiness they can induce. This also works when cooking beans.

--Clean and deodorize the garbage disposal by mixing equal parts vinegar and baking soda and putting id down the drain. After letting this fizzing mixture sit for a few minutes, flush out the drain with warm water.
--The steam from a boiling bowl of vinegar and water can loosen caked-on food and get rid of odors in the microwave. [This is for my children who don't clean out their microwaves regularly--you know who you are;^)]
--To make a trap for fruit flies, set out a small dish of white vinegar and some smashed fruit covered with plastic wrap with some holes in it. The flies crawl into the trap, but can't get out.
--If your glassware gets spotted in the dishwasher, wrap it in paper towels soaked in vinegar, let them sit, and the cloudy deposits will rinse right off.
--Instead of bleach on tile grouting, let vinegar soak on it and then scrub with a toothbrush.
--Clean scuffed or dirty DVDs by wiping them down with some vinegar on a soft cloth.
--To remove water marks on your wood furniture [if you forgot to use coasters, as your mother probably taught you], rub the furniture (always with the grain) with equal parts vinegar and vegetable oil.

--To clean urine out of a mattress [because children and pets do have accidents], clean it with a solution of vinegar and water and then sprinkle some baking soda onto the mattress and brush or vacuum the residue once it's dry.
--Spray vinegar onto deodorant-stained shirts before washing to remove discoloration. [Of course, if you use natural deodorants you shouldn't have this problem in the first place.] Vinegar also works to remove mustard, tomato sauce or ketchup stains.
--Add a cupful of vinegar to the rinse cycle of your wash to freshen up bright colors. Acetic acid won't harm fabrics, but it dissolves the soap residue that can dull dark clothing. It also acts as a fabric softener, a static reducer and a mildew-inhibitor.
--Vinegar will loosen chewing gum stuck to car upholstery, rugs and carpeting.

--Remove old bumper stickers from your car by spraying with vinegar, waiting a couple of hours and then pealing off.
--Wipe down your car windows and windshield with a 3-1 vinegar-water mixture to keep them frost-free in the winter.
--Kill weeds and crabgrass growing in sidewalks and driveways by pouring vinegar onto them. A half-and-half solution of vinegar and water can kill garden slugs if sprayed directly on them.
--To extend the life of cut flowers, add a few tablespoons of vinegar to the water in the vase, along with a teaspoon of sugar.

--Wipe out itchy ears with undiluted vinegar to keep dogs and cats from scratching at them.
--Cats don't like vinegar, so to keep them from scratching at furniture or sitting in certain areas, spray a vinegar solution onto the spot.
--For outdoor areas, soak a sponge in vinegar and place it in the forbidden place to keep cats away. If a cat likes to mark his territory, spray the area with vinegar to help eliminate the smell and deter recurrences.
--Vinegar gets rid of skunk odor on pets. Soak the animal with a half-and-half vinegar and water solution and then rinse with water.