Vinegar, that sour smelling liquid that is tucked in the back of your pantry, does way more than you think it does. Obviously there are culinary uses, and most of us have used aged balsamic or fancy champagne  for our salads. Some people swear by using apple cider vinegar for their health or skin. And then of course, there is pickling.  But I bet you didn’t know that plain old distilled white vinegar is one of the most useful household products, making it a must-have item to keep in nearly every room of your home.

Made from fermented corn alcohol, it has been in use for over 10,000 years. It can dissolve an eggshell and turn baking soda into a homemade volcano and even melt a pearl. There is even a museum dedicated to this hard-working liquid. Let us look at just a few uses for this super effective item in your home.

vinegar microwave

Remove stuck-on food from the microwave: To clean the inside of your microwave, fill a microwave-safe bowl with 1/2 cup white vinegar and 1/2 cup water. Cook until a rolling boil. The steam will help loosen stuck-on food and deodorize.
Image Credit: Oliver Bruchez

vinegar showerhead

Unclog shower heads: Remove your shower head and soak in a mixture of hot water and white vinegar. If you can’t remove the shower head, fill a plastic bag with white vinegar and hang the bag with a bag tie.

vinegar smells

Get rid of nasty smells: Strong odors from smoke or pets can be removed with a spray bottle of diluted white vinegar.

vinegar coffeemaker

Brighten your coffee maker:Get rid of hard water stains and remove leftover coffee oils by filling the water reservoir with 1 cup of white vinegar. Run the machine normally. Follow up with two cycles of plain water.

vinegar counter top

Clean surfaces: Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and water. Use as a general cleaning agent to remove spills, smells and mildew.
Image Credit: Graciela Rutkowski Interiors

vinegar dishwasher

Clean the dishwasher: In an empty dishwasher, pour 1 cup of vinegar in the bottom of the machine. Run a full cycle with no detergent.
Image Credit: Liz West

vinegar metal

Brighten metals: For chrome or stainless steel, spray undiluted white vinegar and immediately wipe off. For silver, soak items in a mixture of 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 1/2 cup white vinegar. Leave to soak for several hours then rinse clean. Brass and copper can be cleaned with a paste of equal parts vinegar and baking soda. Rub the items until the tarnish disappears then rinse clean.

vinegar sticker

Remove sticky, gummy residue: Use a cloth soaked in vinegar to remove sticky reside left behind from price tags or stickers. Can also be used to clean scissor blades.

To see 1001 uses read Vinegar Tips!


Top image credit: Soap