21 Household Uses For Vinegar (That'll Take Your Breath Away!)

21 Household Uses For Vinegar (That'll Take Your Breath Away!)

Editor's Note: This post was originally posted in May 2015 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in August 2018. 

Vinegar is fab for making dressings and drizzling over chips, but it's useful for much more than that too.

In the past we've shown you how to use vinegar in the laundry and today we're sharing 21 more uses for vinegar you can try out all around the home.

Ready for some brand new tips? Then let's get started!

 1. Soothe a bite or sting

mosquito bite
Ouch! ©MaxPixel

Stung by a wasp? Wasp venom is alkaline, so applying something acidic to the sting may help to soothe it.

Try adding some distilled white vinegar to a cotton wool pad and dot the area to provide quick pain relief.

2. Brighten clothes

Who knew?

Brighten your clothes by adding half a cup of white vinegar to your rinse cycle.

P.S. Vinegar can also fluff up old towels. Check out our other uses for vinegar in your laundry for more great tips.

3. Banish smells

Never mind smelly breath - handling onions and garlic when cooking will make your hands smell too.

A clever tip is to rub white vinegar on your fingers before and after slicing to stop the smell.

4. Make jewellery sparkle

gold jewellery vintage
It's so sparkly!

Are your jewels lacklustre? There's a quick fix for that!

Grab a couple of tablespoons of baking soda and mix with 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Soak for 2 - 3 hours, rinse under cold water then dry with a cloth. You'll be ready for the ball in no time.

5. Unclog a shower head

Showerheads can become clogged with hard water and limescale, which will affect their performance and put pressure on pipes.

First unscrew the shower-head, then remove the rubber washing, and finally place the head into a saucepan filled with equal parts of both water and white vinegar. Bring to the boil and simmer for five minutes. Easy!

6. Get rid of ants & other bugs naturally

Got ants in your garden that you want to get rid of? Or spiders in the house?

Mix water and white vinegar into equal parts and spray it around the areas you see them. They hate it and will soon move on!

We have loads of other natural ways to get rid of ants in our other article - go check them out!

7. Clean mugs

mugs office
Here's the key to keeping them clean...

If you've got out of the habit of washing your mug after every use, it's likely to develop dark coffee and tea stains which can be tricky to get rid of.

To get rid of them, mix salt and white vinegar together and scrub onto stains.

Check out Home Hacks: 18 cleaning cheats you'll definitely use for more great tips like this.

8. Remove rust once and for all

Remove rust from your precious tools by leaving the offending items bathing in undiluted white vinegar overnight.

Ta-da - your tools will appear like new in the morning!

9. Deodorise with vinegar

Vinegar is great for deodorising.

One of the most effective ways to use it is freshening up smelly drains.

Pour a cup of your trusty white vinegar down the drain once a week leave it for 30 minutes. Flush with cold water to banish bad smells.

10. Get shiny windows

clean windows
They're absolutely spotless!

Forget fancy cleaning products, this is our favourite way of cleaning windows.

Fill a spray bottle with equal parts water and white vinegar and spritz onto windows. Finish them off by drying them with an old newspaper.

11. Frost-free car windows

Stepping out of the door to frosty windows is a nightmare when you're in a rush.

Did you know there's a way to prevent it?

A tip for the winter, spray a mixture of 3 parts white vinegar to one part water onto your windows to stop old Jack Frost from visiting.

12. Chopping boards

It's really important to give chopping boards a really good clean as they can harbour all kinds of bacteria from meat and veg.

You can clean and disinfect all your wooden chopping boards by wiping them with full strength white vinegar. Cleaning doesn't get much easier than this.

12. All-natural weed killer

Weed killers can be really potent (not to mention expensive).

Next time you find some unwanted greenery sprouting up in your garden, try a natural method instead.

Grab yourself a spray bottle of full-strength white vinegar and kill weeds by spraying on them until the plants have starved. Job done.

13. Fresh flowers

pink roses

Give your flowers a helping hand with this quick recipe - chances are you'll have all of the ingredients in your cupboard already.

Mix 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons of sugar into a vase with water. Add your flowers and they'll last for longer!

This also works for plants - give it a go next time you're in the garden.

14. Clean your blinds

Now your windows are clean, it's time sort out those blinds!

Mix equal parts water and white vinegar with hot tap water and wipe that muck away.

15. Stop itching

Can't. Stop. Itching!

Relieve any dry and itchy skin by adding 2 tablespoons of white vinegar to your bath water.

17. Give life to an old paintbrush

There's hope for that paint-covered brush yet!

Place your trusty paintbrush into a jar of full-strength white vinegar until the paint disappears and then wash with hot, soapy water.

It'll be spotless in no time.

19. Toilet cleaner

toilet clean vinegar
Make it shine!

Is there anything vinegar can't do?

Pour 2 cups of white vinegar into your toilet bowl and leave it to soak overnight. Flush in the morning to reveal a pearly-white, fresh-smelling toilet.

19. Combat grease

There are still more cleaning uses for vinegar to come. Here's another one of our favourites.

Get rid of grease stains with equal parts of white vinegar and water. Use a damp cloth to clean off the grease.

20. Unstick stickers

Once stickers are stuck they can be seriously hard to unstick

Get rid of unsightly stickers on walls or furniture by using white vinegar on the corners and sides. It will remove the glue and make them easier to remove.

21. Stop stinky feet

soft feet
Make them smell fresh.

Phwoar - who's taken their shoes off?

Balance the pH of the skin on your feet by splashing apple cider vinegar on a paper towel or baby wipe. Give you toes a quick rub with the mixture and your feet will no longer smell!

Hope you've enjoyed the list! If you've got more uses for vinegar, comment below.


Colleen B


Lifelong biscuit addict. Obsessed with recipes, cooking & eating. Slightly lazier than the average bear, so likes writing about life hacks & discovering the quickest / easiest way to do things.

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  1. Author susan bowden on May 6, 2015 at 10:53 am

    You can use white vinegar in the dishwasher and washing machine, as well. Add half a bottle to an empty machine and run a hot cycle - it removes smells and cleans them, too - I find it works better than the cleaners on sale! If you have hard water try adding a handful of washing soda at the same time.

    1. Author Rosemary Rowe on August 22, 2018 at 11:53 am

      I agree and use both in my machine. I also find it keeps the washing machine clean and stops a build-up of gunk in the seal!

  2. Author Virginia Hayes on May 8, 2015 at 9:25 am

    White vinegar cleans parrot cages and parrot poo with no chemicals or toxins

    1. Author Colleen B on May 13, 2015 at 11:55 am

      Great pet tip - thanks Virginia!

  3. Author Melanie on May 8, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    Soak cotton wool in white vinegar and wrap around the base of taps to remove any gunk and hard water deposits. 10 minutes works like magic.

    1. Author Colleen B on May 13, 2015 at 11:55 am

      I'll give that one a go tonight, thanks so much for your tip Melanie.

  4. Author Diane Fletcher on May 8, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    Enjoyed advice on vinegar , but i think there is a spelling OOPS !!! on tip 13 - Shiny Widows !!!!.

    1. Author Colleen B on May 13, 2015 at 11:51 am

      Whoops - thanks Diane, I'll go change that now!

  5. Author June Holland on May 9, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    VINEGAR IS FOR WASP STINGS NOT BEE STINGS - ALKALINE FOR BEES (the old fashioned "blue bag") and ACID FOR WASPS; A for B and V for W !!

    1. Author Colleen B on May 20, 2015 at 1:52 pm

      Thanks June - whoopsie, will have to check that one out!

  6. Author Diane Cotton on May 23, 2015 at 10:37 am

    Does the vinegar have to be white? What about using ordinary 'brown' malt vinegar?

    1. Author Anushka F on May 26, 2015 at 9:59 am

      Hi Diane, I generally use white vinegar but you can use white for clothes and brown for any other cleaning solutions if you like - just be aware it might smell a bit more than white though!

  7. Author Paul on May 23, 2015 at 11:51 am

    I have just been informed by a chef friend of my wife and I that adding vinegar to the boiling water when cooking a poached egg binds the egg together for the perfect dish.

    1. Author Anushka F on May 26, 2015 at 9:59 am

      Oh wow that's interesting. I've always struggled with poached eggs so I will definitely give this a go. Thanks for sharing Paul!

    2. Author Nate on October 30, 2015 at 12:57 pm

      also, to hold the shape of the egg, whisk your water so that you get a vortex in the water. Break you egg in the centre and it spins to perfection!

    3. Author Colleen B on October 30, 2015 at 4:10 pm

      Oooh delicious - love a poached egg! Thanks for your tip.

  8. Author Marilyn Morris on October 30, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    I always use vinegar for cleaning windows and to make them extra shiny i dry them with newspaper . Ill certainly be trying some of the other tips tips out ..Thank you for more great advice .

  9. Author susan bowden on October 30, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    You can descale a kettle with white vinegar - use equal quantities of vinegar and water to cover the limescale, bring to the boil, wait 10 minutes and keep repeating until the limescale has gone. If you have very hard water or want to do this quickly use all vinegar. Rinse well before using - a clean kettle without nasty chemicals.

  10. Author George P on December 15, 2015 at 11:41 am

    Cure hiccups with a spoonful of vinegar.

    1. Author Colleen B on December 16, 2015 at 12:49 pm

      Wow, that's a great use for vinegar, thanks George. My nan always said a spoonful of sugar - which works for me every time!

  11. Author John Kimberley on December 15, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    Tip 5. Unclog a shower head. I disconnect the shower head, place in narrow jug or cut off plastic bottle and pour white vinegar over it to cover the top of the rose. Leave a few hours or overnight and then it is perfect once again. Much easier than boiling and no vinegar smell through the house. I do the same with my water distiller.

    1. Author Colleen B on December 16, 2015 at 12:48 pm

      That's a great trip John, thanks!

  12. Author Tinyredhead on December 16, 2015 at 6:18 am

    I use a tablespoon of white vinegar in water in a spray bottle, to clean areas and items that are used by multiple people ie, our computer desk (not wooden), telephone handset etc, as I've been told is a sanitiser. Do you know if this is true? (It cleans them very well BTW)

  13. Author Leugh Shaw on September 12, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    White vinegar removes underarm stains from clothes and also the residue from anti-perspirants.

    1. Author Colleen B on September 14, 2016 at 10:00 am

      Thanks for your brilliant tip Leugh - vinegar has so many uses!

  14. Author Miss P on October 22, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    Hi can u also use viniger in aluminium windows

    1. Author Colleen B on October 28, 2016 at 2:25 pm

      Hi Miss P - you can use vinegar and water mixed together. Enjoy cleaning!

  15. Author jay on November 27, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    Don't put vinegar on a bee sting - it won't work. However, if you're stung by a wasp, it'll work very well.

    1. Author Stephanie C on November 28, 2017 at 9:32 am

      Thanks Jay, this has now been updated :)

  16. Author Nicola on April 30, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    Hi. I have been told by my washing machine engineer that the cheap versions of Calgon are NO GOOD and I should throw them ALL out!! He said I should ONLY buy the expensive Calgon ones to use in every wash and also to buy the Hotpoint sachets for the once monthly empty wash cycle to clean the washing machine.......I’m not made of money, and I’ve heard SO much about vinegar and bicarbonate of soda to clean everything with, so can I use brown vinegar and bicarb once per month for the empty wash to clean the WM?? And also, what should I use to add to the wash cycles instead of Calgon?? Thanks, Nicola

    1. Author Stephanie C on July 16, 2018 at 5:06 pm

      Hi Nicola, I understand your concerns - detergents and softeners can be expensive enough without the addition of other things! I have always used supermarket brand water softeners without any problem. We've had really good experiences using vinegar in the washing machine to clean it. Not only does it clean, but it will remove and damp smells too. I hope this helps.

  17. Author Eileen Jeffery on August 22, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    Thank you once again for the great tips with white vinegar will be using them soon

    1. Author Joanne A on August 23, 2018 at 9:20 am

      Not a problem, Eileen!

  18. Author DEBORAH ROBINSON on September 19, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    Does it have to be white vinegar Or can i use apple cider Or does it have to be white vinegar.

    1. Author Joanne A on September 20, 2018 at 9:14 am

      Hi Deborah! Under each idea, it says whether you need to use apple cider vinegar or white vinegar.

  19. Author Hemalatha on October 6, 2018 at 5:05 am

    It's very useful liquid. I cleaned my jewelry. Given very shine to jewelry. And also used in washing clothes. It's worked very great. Dirty clothes washed in better way

    1. Author Joanne A on October 8, 2018 at 9:40 am

      Great to hear, Hemalatha!

  20. Author Agnes Muturi on December 28, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    Thank you for the great tips on Vinegar uses. I have quite a number to deploy from your list.

    1. Author Stephanie C on January 2, 2019 at 9:11 am

      We hope they work for you, Agnes!

  21. Author kathy-Ann Clarke on March 1, 2019 at 12:38 am

    Thanks for the useful tips on using vinegar, I will surely be using some of them.

    1. Author Joanne A on March 1, 2019 at 9:11 am

      We're glad you found them helpful, Kathy-Ann!

  22. Author Mikedin on June 5, 2019 at 8:52 am

    To kill weeds put Vinegar in a spray bottle and add a few drops of washing liquid in the bottle too this helps the vinegar stick to the weeds. wait few days weeds will start to die. Do it when the sun is at its hottest for best results. For stubborn weeds repeat every fortnight/ 3 weeks

    1. Author Joanne A on June 5, 2019 at 9:08 am

      Great idea, Mikedin! Thanks for sharing.

  23. Author Andrea on August 12, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    Thankyou for the tips. I'm amazed at how much it can do.

    1. Author Joanne A on August 12, 2019 at 5:01 pm

      You're welcome, Andrea!


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