Want a beautiful home on a budget? Let me show ya how to get it in just 3 steps!

12 Uses for Vinegar That Have Nothing to Do With Cooking!

In this post: Vinegar isn’t just for cooking! From getting gum out of carpet to getting permanent marker out of furniture, here are 12 uses for vinegar that have nothing to do with cooking!

Believe it or not, I didn’t always use to buy vinegar two gallons at a time. Shocker, huh? But when I learned how many uses for vinegar there were, I couldn’t believe that I only ever used it for baking. Who knew vinegar had so many uses? #1 is my most often used use for vinegar for sure! (Say that five times fast!)

So what are these amazing uses for vinegar I’m talking about? Keep reading.

12 Uses for Vinegar

vinegar, baking soda, towels

1. Get rid of fruit flies.

Who doesn’t hate fruit flies. Well, what I hate even more is not being able to get rid of them. Luckily, I found a method that works like a charm. Pour 1/2 – 3/4 cup vinegar into a bowl. Cut a piece of plastic wrap and place it tightly over the bowl. Poke a few holes in the plastic wrap with a toothpick and set on the counter. And that’s it. A cheap, easy, and wonderful fruit fly trap. You can also put some vinegar in a glass and add a drop of dish soap to catch the fruit flies too.

2. Clean the shelves and walls of your refrigerator.

I often forget how much my fridge needs to be cleaned. But, I see everyone morning how badly it needs a wash when I’m grabbing the milk to put in my coffee. To clean the walls and shelves of a fridge, make a half-and-half solution of vinegar and water. Then just apply to a cloth and wipe down.

3. Get a permanent marker stain out of furniture.

While it may look like the permanent marker stain is never going to get out and you have to buy a new couch because you’re having company over in two days (TWO DAYS!), the stain is pretty easy to get out. First, take each stained cushion, unzip it, and take off the cover (a.k.a. the stained part). In a medium bowl, create a solution of vinegar to water: 2 cups vinegar to 3/4 cup water. Get a white rag or kitchen towel, place it in the solution, wring it out, and start scrubbing the stains. You may want to do this at a table with a plastic tablecloth on top. Re-dip the cloth in the solution as needed. You might end up not using all of the vinegar/water solution, and that’s fine. See #7.

4. Wipe down your sink with it.

Our giant stainless-steel sink could always use a little shine. Simply pour a tablespoon of vinegar on a sponge or rag and wipe down your sink. You could pay for a commercial sink shiner, but why bother if you’ve got vinegar?

5. Add it to your washing machine for cleaner laundry!

During the last rinse of the load (or right at the beginning of the wash in a front load machine), add about 1/4 cup vinegar. It can whiten whites, act as a fabric softener and reduce static cling. It also helps to get stinky towels smelling fresh!

vinegar, baking soda, towels

6. Keep cats out of the sandbox.

We don’t have cats, but I’ve heard sandbox kitty poop is a mess you do NOT want to clean up. Apparently vinegar helps to deter cats from doing their business. Just pour a few cups of vinegar over the sand, let it dry, and now you no longer have cats trying to use the bathroom in your child’s sandbox! πŸ™‚

7. Deodorize your drain.

After a while of food pieces going down the drain, you may start to notice a…smell…coming from the drain. Don’t worryβ€”it’s an easy fix. Just pour 1/2 cup vinegar down the drain (you can add some lemon juice too if you want) and voila!, you’re free from an eventual embarrassing smell. You can use leftover solution from #3 if you would like.

8. Remove berry stains from your hands.

If you get into summer berry picking, then you’re probably as red-handed as the two-year-old who drew all over the couch with permanent marker. Get rid of berry stains easily by simply rubbing your hands with vinegar. They should be clean in no time!

9. Clean your hair brushes.

After a while, your brushes can build up a good bit of grime, sweat, and soap. Remove wound on hair, soak your brushes in vinegar for 1 hour and rinse with hot water to get them as clean as when you bought them.

10. Loosen chewing gum stuck to a carpet.

It happens to everyone. Or almost everyone. But if it’s happened to you, you know it’s not fun. Pour about a tablespoon of vinegar on top of and around the gum, let it soak for a little while, and scrape it up.

11. Use it as conditioner.

I do this when I’m out of conditioner or if I just want squeaky clean, soft hair. Just dilute 1/2 cup vinegar in two cups warm water and use it like you would conditioner. Some people don’t like to do it because they think they’ll smell like a salad bar, but you can add essential oils to the solution to make it smell nice.

12. Wipe down your counters and stove with it.

Typically I like a better smelling cleaner like Thieves, but in a pinch vinegar makes a great cleaner. Pour some in a spray bottle (you could try some from the dollar store), and spray away. You can wipe it down with a kitchen rag or sponge, but it helps to loosen sticky foods like molasses and shines counter tops and stoves.


What do you use vinegar for? Have you tried any of the ideas above?


Related Content

shannon sign off
home made lovely book on table with get it now text button

I'd love to chat with you in the comments!


  1. Alicia says

    Every once in a while I will put baking soda and then vinegar down the shower and sink drains. Do this after your shower or after running hot water in the sink. I don’t like to use Draino and this method keeps my drains flushed. I also will put apple cider vinegar in my disposal with ice cubes and run it. Helps the smell and the ice sharpens the blades. And about once or twice a month I put a small bowl of vinegar on the top shelf of the dishwasher when I run it. This works better for my than JetDry.

  2. Karen says

    Is your refrigerator stainless? I am having so much trouble with streaks and water marks and staining on my stainless steel refrigerator. Would your vinegar solution work?

    • Shannon Acheson says

      Hi Karen. Yes, our refrigerator is black stainless. (Same as stainless just darker.) Stainless is notorious for streaking. The trick is to use only a slightly damp cloth and then wipe it dry. Going with the grain in the stainless when wiping helps too. πŸ™‚ I use just water on a soft cloth on our stainless appliances. Don’t use anything abrasive. πŸ™‚

A little πŸ–€ for Home Made Lovely

My aha moment!

I found my style and was able to bring our small space together for our family of 8! My aha moment was when you talked about undertones! That was the moment when I could bring everything together.

Danae C.

Falling in love with our home again

My ah-ha moment was when I realized I was going about things all the wrong way. I loved the house but it didn't feel like home. BUT now because of your course...I am falling in love with our home all over again.

Cheryl P.

Thank you for your direction and inspiration!

You have been very helpful in just identifying my style and what I like! Thank you for your direction and inspiration!

Dawn G.

Decorating is not as complicated as it once seemed!

I love your easy process to determine my style. I've also learned that my style has changed over the years and seasons of my life and that decorating properly/successfully is NOT as complicated as it once seemed!!!

Sheryl R.

Lightbulb moment!

Your explanation of paint colors was the light bulb moment for me! I am enjoying your teaching.  Thanks!

Pat J.

Filled me with the confidence I need

Oh Shannon, thank you, thank you thank you!!  I wish I could download you and take you with me, but your Decor Staples Checklist has definitely given me the guidance and filled me with the confidence I need!

Zee V.

Love this idea!

Orbs are such a great decor item to add to a space. Staining the hoops really gives them a vintage feel. Thanks for the inspiration.


I love your instructions!

LMAO!! I love your How Not to Paint Cabinet instructions! It made me laugh with good humor! Kudos for sharing your lessons learned!!

Tom H.

Done with Haphazard Decor!

I'm so done with Haphazard Decor! (Yes, I think I just made that "style" up). Thank you for your style quiz!


So Accurate!

I thought the quiz was so accurate, I want my friends to do it. I feel I like such a mix of things and the quiz described them all so well!

Lisa G.

A trusted friend

Before I felt overwhelmed by my clutter. Now, I feel like I have a trusted friend alongside me to pull me out of my paralysis with a fresh mindset!


"Home is the most important place on earth."

xo, Shannon