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! 🙂

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 worry—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 countertops and stoves.

More Home Cleaning Hacks

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

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