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Some of the many things you can do with vinegar

We hear a lot about the popularity of vinegar as a multi-purpose solution for different tasks around the home. Here are 12 things you can do around the house with this humble household item.

What would you add to this list?


Ants - always a problem here - thousands of tiny ants in the kitchen, into water in the sink, the scraps bucket, bits of food, looking for nesting sites in cupboards. Mr Z used to drown them with fly spray all over my food prep areas. Not sure how I got on to this one, but I now use a spray bottle of vinegar. Cleaning Vinegar 100%. Checked the bottle, but there’s no indication of strength. Cheap $1.25/litre in 2L bottles in the Laundry aisle.

Windows - my glass manufacturer (GJ Glass) recommends a 1:10 Vinegar : Water mix. For dirty glass a water only wash, then vinegar mix, chamois off. Cleanest windows ever - beats Windex.


For treatment of specific jelly fish stings, having a plentiful supply of vinegar to hand is essential in the tropics. Having companions competent in CPR may also be wise if you are more than a brief delay from emergency medical services.

Note the recommended treatment for the much more common blue bottle stings is Do Not use Vinegar.


Thanks to Levi’s website, I learned how to keep black jeans from fading. Simply put them in a basin with cold water & a cup of white vinegar, leave to soak for half an hour, rub them like you’re hand washing & put them out to dry. To get rid of odours, put them in the freezer overnight before soaking.


Cleaning wood fired heater glass. As ash and some residues are alkaline, the vinegar helps remove deposits on the glass.


A tip I posted in another topic today regarding cleaning shower glass which is also claimed to clean wood heater glass.


Its the best thing for getting urine smells out of laundry. Discovered that when we had an elderly cat who had bladder trouble, and it worked well with small child too. Just a good glug in the wash when the clothes go in.

I do the microwave steam clean with a cup of water and a cup of vinegar in a bowl for 10 minutes.


Vinegar dissolves rust so you can wipe it off. I’ve used it to clean up secateurs lost in the garden for weeks and other tools. Can’t believe no one told me years ago!


And also did you know that you can soak painted items in it to remove old paint from things.It takes days but it does come off. However boiling same items in bicarbonate of soda renders this down to minutes not days! I was amazed to see 100 years of paint flow off an old vent cover in literally seconds. Great for old ironmongery like window stays, latches, bolts etc.
Any industrial chemists care to explain this?
So much better than burning it off, and those messy strippers that have never cleaned any thing off I’ve ever applied it to.
Now to find out how to apply this to large timber painted items without ruining the timber!


I read that vinegar ( 4oz per quart) kills crickets in about a minute,
As I’m not going to try it anytime soon,
I can’t be sure it works. If it does, then I wouldn’t be surprised at anything that vinegar can do :wink:



Sodium bicarbonate is a weak alkali, bringing up the temperature will make it more active than when it is cold. If you really want to go to town on old paint use sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), it has been the standby of the old furniture stripping industry for decades. I haven’t used it but I would expect vinegar to be pretty puny as a paint stripper hot or cold.

(1) If you are using any chemical that is caustic enough to remove paint it is probably caustic enough to do you harm. Take care, wear old clothes, gloves and eye protection. A splash of vinegar in the eye will hurt like hell but probably not do permanent harm. A splash of caustic soda in the eye will do harm, wash it out with lots of fresh water as quick as you can, get under the shower if you have to. If an area of your skin starts to sting or itch wash it.
(2) Similarly such chemicals may harm the object that you are trying to get the paint off. Do a small unobtrusive section first and check it rather than just leave it. You may discover the table you are cleaning is a valuable antique. You may ruin it too. Soaking some objects in a water solution may cause harm regardless of the chemical dissolved in it. You might raise the grain or soften the glue. The surface of your nice old bit of furniture might still look OK but if it falls apart you won’t be happy.
(3) Different paint and different objects behave differently. Don’t assume that what worked for one will work for another and vice versa.