The Ultimate Guide to Multi-Tasking with Vinegar
I find it fascinating all the multi-tasking you can do with one simple substance. Take baking soda, for instance. Cook with it, clean with it, and make your fridge smell nice. Or lemons. Make lemonade, juice them, clean with them, prevent sliced apples and avocados from turning brown.
Vinegar is the same way. I am continually amazed at everything it’s good for! I found an incredible list of uses for vinegar at a whole foods and bulk shop in Nelson, New Zealand when traveling. I learned so much I couldn’t resist sharing those tips plus a few of my own.
Vinegar for Cooking
-Boiling Eggs. Add 2 Tbsp. of vinegar to the water before boiling to help prevent the eggs from cracking.
-Fluffy Rice. Add 1 tsp. of vinegar to the water when boiling rice for fluffy grains of goodness.
-Prevent Brown Veggies. If you want to prep your veggies by cutting them in advance, soak them in a half water, half vinegar solution right after you cut them to prevent browning.
Vinegar for Cleaning
-Chopping Boards. Sprinkle baking soda on your cutting boards and spray with white vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes then rinse thoroughly to clean and deodorize.
-Washing Machine. This isn’t something we think to do all that often (at least I never have!), but to clean hoses and unclog soap scum, pour a cup of vinegar in the washing machine and run a normal cycle with no clothes. It’s recommended to do this monthly for a sparkling washing machine.
-Stainless Steel. Polish stainless steel surfaces with a paste made from vinegar and baking soda, then rinse well.
For more cleaning tips with all natural ingredients, see my post on Homemade Cleaning Products here.
Vinegar in the Garden
-Kill Weeds. Say goodbye to nasty chemicals (cough, RoundUp & the like, cough) and simply spray undiluted vinegar over weeds. Re-apply at the first sign of re-growth. This is best done in areas other than your veggie garden, as it does increase the acidity of the soil (which is actually really great for plants like azaleas, gardenias, and rhododendrons).
-Re-Potting Plants. Clean your pots and garden containers by rinsing with vinegar to remove excess lime.
-Deter Ants. Spray vinegar around ant trails to keep away those pesky picnic intruders.
-Cut Flowers. Keep cut flowers perky by adding 2 Tbsp. of vinegar and 3 Tbsp. sugar (the one time I may use sugar in my kitchen!) per liter of warm water in a vase. Stems should sit in 3-4 inches of water.
Vinegar for First Aid
-Wasp or Jellyfish Stings. These puppies can hurt like crazy (I should know, I’ve been stung by wasps three times in the three months I’ve been in New Zealand!) Rinse the affected area with vinegar to promote healing.
-Heal Bruises. Soak a cotton ball in white vinegar and apply to a bruise for an hour. The vinegar will reduce the blue color and help speed up the healing process.
-Relieve Sunburn. Stayed out too long in the sun? Don’t be scared of the sun, but relieve the lobster-look and heal your skin by lightly rubbing the affected area with vinegar. Coconut oil also works well for sunburns.
-Mosquito Bites. The bane of my existence. Reduce itching by using a cotton ball and dabbing bitten areas with vinegar. Or you can make a paste of vinegar and cornflour to apply to the bites.
Vinegar for Health
-Probiotics & a Balanced pH. Drink about 1 tsp. of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water each morning to take advantage of the probiotics and alkaline-producing effect on the body. (But vinegar is acidic you say? Well, darn those little exceptions to the rule ;) Vinegar and citrus fruits actually have an alkaline effect on the body. Great for neutralizing an acidic pH in the body, in which environment diseases thrive.)
-Sore Throat. Gargle and swallow water with a teaspoon of vinegar mixed in. Also try mixing a 1/4 cup vinegar with a 1/4 cup of honey and taking one tablespoon 6 times a day.
-Coughing. Mix 1/2 cup vinegar with 1/2 cup water, 1 tsp. cayenne pepper, and 4 tsp. honey. Also remember that coughing is your body’s way of ridding itself of the junk in your chest and throat, so generally, it’s good to keep coughing! But it’s also hard to sleep when the hacking keeps you awake, so try this natural mixture instead.
This is quite a hefty list, but I’m sure it’s not exhaustive. What handy uses for vinegar do you know of?