Household Hints


No-wax floors:

To wash no-wax floors, add cup of white distilled vinegar to a half-

gallon of warm water.

Carpet stain removal:

A mixture of 1 teaspoon of liquid detergent and 1 teaspoon of white

distilled vinegar in a pint of lukewarm water will remove non-oily

stains from carpets. Apply it to the stain with a soft brush or towel

and rub gently. Rinse with a towel moistened with clean water and

blot dry. Repeat this procedure until the stain is gone. Then dry

quickly, using a fan or hair dryer. This should be done as soon as

the stain is discovered.

Windows & Walls

Streakless windows:

Simply wash with a mixture of equal parts of white distilled vinegar

and warm water. Dry with a soft cloth. This solution will make your

windows gleam and will not leave the usual film or streaks on the


Washing woodwork:

You can ease the job of washing painted walls, woodwork and Venetian

blinds by using a mixture of 1 cup ammonia, cup white distilled or

cider vinegar and cup baking soda with 1 gallon of warm water. Wipe

this solution over walls or blinds with a sponge or cloth and rinse

with clear water. Dirt and grime comes off easily and the solution

will not dull the painted finish or leave streaks.

Water or alcohol marks on wood:

Stubborn rings resulting from wet glasses being placed on wood

furniture may be removed by rubbing with a mixture of equal parts of

white distilled vinegar and olive oil. Rub with the grain and polish

for the best results.


Garbage disposal cleaner:

Garbage disposals may be kept clean and odor free with vinegar cubes.

Vinegar cubes are made by filling an ice tray with a mixture of 1 cup

of vinegar and enough water to fill the ice tray and then freezing

it. Run the mixture through the disposal, and then flush it with cold

water for a minute or so.

Coffee maker cleaner (automatic):

White distilled vinegar can help to dissolve mineral deposits that

collect in automatic drip coffee makers from hard water. Fill the

reservoir with white distilled vinegar and run it through a brewing

cycle. Rinse thoroughly with water when the cycle is finished. (Be

sure to check the owner's manual for specific instructions.)

Clean the microwave:

Boil a solution of 1/4 cup of white distilled vinegar and 1 cup of

water in the microwave. Will loosen splattered on food and deodorize.

Deodorize the kitchen drain:

Pour a cup of white distilled vinegar down the drain once a week. Let

stand 30 minutes and then flush with cold water.

Clean the refrigerator:

Wash with a solution of equal parts water and white distilled


Clean and disinfect wood cutting boards:

Wipe with full strength white distilled vinegar.

Brass polish:

Brass, copper and pewter will shine if cleaned with the following

mixture. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of white distilled

vinegar and stir in flour until it becomes a paste. Apply paste to

the metals and let it stand for about 15 minutes. Rinse with clean

warm water and polish until dry.

Ant deterrent:

Ant invasions can sometimes be deterred by washing counter tops,

cabinets and floors with white distilled vinegar.

Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

Apply vinegar with a soft cloth to remove streaks from stainless

steel appliances. Try in an inconspicuous place first.


Bathtub film:

Bathtub film can be removed by wiping with white distilled vinegar

and then with soda. Rinse clean with water.

Toilet bowl cleaner:

Stubborn stains can be removed from the toilet by spraying them with

white distilled vinegar and brushing vigorously. The bowl may be

deodorized by adding 3 cups of white distilled vinegar. Allow it to

remain for a half hour, then flush.

Unclog the showerhead:

Corrosion may be removed from showerheads or faucets by soaking them

in diluted white distilled vinegar overnight. This may be easily

accomplished by saturating a terry cloth towel in vinegar and

wrapping it around the showerhead or faucet.


Kill grass:

To kill grass on sidewalks and driveways, pour full strength white

distilled vinegar on it.

Kill weeds:

Spray white distilled vinegar full strength on tops of weeds. Reapply

on any new growth until plants have starved.

Increase soil acidity:

In hard water areas, add a cup of vinegar to a gallon of tap water

for watering acid loving plants like rhododendrons, gardenias or

azaleas. The vinegar will release iron in the soil for the plants to


Neutralize garden lime:

Rinse your hands liberally with white distilled vinegar after working

with garden lime to avoid rough and flaking skin. Clean pots before

repotting, rinse with vinegar to remove excess lime.

Keep Flowers Longer

Keep flowers fresh longer. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons

white vinegar in a 1-quart vase of water. Trim stems and change

water every five days.


Pest fighter:

A teaspoon of white distilled vinegar for each quart bowl of drinking

water helps keep your pet free of fleas and ticks. The ratio of one

teaspoon to one quart is for a forty-pound animal.

Pet accident:

Test the color fastness of the carpet with white distilled vinegar in

an inconspicuous place. Then sprinkle distilled vinegar over the

fresh pet accident. Wait a few minutes and sponge from the center

outward. Blot up with a dry cloth. This procedure may need to be

repeated for stubborn stains.


Paintbrush softener:

Soak the paintbrush in hot white distilled vinegar, and then wash out

with warm, sudsy water.

Cleaning the Radiator Vent

Turn down the thermostat. Unscrew the air vent, soak it in vinegar

to clean it, then turn the thermostat all the way up. After a few

minutes, you'll hear a hissing sound followed by a little bit of

water spurting out. Finally, steam will start exiting that hole.

Turn off the radiator valve and replace the vent. It should be

straight up and hand tight. You should not need or use a wrench.


Mix olive oil and vinegar in a one-to-one ratio and polish with a

soft cloth. Try in an inconspicuous place first.

Cleaning Leather Shoes

Make a solution of one part water to one part white vinegar, and use

it sparingly on the shoes. Dip a cloth into the solution, and dab it

over the salt-streaked parts of your shoes.

May have to repeat the cleaning a few times before all the salt is

removed. Salt actually can damage leather, so it's best to clean

shoes as quickly as possible. Don't let the salt stains build up.


Wash fireplaces with a 50/50 ratio of water and vinegar to remove the

blackened soot on glass front doors. If the doors have a spring-

loaded clip, remove it, then take out the doors.

Lay them flat on newspapers, spray with the vinegar/water solution

and soak. Wipe it off with newspaper.

Laundry Hints

Wine stains:

Spots caused by wine can be removed from 100 percent cotton, cotton

polyester and permanent press fabrics if done so within 24 hours. To

do it, sponge white distilled vinegar directly onto the stain and rub

away the spots. Then clean according to the directions on the

manufacturer's care tag.

Freshen baby clothes:

The addition of 1 cup of white distilled vinegar to each load of baby

clothes during the rinse cycle will naturally break down uric acid

and soapy residue leaving the clothes soft and fresh.

Clothes washing magic:

Clothes will rinse better if 1 cup of white distilled vinegar is

added to the last rinse water. The acid in vinegar is too mild to

harm fabrics, but strong enough to dissolve the alkalies in soaps and


Blanket renewal:

Cotton and wool blankets become soft, fluffy and free of soap odor if

2 cups of white distilled vinegar are added to the rinse cycle of the


Deodorant stains:

Deodorant and antiperspirant stains may be removed from clothing by

lightly rubbing with white distilled vinegar and laundering as usual.

Hole removal:

After a hem or seam is removed, there are often unsightly holes left

in the fabric. These holes can be removed by placing a cloth,

moistened with white distilled vinegar, under the fabric and ironing.

Keeping colors fast:

To hold colors in fabrics, which tend to run, soak them for a few

minutes in white distilled vinegar before washing.

Leather cleaning:

Leather articles can be cleaned with a mixture of white distilled

vinegar and linseed oil. Rub the mixture into the leather and then

polish with a soft cloth.

Scorch marks:

Lightly rub white distilled vinegar on fabric that has been slightly

scorched. Wipe with a clean cloth.

Setting colors:

When you are color dyeing, add about a cupful of white distilled

vinegar to the last rinse water to help set the color.

Unclog steam iron:

Pour equal amounts of white distilled vinegar and water into the

iron's water chamber. Turn to steam and leave the iron on for 5

minutes in an upright position. Then unplug and allow to cool. Any

loose particles should come out when you empty the water.

Clean a scorched iron plate:

Heat equal parts white distilled vinegar and salt in a small pan. Rub

solution on the cooled iron surface to remove dark or burned stains.

Cleaning Vintage Lace

Soak the lace in cold water, rinsing it several times. Next, hand-

wash the lace gently with a wool detergent, such as Woolite. If rust

spots are a problem, try removing them with a mixture of white

vinegar and hot water.

Food Preparation

Getting the last drops:

When you can't get the last bit of mayonnaise or salad dressing out

of the jar, try dribbling a little of your favorite vinegar into it,

put the cap on tightly and shake well. You'll be amazed at how much

you've been wasting.

Cooking fish:

Try soaking fish in vinegar and water before cooking it. It will be

sweeter, more tender and hold its shape better. When boiling or

poaching fish, a tablespoon of vinegar added to the water will keep

it from crumbling so easily.

Cake icing:

Cake icing can be prevented from becoming sugary if a little vinegar

is added to the ingredients before cooking. The same is true when

making homemade candy.

Boiling eggs:

When boiling an egg and it's cracked, a little vinegar in the water

will keep the white from running out.

Keeping potatoes white:

A teaspoon of white distilled or cider vinegar added to the water in

which you boil potatoes will keep them nice and white. You can keep

peeled potatoes from turning dark by covering them with water and

adding 2 teaspoons of vinegar.

Freshen vegetables:

Freshen up slightly wilted vegetables by soaking them in cold water

and vinegar.

Flavor booster:

Perk up a can of soup, gravy or sauce with a teaspoon of your

favorite specialty vinegar. It adds flavor and taster fresher.

Meat tenderizer:

As a tenderizer for tough meat or game, make a marinade in the

proportion of half a cup of your favorite vinegar to a cup of heated

liquid, such as bouillon; or for steak, you may prefer to a mix of

vinegar and oil, rubbed in well and allowed to stand for two hours.

Fruit stains:

Remove fruit or berry stains from your hands by cleaning them with


Fresh lunch box:

It is easy to take out the heavy stale smell often found in lunch

boxes. Dampen a piece of fresh bread with white distilled vinegar and

leave it in the lunch box overnight.

Get rid of cooking smells:

Let simmer a small pot of vinegar and water solution.


Soothe a bee or jellyfish sting:

Douse with vinegar. It will soothe irritation and relieve itching.

Relieve sunburn:

Lightly rub white distilled or cider vinegar on skin. Reapply as


Relieve dry and itchy skin:

Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar to your bath water.

Fight dandruff:

After shampooing, rinse with a solution of cup vinegar and 2 cups

of warm water.

Soothe a sore throat:

Put a teaspoon of vinegar in a glass of water. Gargle, then swallow.

For another great gargle: 1 cup hot water, 2 tablespoons honey, 1

teaspoon vinegar, gargle then drink.

Treat sinus infections and chest colds:

Add 1/4 cup or more vinegar to the vaporizer. (Be sure to check

vaporizer instructions for additional water measurement.)

Skin burns:

Apply ice-cold vinegar right away for fast relief. Will prevent burn


Chest congestion:

To clear up respiratory congestion, inhale a vapor mist from steaming

pot containing water and several spoonfuls of vinegar.

Toenail fungus:

Soak toes in a solution of vinegar and water, using 1 part vinegar to

2 parts water, 15 minutes per day.

Arthritis Relief

Mix a teaspoon of half apple cider vinegar, half honey in a glass of

water with a teaspoon of orange flavored Knox gelatin.

Lessen Morning Sickness

Drink some apple cider vinegar in water, with honey added. This

concoction can help calm a queasy stomach.

Kids Stuff

Coloring Easter eggs:

Mix 1 teaspoon of vinegar with each cup of hot water, then add food

coloring. (Check egg-coloring booklets or food dye box for specific

directions.) Vinegar keeps the food dyes bright and prevents streaky,

uneven colors.

Making naked eggs:

Place eggs in a container so the eggs are not touching. Add enough

vinegar to cover the eggs. Cover the container, put in the

refrigerator and let the eggs sit in the vinegar for 24 hours. Use a

large spoon to scoop the eggs out of the container. Be careful since

the eggshell has been dissolving, the egg membrane may be the only

thing holding the egg together. Carefully dump out the vinegar. Put

the eggs back in the container and cover them with fresh vinegar.

Leave the eggs in the refrigerator for another 24 hours. Scoop the

eggs out again and rinse them carefully. If any of the membranes have

broken, throw those eggs away. When you're done, you'll have an egg

without a shell.

How to build a volcano:

First, make the "cone" of the volcano. Mix 6 cups flour, 2 cups salt,

4 tablespoons cooking oil and 2 cups of water. The resulting mixture

should be smooth and firm (more water may be added if needed). Stand

a soda bottle in a baking pan and mold the dough around it into a

volcano shape. Do not cover the hole or drop dough into it. Fill the

bottle most of the way full with warm water and a bit of red food

color (can be done before sculpting if you do not take so long that

the water gets cold). Add 6 drops of detergent to the bottle

contents. Add 2 tablespoons baking soda to the liquid. Slowly pour

vinegar into the bottle. Watch out eruption time!

Berry Ink & Quill Pens

Berry ink ingredients:

C. Ripe berries (blueberries, cherries, blackberries, strawberries,

elderberries, raspberries, etc.)

Tsp. Vinegar

Tsp. Salt

Fill a strainer with the berries and hold it over a bowl. Using the

rounded back of a wooden spoon, crush the berries against the

strainer so that the berry juice strains into the bowl. Keep adding

berries until most of their juice has been strained out and only pulp

remains. Add the salt and vinegar to the berry juice. The vinegar

helps the ink retain its color and the salt keeps it from getting too

moldy. If the berry ink is too thick, add a tablespoon of water.

Store in a baby food jar. Only make a small amount of berry ink at a

time and, when not in use, keep it tightly covered.

Quill pen ingredients:

A large feather (find your own or purchase one from a craft store)

Craft knife


Berry ink

Paper towels

Use a craft knife to cut the tip of the feather at an angle.

Carefully, cut a slit in the tip. Dip the feather into the berry ink.

Dab the end on a paper towel. Repeat as needed. Now, write your

masterpiece just like the pioneers did!