01/24/2012 09:06 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

How To Be Organized: 5 New Uses For Vinegar

Vinegar is more than something you use while cooking and baking. From cleaning to laundry, the sour stuff has a host of other uses. Here are my favorite five ways you can use vinegar inside (and outside) your home.

A little bit can make a big difference. Flickr photo by Chris Martin

Household Disinfectant. During the days of the Black Plague, it was believed that vinegar would ward off disease. Technically they were right. Vinegar is effective bacteria killer, and you can use it for household cleaning purposes, ranging from scrubbing the tub to even cleaning mirrors or stainless steel. You can use the vinegar straight-up.

Windshield De-Icer. If the forecast calls for frost, ensure a morning free of scraping with a coat of this preventative solution: 3 parts vinegar to 1 part water. Simply spritz over your windshield for a few weeks' worth of protection.

Drain Unclogger. Remember the science experiments you would do as a kid with the volcano made of vinegar and baking soda? Try putting a little bit of baking soda into a clogged drain and then pour vinegar into it. Your volcano, I mean drain, will erupt and the reaction helps break down down. The best part about this method is that is much safer than industrial chemical drain cleaners, which are toxic to your pets and children.

Laundry. Do you have some stinky laundry? We all do, and you can use vinegar to help deodorize your garments or laundry. Just pour a cup of vinegar into the washer and it helps take care of your odor problems. Not only that, but the vinegar also helps keep your fabric soft and fluffy. Just add the vinegar when you start the laundry cycle with your regular detergent. (And no, it won't make your clothes smell like a salad.)

Clear The Air. When painting the walls, even low-VOC formulas can give off a bit of an odor. But a dish of vinegar placed in the room will reduce the smell, making this task (a little) easier.

What are your favorite tips for vinegar? Share them in the comments!