02/20/2015 02:28 pm ET Updated Apr 22, 2015

6 Unique Ways to Use Vinegar

I have mad love for a product that is probably in your pantry at this very moment: vinegar. Disguised as a common cooking ingredient, this powerhouse liquid has the ability to clean your home, deodorize smelly spaces and promote overall good health. What's not to love?

Mixing one part white vinegar and one part water in a spray bottle will give you a quick, all-around household cleaner that can be used for numerous tasks like wiping down appliances, cleaning your bathroom fixtures or shining up mirrors and windows. As you begin to get a good vibe for vinegar, here are 6 more ways vinegar can help keep your home clean, fresh and healthy:

  1. Deodorize your garbage disposal by freezing vinegar in an ice cube tray. According to, grinding up the vinegar cubes in the disposal will clean and sharpen the blades all at the same time.
  2. Unclog a drain by pouring 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by ½ cup white vinegar. As soon as it stops foaming, cover and let it sit for 30 minutes before flushing it with boiling water. This eco-friendly (and inexpensive) cleaning solution causes a lot less damage to your pipes than regular commercial cleaners.
  3. Clean your dishwasher by pouring 1 cup of vinegar into the bottom tub and running it through one cycle without any dishes. suggests doing this once every month or two to remove built-up soap residue. In addition to keeping your appliance clean, this once-every-month task may prolong the life of your dishwasher.
  4. Out of dryer sheets? No problem, simply add 3/4 cup of white vinegar to your washer during the final rinse cycle. This simple step not only will help keep clothes soft and lint-free, but it will also eliminate soap residue from both your clothes and the washing machine.
  5. Remove stale cigarette smells and other odors with two cups of white or raw apple cider vinegar. Pour into a spray bottle and spritz around the room or place it in a bowl and allow it to sit in the room for a day. Also, while cooking fish, boil a small pot of vinegar to clear the air. Unlike store-bought air fresheners that usually cover up smells, the acetic acid in vinegar absorbs the odor.
  6. As we head into spring, you can use vinegar to extend the life of your fresh cut flowers. Adding two tablespoons of white vinegar per quart of water will allow those spring flowers to stay pretty a bit longer.

Worried your home will smell like vinegar? Don't be. A little known fact is that the smell disappears pretty much as soon as the vinegar has dried -- leaving you nothing but a fresh, clean home to enjoy with your family and friends.

Talk to us: What are some other creative uses you have found for vinegar?