Perfectly Practical #32 - Distilled Vinegar

I really should buy stock in Heinz for the simple reason that I keep their distilled vinegar division busy.  (I should also get their stock since it is the only brand of ketchup that Engineer will eat and because they send their stock holders really nice coupons.)

You know about the smell of summer in our house well a bit of that carries over all year long.  I use vinegar to cook and clean with so I go through quite a lot of the stuff. 

General Cleaner Recipes Using Vinegar

All-Purpose Cleaner

1 part vinegar
3 parts water
Few drops of an essential oil (I like lemongrass)

I pour everything into a repurposed kitchen cleaner bottle and give it a good shake.

Toilet Cleaner


I just pour about 1/4 c. straight in the bowl and give it a good swish.

Window Cleaner

1 part vinegar
4 parts water

I put everything in a repurposed window cleaner bottle and give it a good shake.

Drain Cleaner

Baking Soda

Pack the baking soda in your drain as best you can then pour hot vinegar down it.  Once it stops fizzing pour boiling water down the drain to loosen up any leftover and get your drain deodorized and clean.  You can do this in the garbage disposal as well.

Microwave Cleaner


Put some vinegar in a bowl and microwave for about a minute or two.  The baked on grease and food will wipe right off afterwards.  (Yes, I know you know I don't have a microwave but I have used this method back when I did have a microwave or when I have visited family who had one.)

To Clean the Coffeemaker


Put vinegar in the water tank then turn on the machine.  Let the vinegar run through the cycle then use the hot vinegar to clean a drain or clean the wheel of a can opener (use a toothbrush for that one.)  Run 2 pots of straight water through the machine before brewing coffee again.

I also use a solution of rubbing alcohol and vinegar to prevent Swimmers' Ear.  Put 1 part vinegar to 2 parts alcohol on a teaspoon and gently pour it into your swimmer's ear.  It kills the bacteria and dries quickly but doesn't feel so nice when it goes down so be prepared for a wiggly recipient no matter what their age.

These are just the ways I use vinegar in our house, other perfectly practical uses for vinegar are listed here.