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Vinegar is one of the most versatile household products available. Most people use it for cleaning their kitchen and bathroom or for removing stains from clothes and carpet. But like other versatile products such salt and baking soda, it makes a great addition to any survival cache.
During a long-term disaster you’ll want to be able to do as many things with as few items as possible. A few jugs of vinegar can replace soaps, cleaners, and even some types of medicine. It’s cheap, it’s convenient, and it saves space. Here are 20 uses for vinegar. (Note: Everything on this list is for distilled white vinegar.)
1. Clean Most Surfaces – Mix 1 part vinegar with 1 part water in a spray bottle and use it to clean sinks, counters, shower walls, mirrors, and windows (for this method, wipe glass with newspaper instead of paper towels to minimize streaking).
2. Clean Toilets – Sprinkle baking soda around the inside edge, then pour a cup of vinegar in there and start scrubbing.
3. Clean Floors – Add 1/2 cup of vinegar to 1 gallon of water and use the mixture to mop hardwood and tile floors. (Do not use on stone or marble).
4. Cure Athlete’s Foot – Wet a cotton ball with equal parts water and vinegar and apply to the problem area every night. Wait for your feet to dry before putting on socks and shoes.
5. Disinfect Wood Cutting Boards – Don’t mix vinegar with water for this one. Simply wipe with plain vinegar to disinfect wood cutting boards and neutralize odors.
6. Dissolve Glue – Vinegar is a great solvent on most types of adhesives, including gum. And it’s a lot cheaper than Goo Gone.
7. Freshen Vegetables – If you have wilted vegetables, soak them in a mixture of 2 tablespoons of vinegar and 1 quart of water.
8. Get Rid of Hiccups – Swallow just 1 teaspoon of vinegar for instant relief (this doesn’t work for everybody).
9. Improve Lantern Wicks – Soak lantern wicks in vinegar for several hours then let them air dry. They will burn longer and brighter.
10. Keep Frost Off Windows – Dip a towel in vinegar and wipe the windows on your house and car. This will prevent them from frosting over during the night.
11. Remove Grease – Soak a sponge in vinegar and use it to remove grease from dishes, counters, and stove tops.
12. Remove Rust – Soak rusty tools in vinegar for 12-24 hours then thoroughly rinse them with water.
13. Remove Stains – Soak clothing stains with vinegar for several minutes before washing them. Soak carpet stains with vinegar then sprinkle baking soda on them. Wait several minutes minutes, then wipe and/or vacuum it up.
14. Replace Lemon Juice – If you have a recipe that calls for lemon juice, you can use vinegar instead. For every teaspoon of lemon juice use 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar.
15. Soothe Bug Bites – Soak a cotton ball with vinegar then dab your bug bite with it until the itching stops. However, don’t do this if the area is already raw.
16. Soothe Sore Throats – Add a tablespoon of vinegar to a glass of warm water and gargle with it once an hour until your sore throat is gone.
17. Stop Ants – Washing counters, cabinets and floors with vinegar will keep ants away.
18. Stop Heartburn – Simply swallow a tablespoon of vinegar when you have heartburn. Doing this causes the esophagus to close and stops stomach acids from bothering you.
19. Unclog Drains – Sprinkle 1/4 cup of baking soda into your drain, then add 1/4 cup of vinegar. Wait for the mixture to bubble up, then rinse with water.
20. Wash Produce – Mix 3 parts water and 1 part vinegar and scrub your produce with it. This will remove bacteria and pesticides. When you’re done, rinse them with water.