I know, I know… diamonds are awesome, too. But can diamonds get stains out of your favorite dress? Can diamonds make your hair shine? Will diamonds get the mirrors in your house squeaky clean? Thought not.

Vinegar has been saving human beings from bacterial and fungal destruction since time immemorial (like BC- Before Christ). What makes it so powerful is a paradoxically weak acid called acetic acid. This solution pisses bacteria and fungus off no end. Which is why vinegar is so darned useful around the house that buying the one-liter bottle is totally justified. Even if you forget about the said bottle and it sits around for a year, you don’t need to worry. It doesn’t spoil!

There are of course hundreds of uses for a substance that is strong enough to disinfect but mild enough to not damage surfaces. However, these are the ones you are most likely to find relevant.

Skin care

Apple Cider Vinegar, or ACV as its devotees call it, is a handy way of getting rid of pesky pimples. Just soak a cotton ball in a 2:1 water-vinegar solution and apply on pimply skin for ten minutes. Repeat two or three times a day and rejoice as your pimple disappears!

Hair care

Not only is a diluted ACV rinse an excellent way to make your hair shine, it also helps treat dandruff. Warning: if you have dry hair, you may want to use ACV only on your scalp. Mix 2 tablespoons of ACV (white vinegar leaves a strong smell) with 2 tablespoons of warm water and massage onto your scalp. Keep for 5 minutes, then rinse and shampoo. It will reduce itching immediately and help reduce dandruff after just a few applications.

Fabric care

There are three reasons for putting two tablespoons of vinegar (the ordinary synthetic white) in your laundry rinse water. First, it helps kill off bacteria on your clothes. Second, it prevents the appearance of mold spots on them in the rainy season. Third, it works as a fabric softener, at a fraction of the cost. To offset any smell that it may leave behind on your clothes, put in a couple of drops of your favorite perfume or essential oil as well.

Remove scaling

Want to unclog your shower head and restore your taps to their former glory? Vinegar will do the trick. Soak the shower head in a mixture of vinegar and water for a couple of hours, then clean gently with a brush. Any blocked holes will be cleared and scaling marks will disappear when you rinse it off. The same works on taps as well. Just soak a rag in vinegar and leave on the scaly tap for an hour. It’ll be as good as new when you wipe it off! Well, almost.

Kitchen cleaner

Practically any kitchen cleaner you buy off-the-rack is overloaded with chemicals. And if you’ve ever put an errant pea from the platform back in your food (who hasn’t?), you don’t want those chemicals on it. So, try cleaning the surface with a 50-50 vinegar-water mix instead. Spray it liberally on a wet platform and wipe. You can also use this mix to clean out other kitchen surfaces, like microwave, cutting boards, and back splash.

Floor cleaner

Making your own floor cleaner may seem like a height of domesticity you don’t want to reach, but it’s worth it when it smells like rose water (you have to try it to believe it!). The secret is half cup vinegar, 1 cup water, and 15 drops of citronella oil. Mix it all in a bottle, shake well and use it to make your mop water fragrant. Bonus: The citronella also works as an insect repellent!

Anti-fungal wipe

Vinegar’s afore-mentioned aggressiveness against fungus makes it an excellent antidote to all mold, mildew and ‘white fuzz’ fungus on any surface. Just pour some on a wet rag and wipe.

We could go on but we’ve already covered a bottle’s worth of uses for this miracle worker. But if its utility doesn’t have you running to the store, its eco-friendliness might. Think one bottle of vinegar versus multiple bottles of specialized products.
Could it get any better?

By Sweta Vinod

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