“Every culture uses some form of vinegar,” says Maria Costantino, an expert on the substance who co-wrote the book Vinegar: 100s of Household Uses, which means there are a lot more ways to use vinegar than with oil on a salad or your fries. Here, Costantino offers some of the more unique — and useful — ways to use the most common liquid in the kitchen.
1. Clean your produce
Rinse your vegetables with water to loosen the dirt and then spray on vinegar to help get wax off fruits and vegetables.
2. Clean surfaces
White vinegar has enough acid to kill microbes including e-coli on the surface. Just wipe down and dry.
3. Calm a jellyfish sting
Apply vinegar to the sting. Be warned that not all jellyfish stings work with vinegar. The acid may actually aggravate some.
4. And a wasp sting
Vinegar helps with wasps’ stings because they’re alkaline. Not true for bee stings, which are acidic (for those, try baking soda to neutralize).
5. To perfectly poach an egg
Vinegar helps the albumen (whites of the eggs) bind when poaching. Just add a few drops to the water before adding the eggs.
6. The simplest marinade
Simple vinegar marinade kills the surface bacteria on the protein as well as breakdown the tough fibrous parts of the meat.
7. For fruit and vegetables
Drizzle balsamic vinegar on fruit such as strawberries and grilled peaches. It helps bring out the sweetness. Try a small amount on top of roasted vegetables like asparagus and carrots.
8. As a lemon substitute
Use in place of lemon or lime. With guacamole, add a splash of Balsamic. Add a touch on grilled fish.
9. In place of salt
Use less salt since the vinegar gives the needed flavor enhancement.
10. Or to neutralize too much salt
If you over-salt or use too much sugar, vinegar can help neutralize the mistake.
11. To quickly pickle
These elevate any taco, sandwich or grilled meat. Thinly slice onions and cover in vinegar. Use as needed.
12. Preserve garlic
Peel garlic and cover with vinegar in a closed jar. Use as needed.
13. Extend life of hardboiled eggs
Peel hardboiled eggs and submerge in vinegar. They’re ready to eat any time.
14. Clean windows
Spray on windows and wipe dry with newspapers.
15. Metal cleaner
Soak pennies and rusted tools in vinegar to get rid of rust.
16. Clean showerhead
To get rid of mineral deposits, just place the showerhead in a vinegar-filled plastic bag. Check on it after an hour.
17. Clean shower curtain
Soak the curtain in vinegar and then rinse.
18. Toilet cleaner
Mix vinegar and baking soda and pour in bowl. The foam will help agitate the buildup. Other cleaners are much more corrosive.
19. Unclogging drains
Pour mixture of baking soda and vinegar down the drain. It foams up and helps discharge clogs.
20. Fight soap residue
Sometimes soap builds up, to get it out of your clothes, try adding some vinegar to the wash.
21. In place of deodorant (in a pinch)
Vinegar on the feet and under the arm deodorizes. It doesn’t stop sweat, but it prevents the bacteria from growing.
22. Remove stickers and wallpaper
Soak the material in a mix of vinegar and water. Scrape or peel.
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