Other uses for Vinegar, Baking Soda, WD40, Coca Cola, Fabric Softener Sheets and Paper Towels

This is a guest post by John M

Vinegar

When it comes to grocery store products, vinegar is liquid gold. People have been using it for ages – and not just for cooking and preserving foods. Vinegar’s versatility is virtually unmatched; there are literally hundreds of potential applications. Aside from its primary applications, here is just a small sample of all the other things vinegar can be used for:

1. Disinfect wood cutting boards.
2. Soothe a sore throat; use 1 tsp of vinegar per glass of water, then gargle.
3. Fight dandruff; after shampooing, rinse hair with vinegar and 2 cups of warm water.
4. Remove warts; apply daily a 50/50 solution of cider vinegar and glycerin until they’re gone.
5. Cure an upset stomach; drink 2 tsp apple cider vinegar in one cup of water.
6. Polish chrome.
7. Keep boiled eggs from cracking; add 2 tbsp to water before boiling.
8. Clean deposits from fish tanks.
9. Remove urine stains from carpet. (Heh. Hopefully, it’s animal urine!)
10. Keep fleas off dogs; add a little vinegar to the dog’s drinking water.
11. Keep car windows from frosting up; use a solution of 3 oz. vinegar to 1 oz. water.
12. Clean dentures; soak overnight in vinegar and then brush.
13. Get rid of lint in clothes; add 0.5 cup vinegar to rinse cycle.
14. Remove grease from suede.
15. Kill grass on sidewalks and driveways.
16. Make wool blankets softer; add 2 cups distilled vinegar to rinse cycle.
17. Remove skunk odor from a dog; rub fur with full strength vinegar and rinse.
18. Freshen wilted vegetables; soak them in 1 tbsp vinegar and a cup of water.
19. Dissolve mineral deposits in drip coffee makers.
20. Deodorize drains; pour a cup down the drain once a week, let sit for 30 minutes, then rinse.
21. Use as a replacement for a lemon; 0.25 tsp vinegar substitutes for 1 tsp of lemon juice.
22. Make rice fluffier; add 1 tsp of vinegar to water when it boils.
23. Prevent grease build-up in ovens; wipe oven with cleaning rag soaked in distilled vinegar and water.
24. Kill germs; mix a 50-50 solution of vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
25. Unclog shower heads; place in a pot with 50-50 solution of vinegar and water, bring it to a boil and then simmer for 5 minutes.
26. Shine patent leather.
27. Make propane lantern wicks burn longer/brighter; soak them in vinegar for 3 hours, let dry.
28. Act as an an air freshener.
29. Soften paint brushes; soak in hot vinegar then rinse with soapy water.
30. Remove bumper stickers and decals; simply cover them with vinegar-soaked cloth for several minutes.
31. Prolong the life of fresh-cut flowers; use 2 tbsp of vinegar and 3 tbsp of sugar per quart of warm water.

All of these vinegar applications, and scores more, can be found at this informative site.

Baking Soda

Aside from its primary use as a baking agent, baking soda is another grocery item with an almost countless number of applications. For example, among other things, baking soda can be used to:

1. Deodorize your refrigerator; put an open box in the fridge.
2. Remove odors from shoes.
3. Keep drains clean and free-flowing; use 4 tbspns of soda and flush with hot water.
4. Keep your underarms smelling fresh.
5. Soften your skin.
6. Relieve diaper rash.
7. Relieve sunburn; apply a paste of soda and water.
8. Extinguish small grease and electrical fires.
9. Polish silverware.
10. Clean your refrigerator. (Or your neighbors, for that matter.)
11. Remove cat box odors; cover the bottom of the box with soda, then top with kitty litter.
12. Clean and remove stale odors from thermos bottles and coolers.
13. Make dried beans more digestible by soaking them in a solution of baking soda and water.
14. Make wild game taste less, well, “gamey.”
15. Remove oil and grease stains from laundry; add baking soda to the wash water.
16. Remove stains from marble, Formica or plastic surfaces; apply a paste of soda and water.
17. Remove grease from garage floors.
18. Clean vegetables and fruit; sprinkle some in water, then soak and rinse.
19. Wash garbage cans.
20. Clean and remove odors from your dishwasher; just run it with soda instead of soap.
21. Inhibit smoldering butts in ashtrays.
22. Clean shower curtains.
23. Keep teeth or dentures clean. (Preferably, yours.)
24. Relieve indigestion and heartburn; drink 0.5 tsp of soda in 4 oz of water
25. Use as a mouthwash and/or relieve canker sore pain; gargle with 0.5 tsp of soda in 4 oz of water
26. Remove baked-on food from pots and pans; soak in soda and water for 15 min.
27. Relieve bee sting pain.
28. Make homemade Play Dough; combine 1.25 cups water, 2 cups soda, 1 cup cornstarch.
29. Remove feathers more easily when scalding a chicken; just add to the water.
30. As a windshield water-repellent.
31. Clean canvas handbags.
32. Shine chrome and stainless steel.

For even more baking soda applications, check out this site.

WD-40

You can’t get a gallon of milk at your local Home Depot, but you can often find WD-40 in a grocery store! WD-40 was originally developed as a water-repellent and corrosion preventer, but today the manufacturer claims the product has over 2000 uses. But, Len, if there are 2000 uses why isn’t this product listed at number 1? Well, the answer is two-fold: 1) because most of those 2000 uses are just variations of the same basic applications; and 2) this is my list and I’ll do as I want. (So there.)

Here are 20 of the more arcane ones which have actually been verified by the manufacturer according to Snopes:

1. Removes road tar and grime from cars.
2. Loosens stuck zippers.
3. Untangles jewelery chains.
4. Keeps pigeons off the balcony. (Apparently, they hate the smell.)
5. Lubricates prosthetic limbs.
6. Protects silver from tarnishing.
7. Keeps ceramic/terracotta garden pots from oxidizing.
8. Keeps scissors working smoothly.
9. Lubricates squeaky home and vehicle door hinges.
10. Lubricates gear shifts and deck levers on riding mowers.
11. Eliminates squeaks from kids’ swings.
12. Makes home windows easier to open. (And it’s safer than a hammer!)
13. Helps stubborn umbrellas to open and close.
14. Restores and cleans vehicle roof racks.
15. Lubricates and stops squeaks in electric fans.
16. Lubricates wheel sprockets on tricycles, wagons, and bicycles.
17. Removes residual duct tape adhesive.
18. Cleans bugs off of grills and bumpers.
19. Displaces the moisture and allows a car to start when sprayed on the distributor cap.
20. Removes black scuff marks from floors.

Coca-Cola

Paul Michael wrote an article for Wisebread that highlighted 51 potential uses for Coke (or any other cola product, for that matter). Here are some of the more interesting ones:

1. Remove grease and blood stains from clothing and fabric.
2. Clean oil stains from a garage floor.
3. Remove rust. (My mom said she used to do this as a kid do get corrosion off her bike – I guess she didn’t have any WD-40!)
4. Loosen a rusty bolt. (Another WD-40 trick. Am I the only one here beginning to think Coke is a main ingredient in that stuff?)
5. Tenderize and add extra flavor to a pot roast. (Okay. Let’s see WD-40 do this!)
6. Kill slugs and snails.
7. Help a lawn become lush and green.
8. Prevent an asthma attack.
9. Defrost a frozen windshield. (I prefer using hot coffee – black – but that’s just me.)
10. Clean burnt pans.
11. Neutralize a jellyfish sting.
12. Clean car battery terminals. (I’ve done this before. It works!)
13. Entertain the kids by creating an exploding fountain. (With the help of a pack of Mentos.)
14. Make your hair curly.
15. Age documents and photos.
16. Clean tile grout.
17. Make better compost. (The the acidity and sugar feeds microorganisms.)
18. Remove gum from hair.
19. Remove stains from vitreous china.
20. Clear up swimming pool water.
21. Deodorize laundry.
22. Remove dye from hair by pouring Diet Coke over it.
23. Remove marker stains from carpet.

Fabric Softener Sheets

Who hasn’t used fabric softener sheet at least once in their life? Most of us though use them to make our clothes soft and remove static cling as they come out of the dryer. But did you know that these versatile sheets can also:

1. Repel mice and ants.
2. Act as a mosquito, bee and yellow jacket repellent; tie one through a belt loop.
3. Prevent dust from settling on computer monitors.
4. Dissolve soap scum from shower doors.
5. Eliminate wastebasket odors; just place them in the bottom.
6. Prevent dust from settling on Venetian blinds; wipe them down and no more dust.
7. Deodorize stinky shoes.
8. Keep stored tents and sleeping bags smelling fresh.
9. Prevent musty suitcases.
10. Collect cat hair. (No word on whether it works on dog hair too.)
11. Act as a car or room air freshener.
12. Prevent thread from tangling; run a threaded needle through a sheet before sewing.
13. Collect sawdust resulting from drilling or sandpapering.
14. Eliminate odors from dirty laundry; place a sheet at the bottom of a hamper.
15. Remove splattered bugs from cars; scrub with a wet sheet.
16. Clean baked-on food from pans; put a sheet in pan, fill with water and let sit overnight. Sponge clean.

Paper Towels

What the heck can you do with a paper towel besides sop up spills? Plenty! Paper towels can also:

1. Act as a quick-and-dirty lumbar pillow. (You’ll need to use the whole roll, of course.)
2. Remove silk from fresh corn; just run a damp paper towel across the ear.
3. Act as a coffee filter. (I’ve done this before in a pinch and it works well.)
4. Keep lettuce fresh longer; wrap around lettuce head to soak up excess moisture. (I’ve done this for years.)
5. Prevent frozen bread from getting soggy as it thaws; simply place a paper towel in the bag before freezing.
6. Provide temporary sunburn relief; lay a damp towel across affected skin.
7. Clean your can opener; close the opener over a paper towel edge and turn the crank.
8. Keep cast iron pots rust-free; placed in clean pots, they’ll absorb moisture.
9. Remove crayon from chalk boards; place a paper towel over wax, then press a warm iron over towel.
10. Remove candle wax from carpet and upholstery. (Use the same method as above.)
11. Sprout seeds; place a few seeds between damp towels, then keep damp for two weeks.
12. Act as a cheap place mat.
13. Strain fat from broth; place a paper towel in colander and pour the broth through it.
14. Protect Christmas tree ornaments during storage.
15. Prevent bacon splatter in a microwave oven.
16. Remove residual grease from sewing machines; run the first few stitches through the towel.

Well, that’s it. Remember, these are only partial lists for each of these products.

If you have any favorite special applications for any of these items, don’t be shy! Share them with the rest of us. Keep Smiling

SO, WHAT’S NEXT?


Comments

  1. I’ve heard but can’t verify that WD40 can be used as a bait oil for attracting fish. A small squirt on the bait or lure is supposed to work and have also heard that it is illegal to use in some areas. I presume that would be due to it having a bit of petroleum based product in it and it is illegal to put that in navigable waters.

    • It is worth a try and it would help lures move freely.Can`t get into trouble for being caught in pos
      sesion of a can of wd 40 no matter what you done in the past.

    • azrealityprepper says:

      I cannot say I have used it *wink* as it is illegal in most places but from what I understand *wink* it works VERY WELL. It is NOT a petroleum based product, it is actually made of fish oil, that is why it attracts fish, crabs, etc. I have heard *wink* that it can be sprayed onto a punctured can of cat food and placed into a crab pot and it will attract twice the amount of crab that other pots right next to it attract *wink*. he he he……

    • Utilizing WD-40 as an attractant is no more a pollutant than backing one’s boat trailer into the lake to off-or-on load the boat, so don’t let some tree-hugger give you any guilt over its use.
      And yes, it does work as an attractant on bass, haven’t tried it on anything else. And, if you’re like me and have some arthritic problems in your hands, don’t be afraid to rub a squirt around and leave it there. Makes your hands smell like a good fish bait and eases the pain in fingers and elbows. (Discovered when covering bass baits… I spray the WD on my hand and change baits, or handle it- saves time and overspray. And if the tree huggers tell me I can’t use it as bait, I can tell them I’m not: I’m using it as a medicine for my arthritis!)

    • We used to use to spray it on our herring bait when fishing for Halibut

      • Thanks for the feedback. Of course I would never do anything like spray it on my crab traps or put any on those herring I just caught for the halibut fishing later this year.

        • of course not believer. That can in my tackle box is only to spray on the gears in my fishing real. LOL

  2. mom of three says:

    Great tips, looks like I need another bottle of apple cider vinegar 🙂

  3. Thanks for the list. Some I knew, some I didn’t.

    This list goes in the Book!

  4. Thanks for this article. It’s a keeper!

  5. I’ve used WD40 to clean oil based paint of my hands.

  6. As per the vinegar: I wish it was notes if each entry was white vinegar or apple cider,

  7. Seasoned_Citizen says:

    Yep–GREAT Mon Morning Tips!

    Last week I was ready to go out to my “Big Box” store where they had white 5% vinegar for $2.99/gal.

    On my way over, I stopped at my local Drug Store to pick up some Mason/Ball lids, and lo and behold: they had their “store brand 5% vinegar” at their canning supplies section for $1.50/gal!

    Hoo-ray! I bought twice as much as I could–keep the white vinegar out of sunlight, lid on tight, and away from temperature swings and guess what: shelf life: “indefinite!”

    Buy the tasty apple cider vinegar when it’s on sale. A tbls for me in a glass of chilled water and I’m rarin’ to go! Stands to reason if you “acidify” your system, lots of “nasties,” like yeast, fungus, and molds won’t be able to hang around in your “pipes.”

    • Apple Cider vinegar for ingesting should be organic. Lots of toxins in the commercial ACV. Also, you mean alkalize your system.
      ACV turns alkaline in your body not acidic. Alkaline “kills the nasties” you listed above. Shouldn’t ingest white vinegar. Hope this helps.

  8. Baking soda #1 – Save your baking soda for other uses, it won’t eliminate odors from the fridge. See “What Einstein Told His Cook” by Robert Wolke for the reasons. Can’t remember if it’s in book 1 or 2.
    Refrigerator odors – even strong ones like onion – will go away on their own.

  9. Always great to find extra uses for staples you keep in the house. I cook for a living and when we clean equipment at work, sometimes we use harsh chemicals. After cleaning/rinsing, we wipe down with vinegar to make sure any residue is neutralized.
    Now and then I get some acid reflux and a tablespoon of vinegar nips that in under a minute.
    Definitely keeping the lists… thanks for all the tips.

  10. patientmomma says:

    Great lists – thanks for compiling! My husband was in the Navy and as a young sailor when trying to get rusty bolts or screws loose, he would pour regular coke on them and let it sit 5 minutes. He said it ate the corrosion right off the stubborn bolts. OBTW, he never drank any coke products after seeing what it did on the ship! HA!

  11. To remove gum fro carpet, take a can of computer key board cleaner and turn it upside down. The product comes out as freon and freezes the gum instantly. Take a knife and scrape it off.

  12. keyboardcryer says:

    Actually, making your own vinegar seems fairly straightforward and easy, using apples, grapes, many of the organic scraps you usually have. It takes a pretty long time to finish, but is very little work. Check out the various recipes found online for apple cider, red wine and other vinegars! They are reported to be much better tasting and more potent!

    • Works with pineapple skins and cores, just have to scrub the skins very well. Makes a tasty vinegar.

  13. I use baking soda every day to clean my skin in the shower.It also keeps foot fungus at bay.

  14. On the coca cola… a great lesson and science experiment with kids is to drop an extracted or baby tooth into a glass or bowl with coke in it. I would always do this on the first day of vacation Bible school with my class. By Friday the tooth was brown and very soft and could easily be broken up just with a finger nail. Don’t know if any of the kids drank coke any more, but I know I never drank it in front of them!

  15. Thank you for the great information. One question – at the end of the vinegar and baking soda sections you mention another site to get more information but the links are not included. Are there links you intended to list and if so could you provide them? Thanks much.

  16. Apple Cider Vinegar is also great to cure many different types
    of disease without using poisonous pharmaceutical drugs that
    will accumulate in the body and kill you over time. If your Dr. says otherwise they are lying. See: earthclinic.com for the types of disease it cures and the help it gives to relieve symptoms of other disease. It is best to buy organic but some
    people have had success using store bought ACV that is not organic. I recommend the organic ACV as it may have the
    exact properties the body needs to heal. I base this on people
    that have reported positive results using the organic after reading hundreds of posts.

  17. Great post. I’ll be filing this one.

  18. ArvadaDude says:

    WD-40 is NOT a lubricant. It is designed to break free rusty parts, but the main feature is “Water Displacement” as in WD… to prevent rust and remove water from parts.

    3 in 1 oil, Tri-Flow, Houdini, and many of the silicon based liquid sprays are lubricants.

    I am a full time locksmith, and what I have seen will suprise you about WD-40. When used as a lubricatant, it works for a short time like 24 hours. Then it actually collects dirt/dust ect and binds up and becomes worse.

    I love it when customers spray it in their door locks and especially their ignition cylinder in their vehicle. I make a lot replacing them when the WD-40 fails and their ignition won’t turn!!

    In that sense, please keep recommending WD-40 as a lubricant … I have a Grandkid on the way, I need to make some extra cash.

  19. Beano McReano says:

    You can also use paper towel as a pipe filter if you smoke pipes that can take a filter. It is a quick, effective, and cheap replacement.

    You can also put a small wad in a Peterson Standard pipe well to prevent the annoying overflow of moisture seepage in the bowl.

  20. The cleaning vinegar (it’s a hair stronger the regular white vinegar) found on store shelves will kill a fire ant mound. Kills poison ivy/poison oak too.

    I fill a quart mason jar about halfway with citrus peel (pith and all) then fill with cleaning vinegar and let it sit for a few weeks, strain and put in a spray bottle to use as a grease buster. Smells better than plain vinegar.

  21. Coca-cola and bbq sauce, equal amounts of each, poured over a beef or pork roast or chicken parts in slow cooker; cook till meat is falling apart (6 to 8 hours usually). This makes for tasty bbq for sandwiches with almost no prep. If you want to get fancy, add some chopped onion, a bit of dry mustard, and a pinch of cayenne.

  22. Not sure if I saw it mentioned above but vinegar is supposed to be good for removing epoxy from skin.

  23. Will Fehlow says:

    You rock, thanks for the great lists and humor! ~Will

  24. ValeriePederson says:

    As.far.as.helping.with.arthritis,my.mother.used.it.on.her.arthritic.shoulders.and.ended.up.with.kidney.problems.FYI.

  25. It’s a great list of useful purposes! I’m definitely not drinking coca-cola and I’m trying to convince my sister in the same thing. I use it for cleaning too and here are some more good ideas for using it. I’m showing your post to my sis and hope she’ll finally understand my point. Great post, thank you for sharing!