Creative Uses for Vinegar and Baking Soda

A bottle of vinegar and a jar of baking soda.

Vinegar and baking soda have a lot more uses than just making volcanoes. You can use these two common household items as natural cleaners and for other projects. Here are just some of their many uses.


Eliminate soap residue by adding 1 cup of white vinegar to the washer's final rinse. Vinegar is too mild to harm fabrics but strong enough to dissolve alkalis in soaps and detergents.

Do not use vinegar if you add chlorine bleach to your rinsing water. It will produce harmful vapors.

To remove decals and non-slip bathtub strips, saturate a cloth or sponge with hot vinegar and squeeze it over decals.

Stick-on hooks come off from painted surfaces if you squeeze a few drops of vinegar behind the hook.

Remove price labels by coating the label with several coats of white vinegar. Let it soak. After several minutes the label will rub off.

Lime deposits around faucets can be softened for easy removal by covering the deposits with vinegar-soaked paper towels. Leave the paper towels on for about one hour before cleaning. It will leave chrome clean and shiny.

Vinegar removes deposits which clog your metal showerheads and sink aerators. Combine ½ cup white vinegar and 1-quart water. Submerge the showerhead or aerators and boil it for 15 minutes.

If you have a plastic showerhead, combine 1 pint white vinegar and 1 pint hot water, completely submerge the showerhead, and soak for about one hour.

Since vinegar also breaks down uric acid, add 1 cup vinegar to the rinse water for babies' clothes.

To make a homemade anti-fogging glass cleaner, try 1 part white vinegar to 3 parts water and mist. This also reduces ice build-up on the outside of cars.

For rust stains and hard water deposits, apply vinegar full-strength until spot disappears, then rinse. Repeat if necessary.

Mix vinegar with salt to create a paste for a good surface cleaner. It cleans tarnished copper well.

Remove stubborn hard water sprinkler spots and streaks on glass with undiluted vinegar.

Aluminum care is another great area for vinegar. Brighten aluminum utensils by cooking acid foods such as tomatoes, apples, or rhubarb or by boiling 2 tablespoons vinegar per quart of water for 10 minutes in the pan. Prevent discoloration in the bottoms of double boilers or egg poachers by adding 1 teaspoon vinegar to the water in the bottom pan.

Heating a solution of 1 tablespoon vinegar per quart of water in each pan until discoloration disappears.

Clean aluminum coffeepots and remove lime deposits by boiling equal parts water and white vinegar. (Boiling time depends upon how heavy the deposits are.)

Clean teapots by boiling equal parts of vinegar and water for several minutes and let it stand an hour. Then rinse with plain water before using the teapot.

Baking Soda

You can cut the amount of chlorine bleach used in your wash by half when you add ¼ cup of baking soda to front-loading washers and ½ a cup to top loading machines.

This will also make your clothes smell clean and fresh.

Dissolve 4 tablespoons baking soda in 1-quart warm water for a general cleaner.

Use baking soda on a damp sponge to clean and deodorize all kitchen and bathroom surfaces.

Baking soda and salt paste will clean baking dishes, enamel, ceramic, glass, coffee stains from cups or countertops, and be a great soap scum remover.

For sluggish or clogged drains pour ½ cup baking soda down the drain. Add ½ cup white vinegar and cover the drain if possible. Let it set for a few minutes, Then pour a kettle of 6 or more cups of boiling water down the drain to flush it. The combination of baking soda and vinegar breaks down fatty acids into soap and glycerin, allowing the clog to wash down the drain.

Do not use this method after any commercial drain opener has been used or is still present in the standing water.

As you can see, there are a plethora of uses for vinegar and baking soda. Now you have some all-natural solutions you can use in place of harmful chemicals.