Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bring on the Vinegar!

There are so many uses for vinegar besides cooking--we all know to put a bit in the water when boiling eggs, and how a teaspoon of vinegar makes rice fluffier, but here are some other (non-food) ideas for you:

HAIR RINSE/SHINE: Vinegar removes soap buildup. Combine 3 tablespoons apple-cider vinegar and 2 cups warm water. Use on your hair after you shampoo to make it shine. After your hair is dry, the vinegar smell goes away. And it helps prevent dry scalp (restores the pH balance), too. (This is something my own mother used to do when washing my hair when I was little.)

RINSE-AID: Use as a rinse-aid in your dishwasher to prevent spots or as a fabric softener in your washing machine. This helps clean the past soap build-up in your machines, too. It can help your garbage disposal smell better or help to unclog a drain. For clogs (or just to keep the drain running well), pour 1/2 cup baking soda and then 1/2 cup vinegar down the drain. Let stand for 10 minutes, and then pour a pot of boiling water down the drain.

CLEANER: Straight vinegar will work fine to clean your windows or eyeglasses, but for even better results, mix 1 cup vinegar and 1 teaspoon liquid dish soap in a spray bottle and fill the rest of the bottle with water. This works well as a quick spray for dirty dishes, too. Try straight vinegar on your shower, shower doors or curtains, walls or counters, or add vinegar to your toilet bowl and let it stand overnight. Use some baking soda to scrub. Flush clean.

SKIN APPLICATION: Before buying over-the-counter medications, try apple-cider vinegar. It often works well as a remedy for a mild sunburn, poison ivy, warts, acne, rash, mosquito bites and athlete’s foot. Simply soak a cotton ball and apply to the affected area, or add some vinegar to your bathwater. Try it as an alternative to deodorant or to remove cooking smells from your hands. Recently on an episode of The Doctors they mentioned a quick solution for “bacne” or back acne. Use white vinegar and scrub it on your back and then rinse off. They said not to do it more than once a day. Apparently the acidity of the vinegar cleanses the skin and kills the bacteria.

For more tips on what you can do with vinegar, see my website page on Vinegar.

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