Friday, July 27, 2012

Frugal Uses for Household Products - Vinegar

I've been trying to think of ways to incorporate more tips for frugal living into TSNPR, and last night while I was mixing up a batch of my world famous multi-purpose cleaner, it hit me - let's discuss how to repurpose normal household products! Now I really like the quote in the above photo, but "doing without" just isn't my style, so if something I already have will "make it do," I consider it a win-win for all. So by utilizing the following tips, I have more money for things like cute clearance dresses at Target! (and amazingly enough, I was able to repurpose an adorable pair of fuscia wedges to accessorize the sexy little white sundress I scored last week for $12.49!)

Now obviously there are a million and five different ideas, so we're just going to start with one or two things around the house today. Like vinegar. I have a million and one tips and tricks for vinegar, so it may well get its very own post today.

Oh, vinegar. You're stinky and cheap and not at all delicious. So what to do with you?

Hair Rinse: Now especially during the summer, when I have to product the heck out of my hair to keep it flat, I find myself regularly having that yucky built-up product feeling. Ew. Well, next time you shampoo, try this: take a small cup of vinegar (I use white or apple cider, whatever is on hand) into the shower with you. Rinse your hair, then shampoo and condition as normal (except maybe a little more thoroughly, to make sure you get rid of the smell.) Clarifying Shampoo, don't let the door hit you on the way out! (unless you get an awesome deal on it, then stockpile away baby!)

Household Cleaner: Did you know vinegar is a natural disinfectant? If not, well, surprise! So when I run out of my free from coupons cleaners, I turn to this handy dandy recipe:
  • Fill one spray bottle half and half with white vinegar and water (reuse an empty bottle, or buy a spray bottle for $1 at Walmart or the Dollar Tree). Shake, shake, shake, and you're ready to go! It will smell a little vinegary when you spray it, but the smell disappears once it's dry.
  • To create a degreaser, add lemon juice (I just squirt some in, I don't measure, but maybe 2 tablespoons.) It also gives it a nice fragrance.
  • To create a glass cleaner, add 2 teaspoons of rubbing alcohol.
  • If you're potty training a pet, spray this solution if they urinate in the house - it removes the smell so they can't go back and "mark" again, and it's carpet-safe.
Deodorizing/unclogging drains: If you have a stinky drai/disposal or a clog, pour in 1 cup baking soda, then one cup hot white distilled vinegar. Let this sit for 5 minutes or so, then run boiling water down the drain. For a clog, you'll want to make sure that you stop up the drain immediately after adding the baking soda and vinegar - it creates that foamy reaction and that is what pushes the clog down the drain. For stubborn clogs, follow up with a wire hanger down the drain.

Dishwasher rinse aid: Adios, Jet Dry - you never ever have any good sales or coupons anyway. Substitute that expensive dishwasher rinse aid with plain old white vinegar.

Fruit Fly Funeral: are fruit flies harshing your mellow? Set out a small dish of vinegar and say your goodbyes.

Label Removal: to remove a label from a container/bottle, cover with a cloth soaked in vinegar overnight. The label should easily peel off in the morning. (GREAT tip for repurposing containers!)

Washing Machine Cleaner/Fabric Softner: add 1/4 cup white vinegar to your rinse cycle. Not only does it remove soap residue and clean the machine, it also acts as a fabric softner! If you accidentally leave a load in the wash overnight and get that nasty mold smell, rewash with a cup or two of vinegar in the cycle.

Hemline Repair: Get rid of the tiny holes left along the hemline when you take out the hem of any garment by moistening a cloth with white distilled vinegar, placing it under the fabric and ironing.
Sunburn Relief: Soothe sunburn with a spray of white distilled vinegar, repeating as often as you like. Ice-cold white distilled vinegar will feel even better, and may prevent blistering and peeling.
Teeth Whitener/Breath Freshener: brush once or twice a week with white distilled vinegar.

Longer Lasting Nail Polish: Wipe fingernails with cotton balls dipped in white distilled vinegar before putting on nail polish.

These are just a few of my faves -but the internet is full of them! Also, now that you're chomping at the bit to go stockpile vinegar, don't forget the $1/1 Heinz Vinegar coupon from the SS 6/24 insert! Should make it cheap if not free!

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