The Many Uses of Vinegar

It cleans, it tenderizes, it fights odor — what can’t it do?

Vinegar is far more than something to be mixed with oil. Check out these unconventional uses for it.

  • Inhibit mold on cheese. Just lightly dampen a piece of cheesecloth with white vinegar, loosely wrap the cheese in it and slip it into a plastic bag. Store in the refrigerator.
  • Extend the life of your ketchup. When the ketchup sticks in the bottom of a nearly empty bottle, pour in a touch of white vinegar and shake it up. It will loosen the ketchup and won't interfere with the flavor.
  • When cooking vegetables, add a teaspoon or two to the cooking water. Not only will it help clean the veggies, but it will also reduce the smell in the kitchen and preserve the color of the cooked vegetables. Another bonus is that vinegar can reduce the gassy quality of vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli.
  • Tenderize meat with a marinade of vinegar. It can help kill any bacteria in the meat and breaks down the fibers, making it more tender.
  • If your hands smell after handling fish, simply rinse them in a solution of vinegar and water.
  • Combat odors in the garbage disposal. Fill an ice-cube tray with vinegar and freeze it, and then throw a cube of it down the disposal for a fresh smell.
  • Use it to clean glass. This tips works especially well if you are using a spray bottle with a narrow neck. Fill the bottle at least halfway with vinegar and add some uncooked rice. Cap the bottle and shake. The rice acts as a gentle abrasive.
  • Make a pet-friendly bug spray. If ants are a problem around pet food, spray a mixture of vinegar and water around your pet's dish to discourage them.

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