Originally published in Oct 2010 a American Survival Blog
This list has been floating around the Internet since the Y2K panic. Someone sent this to me recently and it was probably the tenth time I’ve come across it so I decided to archive the list here for posterity. I do not endorse all these uses and recommend caution when you experiment with some of these.
If you are a Comparative Religion or Folklore wonk like me you’ll be interested to know that some of these vinegar uses were first made popular in the late 1800s/early1900s by “occult” chapbooks like Egyptian Secrets and John George Hohman’s Long Lost Friend which were collections of Christian prayers, eyebrow raising home remedies (like distilling black snails to cure warts!) and recipes for making such farm hold staples as molasses. Ten or fifteen years ago you’d have to visit a botanica or other specialty shop to get your hands on one of these. Now they are becoming increasingly popular, (as is folk medicine in general) as it becomes clearer to more and more people that we are pretty much going to be on our own as our economy is ridden off a cliff.
Anyway, here’s the list:
1. Arthritis tonic and treatment; 2 spoonfuls of apple cider vinegar and honey in a glass of water several times daily.
2. Thirst-quenching drink: apple cider vinegar mixed with cold water.
3. Sagging cane chairs: sponge them with a hot solution of half vinegar and half water. Place the chairs out in the hot sun to dry.
4. Skin burns: apply ice cold vinegar right away for fast relief. Will prevent burn blisters.
5. Add a spoonful of vinegar to cooking water to make cauliflower white and clean.
6. Storing cheese: keep it fresh longer by wrapping it in a vinegar-soaked cloth and keeping it in a sealed container.
7. Remove stains from stainless steel and chrome with a vinegar-dampened cloth.
8. Rinse glasses and dishes in water and vinegar to remove spots and film.
9. Prevent grease build-up in your oven by frequently wiping it with vinegar.
10. Wipe jars of preserves and canned food with vinegar to prevent mold-producing bacteria.
11. To eliminate mildew, dust and odors, wipe down walls with vinegar-soaked cloth.
12. Clean windows with vinegar and water.
13. Hardened paint brushes: simmer in boiling vinegar and wash in hot soapy water.
14. Clean breadbox and food containers with vinegar-dampened cloth to keep fresh-smelling and clean.
15. Pour boiling vinegar down drains to unclog and clean them.
16. Clean fireplace bricks with undiluted vinegar.
17. An excellent all-purpose cleaner: vinegar mixed with salt. Cleans copper, bronze, brass, dishes, pots, pans, skillets, glasses, windows. Rinse well.
18. Make your catsup and other condiments last long by adding vinegar.
19. To clear up respiratory congestion, inhale a vapor mist from steaming pot containing water and several spoonfuls of vinegar.
20. Apple cider vinegar and honey as a cure-all: use to prevent apathy, obesity, hay fever, asthma, rashes, food poisoning, heartburn, sore throat, bad eyesight, dandruff, brittle nails and bad breath.
21. When boiling eggs, add some vinegar to the water to prevent white from leaking out of a cracked egg.
22. When poaching eggs, add a teaspoon of vinegar to the water to prevent separation.
23. Weight loss: vinegar helps prevent fat from accumulating in the body.
24. Canned fish and shrimp: to give it a freshly caught taste, soak in a mixture of sherry and 2 tablespoons of vinegar.
25. Add a spoonful of vinegar when cooking fruit to improve the flavor.
26. Soak fish in vinegar and water before cooking for a tender, sweeter taste.
27. Add vinegar to boiling ham to improve flavor and cut salty taste.
28. Improve the flavor of desserts by adding a touch of vinegar.
29. Add vinegar to your deep fryer to eliminate a greasy taste.
30. Add a tablespoon of vinegar to fruit gelatin to hold it firm.
31. Steep your favorite herb in vinegar until you have a pleasing taste and aroma.
32. Use vinegar instead of lemon on fried and broiled foods.
33. To remove lime coating on your tea kettle; add vinegar to the water and let stand overnight.
34. To make a good liniment: beat 1 whole egg, add 1 cup vinegar and 1 cup turpentine. Blend.
35. Apply vinegar to chapped, cracked skin for quick healing.
36. Vinegar promotes skin health: rub on tired, sore or swollen areas.
37. Reduce mineral deposits in pipes, radiators, kettles and tanks by adding vinegar into the system.
38. Rub vinegar on the cut end of uncooked ham to prevent mold.
39. Clean jars with vinegar and water to remove odor.
40. Avoid cabbage odor by adding vinegar to the cooking water.
41. Skunk odor: remove from pets by rubbing fur with vinegar.
42. Paint adheres better to galvanized metal that has been wiped with vinegar.
43. Pets’ drinking water: add vinegar to eliminate odor and encourage shiny fur.
44. For fluffy meringue: beat 3 egg whites with a teaspoon of vinegar.
45. Pie crust: add 1 tablespoon vinegar to your pastry recipe for an exceptional crust.
46. Half a teaspoon per quart of patching plaster allows you more time to work the plaster before it hardens.
47. Prevent discoloration of peeled potatoes by adding a few drops of vinegar to water. They will keep fresh for days in fridge.
48. Poultry water: add vinegar to increase egg production and to produce tender meat.
49. Preserve peppers: put freshly picked peppers in a sterilized jar and finish filling with boiling vinegar.
50. Olives and pimentos will keep indefinitely if covered with vinegar and refrigerated.
51. Add 1 tsp. vinegar to cooking water for fluffier rice.
52. Add vinegar to laundry rinse water: removes all soap and prevents yellowing.
53. After shampoo hair rinse: 1 ounce apple cider vinegar in 1 quart of distilled water.
54. For a shiny crust on homemade bread and rolls: just before they have finished baking, take them out, brush crusts with vinegar, return to oven to finish baking.
55. Homemade sour cream: blend together 1 cup cottage cheese, 1/4 cup skim milk and 1 tsp. vinegar.
56. Boil vinegar and water in pots to remove stains.
57. Remove berry stains from hands with vinegar.
58. Prevent sugaring by mixing a drop of vinegar in the cake icing.
59. Cold vinegar relieves sunburn.
60. When boiling meat, add a spoonful of vinegar to the water to make it more tender.
61. Marinate tough meat in vinegar overnight to tenderize.
62. A strength tonic: combine raw eggs, vinegar and black pepper. Blend well.
63. Douche: 2 to 4 ounces of vinegar in 2 quarts of warm water.
The guy usually given credit for this list is Henry Godwin, and old timer from the survival forums in the 90s.
I’ll add my own little use here that ties into #6 above. If you have cheese getting moldy cut the mold off and wipe down the rest with vinegar and you’ll get a few more days from the cheese. I’ve tried it and it works.