But vinegar is good for so many things other than preserving or flavoring food. Here are five of my favorite nonfood uses for vinegar.
1) White vinegar is a highly effective treatment for athlete’s foot—a common fungal condition that causes a red, itchy rash between your toes. Soak your foot in vinegar for 10-15 minutes, to change the pH of your skin and make it inhospitable to fungus. Repeat this treatment for 3-4 days to notice improvement.
2) If you’ve had people leave their drinks on wooden surfaces, get rid of the telltale white water rings with a vinegar solution. Combine 4 tablespoons of olive oil with 1 tablespoon of vinegar, and apply a little bit of the mixture to the wood using a soft cloth. Rub along the wood grain instead of against it, and then use another clean cloth to buff the surface.
3) Use apple cider vinegar to treat a sore throat. Mix a quarter cup of the vinegar with some warm water, and gargle it. Repeat this treatment as often as once an hour. It has a soothing, antibacterial influence on irritated tissue. Some people also swear by drinking hot water mixed with 1 teaspoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
4) Discourage garden pests with vinegar. If you don’t want animals to urinate in certain places or you’re worried about ants, pour vinegar around the perimeter of the place that you don’t want pests to approach, and they’ll likely find the vinegar so offensive that they’ll choose to stay away. Repeat the vinegar treatment every couple months for best effect.
5) Keep your cut flowers beautiful for longer by mixing 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with 2 tablespoons of sugar, and add this thick concoction to the water in the vase. Every few days, replace the vase water and pour in the same combination of vinegar and sugar. The flowers should last notably longer.
Do you have any other favorite uses for this time-tested ingredient?