Grandma's White Vinegar Wisdom

An old fashioned girl scrubbing the floor with white vinegar A photo of woman with a whisk broom saying, you can't treat dandruff with a whiskbroom A picture of a grubby kitchen before using white vinegar to clean with

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White vinegar is clear vinegar made from distilling alcohol like white wine, vodka, gin or sake. There are actually different grades of white distilled vinegar and some isn't fit for food but is great for cleaning.

This type of vinegar is oxidized and causes the vinegar to become very sour and unpleasant to taste. The reason it is great to clean and disinfect with is because of the high acid level.

Most white distilled vinegars aren't used for cooking except for white rice vinegar or white balsamic vinegar.

A few things white distilled vinegar is used for:

  • cleaning and disinfecting
  • coloring eggs
  • removing carpet and furniture stains
  • eliminating pet urine odor
  • setting colors when dying clothes
  • wash rinse
  • killing weeds
  • wash windows
  • clean aluminum pans
  • fight mildew
  • mix to mist on rugs and furniture to kill fleas

Distilled vinegar is sometimes prepared from grain, wood pulp or oil by-products. This is why it can have a very harsh flavor and acidity level of 5%.

It's usually used in commercial processing of pickles and related foods. All and all, its best used for cleaning purposes around the house.

A Little Distilled Vinegar Trivia

  • Cleopatra once made a bet that she could drink her pearls and consume a fortune in a single meal. In order for her to win her bet she soaked her pearls in a glass of white vinegar overnight, this caused her pearls to melt and the next day she drank her pearls, thus, winning the bet.
  • During WWI distilled vinegar was used as by the medics to treat wounds.
  • During the Bubonic Plague people poured distilled vinegar on their skin to protect themselves from germs.
  • Consumers in the Southern United States buy and use white vinegar more than any other region in the country.


The statements made here have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.


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