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50 Reasons Why Preppers Need Vinegar in Their Stockpiles

Avatar for Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: July 1, 2019
50 Reasons Why Preppers Need Vinegar in Their Stockpiles

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As preppers, if we stored a different product for each of our cleaning needs, we’d need a storage room the size of Costco to put it all in. That’s why I love vinegar.

Vinegar is multi-purpose, non-toxic and inexpensive.  With the addition of a few drops of essential oil, it even smells good. There are about a million different ways to use it, and that’s before you even get into the use of vinegar in some of your recipes.

My favorite use?  Easy. Vinegar is the key component in my all purpose DIY cleaner aptly named, Peppermint Juice.  More about that later.

50 Reasons Why Preppers Need Vinegar in Their Stockpiles | Backdoor Survival

Every self-respecting prepper should have lots of vinegar stashed away. Here are 50 reasons why. (Many of them were graciously contributed by my friend Joe Marshall at Survival Life.)

Why Preppers Need Vinegar In Their Stockpiles

1. Disinfect wood cutting boards.

2. Soothe a sore throat; use 1 tsp. of vinegar per glass of water, then gargle.

3. Fight dandruff; after shampooing, rinse hair with vinegar and 2 cups of warm water.

4. Remove warts; apply daily a 50/50 solution of cider vinegar and glycerin until they’re gone.

5. Cure an upset stomach; drink 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar in one cup of water.

6. Polish chrome.

7. Keep boiled eggs from cracking; add 2 tbsp to water before boiling.

8. Clean deposits from fish tanks.

9. Remove urine stains from carpet.

10. Keep fleas off dogs; add a little vinegar to the dog’s drinking water.

11. Keep car windows from frosting up; use a solution of 3 oz. vinegar to 1 oz. water.

12. Clean dentures; soak overnight in vinegar and then brush.

13. Get rid of lint in clothes; add 0.5 cup vinegar to rinse cycle.

14. Remove grease from suede.

15. Kill grass on sidewalks and driveways.

16. Make wool blankets softer; add 2 cups distilled vinegar to rinse cycle.

17. Remove skunk odor from a dog; rub fur with full strength vinegar and rinse.

18. Freshen wilted vegetables; soak them in 1 tbsp vinegar and a cup of cold water.

19. Dissolve mineral deposits in drip coffee makers.

20. Deodorize drains; pour a cup down the drain once a week, let sit for 30 minutes, then rinse.

21. Use as a replacement for a lemon; 0.25 tsp.. vinegar substitutes for 1 tsp. of lemon juice.

22. Make rice fluffier; add 1 tsp. of vinegar to water when it boils.

23. Prevent grease build-up in ovens; wipe oven with cleaning rag soaked in distilled vinegar and water.

24. Kill germs; mix a 50-50 solution of vinegar and water in a spray bottle.

25. Clean a clogged shower head.; pour vinegar into a zip-lock bag and gang it around the shower head. let it soak overnight to remove any mineral deposits.

26. Shine patent leather.

27. Remove the smell from laundry that has been left in the washer too long; pour 1 cup of vinegar in with the load and rewash it.

28. Make propane lantern wicks burn longer/brighter; soak them in vinegar for 3 hours, let dry.

29. Act as an an air freshener.

30. Soften paint brushes; soak in hot vinegar then rinse with soapy water.

31. Remove bumper stickers and decals; simply cover them with vinegar-soaked cloth for several minutes.

32. Prolong the life of fresh-cut flowers; use 2 tbsp of vinegar and 3 tbsp of sugar per quart of warm water

33.  Prevent Mildew; Wipe down shower walls with a vinegar solution.

34. Soften calloused feet;  soak your feet in a mixture 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water for 30 minutes then scrub them with a pumice stone. The dead skin should slough off easily.

35. Treat Acne;  start with a solution of organic apple cider vinegar and water at a ration of 1:8, apply the toner to blemishes and  leave on a minimum of 2 minutes.

36. Preserve food; many vegetables that would otherwise require pressure canning may be waterbath canned if you pickle them in vinegar.

37. Remove stains from white counter tops; mix a paste of baking soda and vinegar, apply it to the stain overnight, then scrub it clean in the morning.

38. Remove cooking spray build-up; vinegar cuts grease on baking sheets when spritzed on from a spray bottle, then washed as usual.

39. Control blood sugar; drink high quality apple cider vinegar 4 times per day to keep blood sugar under control.

40. Keep psoriasis under control; wash the affected area with plain white vinegar several times per week.

41. Kill moss; spray it, undiluted, on moss.

42. Penetrating fluid for rusty items; soak metal items that are rusted together in vinegar overnight. If you begin to get some movement, replace the vinegar with fresh vinegar and soak for one more day. The items should become freed up.

43. Use in place of commercial fabric softener; add it to the last cycle in your washing machine. (Don’t worry, the water will rinse out any vinegar smell)

44. Remove pesticide from produce; soak produce in a sink full of water with 1 cup of vinegar and half a cup of baking soda

45. Remove ball point pen marks from walls; dab full strength vinegar on the spot with a cloth. Repeat until the mark is gone. (Don’t scrub, though, or you’ll just smear the mark all over the wall.)

46. Remove sticky residue from scissors; dip them in a cup of full strength vinegar. Then use that vinegar for other cleaning purposes.

47. Remove candle wax; if you get candle wax on your wood table, soften the candle wax with the heat of a blow dryer. Dip a cloth into equal parts vinegar and water, then gently scrub away the rest of the wax.

48. Get rid of the smell of smoke; if you burn dinner (or have a smoker in your home), you can get rid of the smell by sitting a bowl of pure vinegar out in the area where the smell is.

49. Make a trap for fruit flies (gnats); put apple cider vinegar in a Mason jar.  Poke some holes in the lid large enough for them to get in. They’ll be drawn to the smell, then die in the jar.

50. Kill weeds in the cracks of your sidewalk; forget about using toxic Round-up on weeds. Spray full strength white vinegar on the plant at the roots. (10% is best if you have a real issue, not the kitchen kind).

How to Make ‘Peppermint Juice’

One of my favorite uses of vinegar is as an all-purpose cleaner.  And while 1/4 cup added to water in a spray bottle while do the job just fine, it is a lot more fun to make Peppermint Juice.  You will find the original recipe in the article Prepper Checklist: DIY Cleaning Supplies but I’ll repeat it here for you as well.

Vinegar & Peppermint Juice | Backdoor Survival

Window, Floor, General Surface Cleaner aka Peppermint Juice

1/2 cup white vinegar
32 oz. (1 quart) cups water
1/4 tsp. to 1/2 tsp. peppermint essential oil

Make up a batch of Peppermint Magic in a re-purposed juice jug.  Fill your spray bottles from this master supply.  Using different essential oils, you can make Tea Tree Juice, Lemon Juice or some other scent.  I prefer peppermint oil or tea tree oil for their antibacterial and antiseptic qualities.


The Final Word

Vinegar is just one of the many inexpensive super-items that are useful in the survival cupboard.  Some of the others include baking soda, salt, duct tape, aluminum foil, coffee filters, and honey.

With limited storage space and a limited budget, it is good to know that there a multi-use items out there that can do the job and perform a number of functions around the home, the garden in the great outdoors.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

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Bargain Bin: The article I wrote on DIY cleaning turned out to be hugely popular all around the web. In cased you missed it, here is a link to the article Prepper Checklist: DIY Cleaning Supplies and to some of the products that I use to make my own cleaners.

Amazon Basics Microfiber Cleaning Cloth, (Pack of 36): No list of DIY cleaning supplies would be complete without these wonderful microfiber cloths. They will last you for years and will allow you to replace paper towels forever. Truly. I color code using blue for glass and windows and the other colors for everything else. I love these.

Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds Liquid Cleanser: I know that Dr. Bronner’s Magic Castile soaps have a cult-like following but I prefer the Sal Suds. I call my DIY cleaner “Sudsy Sal”.

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps Pure-Castile Soap: Of all of the Dr. Bronner’s castile soaps, peppermint is my favorite.   I use it to make “Peppermint Magic”, an all purposed cleaner.

Soft 'n Style 8 oz. Spray Bottles: I happen to like these smaller bottles and you can not beat the price for a set of 3. Likewise for these Pump Dispensers.

NOW Solutions Vegetable Glycerin: You will need this for your Dirt Cheap Soft Soap. I paid almost as much for only 4 ounces locally. This is a great price and 16 ounces will last forever.

Peppermint Essential Oil: I favor peppermint and tea tree (Melaleuca) essential oil in my cleaning supplies. But there are many types of essential oils to choose from. Take your pick. One thing you will find is that a little goes a long way.  The nice thing about essential oils from Spark Naturals  is that they are also excellent for therapeutic and healing use and well as for use in DIY cleaning supplies.  Just remember to use the code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout to get 10% off your order.

Budget Essential Oils:  For the budget minded – and especially for use in cleaning supplies – consider NOW Foods Essential Oils.

Mobile Washer

Mobile Washer: This is hand operated washing machine. Like a plunger, it uses a technique of pushing and pulling the water through clothes to clean them well without wearing them out. It uses a minimum of water and less soap due to the agitation motion. Use in a bucket (5-gallon suggested), sink or tub. 


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27 Responses to “50 Reasons Why Preppers Need Vinegar in Their Stockpiles”

  1. When you posted this originally Gaye, I was in the experimenting phase. I just gotta say though, why buy when you can make it?! It’s so easy and you can experiment with what ingredients you use.
    I looked for a recipe from someone reliable like and as long as you have some space for it to sit and age, then go for it! Between cleaning, cooking and fermenting, I must use 5 gallons a month…well at least in the summer since I’m preparing for winter, cold/flu season and fermenting so much produce. 🙂

  2. Wow, quite the list. I have used vinegar for years for cleaning my toilet bowl gets rid of the hard deposits-pour full strength, cleans and sanitizes the bowl,rim, seat. I also have used it to clean windows after salt water gets on windows on our boat. I have also used it to clean coffee makers, and tea kettle. I use full strength, let soak, then rinse. Works great and won’t harm septic systems.

  3. Add one more use for the vinegar: Remove even old blood stains from fabric. I bought a couch at a very reduced price because one cushion had an dried blood stain the size of your fist on it. I sprized the stain with white vinegar and using a clean white cloth, I BLOTTED the stain repeatedly….another spritz and more Blotting…..repeat as needed until eventually all sign of the stain was gone completely……YEA!

  4. Do not confuse ‘White vinegar’ with Apple cider vinegar OR with RAW Apple cider vinegar….big differences and uses…. I always buy the Raw Apple cider vinegar for health issues. Good to have both on hand. I read somewhere that the white vinegar comes from chemicals…………..
    Vinegars would be a good topic for your blog. Thanks!
    Those of us who are from the WW2 generation remember all the shortages…and how our parents dealt with them.

  5. I use various vinegars all the time on salads or with just cucumbers or green peppers. Apple Cider is the best for quickly flavoring the veggies, but I also use wine vinegar if I have a bit of time for the veggies to soak up some flavor. For salad dressing I rotate through using wine vinegar, white balsamic, regular aged balsamic and only sometimes do I use olive oil too. On my last vacation up in Canada, when I asked for oil and vinegar, one place gave me white vinegar with vegetable oil, and I have to say it was better than I thought it was going to be….so I have more uses for the gallons of white vinegar I have stored. 🙂

    I also stock rice vinegar in my prepping supplies in addition to the other vinegars, since I can use them to add flavor to spice up boring foods from storage. Rice and beans day after day can get pretty monotonous but adding vinegar or hot sauce to spice it up can make it more acceptable

    • I forgot about rice vinegar. I like the sweet one called “Seasoned Rice Vinegar”. I used to make rice salad with it, adding leftover bits of meat and veggies. I need to add some to my preps! Thanks for the reminder!!

  6. Thanks for being a ‘goto’ help. You’ve reminded me I have a book on multiple uses of vinegar (regular & apple cider) on my bookshelf! I’m thinking I need to restock multiple items. You’re a great source of information and I thank you kindly for sharing your knowledge. My best to you and yours – Long live America! Nancy

  7. I stockpile lots of apple cider vinegar and use it for a wide variety of things. However, even though many cooks will dispute this, number 7 is incorrect. There is no way vinegar keeps eggs from cracking, although you mother ad grandmother will tell you it does. What it does however is to quickly seal hairline cracks that do develop, so none of the egg comes out. Same effect, different reason. 🙂

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