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16 Summer Uses for Baking Soda and Vinegar

(FeatureSource) Vinegar and baking soda: Are these two wonder workers quietly tucked away in your cabinets, not being used to their full potential? In case you didn't know, these longtime kitchen classics have taken a leap out of your cupboards and into laundry rooms, gardens, bathrooms and garages. In fact, "Family Circle" columnist Vicki Lansky has written two full books about fun and convenient ways to use baking soda and vinegar.

"We all know and trust these products from our childhood," says Lansky, author of "Baking Soda: Over 500 Fabulous, Fun and Frugal Uses" (Book Peddlers, $8.95) and "Vinegar: Over 400 Various, Versatile and Very Good Uses" (Book Peddlers, $8.95). "The fact that these products are quite cheap doesn't hurt either." 

Here are a few helpful ways to use vinegar and baking soda that perhaps you've never thought of:


* Keep it in a spray bottle near the sink and use it to wipe your countertops clean. 
* Boil two cups of white vinegar through your empty coffee maker (followed by two more "flushes" with plain water) to clean the inside of your machine.

Baking Soda 
* Add one teaspoon to water when you cook cauliflower to keep the vegetable snowy white and to cut cooking odors.
* Get more from tea bags by adding a pinch of baking soda to the teapot while steeping tea. This will also keep the tea from clouding whether its served hot or iced.


* Use on the toilet bowl rim to clean and deodorize it. 
* Flood grimy shower door tracks with vinegar followed by a rinse of hot water to clean them out.

Baking Soda 
* Sprinkle on a damp sponge to scrub away water spots, mildew and rust on fiberglass surfaces without scratching them. 
* Fill a decorative dish or saucer to keep on top of the toilet tank to absorb odors.


* Clean hardened paintbrushes by simmering them in a pot with vinegar.
* When doing laundry, add one-half to one cup to the final clothes rinse cycle to keep colors bright and to remove soap residue.

Baking Soda 
* Deodorize dry carpet by lightly sprinkling it with baking soda, brushing it in and vacuuming it up. 
* Clean off car battery posts with baking soda and a small stiff brush.


* Fight athlete's foot and toe nail fungus by soaking those areas in full strength white vinegar. 
* Treat jellyfish stings with a dousing of white vinegar.

Baking Soda 
* Dust on underarms as a deodorant. 
* Dampen into a paste and use to relieve the pain of a bee sting. 

These ideas are just the beginning, according to Lansky. Looking for more? To print out "Top 10 Uses for Vinegar" and "Top 10 Uses for Baking Soda," visit her Web site at www.practicalparenting.com/household.html. 

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