Instructables

5 Vinegar Mysteries Solved!

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Picture of 5 Vinegar Mysteries Solved!
Vinegar (Acetic acid) is a sour liquid found in many homes. It has also been touted for centuries as a wonder drug, and ultimate cleaning product. 

But does it actually work? We will test 5 common vinegar theories and put them to the test.





 
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Step 1: Theory 1: Polishing Chrome

Picture of Theory 1: Polishing Chrome
Our first theory is that vinegar polishes chrome fixtures.

RESULT: It works, it cleans it up nicely and doesn't leave a streak, HURRAY!


Step 2: Theory 2: Cutting Grease

Picture of Theory 2: Cutting Grease
Next a common conception is that vinegar is a good grease cutter.

RESULTS: The grease after being soaked in vinegar came right off. I tried a bit of vinegar with some oil dropped right in and it, and the oil broke down pretty well.

Step 3: Theory 3: Disinfecting Cutting Boards

Picture of Theory 3: Disinfecting Cutting Boards
Some sources have suggested that cleaning a cutting board with vinegar will disinfect it.

RESULT: Inconclusive because i can't see bacteria, but it cleaned off the stains on the board and left it looking cleaner.

Step 4: Theory 4: Killing Weeds

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Killing weeds comes up as another use of vinegar, so i decided to try it on some undesirables in my back yard.

RESULT: Adding a strong acid to a plant should kill it, but i won't know for a few days if it worked as well as i hoped.

Step 5: Theory 5: Drinking Vinegar for Health

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I've read that drinking vinegar can help with muscle cramps and encourage weight loss. I thought why not try it out for myself.

RESULT: Vinegar tastes horrible, see picture #2

Hope you enjoyed finding out how vinegar can help you solve more of life's problems!
baseballer2 years ago
vinegar is diluted acetic acid, HC2H3O2, which is a weak acid.  It does not dissociate completely in water, unlike a strong acid.  It may be in high enough concentration that the hydrogen ion concentration is high enough to do some damage, but vinegar is not a "strong acid."  but nice tutorial tho.
lday13 years ago
i put a bit of dishsoap in the vinegar as it helps keep the vinegar on the weeds instead of dripping off. Spraying at anytime has worked but it does happen a bit faster if you do it on a sunny day.
ruminant13 years ago
We have had good results killing weeds by spraying store-grade vinegar on their foliage. This method killed some sprouting pyracantha that even Roundup wouldn't touch. We tend to put the vinegar on on the morning and let the afternoon sun work on it. By the end of the day, the plant is a goner.
jijizworld3 years ago
what kind of salt?
from what i've read, vinegar is to be applied to the weeds in the morning. the sun must also shine that day to somewhat "fry" the weeds and don't get it on any plants that you don't want to die. I've never tried it tho so if anyone has any more insight i'd be happy to hear it!
MoeK3 years ago
To kill weeds use Horticultural Vinegar. It is at 20% concentration rather than 4%. Results are immediate. Don't use it on your french fries.
Wragie MoeK3 years ago
The strong stuff we get around here is 35%. I've used the household stuff warmed up and it works almost as well and a whole lot cheaper. Only bad part is strangely the whole yard smells like a French fry for a day or so.

The best thing about using vinegar verses salt is that unlike salt you have no risks of messing up the soil for a few years.
Nyxius Wragie3 years ago
on a side note: store grade vinegar is only 5% and is probably too weak to be practical. It would take several applications to be effective.
Nyxius Wragie3 years ago
By pouring vinegar on an area you are essentially creating salts of acetate. Salt kills plants by making the water they absorb more salty than the fluid in the cells (hyper-tonic solution). Osmosis sets in and the result is a plant soaked in water that is dying of dehydration. Same thing can happen in people if to much salt gets into the blood stream. On the other hand too little salt in the blood causes critical organ swelling.
Keely10013 years ago
The best way I've found to kill weeds is to pour boiling water on them. No salt needed. Can't get more eco-friendly than that.
trog-oz3 years ago
Salt is a more effective weed killer than vinegar. 1 pound of salt in 1 gallon of boiling water will keep your paths weed free.