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Benefits of White Vinegar for Weeds, Mosquito Bites and Ants

From homemade insect repellent and mosquito bite remedy to cleaning with vinegar and getting rid of ants, vinegar is an essential home and garden staple.

The best vinegar to have on hand for cleaning is white vinegar because it has the highest acetic acid content. The next best is distilled vinegar, which is also used in cooking, though we found no consensus as to whether this is actually good for you when taken internally, as compared to apple cider vinegar. The bottom line is that there are many benefits and uses for all vinegars, and for this article we’re focusing on white vinegar and distilled vinegar.

Often confused as the same product, some sources say there’s a difference between white vinegar and distilled vinegar. Our research indicates that more sources are ascribing these to be basically the same thing and typically used interchangeably.

Vinegar Weed Killer

Does vinegar kill weeds? Yes, but only with repeated applications. Vinegar appears to kill the weed because it does turn the leaves brown. However, it takes repeated applications to wear the roots down to the point of no return.1)

The other thing to be wary of when it comes to using vinegar as weed killer is that it can also kill your plants! So please be careful and only apply in areas where you don’t have plants that could be affected, OR in areas where you have acid loving plants, such as those below.

Vinegar for Acid Loving Plants

acid loving plants like azaleas and rhododendronYou can occasionally water your acid loving plants like azaleas, rhododendrons, hydrangeas and gardenias with one cup distilled white vinegar to one gallon of water.2)

Get Rid of Ants

Does Vinegar Kill Ants?

You can get rid of ants with vinegar, but there’s conflicting information as to whether the vinegar actually kills them, or whether they die from drowning. Either way, it’s clear that ants don’t like vinegar. In fact, vinegar repels ants, so if you clean your counters and wipe down the areas of entry with vinegar, it will deter ants from returning to that spot.

Natural Ant Poison

Our problem with the vinegar alone is that ants are extraordinarily persistent and determined creatures. Most of the time ants will just find another entry unaffected by the distasteful vinegar. So while the distilled vinegar is great for getting rid of ants in the moment while also cleaning the surface and deterring their return, you may need something stronger that will be taken back to the nest in order to eradicate it.

So for that you can use the ant traps or poison syringe, or make a homemade version using cornstarch and boric acid stirred into a paste. Spread dollops of this onto scraps of cardboard, such as pieces cut from a used tissue or cereal box. Place these pieces in the ant’s traffic zones. You should see diminishing returns on these ants.3)


How to Get Rid of Mosquito Bites with Vinegar

Well, you can’t get rid of mosquito bites of course, but you can get rid of mosquito bite itching by dabbing a little vinegar on the bites. This might cause a tiny momentary sting, but it evaporates quickly and the itching stops just about as quickly.

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies with Vinegar

This works like a charm. Place a small bowl of vinegar on the counter, add a few a drops of liquid dish detergent. The detergent creates a skim on the top of the vinegar, and the gnat or fruit fly is drawn to it but can’t escape and drowns.

How to Make Flowers Last Longer with Homemade Plant Food

Ah… the beauty of garden flowers brightening up our homes warms a gardener’s heart! But, how to help those flowers last their longest? Once again, vinegar to the rescue!

Yep… vinegar works best… second only to placing the flowers in the refrigerator every night. Add two tablespoons each of vinegar and sugar to the water to help the flowers last longer.

Exceptions: Daffodils, Marguerite Daisies and Tulips do not like sugar. For these, just try the vinegar and overnight refrigeration.


Vinegar for Cleaning

We save lots of money by using distilled vinegar for much of our household cleaning. From sinks to showers and toilets, vinegar sterilizes these areas and also cleans residue and mineral deposits. We also clean floors with vinegar as an effective, handy DIY floor cleaner for tile, wood and vinyl floors.

You can buy a gallon of distilled vinegar for only 2-3¢ per ounce. Popular bathroom cleaners range in price from 7-31¢ per ounce with the top sellers averaging 15¢ per ounce.

By using distilled vinegar for your primary cleanser, not only are you saving a lot of money, you’re also decluttering your storage areas by reducing from all kinds, sizes and shapes of containers to only one.

Which would you rather spend?
$3.20 / gallon for distilled vinegar or $19.20 per gallon for the top bathroom cleaners?

That’s a no-brainer, right?!

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