Vinegar and baking soda are useful home remedies for removing stains, unclogging drains and cleaning windows. Turns out, they’re also useful in your cars and trucks—for killing odors, removing bugs and tar, and fighting off frost—and they’re environmentally friendly compared to many of the chemicals we buy to do the same tasks.
Here are 11 tips from Vinegar: Over 400 Various, Versatile & Very Good Uses You’ve Probably Never Thought Of and Baking Soda: Over 500 Fabulous, Fun & Frugal Uses You’ve Probably Never Thought Of by Vicki Lansky:
- REMOVE TAR AND BUGS WITHOUT DAMAGING THE PAINT.
Apply a light baking soda paste to a damp cloth and allow the paste to sit for 5 minutes before wiping clean.
- KEEP WINDOWS FROM FROSTING OVER IN WINTER.
Coat the windows with a solution that is 3 parts white vinegar to 1 part water.
- WASH THE CAR.
Make your own car wash solution using 1/2 cup liquid detergent, 1/4 cup baking soda, and 1 gallon of water. Use one cup of this solution with one bucket of water.
- POLISH CHROME.
Pour full-strength vinegar on a soft cloth,or use a baking soda paste to clean chrome bumpers, trim and hub cabs on your classic car.
- REMOVE UNWANTED DECALS OR BUMPER STICKERS.
Soak a cloth in vinegar and then place it over the stickers you want to remove. Alternatively, you can spray the stickers with full-strength vinegar. They’ll peel off in a couple of hours.
- WASH THE FUEL SMELL FROM YOUR HANDS.
Sprinkle your hands with baking soda and wipe clean with a damp paper towel.
- FRESHEN THE AIR IN THE CAR.
Sprinkle baking soda on fabric seats and carpets and let it sit for a few minutes before vacuuming it clean. If you have an older car, you can clean vinyl seats with a cloth dampened by a half vinegar and half water solution. Or sprinkle baking soda on the seats and scrub them clean with a damp sponge. Follow up for a rinse with a clean, damp sponge.
- SICK PASSENGER? DEEP CLEAN THE CAR.
In the unfortunate case you have a sick passenger, clean the area as you would normally and then cover with baking soda to fight the odor, neutralize the acid and absorb any remaining moisture. Vacuum and shampoo the area later. To help eliminate the odor, you can also leave a bowl of vinegar on the floor overnight.
- DOUSE A FIRE.
Keep a box of baking soda in the trunk. It can be used to douse a fire. We hope you never need to use it, but it will be there if you do.
- CLEAN WIPER BLADES.
Use a vinegar-soaked cloth to remove dirt and grime from your wiper blades.
- CLEAN THE ASHTRAY.
Use baking soda to clean the ashtray. To help control odors, leave 1/2 inch of baking soda in the ashtray.