• Vinegar is such a versatile tool. It’s nontoxic, mild and yet a powerful cleaning agent. Plus, it makes a terrific salad dressing! Here’s one of my own vinegar tips: Keep a spray bottle of white vinegar by your washing machine. Spray the armpits of T-shirts before laundering. It helps to remove the residue left behind by antiperspirants. — JoAnn
• Speaking of washing machines, this is from E.W. in Indiana: “To keep your washing machine smelling great, dump a gallon jug of white vinegar into the machine and set to wash and rinse on hot. I use just water and vinegar once every few months, and my clothes never have an old water smell!”
• Swimmer’s ear remedy: “Equal parts vinegar and rubbing alcohol. Put a few drops in either ear, and it’ll dry them out.” — O.I. in Texas
• Get hard-water deposits off of showerheads by filling a zipper-style bag with vinegar and securing it to the showerhead using a rubber band. Let it soak overnight, then run hot water through it to clear. Amazing!
• “Dampen a piece of bread with vinegar and place it inside a lunchbox overnight. It removes food odors magically.” — S.B. in Oregon
• Pet or smoke odors in your home? Fill a few bowls with plain vinegar. Set them out for several hours to eliminate the smells.
(c) 2013 King Features Synd.