I have been using vinegar as a dishwasher rinse agent for years now. Instead of paying a lot of money for that expensive Jet Dry Rinse Agent at the store, you can use distilled white vinegar as a substitute.
The purpose of the dishwasher dispenser is to release a tiny amount of rinse product each time the dishwasher is used, primarily to eliminate water spots on glasses. As I use the vinegar, my dishes still come out very clean and spot free too.
Just open up the rinse aid cap and pour your vinegar into that reservoir. I just pour until it says it is full. When it runs out I just add more vinegar.
Those teeny tiny Jet-Dry Rinse agents can cost anywhere from $4-$6, and you get enough to fill up the dishwasher once with it. A whole gallon of vinegar is close to $1-$2 or less, and you can get probably close to 20 or more fills out of it. So Today’s Thrifty Tip is to use Vinegar as a Rinse agent – it can save you a lot of money!
Is there anything Vinegar can’t do? 🙂 What else do you use vinegar for?
See More Happy Money Saver’s Thrifty Tips
Comments & Reviews
I tried this quite some time ago (before seeing your blog) and after a while I opened up the rinse aid cap and brown stuff came pouring out. So I’m surprised to hear it worked for you! Perhaps it reacted poorly with the Jet-dry?
Thomas Zickell says
Based on the information provided, the person used vinegar instead of rinse aid in their dishwasher. Vinegar has a pH level close to sulfuric acid, which is highly acidic. In contrast, rinse aid is typically slightly acidic or neutral.
The use of vinegar instead of rinse aid led directly to the acidic vinegar could have reacted with the dishwasher’s components made of plastic and rubber, leading to the formation of the brown substance mentioned.
The brown substance could result from a chemical reaction between the vinegar and the Jet-dry or other substances in the dishwasher, leading to the formation of a residue or solid. It could also indicate corrosion or damage to the dishwasher’s internal components.
DO NOT substitute vinegar for rinse aid in a dishwasher, as the vinegar’s high acidity will cause damage or other issues.
Unless you want to spend eight to $2000 on a dishwasher because of this, it’s much less expensive to use a product specifically designed for use as a rinse aid, whatever brands you like, cascade finish jet dry, whatever, as long as it’s designed for dishwashers.
My mother has always sworn by vinegar for EVERYTHING!! Thanks for ALL the great ideas. I seriously came home and tried the ‘ol refrigerator water trap idea…..yea…it works! Not that I doubted but it was soooo easy!
Great ideas everyone! 🙂 Vinegar is seriously one of the worlds greatest wonders.
I make 409 and window cleaner with vinegar and some other inexpenisve ingredients. Both work better than store bought. IMO
Vinegar…oh the wonders never cease.
put it in the softener or bleach drawer.
Heidi, can you use that in the HE washer too? If so, where do you put the vinegar..in the pre-treat drawer? THanks!!
Erin J. says
When it comes time to clean those pesky water catch trays the fridge has below the ice and water dispenser, I just pour some vinegar into it and let it sit for a while. I know most are removeable and probably dishwasher safe but I find this a quicker way to remove the residual mineral build up. Also GREAT for coffee makers if you are using unfiltered water, just run a couple of cups of vinegar through the coffee maker once a month or whenever depending on your use and it takes care of all the deposits left behind, even good to do when using filtered water too. Makes the coffee maker last longer.
Thanks for the dishwasher tip – I will try it!
I love white vinegar – I pour about a cup into every load of laundry that includes bathroom or kitchen towels or washcloths, or the kids clothes (more likely to have been damp and have an odor). No stinky dishcloths or sour smelling towels – everything smells clean, fresh and is soft and fluffy! I find it cheapest at Costco – around $3 for a box with 2 large jugs.
It is great for mirrors instead of using Windex. (has harsh chemicals you can breathe in)
Soak your shower heads in a bag of vinegar and it cleans out all the little holes you didn’t know were plugged.
wow!! I did not know this! Thank you, thank you. Those jet dry’s really do add up, so this will save me lots of $$’s. 🙂
Showers! Put in spray bottle and warm up in microwave. Then spray on showers and leave 15mins. wipe down. awesome and cheap! Can use baking soda to really bad showers.
i add it to the rinse cycle when i am washing cloth diapers. Works Wonderfully!
If you forget about a load of laundry in your washer (ew stinky!), don’t rewash the load. Put a cup of vinegar in and re-run the load through the rinse cycle. It will take out the mildew-y smell and save money since you didn’t have to rewash. Just use white vinegar though, any other will stain.
It’s also a natural fabric softener. Use 1 Cup per load instead of liquid softener.
Put 1/4 cup baking soda down your garbage disposal or drain. Add 1 cup white vinegar. It will clean a stinky drain or disposal.
Mop floors with it to repel fleas (it might work with ants too).