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whenever she gets the chance, my mother extols the virtues of vinegar and water. she keeps a jar full in her refrigerator, and i stand here before you swearing that you won’t confuse it for sweet tea but once.

according to my mother, vinegar and water . . .
clears phlegm
clears your head
cures a cough
unstops your ears
settles a stomach
soothes an itch
trims off the pounds
stops allergies
cures sinus infections
erases acne
lowers high cholesterol
lower high blood pressure
brings a rosy glow to your complexion
alleviates acid reflux
and more.

in the same breath, mother will point out that on top of what all it does for your body and health, vinegar and water will also . . .

shine your shoes
shine your hair
whiten your teeth
remove dinginess from clothes
clean windows without leaving streaks
remove water marks from wood
lift stains from carpet
freshen the garbage disposal
polish brass
clean the microwave
deter ants
get the stink out of refrigerators
shoo flies
clean toilet bowls
kill grass
kill weeds
cut the scum off shower doors
prolong the freshness of flowers
make a dog smell better
soften paintbrushes
remove bumper stickers
tenderize meat
remove fruit stains from hands
and more.

i don’t know if it’ll do everything, and i’ll readily admit to having some qualms about putting something into my body that will clean a scorched iron. but i declare, today i feel so bad (i have a cold that i’m SURE i caught from kelly who’s had a cold and obviously forgot to wash her hands before going to the keyboard to tweet and comment, thereby spreading her cold germs to me), i’m minutes before mixing me up some vinegar and water.

in a mayonnaise jar, of course.