Touted as a magic weight loss tool and detox drink, apple cider vinegar has been in the spotlight for a while now. But some of those claims aren’t necessarily backed by science and consuming too much of the stuff, especially on its own, actually comes with its fair share of risks. But, don’t worry; we’re not dissing this incredibly powerful salad dressing ingredient. It actually has a huge variety of clever and surprising uses, from cleaning your home to getting rid of dandruff…
Uses For Apple Cider Vinegar
In its raw form, apple cider vinegar is packed full of powerful enzymes, vitamins and minerals that can clean out your body, as well as your home and garden! It is known for its bacteria killing properties, acidic power and numerous health benefits. Here are 19 surprising uses for apple cider vinegar that you may not know about…
Apple cider vinegar is rich in antimicrobial properties, which makes it one of the best natural cleaning agents. It is a fantastic non-toxic alternative to harsh chemicals that absorbs unpleasant odors, disinfects and kills harmful bacteria. You can, in fact, get rid of all your home cleaning sprays, solutions and wipes, because apple cider vinegar can take care of everything in one bottle! Simply add one part apple cider vinegar to one part water in a spray bottle and go for it! You can also include a squeeze of lemon juice if you’d like a citrusy-fresh smell!
2. Odor Eraser
We’ve already touched on apple cider vinegar’s ability to eliminate foul smells, so why not use it as an all-natural air freshener? Anything from stinky bathrooms to smoky kitchens to sweaty laundry rooms can be transformed with a simple bowl of apple cider vinegar. All you have to do is leave an uncovered bowl of the miracle stuff in the room and leave it there until the odor disappears. Don’t worry about the vinegar smell – that goes away in a matter of minutes once you remove the bowl!
Want to make your veggie patch organic? Apple cider vinegar, to the rescue! Because it is 5% acidity, it can be used as a fertilizer to maintain healthy plants. However, because of its acidity, it is best used on acid-loving plants like blueberry bushes, azaleas and gardenias. Simply add 10 ounces of apple cider vinegar to a 10-gallon bucket, filling the rest with water, and pour the mixture onto the soil around the roots of your plants.
Another garden option for apple cider vinegar is as a natural weed killer, which is surprising, considering it can also help fertilize certain plants! Simply pour your apple cider vinegar into a spray bottle and attack the weeds, being careful not to get too much on your non-acid-loving plants.
If you have some pesky visitors irritating your pets, apple cider vinegar can come to your aid once again. Dilute the vinegar in the same amount of water and simply rub it into their fur, working it into their skin. This will repel fleas, but, of course, give your vet a call first and ask if apple cider vinegar is okay for your pet’s skin.
6. Fruit & Vegetable ‘Soap’
You can use apple cider vinegar to remove pesticides, bacteria and wax from fresh produce. Soak your fruits and vegetables in a solution of 10% vinegar and 90% water for a couple of minutes, swishing them around. Then rinse them thoroughly, and, voila! Clean and bacteria-free. Be careful though, not to soak fragile fruits like berries in vinegar, because it could damage their porous skin. It’s perfect for acidic fruits like lemons, oranges and limes, especially if you are using the rind for anything, as well as apples, pears, and most vegetables.
7. Facial Toner
Apple cider vinegar can be used as a good strong toner for oily skin to help prevent breakouts and even skin tone. Simple place a few drops of an apple cider vinegar and water solution to a cotton ball and gently tap onto the skin. However, if you have sensitive skin, it’s not a great option.
8. Acne Treatment
As well as using it as a toner to prevent blemish breakouts, you can also use apple cider vinegar as a topical treatment on acne spots. The powerful vinegar kills bacteria that causes breakouts, and can simply be diluted and applied to affected areas. If you tend to breakout on your chest or back as well, you can also add apple cider vinegar to an Epsom salt bath and have a good soak in it. This will help draw out toxins and skin impurities.
Again with the odor, apple cider vinegar can treat the bodily type as well as environmental types. By dabbing it onto your armpits with a cotton pad or even just swiping it on with your hand, it will kill odor-causing bacteria that make you stinky. The vinegar smell evaporates, so you don’t need to worry that you’ll smell of anything in particular, except your lovely self!
10. Skin Irritations
Apple cider vinegar can be used to soothe a number of skin ailments, including bug bites, poison ivy, stinging nettles and even sunburn. Either apply a diluted solution directly to the irritated area, or soak in a bath with about one cup of the vinegar added to it – especially for large area treatments like sunburn.
11. Treat Warts
Still with the skin issues, apple cider vinegar can also be used as a topical treatment for warts! The reason it may help remove warts is because of its high levels of acetic acid, which is believed to remove the warts and kill the virus that causes them. Try soaking a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and applying it to the wart, covering it to work overnight.
Aftershave works as an antiseptic to clean cuts after shaving the face, moisturize the skin, close pores and soothe razor burns. The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar does all that, way cheaper, and totally naturally! An apple cider vinegar aftershave solution is fragrance-free once it dries, free from dye, chemicals and alcohol, completely natural and inexpensive. All you need is the vinegar and water. Check out this recipe for your own DIY product.
Moving onto hair, and apple cider vinegar can actually be used as a treatment for dandruff. If you find your scalp is flaking, rinse your hair with apple cider vinegar. That will change the pH of your scalp, halting yeast growth, which is one of the main causes of dandruff. Not only that, but it will also get rid of greasiness, itchiness and irritation that may be plaguing your head. You can either combine apple cider vinegar with the same amount of water and rinse your hair with it while you’re in the shower, or for a more intense fix, pour the mixture into a spray bottle, apply it to your scalp and leave it for an hour before rinsing it out.
14. Hair Rinse
Not only can it target dandruff, but rinsing your hair with apple cider vinegar can also remove product build-up and balance the scalp’s pH level. That’s because our scalps have a pH balance of about 5, leaning on the acidic side, which is why acid-based products like apple cider vinegar can help stabilize it. When it is out of balance, hair is prone to dandruff (as mentioned above), bacteria and fungus, which can all lead to hair loss. Using apple cider vinegar as a hair rinse once a week can regulate your pH, get rid of leftover product and keep your hair and scalp nice and healthy! Make sure not to wash your hair too much either, as this can affect the pH balance. Shampooing every day is too much – at the most, you should wash your hair every second day, but, if possible, less.
15. Foot Odor Killer
This one is unsurprising since we’ve already talked about how apple cider vinegar can be used as a natural deodorant to take care of B.O. If you have stinky feet, try simply wiping them down with the vinegar, which will help eliminate the bacteria that causes the odor. And then wash your shoes and socks!
16. Bloating & Heartburn
Anecdotal evidence suggests apple cider vinegar can help reduce gas and bloating, and even heartburn. Simply mix one tablespoon into a glass of water or herbal tea and drink before a meal to reduce bloating, or drink it whenever you start to feel symptoms of heartburn. The vinegar helps reduce bloating by kick starting your digestion, which enables your stomach to manage your meal better.
17. Sore Throat
Although apple cider vinegar can also have the opposite effect if consumed on its own (causing a sore throat), it can also, funnily enough, be used as an ingredient to soothe a sore throat when gargled. That’s because of its bacteria killing properties. Mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and one teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water, gargle it and spit it out. You can repeat until the glass is empty.
18. Detoxing Drink
When consumed in its raw form, unfiltered and unprocessed, apple cider vinegar can work to detoxify and cleanse the body. It is full of vitamins, minerals and enzymes that kill bacteria and aid digestion, cleaning the intestines out. It has even been touted as a weight loss ingredient, but this is still a point of argument in the nutrition world. Try this simple detox drink, which can be enjoyed cold out of the fridge or warmed up as a tea. Alongside apple vinegar, the recipe calls for water, lemon juice, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and honey.
19. Salad Dressing
So, this is the classic one that everyone already knows about, but it’s a darn good ‘use for apple cider vinegar’, so we certainly weren’t going to leave it out! There are several ways to use ACV as a salad dressing, either as it is, or in a homemade dressing. You can make a simple salad with vegetables of your choice chopped up and mixed together, and then drizzle on apple cider vinegar and olive oil, seasoning with salt and pepper, for a super quick and easy option. Or, you can make some DIY salad dressings to keep in your fridge, cupboard or pantry. There are all sorts of ingredients you can mix it with to make different, delicious dressings, from honey and mustard seeds to raspberries and herbs. Here are six tasty options…
Apple Cider Vinegar & Maple Syrup Salad Dressing – Let’s start with a good old straightforward dressing. This is sweet and tangy at the same time, and full of nutritious ingredients, including apple cider vinegar (of course!), maple syrup (make sure you buy the 100% stuff), grey sea salt, pepper, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil.
Honey Apple Cider Vinegar Salad Dressing – This recipe includes fresh, unprocessed ingredients that aid digestion, immunity and energy levels, including honey, apple cider vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, mustard powder, dried basil, shallot, lemon, salt and pepper.
German-Style Potato Salad – Why not make a healthier potato salad option that is vegan and far lower in fat and calories this summer? The recipe uses apple cider vinegar instead of mayonnaise, as well as organic red potatoes, shallots, baby cucumbers, celery, extra virgin olive oil, grey sea salt, black pepper, parsley and sprouts.
Creamy Avocado & Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing – This decadent creamy salad dressing is the perfect accompaniment to a healthy vegetable and bean salad. It includes mayonnaise, avocado, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, garlic, ground mustard, dried basil and dried thyme.
Chopped Broccoli Salad – Raw, creamy, flavorful and crunchy, this salad is a delicious side dish. The recipe calls for broccoli, scallions, dried tart cherries, raw almonds, Longan fruit, raw sunflower seeds, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar and coconut sugar.
Fall Apple & Fennel Salad – This stunning salad is sweet and tangy, crunchy and full of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The recipe includes baby arugula, fennel bulb, honeycrisp apple, toasted almond slices and pomegranate arils for the salad, and apple cider vinegar, honey and Dijon mustard for the dressing. Quick and simple, but very effective!