Did you know there are a ton of uses for apple cider vinegar outside of the kitchen? Check these 13 surprising ways to use apple cider vinegar (ACV) for beauty, health and more. Number 3 is my favorite!
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is mostly apple juice, but adding yeast turns the sugar in the juice into alcohol. This is a process called fermentation. Bacteria turn the alcohol into acetic acid. That’s what gives vinegar its sour taste and strong smell.
Types of Apple Cider Vinegar
Head out to the grocery store and you’ll likely see two different types of apple cider vinegar: filtered and pasteurized, and unfiltered and unpasteurized.
Pasteurized and filtered apple cider vinegar will be pure and golden in color. It will also be less expensive. Unfiltered and unpasteurized apple cider vinegar will look cloudy, and there will likely be a layer of sediment at the bottom of the bottle. This is because unfiltered apple cider vinegar still contains “the mother,” which is a web of cellulose and bacteria that helps the apple cider turn into vinegar. Most of the time, unfiltered and unpasteurized apple cider vinegar is organic.
Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits
You’ve probably seen health food store shelves lined with different brands of apple cider vinegar. Why is it so popular? There are a TON of uses. Really. From natural beauty to home remedies to household cleaning, apple cider vinegar has many uses outside of the kitchen. This is the only apple cider vinegar that I use in my house. It’s raw, unfiltered and chock full of health benefits.
Here are some of my favorite uses for apple cider vinegar (also known as ACV) … and no. 3 is my favorite.
13 Surprising Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar
1. Digestive Aid
Ever have the odd stomachache, or nauseous spell? Next time, try apple cider vinegar for relief. It has antibacterial properties, which can target the root cause of some cramps, diarrhea and nausea. Add 1-2 tablespoons into a glass of water or juice if you feel a rumble in your tummy and don’t want to deal with a terrible stomach ache.
2. Hair Rinse
Instead of conditioner, rinse your hair with apple cider vinegar for a clean, nourishing shine. Just mix 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar with a quart of water. After you shampoo, rinse your hair with the apple cider vinegar mixture.
3. Face Toner
Looking for a low-cost, effective facial skin toner? Try apple cider vinegar! Its antibacterial properties will cut grease and kill bacteria that are associated with breakouts and uneven complexions. The best part is, it’s still gentle enough to leave on your skin as a toner. Plus, it has natural alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) to help skin have a more youthful, glowing appearance.
Here’s my super simple DIY Facial Toner tutorial with apple cider vinegar.
4. Weight Stabilizer
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which has been shown to lower your triglyceride levels and body fat content when taken on a daily basis. Having 2 teaspoons a day can help keep your weight from fluctuating.
Don’t get too ahead of yourselves though; you still have to maintain a healthy diet and try to stay active. Apple cider vinegar will simply contribute and promote healthy weight loss.
5. Breath Freshener
Due to the fact that apple cider vinegar has powerful antibacterial agents, it can aid in maintaining fresh breath, by killing bacteria that causes bad breath. Bad breath can originate in your mouth, as well as in your stomach, so ingesting apple cider vinegar once a day will help kill bad breath bacteria.
Apple cider vinegar has natural alkalizing effects, so it can balance your pH levels effectively.
Although vinegar is naturally acidic, when it is inside your body it acts as an alkalizer, balancing pH levels and preventing illness, inflammation and disease.
7. Teeth Whitener
Rubbing diluted apple cider vinegar on your teeth can eliminate stains and making your teeth more bright and white. Make sure you continue with your regular brushing routine because apple cider vinegar does not have all the properties that your toothpaste does.
8. All-Natural Cleaning Product
If you’re looking for a friendly, all-natural cleaning product then you’re in luck. Apple cider vinegar also doubles as a safe and effective cleaning product. By replacing harmful cleaning products with apple cider vinegar you decrease chemical exposure for you and your children.
Here’s an easy recipe to make your own natural cleaner: In a 12 or 16 oz. spray bottle, add 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar, then fill with water. Voila! You know have a natural cleaner. The vinegar scent dissipates after a few minutes, leaving a naturally clean home.
9. Topical Disinfectant
The antimicrobial and antibacterial agents in apple cider vinegar make for a great first aid staple. Use it on minor cuts, bruises and bug bites.
10. Bedtime Tea
Adding apple cider vinegar to hot water and lemon can relax your body and mind, help fight insomnia and hopefully give you the peace of mind you need to get a good nights sleep.
11. Sun Relief
Instead of aloe or store-bought sunburn creams (which are usually loaded with toxic chemicals, try apple cider vinegar to soothe and heal sunburns. It works really well. Here’s my DIY Sun Relief Spray.
12. All-Natural Fruit and Vegetable Wash
Forget those expensive “healthy” produce sprays at the grocery store. You can make your own DIY Produce Wash and Spray with apple cider vinegar with this recipe. The apple cider vinegar helps to naturally sanitize and keep mold at bay. Plus, it’s way cheaper and easy to do.
13. Soothe Sore Throat and Cough
Got a sore throat or nasty cough? Gargle with a mixture of 1/2 apple cider vinegar to 1/2 water every couple of hours for relief. You can also make a sore throat tea with 1 cup of hot water, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar and 1 tsp of raw honey. Sip to soothe a sore throat and quell a cough. Drink a few times a day as needed.
14. Trapping Fruit Flies
Fruit flies can be a pest. Surprisingly, it’s really easy to use apple cider vinegar to make a cheap fruit fly trap.
Simply pour some apple cider vinegar into a cup, add a few drops of dish soap (so that any trapped flies sink) and you’re good to go.
15. Liven Up Your Soup!
Adding vinegar to soup can help bring its flavors to life. If your favorite homemade soup tastes a little bland, try adding a little vinegar to it at the end. Add it gradually until the soup tastes great.
16. Cleaning Your Toothbrush
We’ve mentioned that ACV helps with teeth whitening, but to have really clean teeth, it’s worth considering how clean your toothbrush is.
Given that apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties, you can use it as a homemade cleaner for your toothbrush.
To make your own toothbrush cleaner, mix half a cup (120 ml) of water with 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of apple cider vinegar and 2 teaspoons of baking soda and mix well. Leave the head of your toothbrush in the mix for 30 minutes.
Make sure you rinse your brush well before you use it, as the acidity of undiluted vinegar could damage your teeth.
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Photo credit: Bigstockphoto.com / klenova