Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is an inexpensive, natural product that everyone should keep stocked in their cupboard. It has dozens of applications in cooking, household cleaning, home remedies and more. Here are ten practical uses of apple cider vinegar that may surprise you.
1. Adhesive Dissolver
The acids in apple cider vinegar are effective at dissolving many types of adhesive bonds. Apple cider vinegar can be used to remove price tags, labels or stickers. Heat a small bowl of vinegar in the microwave for about thirty seconds. Dip a rag into the warm liquid and hold it over the sticker until the surface is completely soaked through. It will come away easily when you peel it from a corner.
2. Fabric Softener
Apple cider vinegar contains potassium and sodium, which work to soften hard water and dissolve the mineral build-up that can leave fabrics feeling rough or stiff. Simply add half a cup of vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser on your washing machine. (The acrid smell will disappear when the laundry goes through the rinse cycle.) For pleasantly scented clothing, stir a couple of drops of lavender or orange essential oil into the vinegar before adding it to the machine.
3. Teeth Whitener
The acidity of apple cider vinegar can whiten teeth by eating away at stains and discolorations. After brushing, pour apple cider vinegar into a cup, take it into your mouth and swish it around. Keep it in contact with your teeth for one to two minutes, then spit it out. Rinse immediately with water to remove excess acid from your mouth. Used twice a week, the vinegar will gradually restore whiteness to your smile.
4. Flea Repellant
Fleas find apple cider vinegar unsavory, so applying it to a pet’s fur and skin is a natural way to repel them. If your pet has a flea infestation, you can help to control it with an apple cider vinegar shampoo. Fill a bottle with equal parts of vinegar and mild dish detergent and shake to combine. While bathing your pet in warm water, massage the shampoo into the coat, then rinse thoroughly. Continue to ward off fleas with a spray made by diluting apple cider vinegar with an equal amount of water. Apply the solution to your pet’s fur twice a week.
5. Dandruff Treatment
Many cases of dandruff are caused by a proliferation of fungal yeast called called pityrosporum ovale. Apple cider vinegar alters the pH level of the scalp, creating an unfavorable environment for fungal growth. Pour equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and water into a spray bottle and shake to combine. After shampooing your hair, spritz the vinegar solution close to your scalp, paying particular attention to itchy, flaking areas. Leave hair to dry naturally.
6. Windshield Defroster
The acids in apple cider vinegar help to prevent ice crystals from forming on glass and cause pre-existing ice to melt more rapidly. Combine three parts apple cider vinegar with one part water in a spray bottle. If you’re expecting freezing temperatures overnight, use the mixture to coat your car windows. It will help prevent frost from forming and save you time the next morning. If your windscreen is covered with ice, you can use the same vinegar solution to remove it more easily. Just spray it over the glass before scraping.
7. Soak for Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that causes a red rash and scaly, flaking skin on the feet. The acidity of apple cider vinegar helps to relieve the persistent itching associated with the condition. It also creates inhospitable conditions for the fungus. To make a soothing foot bath, fill a dishpan with equal parts of apple cider vinegar and warm water. Soak your feet in the solution for twenty minutes each day until the infection clears.
8. Sunburn Soother
The anti-inflammatory properties of apple cider vinegar help to reduce swelling, blistering and peeling when skin has spent too much time in the sun. The acetic acid alleviates itching and burning and also works to restore the skin’s natural pH balance. In a spray bottle, combine two parts vinegar with one part water. Spritz on the affected area for instant relief. Alternatively, add a pint of apple cider vinegar to a tub of lukewarm bathwater and soak away the sting.
9. Weed Killer
The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar is effective at killing many common weed species. It dissolves the waxy protective coating on leaves, causing the plant to wither. It can also lower the pH of soil to inhibit regrowth. To spot kill weeds growing through cracks in patios or driveways, fill a spray bottle with full-strength apple cider vinegar and aim it at undesirable plants. Pour more vinegar onto the soil beneath the weeds to kill them down to the root.
Apple cider vinegar kills bacteria and breaks down volatile compounds. These properties make it an effective natural deodorant. After showering, simply pour some apple cider vinegar on a cotton ball and apply it under your arms to minimize body odors throughout the day. The vinegar smell dissipates as it dries, leaving you feeling naturally fresh and clean.