Apple cider vinegar has been all the rage the past few years, and for good reason. The health food is good for more than just your physical health, as there are a number of weird, but genius ways can use apple cider vinegar that include taking care of your home and even personal hygiene. Keeping apple cider vinegar at home can help you take care of many of your needs without having to buy multiple products.
"Although Apple Cider Vinegar (aka 'ACV') is growing in popularity thanks to social media and television medical professionals like Dr. Oz promoting the product, few people realize how much this unassuming little bottle is actually capable of," says Britt Brandon, author of Apple Cider Vinegar for Health, over email.
ACV is exactly what it's name suggests: It's a vinegar made from cider or apple must, and many of the health benefits come from acetic acid, the active ingredient in vinegar. Thankfully, there are no noted side effects when it comes to ingesting apple cider vinegar, but it is important to make sure to never take a straight shot of vinegar without putting it some water first. Since vinegar is highly acidic, taking a shot of vinegar alone can cause damage to your esophagus or teeth enamel.
Here are 13 weird but genius ways you can use apple cider vinegar.
1As A Deodorant
Looking for a natural deodorant? Try apple cider vinegar. "With a cotton ball soaked in ACV, you can naturally and effectively rid your skin and pores of the odor-causing bacteria and microbes that lurk under the arm," says Brandon. "You can even add aloe vera gel to the ACV to create a mixture that helps deliver those odor-fighting combatants in ACV deeper within the skin’s layers, with an added benefit of moisturized goodness from the aloe."
2For Bad Breath
Ditch the mouthwash and opt for some vinegar. "By consuming just a tablespoon of ACV in a glass of water daily, you deliver the potent enzymes and nutrients of ACV into the digestive system from where many of the harsh-smelling odors derive," says Brandon. "Cleansing the systems of toxins, bacteria, and microbes that can be lurking in the mouth and digestive system eliminates bad breath at its root cause."
3For Thicker Hair
If you find that your hair is thinning and your usual products just aren't working, it's time to run some vinegar through that mane of yours. "By applying an ACV rinse to the hair, you can remove product buildup, provide the scalp with unique nutrients that promote proper hair growth and strengthening of collagen and elastin, and improve circulation of blood flow to the scalp for healthier conditions in which hair grows healthfully," says Brandon.
4To Prevent Gingivitis
"With a constant borage of microbes, bacteria, viruses, plaque buildup, etc. all thriving within the mouth, the gums can become jeopardized and weaken over time," says Brandon. "With the ingestion of ACV in the tablespoon amount in a 4oz. glass of water, you can help rid the mouth of harsh health assailants naturally."
5To Combat Varicose Veins
Drinking apple cider vinegar can help improve your circulation and excavate the dead cells from the areas where you have build-up, causing spider veins. "You can also soak a cloth in ACV and aloe vera and apply it to the varicose vein area for a period of 15-20 minutes to help improve the circulation of the area and relieve the buildup," says Brandon.
6To Stop Hiccups
Forget holding your breath: try some vinegar to get rid of hiccups instead. ACV stimulates the nerves in the throat, so take a few drops with water or sugar next time you can't stop hiccuping.
7To Sooth A Herpes Outbreak
ACV won't be able to cure the virus, but it can help decrease the severity of outbreaks thanks to its anti-inflammatory, astringent, and disinfectant properties, according to Top 10 Home Remedies. Simply dip a cotton ball into apple cider vinegar, and dab it on the affected areas a few times a day.
8To Freshen Up Clothes
Clothes feeling a little sweaty? Break out the ACV! "You can eliminate unpleasant odors from your clothes by adding 1 cup of apple cider vinegar to the washing cycle," says Harriet Jones, a cleaning expert for Go Cleaners, over email. It can also help get rid of stains and soften clothing.
9To Clean The Fridge
"Apple cider vinegar does a magnificent job at removing mold and mildew from the fridge’s door seals," says Jones. "You can wipe down the seals with undiluted vinegar, but for the rest of it, make a solution by combining it with water using 1:1 proportions, and wipe thoroughly."
10To Clean Sunglasses
No one likes to wear sunglasses that are dirty or smudged, and apple cider vinegar can help with that. "Sprinkle a very soft cloth with a little apple cider vinegar, and wipe them clean," says professional cleaner Cyrus Bedwyr over email.
11To Get Rid Of Heartburn
ACV can work to balance your stomach pH and help alleviate heartburn. "Apple cider vinegar stimulates saliva production and signals to the stomach to produce adequate amounts of digestive acid," says registered nurse Rebecca Lee over email. "When your heartburn is acting up, dilute 1 teaspoon of ACV into a tall glass of water and drink."
12To Sooth A Bee Sting
Help relieve some of the pain from a pee sting using this handy vinegar. "It reduces pain by neutralizing the acidic nature of bee sting venom," says Dr. Adam Tanase over email. "Simply pour some ACV onto a cotton ball or folded napkin, and press it into the sting site."
13To Unclog A Drain
When combined, vinegar and baking soda expand, and the pressure helps to shove the clog down. This loosens up and breaks down any soap residue or other acids. "First, pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain," says Nathan Green, cleaning expert at A to Z Cleaning, over email. "Then do the same with half a cup of vinegar and quickly cover the drain. Once it stops fizzing, pour another half cup of vinegar and cover again. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes, and carefully pour a gallon of boiling water to flush everything through. For hard or stubborn clogs you may have to repeat the process two or three times until drain gets completely de-clogged."