Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor and nothing in this article should be taken as medical advice. Please talk to your doctor before using any of the herbs and/or remedies mentioned in this article.
One of the most overlooked multipurpose products that you can find in most kitchens is apple cider vinegar, sometimes abbreviated as ACV. No one’s kitchen or medicinal cabinet is truly complete without it.
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Why? Because apple cider vinegar has a lot of important health and cleaning uses, and it has been used this way for literally thousands of years. In this article, we will cover the top reasons why apple cider vinegar is so beneficial and how to use it safely, then we will dive into the top uses for it.
Why Is Apple Cider Vinegar So Beneficial and How Can It Be Safely Used?
The primary reason apple cider vinegar is so beneficial when it comes to personal health and cleaning is because of the malic acid, acetic acid, pectin, and potassium that it contains. These ingredients give apple cider vinegar strong anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, plus the ability to lower blood pressure and prevent hair loss, among other things.
Apple cider vinegar can technically be ingested directly, although it is recommended that if you do ingest it, you mix it with something else. That’s because if you’ve ever tasted ACV before, you know full well that it’s not very good. Furthermore, it can cause complications with your throat or esophagus.
It’s much safer to mix unpasteurized apple cider vinegar with water, in which case the flavor will become similar to a watered-down apple juice. You can dramatically sweeten the flavor by adding honey to it. Another common way to ingest apple cider vinegar is to use it as salad dressing, and specifically when it is mixed in with herbs, honey, shallots, olive oil, and/or mustard.
However, another way to safely use apple cider vinegar and get the full benefits of it is to apply it topically (in the case of health benefits) or directly to the surface of something (in the case of cleaning benefits).
The Top Uses For Apple Cider Vinegar
1. Soften Your Skin
You can either apply apple cider vinegar directly to your skin or you can mix it with water and apply it to your skin. Some people like to pour ACV into a warm bath and soak themselves for a while. The result is skin that feels significantly softer.
2. Treat Sunburns
Mix warm water with apple cider vinegar and soak a washcloth in it. Proceed to place the washcloth gently over your sunburn. This will help remove some of the redness and, more importantly, much of the pain (however, it won’t get rid of all of the redness completely—only time can take care of that).
3. Use As A Hard Surface Cleaner
Baking soda is one of the most versatile cleaning agents in existence because it can be used to clean just about anything. Do you want to know what else can be used to clean just about anything? That’s right: apple cider vinegar.
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Mix apple cider vinegar with water and pour both into a spray bottle. If you spray the resulting solution on hard surfaces such as countertops and hardwood floors, you can wipe them down with a dry rag and they will be just as clean as new afterward.
4. Wash Clothes
You can pour apple cider vinegar into your washing machine during the rinse cycle to help clean your clothes. Or in the event of a grid-down situation where you can’t use your washing machine, you can still mix ACV into the water before clothes washing.
5. Toilet Cleaner
It may not be the most pleasant use for apple cider vinegar, but try pouring apple cider vinegar into a toilet bowl in the evening and allowing it to sit there overnight. You’ll see the positive results the next morning. Not only will the ACV make the toilet cleaner, it will also reduce the odor.
6. Whiten Your Teeth
Carefully rub apple cider vinegar directly onto your teeth, either using a toothbrush or your finger. Alternatively, you can create your own whitening mouthwash by mixing one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in with a cup of water. Swish the resulting solution around in your mouth before spitting it out, then rinse your mouth again with water only.
7. Use As Deodorant
Apple cider vinegar is excellent as a natural deodorant. Rub the ACV directly into your armpits. You can also use it to help stop foot odor by rubbing it directly onto your feet, or otherwise by stepping directly into a tub or bowl of warm water mixed with ACV.
8. Remove Warts
Take a cotton ball and soak it in some apple cider vinegar. Take the ACV-soaked cotton ball directly over the wart. Tape it down with an adhesive bandage or medical tape in order to keep it secure. Expect your skin to swell a little bit, but wait until the wart falls off. You can then repeat this treatment as necessary over a few days.
9. Treat Your Pet’s Fur
Is your dog or cat having a problem with fleas? If so, you can take your spray bottle of water and ACV mix, then spray it directly onto your pet’s fur. Repeat this at least once every day for a week.
10. Improve Your Hair
Mix at least half a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with cold water and pour the solution into an empty shampoo bottle (rinse out the shampoo bottle first). After you shampoo your hair as you normally would, proceed to rinse out your hair using the ACV and cold water mix.
To get the best results, allow the solution to remain in your hair for a minimum of fifteen minutes before you rinse it out with warm water. If you do this daily, you should notice improvements in about a week.
11. Poison Ivy Treatment
Poison ivy is not fun, as you may already know. It can make your skin itchy for days, if not weeks, at a time. There are a number of poison ivy treatment options available, but most of them are also incredibly expensive.
A homemade remedy that’s not expensive at all is apple cider vinegar. The ingredients of ACV will dry out the rash and eliminate the itch, accelerating the healing process.
Take undiluted apple cider vinegar and dab it onto the site of your rash using other a Q-tip or cotton ball. Allow the rash to dry completely before you repeat the process a few minutes later. Repeat this process until the pain and itchiness have mostly subsided. It won’t cause the poison ivy rash to go away completely, but it will dramatically lower the redness and, more importantly, the pain.
12. Unclog Your Sink
If you mix apple cider vinegar and baking soda together and pour it down the drain, it will help to remove any clogs. This is an excellent solution during a grid down situation when you won’t be able to hire a plumber.
13. Remove Fish Scales
If you go fishing, you can use apple cider vinegar to help clean any fish that you catch. Rub the fish with ACV and the scales will be much easier to remove.
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14. Remove Ice From Your Windshield
If you spray apple cider vinegar directly onto a frozen windshield, it will help to remove any ice or frost build-up. If you continue to apply it to the windshield when there is no ice, it will help prevent future ice build-up.
Note: DO NOT pour hot water with ACV onto your windshield as doing so can cause the window to crack.
15. Kill Weeds
Why buy weed killer when you can use apple cider vinegar to get the job done instead? 20% ACV will work the best: mix it with water and then spray it directly onto the weeds to kill them.
16. Rust Removal
Finally, if you take a knife or another tool that has been rusted and soak it in apple cider vinegar for at least twelve hours, it will help to remove rust. After the twelve hours, get some aluminum foil and use it to scrub away the remaining rust.
17. Dandruff Removal
If you massage ACV that has been diluted directly onto your scalp (and not just your hair), the vinegar can help inhibit the growth of the Malassezia fungus, which directly contributes to dandruff.
18. Soil Fertilizer
Mix ten gallons of water with approximately ten ounces of ACV, then pour it directly over the soil in your garden. It will make for an excellent fertilizer.
Apple cider vinegar may not be a cure for every illness out there, but it’s still an incredibly versatile product that can help simplify life for when you’re living off the grid or just trying to save money.
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