Most people have a bottle of apple cider vinegar sitting in their pantry, but few realize what a goldmine this ubiquitous (and oh-so-cheap!) ingredient is. ACV (essentially just the byproduct of fermented apples) has a plethora of home, beauty and health uses stemming from the potassium, pectin, malic acid, calcium, enzymes, proteins and good bacteria in it. Apple cider vinegar is antimicrobial, antibacterial and antiseptic, and it helps balance pH, thus it’s been noted as a remedy for acne, dandruff and other skin and hair issues.
Apple cider vinegar tastes slightly sweeter than white vinegar, but don’t get me wrong: it’s definitely still vinegar. If you can get past the tang (personally, I love it), ACV can also be very versatile in the kitchen: Splash some on veggies or use it in homemade dressings or sauces. If you’re using ACV internally or topically, make sure you buy the raw, unfiltered, organic kind that includes the stringy (and admittedly gross-looking) “mother.” This indicates beneficial proteins, bacteria and enzymes are in the bottle; I like Bragg’s and Trader Joe’s versions for this reason. And while ACV has almost zero risk of side effects, it’s a good idea to keep your consumption under 2-3 tablespoons per day.
16 Genius Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar
Apples are a naturally potent source of malic acid, which boosts immunity, detoxifies metals from our bodies, and contributes to overall healthy skin. Using these acids in a facial peel is particularly helpful for evening out complexions, especially if you have age spots or sun damage.
2. Detox + Improve Digestion
Taking apple cider vinegar before you eat will help your stomach break down food and reduce acid reflux afterwards. AVC diluted in water can help with an upset tummy or bloating as well.
3. Condiment Upgrade
ACV helps liven up vinaigrettes, sauces and marinades. It pairs perfectly with apricots, can flavor kale chips, and more. Or, simply splash it on veggies.
4. Flea Repellent
Combine 1 part apple cider vinegar with 3 parts water and use it as a flea rinse for your pooch. Bonus: their fur will be extra shiny!
Take a spoonful of organic, raw (that part is very important!) apple cider vinegar a couple times a day to decrease mucous production and get the lymphatic system moving again.
6. Kill Weeds + Fertilize Your Garden
ACV can be used as fertilizer in a 1 ounce : 1 gallon vinegar-water ratio (check if your plants thrive on acids first) and undiluted as a weed killer.
7. DIY Deodorant
Apple cider vinegar is great for neutralizing odors—including your own. Simply swipe some on your armpits to combat bacteria. (Don’t worry, the vinegar smell will dissipate.)
8. Sunburn Soother
Add a cup of ACV to your bathwater to soothe a sunburn.
9. Homemade Facial Toner + Mask
Dilute ACV with anywhere from 1 to 4 parts water (depending on how sensitive/oily your skin is) and dab or swipe on with a cotton ball to treat irritated or acne-prone skin. It combats oil without drying out your skin, and can even help fade scars and sun spots. Or try it in this acne-fighting turmeric-ACV astringent.
10. Hair Rinse
Apple cider vinegar can give your hair a major boost. Vinegar smoothes the hair cuticle, creating lots of shine, and balances the pH of your scalp and hair. If you have dandruff, itchy scalp, or are going “no-‘poo,” try this.
11. Baked Goods
Apple cider vinegar adds flakiness to batters and crusts. You use it in such small amounts that the flavor is undetectable. Try it in a healthy, gluten-free apple pie.
12. Air Freshener
Put 1 part water + 1 part apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle and spritz wherever there are odors.
13. Household Disinfectant
Combine ACV and water in a 1:2 ratio to disinfect countertops and other surfaces.
Many diabetics use apple cider vinegar to regulate their blood sugar. Taking a small amount of apple cider vinegar (either straight up or diluted in a glass of water) works to stabilize blood sugar and control your appetite (it’s especially helpful if you take it right before a meal.)
15. Fight Off Yeast Infections
Regular ACV “shots” can help your body better fight off candida. Combined with its ability to fend off sugar cravings, that’s a win-win in the yeast infection department.
16. Fly Trap
Pour a little ACV into a plastic cup with a lid (like the type you get at coffee shops) and fold down one panel of the straw hole. Flies will be attracted to the slightly sweet apple smell—they’ll be able to get in, but they won’t be able to get out.
How do you use AVC?22