9 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Will Improve Your Life
Apple cider vinegar has recently made an appearance in many pantries, but it’s not just for cooking! This wonder liquid is magic everywhere. In addition to a daily shot of it—give it a week to get used to the taste—people use it to clean, disinfect, kill weeds, eliminate odors, improve indoor air quality, and even prevent hair loss for healthy hair.
While apple cider vinegar has some things in common with white vinegar and lemon juice, it’s gentler than white vinegar, and has more antibacterial benefits than lemon juice. Because it’s made from fermented apples, unlike white vinegar, it may also contain trace vitamins, like vitamin C. It can replace household surface cleaners, eliminate the smell of cigarette smoke, increase shine for all hair types, and mix well with essential oils for a natural indoor air freshener. It’s also a refreshing drink replacement for soda.
Studies show that raw, unfiltered and unpasteurized apple cider vinegar yields the most benefits. You’ll find several brands at the grocery store, but our current fave is Bragg organic.
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 cups water
Though its taste can be a bit bitter, drinking apple cider vinegar every day has health benefits as it’s rich in malic and acetic acids and potassium. It might not taste the same, but once you get used to it, many people like to use it to replace soda! Starting with two tablespoons and then adjusting for taste, mix apple cider vinegar into two cups of water and drink up to:
- Potentially help with weight loss (thanks to its acetic acid)
- Maintain your body’s alkaline pH level
- Help detox your liver
- Help reduce heartburn
- Help your body fight candida
- Help clear up blemishes and skin conditions
- Help improve irregularity
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups water
Dilute one cup of vinegar to two cups of water and use as a natural toner for your face to help tighten skin and reduce breakouts. We recommend applying up to your hairline—for your scalp, see the next section. You can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil for a homemade treatment that’s just as good as a store-bought product!
Winter is known to wreak havoc on hair making your locks dry and dull. Apple cider vinegar to the rescue! After shampooing, rinse a few tablespoons through your hair (make sure you focus on your head and scalp) and say goodbye to build-up and frizzy hair, and hello to shinier locks. While you might be tempted to add essential oils for a better-smelling product, it’s best to leave the essential oil out of this vinegar hair rinse, as it can clog hair follicles on your scalp.
For straight, wavy and curly hair alike, this mixture keeps your scalp healthy and prevents hair loss. Apple cider vinegar is especially great for curly hair: it doesn’t weigh down strands like silicone-based conditioners, so it lets your curly hair shine without losing bounce! Regardless of your hair type, adding apple cider vinegar to your hair care routine can help keep your scalp healthy by warding off bacteria and keeping a balanced pH level, which prevents hair loss and encourages growth. Goodbye hair loss, hello healthy hair!
Summer is around the corner, and though you should always wear sunscreen, ACV can be used to soothe a sunburn. Mix one cup of apple cider vinegar into a bath, sit back and soak. This is a great way to soothe a sunburned scalp, which can be tricky for people to reach with products, depending on hair type. Add a few drops of a soothing essential oil like lavender or chamomile, and your parched skin will thank you.
½ cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
Apple cider vinegar is a natural disinfectant and works great in the kitchen, living room and bathroom. Like white vinegar, it’s tough on mold and bad smells. You can use it on windows, most surfaces, and carpets. Dilute a half-cup of ACV with one cup of water, add a few drops of your favorite essential oils if you’d like, and get cleaning!
ACV isn’t just limited to surfaces and windows. You can also use it to clean your washing machine. Add two cups of vinegar as you would detergent and run the washing machine without clothes. This works with two cups of white vinegar, too. White vinegar can also be used as fabric softener, and it’s recommended over ACV, due to its more neutral color. For the same reason, if you have white carpets, you’ll want to use white vinegar instead of ACV—otherwise, those carpets might turn orange!
For an added bonus, you can clean a clogged drain by pouring 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by one cup of apple cider vinegar (white vinegar works too). Let the soda and cup of white vinegar, or apple cider vinegar, sit for five minutes or so, then rinse the drain well with hot water for 30 seconds, then with cold water.
Air Freshener and Deodorizer
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
Apple cider vinegar naturally eliminates odors without using chemicals, so dilute it with equal parts water, add to a spray bottle, and spritz it around your living room for a fresh clean scent. Studies have shown that ACV kills bacteria, so it can improve your indoor air quality. This works with white vinegar as well, but ACV has a gentler, more fruity vinegar smell that’s better suited to indoor air. If the vinegar smell is still too much for your indoor air, add essential oils and open windows. Our favorites are fresh, light smells like lemon and peppermint.
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¾ cup water
Protect your favorite pup from fleas by spraying a mix of one-quarter apple cider vinegar to three-quarters water. You might need to make more, depending on your dog’s size and hair type. This easy homemade product also kills bacteria that might be hanging around. Added bonus: A shiny coat! While we don’t recommend using this as a replacement for your vet-recommended flea repellant, it makes for a great additional source of protection when your pup will be outdoors for extended periods such as camping trips.
Garden Weed Killer
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 gallon water
Summer means more time in the garden, fresh veggies, and unfortunately, some weeds. Mix one-part apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar) to eight parts water, spray on weeds, and watch ‘em disappear within a week. You’ll save time on weeding and your veggies will thank you.
4 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 gallon water
Wash those fresh garden veggies—and all store-bought ones, too—with an apple cider vinegar solution. Mix four tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with a gallon of water and rinse to keep dirt, bacteria and pesticides away. ACV isn’t as strong as white vinegar, but it’s still important to dilute vinegar with the full gallon of water. Not only is this an easy mixture, it’s a much more natural product than the conventional produce cleansers found at the grocery store.
It’s amazing how many uses there are for apple cider vinegar, from your bathroom to your kitchen to your garden! We hope that you enjoy testing out all the ways that it can improve your life.