Many homesteaders swear by Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) for a variety of uses. It’s ideal for health, skin care, dietary, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antibiotic and for animal care. It can clean a variety of products and it is an all-around must-have item on any homestead.
What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple Cider Vinegar, which is also frequently called ACV, is apple cider that has been fermented. The fermentation process forms a healthy probiotic and enzymes that will help to give the Apple Cider Vinegar the benefits that will help heal and protect the body. The vinegar has fewer calories than the apple cider itself and it offers a myriad of health benefits to the body.
It’s important to note that you’ll want only the raw, unfiltered type of apple cider vinegar. This provides a colony of bacteria often referred to as the “mother”. This occurs during the fermentation process and is where the benefits of the apple cider vinegar lie. These live cultures of the colony of bacteria appear web like and will give the user the most nutrition.
Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits and Uses
Apple cider vinegar improves skin health. It’s excellent for treating acne, reducing the appearance of scars and for eliminating strains of bacteria that can cause acne. Containing acetic acid as well as lactic acid, succinic acid and even citric acid, it can help to reduce the growth of Propioni bacterium acne which causes acne.
1. Skin toner. Use equal parts water and apple cider vinegar for a skin toner.
2. Facial mask. Combine enough apple cider vinegar with a facial clay to make your own facial mask. Apply and allow to sit for about 20 minutes and rinse with tepid water.
3. Facial wash. Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar and 2 parts water and rub on your face. Add some raw honey to the mixture if your skin is dry. Rinse well with tepid water.
4. Makeup remover. Combine 1 part apple cider vinegar and 2 parts water. Gently dab with a cotton ball and remove makeup.
5. Soften skin. Soak it into the skin by gently applying and allow it to dry for softer silkier skin.
6. Healing gently dab on acne, rough patches of skin and other areas to help gently heal the skin.
7. Skin tags. Dip a piece of cotton into apple cider vinegar and wring out a bit then place it on your skin tag then place a bandage over it. Leave this on overnight.
8. Athlete’s foot, jock itch, yeast infections and more (study) may all be treated with apple cider vinegar. Simply apply to the affected area two to three times per day.
9. Improve skin health by dabbing on affected areas. Ideal for scars and acne. It can kill off the bad bacteria on the skin that causes acne and scarring from acne. Used as a toner it works well to help clear up troubled skin.
10. Improve circulation. Many studies show that apple cider vinegar can improve circulation in the body and reduce symptoms of varicose veins. Combine with witch hazel and use as a scrub in a circular motion to help improve circulation and to reduce symptoms.
11. Heal Poison Ivy with apple cider vinegar. The potassium in the vinegar may help to alleviate the swelling that is associated with the poison ivy. Apply a teaspoon to the skin several times daily until the poison ivy is all healed up.
12. Gut Health. It may boost the health of the gut (study) and the bacteria that resides in the apple cider vinegar is an ideal way to improve digestion.
It may help improve the levels of good bacteria in the gut and it will also help to boost the immune system. When taken before meals, it will help in digestion and improve the overall level of health. Simply stir 1 to 2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into an 8 ounce glass of water. Be sure that you always dilute the apple cider vinegar to ensure that you don’t burn your mouth or your throat.
13. Regulate blood sugar in diabetics. Simply dilute 1 to 2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in 8 ounces of water and drink prior to each meal to help keep blood sugars steady. Per several studies on apple cider vinegar (source 1, source 2) , it can regulate and lower blood sugar levels. Please don’t take it on your own, talk to your physician.
14. Colds and Flu. This also works well for colds and flu viruses when taken as soon as you begin to feel ill. The sooner you take it the sooner it can get to work on your virus to kill off the bad bacteria. Again, take 1 to 2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar stirred into a glass of water up to 3 times per day.
15. Deodorant. Apple cider vinegar can also double as deodorant. It kills the bacteria that make body odor. Simply dab a bit on your armpits and allow it to dry. It will quickly work to neutralize odors and keep you smelling fresh all day.
16. Hair care. It’s easy to have shiny hair when you use an apple cider vinegar rinse. Many worry about the smell but it will wash out and the hair will be shiny, luxurious and easy to comb out. Just mix some apple cider vinegar with 8 ounces of warm water and use it like you would use conditioner. As hair dries the smell of the apple cider vinegar will wear off.
17. Teeth Whitening. Simply brush some apple cider vinegar on the teeth and use the apple cider vinegar as a mouthwash. Dab a bit on the finger and rub it over the teeth and then rinse well to prevent enamel erosion. Always make sure to rinse teeth well after using apple cider vinegar. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
18. Bad Breath. Use Apple Cider Vinegar as a Bad Breath Remedy. Take 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar before a meal. You can also dilute the vinegar in a glass of water. The vinegar will help your body digest its meal, and cure bad breath. You can also gargle with the apple cider vinegar after a meal to neutralize the breath and reduce odors.
19. Weight loss. If you’re dieting and don’t see results, try adding some apple cider vinegar into your diet. According to research, just adding 2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to the diet per day for 12 weeks will help release that fat.
Add apple cider vinegar into the diet by adding to foods such as salad, greens, green vegetables and more. You’ll feel fuller longer and it will help to speed up your weight loss.
Apple cider vinegar can help you lose even more pounds per month without having to count calories. Add to food, or drink 1 to 2 Tablespoons in a glass of water prior to each meal.
20. Fabric softener. Add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar to the rinse cycle of the washing machine and you won’t need anything else for fabric softening. The smell dissipates as the clothes dry.
21. Whiten laundry. Add in ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar to the wash cycle to increase whiteness. You can also add in some baking soda if desired.
22. Rinsing agent for laundry. Add in one cup of apple cider vinegar to your laundry at the beginning of the rinse cycle to reduce static cling and help remove laundry detergent from clothes when doing laundry.
23. Household cleaner. Both antimicrobial and antibacterial, apple cider vinegar works to kill germs that are lurking in the household. Use it on the kitchen sponge, counter tops and even to clean the bathroom. It works better than those harsh chemicals and the scent will dissipate as it dries.
24. Cloth diapers should be sanitized and what better way to sanitize them than to add in ½ cup of apple cider vinegar to the laundry to help remove bacteria and sanitize them.
25. Create your own spray cleaner. Mix ½ cup baking soda, and 1 cup of apple cider vinegar pour into a spray bottle and fill the rest of the way with water. Use this as your go to spray cleaner and spray counters, and other areas that require cleaning.
26. Clean Air conditioner and humidifier. Remove the filters and soak them in apple cider vinegar for about 30 minutes. Rinse well and allow to dry and put the filters back into the unit.
27. Clean the dishwasher. Clean the dishwasher by pouring 1 cup of apple cider vinegar into the bottom and running a cycle. It also works well as a rinse aid in the rinse dispenser.
28. Keep ants away. Ants and apple cider vinegar are mortal enemies. Take that spray bottle of household apple cider vinegar that you just made and spray it around where ants like to visit. Ants avoid it like its poison.
29. Fruit fly trap / fly trap / gnat. Place a bowl of apple cider vinegar near fruit flies and gnats. Cover the bowl with plastic warp and poke holes into it with a toothpick and they will flock to the holes and not be able to escape.
30. Flea spray. If your pet has fleas, mix equal parts of water and apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle and spray to the fur daily until the fleas are gone.
31. Bug spray for you when you’re outdoors and tired of the mosquitoes. Simply use equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spritz yourself.
32. Drain cleaner. Sluggish slow drain? Pour some apple cider vinegar down and allow it to sit for an hour. Flush it with hot tap water and ½ cup of baking soda.
33. Jewelry cleaner. Combine ½ cup of apple cider vinegar and 2 Tablespoons of baking soda together and place silver jewelry into it for a few hours. Rinse well and gently pat dry and polish with a fine cloth.
34. Weed killer. Heat up a pan of apple cider vinegar to boiling and pour it on the weeds in the cracks of the sidewalk and anywhere else that they appear. Weeds will be gone by morning. Repeat as needed.
35. Keep cats away. Use that spray bottle of apple cider vinegar to spray areas that you don’t want the cat to tear up. They don’t like the scent.
36. Freshen fur. Did the puppy roll in something that smells horrible and there’s no time for a bath? Spritz the puppy with a bottle of 1 cup apple cider vinegar and fill it the rest of the way with water. Massage it in and you’ll have a fresh clean smelling puppy.
37. Ward off parasites with a capful of apple cider vinegar in the dogs water dish. Parasites will no longer be an issue.
38. Conjunctivitis of dogs. Combine 1 part apple cider vinegar with 2 parts water. Dab a clean washcloth in the mixture and apply below the eyes only. Repeat every few hours as required.
39. Ear mites in cats and dogs. Combine equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and water and use as a rinse twice per day for 2 weeks. Ear mites will leave and pets will be happy.
40. Homemade dog shampoo. Commercial dog shampoos can be costly. Make your own with 1 part apple cider vinegar, 1 part water and 1 part baby shampoo. Wash pet as usual and use this soap to lather up your pet and be sure to rinse well keeping soap out of the eyes.
41. Chicken immune system booster. Add in 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar per gallon of water to help boost the chickens immune system.
42. It may lower cholesterol (in studies done on mice) by adding a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to one cup of water 3 times per day.
43. Energy drinks can be dangerous and expensive. Avoid the dangers by adding 1 Teaspoon to 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in 8 ounces of water and add in raw local honey to taste. Splash some lemon juice in and add in a dash of ground ginger and drink prior to each meal for more energy.
44. For dry scalp / dandruff treatment add in apple cider vinegar to your shampoo prior to washing the hair.
45. Hair rinse / hair wash / hair soak add into the conditioner prior to adding it to the hair and use that as a cream rinse.
46. Hair conditioner / detangler / hair spray are all easily replaced with apple cider vinegar. Just dilute it equally with water and use as a detangler, conditioner, and spray.
47. Soften hair with equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water. Use as rinse, or simply spritz the hair with it daily.
48. Bath soak with apple cider vinegar and epsom salts and a teaspoon of coconut oil if desired help to detox the skin and body.
49. Set hair dye. With equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water. Use as a final rinse when dying hair.
50. Immune system building / booster tea drinks are all costly, make your own with apple cider vinegar (source), raw local honey and a dash of cinnamon. Dilute with warm water and mix as strong or weak as desired. Drink daily to boost the immune system.
51. For sore throats, coughs, lost voices combine hot water, 2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and 2 Tablespoons of raw local honey. Sip as needed for sore throats, coughs, and lost voices.
52. Indigestion / upset stomach can all be avoided if you drink 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with a cup of water daily.
53. Fungus-like ring worm / kill toenail fungus can all be eradicated if you soak the area with apple cider vinegar daily until gone (source). Kill candida yeast with a Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with one cup of warm water. Drink daily to help manage the candida overgrowth.
54. Morning sickness will be eased naturally when you consume 1 Teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water with a dash of stevia and drink it.
55. Diaper rashes are painful for babies. Soak diapers in an apple cider vinegar bath and rinse well and add in ½ cup to baby’s bath to help soothe the skin. (see this for more)
56. Clear sinuses by boiling apple cider vinegar with water and inhale to clear sinuses.
57. Foot soak / for athlete’s foot/ foot scrub 1 part apple cider vinegar to 4 parts water make an excellent foot soak for sore feet or athlete’s foot.
58. UTIs are very uncomfortable. Add in a cup or two of apple cider vinegar to a warm bath and soak in it for 20 minutes. Pat the area dry gently with a soft Further research is needed so talk to your doctor about this first.
59. Nausea / vomiting / diarrhea are all annoying. Combine equal parts of apple cider vinegar and raw local honey to make it palatable enough to drink.
60. Bursitis. My doctor has me drink 2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water to treat my bursitis.
61. Fever blisters are painful and embarrassing, dab some apple cider vinegar on them several times a day to get rid of them faster.
62. Soak new clothes in it to set color before washing with apple cider vinegar.
63. For washing fruits and veggies, apple cider vinegar is an ideal solution.
64. Make buttermilk by adding in 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to one cup of milk. Allow to sit until it thickens.
65. Salad dressing is even better with extra virgin olive oil or EVOO and a dash of salt and some apple cider vinegar.
66. Pickle bologna with apple cider vinegar and have a flavor treat.
67. Soaking grains. Grains will be tenderer if you add in some apple cider vinegar.
68. Cooking. Meats, sauces and other foods will all be richer if you add in a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar when cooking.
69. Vinaigrette dressings are delicious on salads, fruits and vegetables if you use apple cider vinegar.
70. Homemade mayonnaise will taste richer if you add some apple cider vinegar into the blend.
71. Buttermilk pancakes are delicious. Add some apple cider vinegar in with the buttermilk and allow it to begin to curdle and they’ll taste even better.
72. Baked goods will rise better and be flakier if you add some apple cider vinegar to the dough.
73. Roasts will be extra-juicy of you add in some apple cider vinegar while cooking.
74. Chutney is excellent and if you add in some apple cider vinegar while cooking the apple cider vinegar will soften the fruit.
75. Hard boiled eggs won’t break when cooking if you add some apple cider vinegar to the water when boiling. .
76. Marinade your meat and make it tenderer and deepen the flavor with apple cider vinegar.
The Myths Surrounding Apple Cider Vinegar
Sadly, apple cider vinegar (ACV) has a lot of myths and not enough research behind it to shed light on the many health claims behind it. While it does have anti fungal properties and may fix cholesterol, there is no proof for some of the claims that’ve been circulating on the Internet and through word of mouth. This is the conclusion of this research paper but also that of many MDs whose opinions you can find online.
- there is no proof it can remove warts
- there is no proof it can remove moles
- it probably won’t cure you of allergies (more on this)
- there doesn’t seem to be any study confirming ACV can improve protein utilization
In addition, please note that many of the other uses don’t have studies to back them up, so please be cautions when using it either externally or internally. Ideally, you want to dilute it with water.
Always keep in mind what works well for one person may not work for another. If the apple cider vinegar seems too strong to you, dilute it with water or use less apple cider vinegar next time.
Do you have research or, at the very least, personal experience that can confirm or infirm some of the claims in this article? Please share in a comment below.
Disclaimer. This is not medical advice. Neither the author nor www.newlifeonahomestead.com is responsible for misusing the advice in this article.
Hi, I’m Linda. I’m a mom, grandmother, homesteader. I love simple living and enjoy my life on a homestead where I garden, raise a variety of animals and strive for a life more like my grandparents lived.
My goal is to enrich life by living it as simply as possible and focusing on the way my grandparents did things. Life is so much more fun when it’s lived simply.