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If you thought apple cider vinegar’s heroics stopped at what it can do for your body from the inside, think again. ACV takes on household bacteria, kitchen burns and sunburns, scratches, hair care, mold, and so much more. No wonder it’s one of the simplest and best tools to keep in your wellness toolbox! 

What is ACV?

Apple cider vinegar is made by crushing apples and letting them sit until they turn into alcohol. Then, specific bacteria are added to make the alcohol convert into acetic acid, giving vinegar its sour smell and taste. Most types of vinegar are between 4% and 7% acetic acid. Cider and wine vinegars usually come in at 5% to 6% acetic acid. This humble little vinegar sure packs a punch, even beyond the smell! 

Personal Care 

Body Odor 

Body odor can be embarrassing for many people. ACV’s antibacterial properties help it neutralize the bacteria that cause odors and prevent more from growing on your skin by raising the pH. Simply apply it to clean armpits and allow it to dry before getting dressed. It may smell a bit vinegary at first, but the odor will disappear as soon as it dries. Apple cider vinegar works on stinky feet as well!

Warts, skin tags, and moles 

Malic and tartaric acids in ACV work synergistically to dissolve moles and skin tags. When ACV is applied with a cotton ball and held in place with a bandage, it starts to break down the mole or tag until it simply falls off. 

ACV works similarly on warts, which are caused by viruses. ACV, specifically the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar, kills many types of bacteria and viruses on contact. The vinegar may break down the infection in the skin and cause the wart to fall off. Using a cotton ball soaked in ACV and a bandage to hold it in place works well here, too. Warts can be stubborn, and you may have to change the bandage and cotton ball several times to achieve results. 

Skincare and Hair 

ACV has antimicrobial and antifungal properties. It helps keep skin abrasions clean and soothes the discomfort of sunburn. Be sure to dilute it with water to reduce burning and increase hydration and relief. The acid in ACV may also take the sting out of bug bites and reduce infection risk by keeping them clean. It’s also great for healing poison ivy inflammation. 

Another way ACV is great for your skin is through its effects on pH balance. This makes it an excellent option for those with acne, although anyone can use ACV as a face wash or toner. Just dilute it with 50% water. ACV contains vitamin C, which helps the body create collagen for tight, toned skin. 

Apple cider vinegar has also been shown to be a helpful hair rinse, serving as a healthy alternative to shampoo. ACV also helps balance the pH of the scalp to reduce dandruff. 

Dental Health 

Apple cider vinegar’s antibacterial qualities indicate it may help with bad breath and serve as an inexpensive and healthy toothbrush cleaner. Studies have shown it fights Enterococcus faecalis in the teeth (1).  

Make sure to dilute the ACV down before using it as mouthwash, as the acidity of the undiluted vinegar may damage teeth (2) (3). For the same reason, rinse your toothbrush well with water before using it again. 

ACV’s antibacterial properties can also be helpful when cleaning dentures (4), and it’s much healthier to put in your mouth than commercial cleaners. 

Home Care 

Non-Toxic Cleaner 

Did you know that the majority of household cleaners are actually toxic? Mix a spray that’s 50/50 ACV and water for a more natural cleaner. You can also give your dishes a vinegar rinse as an extra level of clean. 

Food Preservation 

Vinegar has been used since ancient times for food preservation. Some of the earliest traces come from ancient Egypt and Babylon (5) (6). Apple cider vinegar works just as well as white vinegar and will give a unique taste to the foods you pickle it with. There are many recipes on the internet showing how to do this. 

Rid Your Home of Fruit Flies 

Fruit flies are annoying, gross, and a bit of a confidence drainer when you see them around food. They’re attracted by fruit, but fresh fruit isn’t what most people correlate to the presence of these pests. The good news is that they can be easy to get rid of. Put ¼ cup of ACV, dish soap, and water into a mason jar, and set it next to the fruit bowl. Just be sure to empty it and start over regularly enough that it doesn’t start to gross you out. 

Washing Fruits and Veggies 

Many gardeners and farmers use pesticides on their crops, so it’s always a good idea to rinse off fresh fruits and vegetables. Vinegar is a stronger rinse than just water and has been shown to kill off dangerous bacteria from food (7) (8) (9). Of course, it’s best to stay away from the dirty dozen, but a vinegar rinse is helpful. 

Weed Killer 

Vinegar, when combined with direct sunlight, can burn plants, due to its acidity. It also breaks down the waxy outer layer, which then allows the plant to dry out. What you want to be careful with when it comes to using vinegar as a weed killer, is that it’s non-selective. It’ll kill grass and broccoli as easily as it kills weeds. 

Because vinegar isn’t a commercial herbicide loaded with dangerous chemicals, ACV won’t completely kill the plants right away. It’ll take a few applications. If you use vinegar as a weed killer regularly, you’ll end up changing the pH level of the soil, making it harder for plants to grow. While you may not complain about this when it comes to the grass in sidewalk cracks, it’s something to be aware of for your lawn. (10) 

Pet Care 

Flea Prevention 

Apple cider vinegar can help chase fleas off your pets and kill any you find around your home. Earth Clinic (11) tells you how to do just that. Apple cider vinegar is also far safer for your pets than commercial flea prevention, as they can ingest it. In fact, one of Earth Clinic’s suggestions on how to use ACV includes putting a proper amount into their food or water. 

Not all Vinegar is Created Equal!

ACV has gained so much popularity in recent years that it’s available just about everywhere! Remember that ACV does have some unique qualities. Be sure to look for the good stuff filled with the properties you are expecting it to have. We recommend organic apple cider vinegar with “the mother.” The mother refers to the cloudy, sometimes stringy looking good bacteria floating in the bottle. Be sure to either shake or swirl the bottle to mix well! ACV can also help address many health and wellness concerns. Check out this companion article to see how some people and studies support the use of ACV in supporting a healthy lifestyle! 

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Disclaimer: This content is for educational purposes only. It’s not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your Wellness Way clinic or personal physician, especially if currently taking prescription or over-the-counter medications. Pregnant women, in particular, should seek the advice of a physician before trying any herb or supplement listed on this website. Always speak with your individual clinic before adding any medication, herb, or nutritional supplement to your health protocol. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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