10 Surprising Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar

by Emma Chow

I had never heard of apple cider vinegar until I took up position as a chef at an organic store in Melbourne. That year I suffered one of the longest and most horrendous sore throats I’d ever known. The other chef suggested that I take a shot of apple cider vinegar. This I did, and it was worse than the first (and last) time I ever had tequila. But I kept it down, and somehow by the end of the day, the sore throat was gone.

Try to buy organic or raw apple cider vinegar as these retain the fermented residue from the ‘mother’ which causes fermentation. It also has the good bacteria and raw enzymes which make a lot of the health and digestion specific uses possible. I’ve seen recently that supermarkets now stock apple cider vinegar that is contained in plastic bottles, rather than glass. There’s no guarantee that any of these brands use BPA-free plastics for their packaging, which means that the high acidity levels in vinegar allow leaching of chemicals from the plastic into the liquid. For that reason, I would recommend buying apple cider vinegar in a glass bottle, which organic and raw varieties usually are.

1. Help prevent indigestion

If you’re about to partake in a meal which you know often gives you some discomfort afterwards, try a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of honey diluted in a glass of warm water.

2. Yeast infection remedy

As women, this is an issue we often suffer. For a soothing experience: fill your bathtub, add 1-2 cups of apple cider vinegar and soak in it for at least 20 minutes. Do it everyday the first three days of symptoms. The vinegar is supposed to help kill the candida fungus.

3. Home disinfectant

a 1:2 ratio of apple cider vinegar to water is suitable as a simple surface cleaner. Because it’s made from apple cider, this stuff tends to have the nicer scent of apples that the straight up vinegar smell, which tends to make the house smell like a chip shop.

4. Flea repellent

a 1:3 ratio of apple cider vinegar to water makes a good flea repellent apparently. You just fill a spray bottle and attempt to get your dog or cat with it. I expect they’ll hate that, but nobody likes fleas.

5. Weed killer and pest repellent

a 1:8 ratio of vinegar to water is suitable for spraying garden weeds. Try not to spray a lot of it directly on plants you’d like to live. Any minor spray on them is just likely to keep certain pests away.

6. Produce wash

1 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to 1 litre of water. Use this to wash your fresh fruit and vegetables and clean them of any pesticides.

7. Sunburn soother

A cup of apple cider vinegar in a bathtub of warm water can soothe and ease the pain of sunburn.

8. Strip your hair of built up chemicals

We all know from those hair ‘serum’ advertisements that show how repeated use of shampoo and conditioner creates a chemical build up in our hair. Similar to how a lot of washing liquid can clog up clothes and affect their texture and softness. Instead of forking out for one of those ‘treatments’, rinse your hair with a 1:1 ratio mixture of apple cider vinegar and water.


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9. Skin treatment

1:2 ratio mixture of apple cider vinegar can be applied to your face for toning, and apparently reduces breakouts. I wish someone had told me that when I was a teenager.

10. Bad breath

Gargle a shot of the stuff when you’ve got nasty halitosis. Or force someone else to when their stinky breath is driving you crazy.

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