101 Clever Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar

This versatile vinegar — affectionately abbreviated as ACV — can help improve your health, food, and also serves as an all-natural cleaner.

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How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Trap Fruit Flies (3:02)

We've rounded up 101 amazing ways you can put apple cider vinegar to work. Plus, get more new uses for everyday items and other healthy hacks by downloading the Dr. Oz app

1. Remove Dandruff

Dandruff is more than just a nuisance — it’s embarrassing! Salon sprays are costly, but with apple cider vinegar, your dandruff destroyer will cost only pennies per spray. Just mix equal parts (about 1/4 cup each) apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray onto your hair after shampoo, let sit for 15 minutes, and rinse. Use twice per week, and you should be flake free in no time. One theory suggests that the acidity in the vinegar makes it harder for the fungus that contributes to dandruff to grow on your scalp.

2. Soothe a Sore Throat 

If you suffer from chronic sore throats but don’t want to overdose on cough syrup, turn to apple cider vinegar. Mix 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and 3 teaspoons clover honey in a glass of warm water for an easy elixir. All three ingredients will work together to help you heal: Apple cider vinegar and honey have antibacterial properties, and the capsaicin in hot peppers helps alleviate pain. If that sore throat is due to allergies, apple cider vinegar packs an extra punch, since it also breaks up mucus and sinus congestion.

3. Eliminate Foot Odor

Make amazing foot deodorizer wipes by pouring one cup apple cider vinegar over baby wipes. (Thick single-use-size paper towels will also work.) Soak the wipes overnight in the fridge, then store in a zip-lock bag to use as needed. The acids in the apple cider vinegar will alter the pH level of your skin, which fights off bacteria that cause smelly feet. Don’t be thrown off by the vinegar smell — it will dissipate once it dries.

4. Balance Your Digestive System 

Apple cider vinegar may just be the solution to help your digestive issues. To reduce gas, dilute a tablespoon of enzyme-rich apple cider vinegar with a cup of water or tea, and drink before a meal. This will also combat constipation, since the vinegar stimulates digestive juices that help your body break down food. You can also take a dose as soon as you feel heartburn symptoms coming on for a quick fix. Some theories suggest that heartburn occurs because of low stomach acid levels; so vinegar brings that level up. If you hate the taste of this mixture, try adding a dollop of honey.

5. Clear Up Your Skin 

Apple cider vinegar can do wonders for your skin. For an all-natural astringent, apply a washcloth soaked in diluted apple cider vinegar to your face. Afterward, the protective acidic layer will make your skin feel smoother, absorb excess oil, and reduce fine lines. This works by restoring the proper pH levels to your skin, and beta-carotene helps to counter future skin damage. Plus, a dab of diluted apple cider vinegar left overnight on age spots, pimples, or acne scars will help reduce their appearance.

6. Heal a Sunburn

Burnt to a crisp after a day in the sun? Apple cider vinegar to the rescue! Try adding a cupful or two to your bath to neutralize the burn. After soaking for 10 minutes, the apple cider vinegar will have helped restore your skin’s pH levels and your skin will feel cool and soothed.

7. Whiten Your Teeth

Yellow teeth are no match for apple cider vinegar. For stubborn stains, rub apple cider vinegar directly on your teeth then rinse with water. Be careful not to do this too often, as it can break down tooth enamel. For a less abrasive whitening mouthwash, mix one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with a cup of water, then swish around in your mouth.

8. Dress Your Salad

If you’re out of balsamic vinegar, or just looking to try a different flavor profile, use apple cider vinegar in your next salad dressing or vinaigrette.

More: Sensational Salad Dressings to Try

9. Make a Fruit Fly Trap

It’s simple to make a fruit fly trap with ACV: Pour a thin layer of apple cider vinegar into a small cup or bowl along with a drop of dish soap. Set the dish on the counter — the fruit flies will be attracted to the smell; once they fly in, they’ll get stuck.

10. Remove the Smell of Cat Urine

If your cat had an accident on a blanket or on your clothing, stick it in the washer along with some apple cider vinegar to remove the pungent scent.

11. Eliminate Bad Breath

Add a 1/2 tablespoon of ACV to a cup of water. Then, gargle for 10 seconds at a time until the cup is completely empty.

Watch: Natural Ways to Beat Bad Breath

12. Have a Relaxing Bath

Just add 1/2 to 1 cup of apple cider vinegar to your bath water along with Epsom salt and lavender oil for a relaxing, rejuvenating bath.

13. Fight Yeast Infections

If you feel the signs of a yeast infection, add 1 1/2 cups of apple cider vinegar to a bathtub of water. Soak for 10 minutes.

Watch: How to Avoid a Trip to the Gynecologist

14. Get Rid of Acne

Get rid of acne—mix one part ACV with 3 to 4 parts water. Apply to skin with a cotton pad, let it sit for about 10 minutes, then rinse. Repeat three times a day. 

15. Boost the Flavor in Marinades

No wine for your marinade? Use apple cider vinegar to punch up the flavor in your marinade.

More: Marinated Grilled Chicken

16. Reduce Body Odor

Apple cider vinegar helps adjust the skin’s pH level, which helps to eliminate odor-causing bacteria. Saturate a cotton ball with ACV and wipe it directly on the odor-causing body part.

Watch: Understand the Noises That Your Body Makes

17. Feel Fuller After a Meal

Research shows that the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar — when eaten with white or wheat bread — made subjects feel more satisfied after each meal.

18. Reduce the Itch of Bug Bites

Apply apple cider vinegar to a cotton ball and apply it for 10 seconds to itchy bug bites to reduce the itchy feeling.

More: How to Avoid Getting Bug Bites

19. Relieve the Itch of Poison Ivy

Apple cider vinegar can also relieve itching caused by poison oak and poison ivy. Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle, and then spray directly onto the itchy spot. Tip: Keep the mixture in the fridge for even more soothing relief.

20. Use It as an Antifungal

Apply ACV to the affected area. Or soak the area in a mixture of 1 part apple cider vinegar and 5 parts water for 30 minutes daily.

21. Kill Weeds

You can use ACV on its own or mix it with water, dish soap, salt, or lemon juice and use it as a weed killer.

22. Give Your Food a Flavor Punch

If your soup is on the bland side, ACV can add flavor — without adding calories. Just put a splash into the soup pot.

23. Refresh Tired Muscles

Rub apple cider vinegar onto your hands and feet to relieve the tired muscles.

24. Brighten Your Dish

Apple cider vinegar brings out a dish’s flavors in the same way as table salt — but without the extra sodium. Sprinkle it on savory dishes; it’s great on both cooked and raw vegetables and grains.

25. Use It as a Fabric Softener

Avoiding the chemicals in dryer sheets and liquid fabric softener? Put 1/2 cup of ACV in your wash to soften and condition your clothes, towels, and bedding.

26. Detangle Your Hair

Mix ACV and water in a one-to-one ratio. Put it in a spray bottle and spritz into your hair when you’re combing.

27. Gives a Flavor Punch

If your soup is on the bland side, ACV can add flavor — without adding calories. Just put a splash into the soup pot.

28. Refresh Tired Muscles

Rub apple cider vinegar onto your hands and feet to relieve the tired muscles.

29. Bump Up Flavor Without Salt

Apple cider vinegar brings out a dish’s flavors in the same way as table salt — but without the extra sodium. Sprinkle it on savory dishes; it’s great on both cooked and raw vegetables and grains.

30. Fabric Softener

Avoiding the chemicals in dryer sheets and liquid fabric softener? Put 1/2 cup of ACV in your wash to soften and condition your clothes, towels, and bedding.

31. Relieve Gas and Constipation

Pour 1 tablespoon of ACV into your tea and drink it before meals. The mixture activates the digestive juices (HCI – hydrochloric acid) that aid food digestion.

32. Aid Digestion

Because apple cider vinegar helps lower your stomach pH, it can help a lot with indigestion. Mix apple cider vinegar with ginger and drink up to prevent indigestion.

33. Deodorize Your Refrigerator

Place a cup of ACV in the back of the fridge, and leave it there overnight. This will eliminate any unpleasant smells.

Watch: Make These Fridge Fixes to Keep Food Fresh

 

34. Fade Bruises

Bruises aren’t very attractive — and they can really linger on your body. Fade the rainbow hues of a bruise by smoothing on apple cider vinegar, which has anti-inflammatory properties that’ll help reduce the colorful mark.  

More: Try These Anti-Inflammatory Recipes

35. Improve Insulin Sensitivity

A study published in Diabetes Care suggests that sipping on apple cider vinegar helps improve insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetics.

Watch: How Diabetes Affects You

36. Make Buttermilk

Buttermilk makes baked goods and pancakes extra delicious. But if you don’t usually have buttermilk on hand, here’s a quick trick to whip some up using regular milk: measure a scant cup of milk, and then add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Let the mixture sit for 5 to 10 minutes; you’ll notice some curdled bits.

37. Poach Eggs

Poached eggs are a delicious, butter-free treat; but very often, dumping the eggs in steaming water results in something closer to egg drop soup than a perfectly poached egg. To cut down on wisps of egg whites and help the egg white coagulate, put a dash of apple cider vinegar in with your poaching liquid.

38. Dispel Stink

If you have a room — perhaps the bathroom, the kitchen after a fish dinner, or the mudroom where sports gear gets dumped — dispel the odor with the help of apple cider vinegar. Just put some in a bowl and let it sit in the stinky area for a day or so.

39. Unclog Your Drain

Remember those volcano experiments from elementary school? Mix up a volcano of your own by combining baking soda and vinegar. When the frothy mixture goes down the drain, it’ll unclog what gets in its way.

40. Clean and De-Stink Your Washing Machine

Get rid of the funky odor by putting a cup or so of apple cider vinegar in the machine and then running an empty load.

41. Freshen Clothes

For smelly or mildewed clothes where detergent alone won’t cut it, use a spray bottle filled with a mix of water and apple cider vinegar. Or put ACV in with the dirty laundry.

42. Clean and Deodorize a Toilet Bowl

Pour some apple cider vinegar in the toilet bowl and let it sit overnight. This will get rid of unsightly marks and also remove the odor.  

43. Dye Better

Whether it’s Easter eggs or clothes, adding a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to your dye will improve its color.

44. Add to Dishwasher

Add a bit of apple cider vinegar to the dishwasher to prevent streaky glasses.

45. Or Add to Dish Soap Bottle

In addition to putting apple cider vinegar in the dishwasher, you can also add it to your bottle of dish soap to help clean glasses streak-free and cut through the grime.  

46. Fend Off Fleas

Add a bit of vinegar next time you’re giving your pet a bath or else spray on diluted apple cider vinegar with a spray bottle. The scent is unpleasant to fleas, and will help keep them away from your cat or dog.

47. Mop Floors

Mix 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar in with your bucket of soapy water before mopping. The ACV will help floors look polished and clean.

48. Remove Mold and Mildew from Sinks and Showers

Got mildew or mold in your bathroom? Spray undiluted vinegar directly on the areas to eradicate the problem.  

49. Use as a Replacement for Lemon 

Like lemon, apple cider vinegar is acidic. In most places where a recipe calls for a squeeze of lemon, you can substitute in a similar amount of ACV.

50. Jazz Up Your Salad Dressing

Does your low-fat, low-calorie salad dressing feel a bit bland? Jazz it up with the sharp, fresh taste of apple cider vinegar. 

51. Clean Shower Doors and Curtains

You can also use ACV to remove the mildew and mold from shower doors. Or put your shower curtain in the washer and add some apple cider vinegar during the rinse cycle.   

52. Shine Wood Furniture

Cut the dull and add some shine to wood furniture by adding a bit of apple cider vinegar to water, as well as a tiny bit of oil, and then applying the mixture to wood with a clean cloth. Give it a minute, and then wipe the furniture again with a dry, clean cloth.  

53. Get Streak-Free Windows

For streak-free windows, mix apple cider vinegar with water. Spray on the glass and then wipe off for sparkling, streak-free glass.

54. Freshen Musty Clothes

After some time in the basement or attic, clothes can smell musty. Freshen them up with a quick spray of diluted ACV and water — it’s got less chemicals than purchased odor eaters, is cheaper than dry cleaning, and much faster and more convenient than running clothes through the washer and dryer.

55. Reduce Fridge Odors

When it comes to your fridge, apple cider vinegar is a triple threat: it can help clean, reduce any unpleasant odors, and reduce mold and mildew. Use a mixture of ACV and water to spray in the fridge; apply undiluted ACV to any spots with mold and mildew. 

56. Use It as a Natural Deodorant

Mix together equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water and apply directly to your underarm using a cotton ball.

57. Apply After Being Stung by a Jellyfish

Reduce symptoms from a jellyfish sting by applying vinegar mixed with water directly to the area that was stung. 

58. Remove Warts

Soak a cotton ball in ACV, and place it on top of the wart. Secure with a Band-Aid and leave it overnight.

59. Tone Your Skin

Balance your skin’s pH, cut through grease, and tone your skin with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water.

60. Fertilize Plants

Add a splash of apple cider vinegar to a gallon of water and then use it to water plants.

61. Lower Blood Pressure

One study of rats found that acetic acid, which is the main component in vinegar, may help reduce blood pressure.

62. Make a Good Slaw

A dash of vinegar helps give slaw a bit of a bite and a delicious, zesty flavor.

63. Eyeglasses Cleaner

If it works well on wineglasses and windows, it'll also work well on your eyeglasses: Use a mix of water and apple cider vinegar to get streak-free, sparkling-clean eyeglasses. 

64. Could Help Reduce Wrinkles 

Use this mask to reduce wrinkles on your face. Apple cider vinegar, which is one of the main ingredients, acts as a toner helping to hydrate the face. 

65. Make Quick Pickles

Quick pickled vegetables (think: carrots or cucumbers) are easy to make with ACV and some time in the refrigerator. Try this recipe for quick pickled carrots from Nigella Lawson

66. Pickled Salads

Make a delicious three-bean salad with this recipe with apple cider vinegar. 

67. Replace Egg Whites

For vegans, or anyone looking to avoid egg whites, apple cider vinegar is a great substitute. Use one teaspoon baking soda and one tablespoon vinegar mixed together in place of one egg. 

68. Add to Your Favorite Soup Recipe

A little apple cider vinegar adds flavor to this low-calorie, healthy chicken soup recipe

69. Include With Chicken 

Apples and apple cider vinegar go well with chicken. Give this apple cider chicken recipe a try. 

70. Make It Part of Your Detox

This dessert soup, which includes apple cider vinegar, as well as apples and sweet potatoes, is part of a soup detox. 

71. Tenderize Meat

You can tenderize meat naturally — just add a tablespoon of vinegar per quarter pound of meat about 15 minutes before you begin cooking. 

72. Avoid UTIs

Reset your bladder pH by drinking a mixture of one tablespoon of vinegar and four tablespoons of water. See more about how to avoid UTIs

73. Add ACV to Your Green Drink 

Love a green smoothie? Add a glug of apple cider vinegar to your next smoothie. 

74. Part of the Day-Off Diet 

Are you a Day-Off Diet participant? Try Chef Candice Kumai's Day-Off Diet lentil soup — which uses raw apple cider vinegar to finish. 

75. Stop Oily Hair

Here's a tip from a The Dr. Oz Show viewer: Dilute vinegar in water and use the mixture to rinse off your hair to fight grease. 

76. Use in This Avocado Plum Salad

Perfect for the summertime, this salad is marinated with a delicious mix of ingredients, including 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar.  

77. A New Twist on the Classic Waldorf

If you love Waldorf salad but want to avoid mayo, try this lower-calorie apple and celery version, which uses apple cider vinegar in its dressing. 

78. Ribs, Transformed

Apple cider vinegar is a great tenderizer for meat. Case in point: these tender, juicy agave BBQ chicken and ribs — get the recipe.  

79. Add ACV to Your Bone Broth 

Bone broth is a major health trend, with adherents swearing by its energizing abilities. Use this recipe, which includes apple cider vinegar in the mix, to give bone broth a try. 

80. Make the Oz Family's Favorite Salad Dressing 

Want to eat a salad like Dr. Oz does? Here's a recipe for the Oz family house dressing, which uses apple cider vinegar (and not balsamic or red wine vinegar). 

81. Make Flavorful Apple and Onion Soup 

If there's apples in the recipe, there's a high likelihood that healthful apple cider vineger can be a delicious add-on. This roasted apple and onion soup is accompanied by blue cheese and walnuts. 

82. Add ACV to Avocados

Try adding apple cider vinegar to this Southwestern-style black bean and avocado salad — it's the perfect side dish for your next picnic or BBQ.

83. A Good Addition to Yacon Salad Dressing 

This yacon salad dressing features apple cider vinegar as well as yacon syrup, which comes from a South American plant. 

84. End Your Hiccups

Can't stop hiccuping? Try apple cider vinegar, which helps by restoring your stomach’s acid balance and stimulating the nerves in your throat responsible for the hiccup reflex.

85. Make Caviar — Cowboy Caviar, That Is 

Raw apple cider vinegar is included in this spicy, flavorful chili recipe

86. Include ACV in Your Detox Soup 

ACV is one of the ingredients in Dr. Oz's 3-Day Souping Detox

87. Part of the Powells' Couple Plan to Lose Weight

ACV shows up in weight-loss diets again and again. Fitness trainers Chris and Heidi Powell include recipes with apple cider vinegar in their Couples Plan to Lose Weight

88. Good With Kale

Try this raw kale salad, which gets a hit of acid in its dressing from both lemon and apple cider vinegar. 

89. Lighten Up Mac-n-Cheese

If you're having a healthy version of mac-n-cheese, you'll need to get flavor from somewhere. ACV helps do the trick.

90. Prevent Holiday Weight Gain

Want to get through the holiday season without packing on the pounds? Try drinking ACV before those big meals.  

91. Make Chef Jose Garces' Tacos

These low-fat, low-calorie tacos from Chef Garces feature beef, of course, but you can think of apple cider vinegar as being a bit of a secret weapon. 

92. Have a Healing Soup

This chicken soup recipe is full of unusual ingredients, and will help keep you healthy. 

93. Use in an Unusual Twist on Slaw

Not only is this slaw made with Brussels Sprouts instead of cabbage, but it also is served warm. Get the recipe

94. Try Lamb-Quinoa Burgers

These bunless burgers made from lamb and quinoa are full of spices, and yes, apple cider vinegar. 

95. Make Grilled Halibut

It's the vinaigrette — with apple cider vinegar as the star — that really makes this healthy fish dinner

96. Part of This Healthy Alternative to Chips

Craving sour-cream-and-onion chips? Resist temptation, and make these vegan sour cream and kale chips as a healthier alternative. 

97. Part of the Cleanse Dressing 

This guilt-free ranch dressing recipe includes ACV and is part of the 1-Day Cleanse. 

98. Stop Pets From Chewing 

Does your dog love to chew your slippers? Gnaw on the rug or furniture? Try spraying ACV as a deterrent — pets hate the taste. 

99. Use in Dr. Davis' Herbed Focaccia

Apple cider vinegar is used in this bread recipe, which is totally gluten-free. 

100. Salmon Garden Salad

Perfect to bring to work, or for a ladies-who-lunch get-together, this salmon salad has apple cider vinegar in its dressing. 

101. Clean Your Coffee Maker 

Do you have build-up or mold in your coffee maker? Run it through with just water and vinegar — no beans  — to clean out the funky residue.