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.