10 Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar

apple cider vinegar
Photo Credit: Nadine Greef

March 30, 2021

By Siobhan Adcock

You probably already love your white vinegar for its house-cleaning superpowers and your balsamic vinegar for the intense flavor it lends to salads and veggie dishes, but versatile, budget-friendly apple cider vinegar is the ultimate multitasker. Here are 10 ways to put your bottle of ACV to good use.

Pro tip: Look for organic, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar. You want to see lots of little floating bits at the bottom of the bottle—this enzyme sediment, called “the mother,” packs major health benefits. 

1. Make a vinaigrette

Mix up a delicious, detoxifying salad dressing by whisking 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 3/4 cup olive oil, a tablespoon each of Dijon mustard and honey, and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk in some minced garlic or shallot for extra tang and pour it over everything.

2. Take a spoonful for your health.

Mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into a cup of herbal tea or water before or after a meal, and add honey to cut the sourness. Just one daily dose can help regulate blood sugar, promote a healthy gut, and support immune function…and that’s just for starters.

3. Use it as a toner.

Use a cotton ball to wipe skin with the vinegar, just as you would any toner or astringent. Its antibacterial properties help fight acne flare-ups.

4. Disinfect those surfaces.

Mix one part apple cider vinegar with one part water in a spray bottle, and you’ve got a powerful, all-natural disinfectant that’s safe to use on any non-porous surface.

5. Add height to baked goods.

Especially in vegan recipes that omit eggs, the combination of baking soda and apple cider vinegar creates a chemical reaction that lends extra fluffiness to cakes, cookies and quick breads.

6. Pickle some veggies.

For a quick and easy pickle, combine 1 cup vinegar with 1 cup of water and 1 tablespoon coarse salt, plus garlic and dill to taste. Then use the brine to pickle sliced cucumbers or any favorite cut veggies (pickled cauliflower florets or sliced carrots are delicious) in a jar in the fridge.

7. Get sunburn relief.

Apply directly to sunburn for cool relief, or pour a cup of it into a lukewarm bath with a drop of your favorite essential oil for all-over skin soothing.

8. Trap some fruit flies.

Pour a half-cup into a bowl and top with a drop of dish soap. Fruit flies are attracted by the smell, but can’t escape the sticky layer of soap that floats on the surface.

9. Get shinier hair.

A weekly rinse with 2 tablespoons helps fight product buildup and leaves hair soft and shiny.

10. Fertilize your plants.

Add it to your watering can for a healthy boost for plants that love acids such as azaleas, rhododendrons, junipers, gardenias and heather.