White, malt, wine, apple cider: chances are you already have one of these types of vinegar in your pantry, in the laundry room, or in your broom closet. The uses for vinegar, whatever the type, are as numerous as they are versatile. With all its popularity, you probably know vinegar's great for washing windows and getting rid of that pesky aphid problem, but do you know all its health and beauty benefits?
Finding multiple uses for a single product means you're spending less money and reducing the energy consumption it takes to create all those other products that claim to do the same thing. Oh, and vinegar, or “sour wine,” is a renewable resource. Keep reading to see all the reasons why you should consider keeping a bottle of vinegar in your medicine cabinet or under the bathroom sink.
SUGGESTED USES FOR VINEGAR
Anti-Dandruff Rinse: Follow each shampoo with a rinse made of 2 cups apple cider vinegar and 2 cups cold water. Or simply apply 3 tablespoons vinegar onto your hair, massage it into your scalp, wait a few minutes, then rinse, and shampoo as usual.
Hair Conditioner: Combine 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 3 egg whites (yeah, we know it sounds gross). Rub the mixture into your hair, and then keep it covered for 30 minutes using plastic wrap or a shower cap. Follow by rinsing as usual.
Less Gross Hair Conditioner: In a glass container with a lid, combine equal parts water, vinegar, and dried herbs such as mint or rosemary. Place the container in front of a sunny window for a couple of weeks. Then strain and use the liquid to rinse your hair.
Hair Protector: To keep your blonde hair from turning green in a chlorinated pool, rub ¼ cup cider vinegar into your hair and let it sit for 15 minutes before you go swimming.
Antiperspirant: Splash some white vinegar under each arm in the morning and let it dry. You'll not only avoid deodorant stains on your garments, you'll combat unpleasant body odors.
Muscle Soother: Add 2 cups apple cider vinegar to your bathwater to sooth the aches and pains of a strained tendon or just a hard day at work. Adding a few drops of peppermint oil to the water can add aromatherapy benefits as well. The vinegar will also make your skin softer and clean your bathtub!
Breath Freshener: Bad breath? Rinse your mouth with a solution made by dissolving 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon salt in a glass of water.
Sunburn Treatment: Gently dab a bad sunburn with a cotton ball or soft cloth saturated with white or cider vinegar. This will cool the area and make it less itchy, especially if it's applied before the burn starts to sting.
Bruise Healer: Speed healing and prevent black-and-blue marks after taking a tumble by soaking a piece of cotton gauze in white or apple cider vinegar and leaving it on the area for one hour.
Sore Throat Soother:
- If you have a raw throat because of singing, screaming, or just talking too much, gargle a solution made from 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon salt dissolved in a glass of warm water.
- If you have a sore throat because of a cold or flu, combine ¼ cup cider vinegar and ¼ cup honey, and take 1 tablespoon every four hours.
- To soothe a sore throat as well as a bad cough, mix ½ cup vinegar, ½ cup water, 4 tablespoons honey, and 1 teaspoon hot sauce. Swallow 1 tablespoon four to five times daily.
Cold Sore Treatment: Dry up a bad cold sore in less time, while also quickly soothing the pain and swelling, by dabbing the area with a cotton ball saturated with white vinegar three times a day.
Corn and Callus Poultice: Saturate a piece of white or stale bread with ¼ cup white vinegar; let the bread soak in the vinegar for 30 minutes, then break off a piece big enough to cover the corn; keep the poultice in place with gauze or adhesive tape; and leave it on overnight. The next morning should find the callused skin dissolved and the corn easier to remove.
Toenail Fungus Treatment: Soak your feet in a strong solution of vinegar and water at least once daily to get rid of toenail fungus.
Athlete's Foot Treatment: Rinse your feet three or four times a day for several days with undiluted apple cider vinegar to quell infection and ease itching. You can also soak your socks or stockings in a mixture of 1 part vinegar and 4 parts water for 30 minutes before washing them, as an added precaution.
Skin Toner: After you wash your face, apply a mixture of 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar and 2 cups water to cleanse and tighten your skin. You can also make a facial treatment by mixing ¼ cup cider vinegar with ¼ cup water; gently apply the solution to your face and let it dry.
Age- and Sun-Spot Eraser: Pour some full-strength apple cider vinegar onto a cotton ball and apply it to the spots for 10 minutes twice a day. The spots should fade or disappear within a few weeks.
Cuticle Softener: Before manicuring your fingers, or pedicuring your toes, soak them in a bowl of undiluted white vinegar for five minutes. This method will make trimming nails and cuticles much easier.
Nail Polish Fortifier: Do you want your nail polish to last longer? Dampen your nails with a cotton ball soaked in vinegar, and allow them to dry before polishing.
Eyeglass Cleaner: Apply a few drops of white vinegar to your glass lenses and wipe them with a soft cloth to easily remove dirt, sweat, and fingerprints. Don't use vinegar on plastic lenses though.
Jellyfish or Bee Sting Treatment: Pouring undiluted vinegar on the sting will take away the pain in no time, and allow you to take the stinger out more easily. Apparently, the use of vinegar on Portuguese man-of-war stings is discouraged, so use this treatment method with caution.
Weight Loss Aid: Apple cider vinegar supposedly helps to naturally remove fat from the body. To reduce your appetite and to assist your diet and exercise efforts, try drinking a mixture of apple cider vinegar, lemon, honey, and water a few times a day.
Denture Cleaner: Loosen tartar buildup on your dentures by soaking them in a glass of white vinegar overnight.
Pantyhose Fortifier: Make your pantyhose last longer by adding 1 tablespoon of vinegar to your washing machine's rinse water.
Cold Compress: Soak a cloth in ice-cold vinegar and apply it to skin burns immediately, and up to 3 or 4 times daily, to prevent blisters from forming.