By Corey Lewis, CPT, CSCS
Magazines and social media always associate apple cider vinegar with weight loss and burning belly fat. However, it has so many more uses than that! For example, did you know that it can be used as a shampoo and body wash? That’s right! ACV (aka apple cider vinegar) balances out your pH, which gives you really soft skin and shiny, healthy hair. It can also be used as a face toner, a house cleaner, and so much more! ACV has so many uses it should be a staple item in everyone’s home. It’s inexpensive and all-natural, but still cuts grime and refreshes every surface like no other. Let’s dig a little deeper into some of apple cider vinegar’s benefits.
You might be aware that you can use apple cider vinegar to reduce belly bloat, but did you know that you can use it as a shampoo? Regular shampoo increases the pH of your scalp, which causes product residue to build up around your hair follicles. ACV on the other hand, helps restore your natural pH balance. It cuts away the built-up shampoo residue and other chemicals/dirt, revealing silky, soft hair. As it cuts away grime, it also unclogs your hair follicles, increasing hair growth. The best way to make your ACV shampoo mixture is to create a solution of 2 cups of water and 4 tablespoons of ACV. If you have super long hair, make more of the mixture! And if you have really oily skin, add more ACV.
An apple cider vinegar bath is another everyday use for ACV. It makes an excellent detoxifying bath that relaxes you and keeps you calm and healthy. Just as it balances your scalp’s pH, ACV balances your skin’s pH, making your skin smooth and keeping it from getting too dry or too oily. As it does so, it destroys fungus, dandruff, dryness, and acne. It also kills body odor in your underarms and your feet and kills bacteria that creates urinary tract infections. The skin is the body’s largest organ and it’s important to keep it healthy. If you put one-two cups of apple cider vinegar into your full bath, you will get the best results from this treatment.
Another use for apple cider vinegar is that it can be used as a face toner. Its amazing health benefits treat skin problems like age spots, acne, pimples, and razor burns. The powerful alpha hydroxy acids in ACV removes dead skin cells on your face, and smooths your blemishes, revealing a fresher and healthier complexion underneath. To create the toner combine 2 parts water with 1 part vinegar, close your eyes, and spray directly onto your face. If you have extremely sensitive skin, you may want to add more water to the mixture. For other helpful skin tips, start by learning how to get healthy skin on our blog.
Apple cider vinegar serves as a nontoxic cleaner as well. For your bathroom and kitchen, spray a mixture of half water and half ACV onto any surface and then wipe away the toughest of stains and bacteria. To get rid of smells in your house or your fridge, you can just put a small bowl of ACV in the corner and let it work its magic. For bigger spaces, you can spray it like Febreze.
The last use I’m going to share here—although there’s quite a few more!—is disinfectant for your fruits and veggies. I always rinse my veggies before I eat them, but that’s not strong enough to kill all of the pesticides. Thankfully using ACV to disinfect does not change the way the fruit smells or tastes at all. Soak your fresh fruits and vegetables in a dish of water. Add some apple cider vinegar and leave it there for 10 minutes.
When selecting apple cider vinegar for your house and body needs, make sure you buy an organic, raw, and unfiltered variety. When vinegar is unfiltered, it has a cloudy appearance at the bottom, known as “The Mother”. This sediment contains beneficial enzymes, healthy bacteria, and proteins. My favorite apple cider vinegar to use (and perhaps one of the most popular!) is Bragg.