11 New Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar

Use apple cider vinegar for glossier hair, a cleaner bathroom and better health—here's how!

new uses for apple cider vinegar around the home

You already know that white vinegar is a cleaning secret weapon and balsamic vinegar dazzles in homemade salad dressing recipes. But apple cider vinegar deserves some love, too! This multitasking pantry staple can help you recover from a cold, clean your bathroom, get glossy hair and much more.

1. Stop a cold in its tracks. Put 1 head peeled garlic, 1/3 cup sliced fresh ginger and 1 tsp. cayenne pepper into 1 quart water. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 cup apple cider vinegar and ½ cup honey, then drink up. The combination of antioxidants and immunity boosters in garlic, honey, ginger and vinegar can help your body fight off germs and viruses.

2. Kill head lice by mixing half a cup of apple cider vinegar with one tablespoon tea tree oil and rubbing it into clean hair. Leave on for 20 minutes then comb with a lice comb.

3. Reduce build-up. Rinse hair with apple cider vinegar once a week to eliminate product buildup. This is especially important if you color your hair, since buildup can prevent color from penetrating hair shafts, particularly if hair is wiry.

4. Join the “no shampoo” movement. Use a bit of apple cider vinegar as a natural shampoo.

5. Put it in your bath. A few drops in your tub can help draw out toxins and hydrate skin.

6. Conquer soap scum. “Put apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle, spritz the area and let the vinegar sit for 10 minutes,” says Reality Checker Samantha Cooley. “Then wipe the surface with the rough side of a pot scrubber to remove the scum.”

7. Stay full for longer. According to registered dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner, drizzling vinegar on a salad or a meal might regulate blood sugar to keep you feeling full longer.

8. Enhance highlights. “Give your hair a final rinse of warm water and apple cider vinegar after shampooing,” says Reality Checker Elizabeth Singh. “The solution brings out the red highlights in my brown hair.”

9. Heal a blemish. “Mix one part apple cider vinegar with two parts water and apply to the blemish,” says New York City and Miami dermatologist Fredric Brandt, MD to Health magazine. “The vinegar lowers skin’s pH balance, wiping out bacteria, and contains exfoliating acids.”

10. Keep hair super-shiny. “I rinse my conditioner out with a diluted cup of apple cider vinegar to help my dry, frizzy hair feel soft and look shiny.” says Reality Checker Kit Pettit.

111. Get rid of fruit flies. Try this DIY idea from Real Simple: “Set fruit fly traps by forming a cone-shaped funnel with an 8-by-10-inch piece of paper, sealing it with tape, and placing it in a clean jar or wine bottle. Place a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar or a slice of ripe banana in the jar to attract flies. The bugs will be able to fly in, but won’t be able to fly out. After you trap all visible flies, kill them with spray or release them outside. Rebait and replace traps, if necessary.”