Apple Cider Vinegar

by Donna Easto, C.H., H.C., M.H.,
Certified Herbal Educator

Used for thousands of years as a health tonic, apple cider vinegar is the natural product of fermenting crushed apples. You’re most likely familiar with this product but here are a few uses for ACV that you may not have heard of:


For topical use as a remedy for irritated skin or dry coat, make an apple cider vinegar rinse to use after your dog’s bath: 1 cup ACV to 2-4 cups water.  It’s common for dogs to get yeast infections in their paws; soaking your dog’s paws in a weak ACV mixture may relieve that too. When diluted and added to a spray bottle, it can work as a mild flea repellent. Flea spray recipe:  8 ounces ACV, 4 ounces warm water, ½ teaspoon sea salt.  Mix water and vinegar n a spray bottle then pour in salt.  Next, shake gently, and then spray directly onto your dog’s fur, avoiding eyes, nose and mouth.  It doesn’t kill fleas but it does make your dog’s coat less habitable — so it’s best to apply it outdoors.  


It helps keep your teeth clean but how do you clean your toothbrush?  ACV with its antibacterial properties makes a good homemade cleaner:  mix ½ cup of water with 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and 2 teaspoons baking soda and mix well.  Soak the head of your toothbrush in it for 30 minutes.  Rinse the brush well before using.


Give your veggies a deep clean.  Mix together ½ cup of ACV, ½ cup lemon juice (fresh), and ½ cup of pure water in a spray bottle.  Shake.  Spray onto produce and let sit about 5 minutes before rinsing.  No spray bottle? No problem, simply pour ¼ cup of the mixture into a bowl of cold water and soak fruit/vegetables for 10-15 minutes then rinse.  Mixture will keep in the refrigerator for up to a month. 


Mix equal parts of water and ACV in a spray bottle, add a few drops of oregano, thyme, peppermint or tea tree essential oil. Use as a household disinfectant.


In a spray bottle, mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and rubbing alcohol, add 4 drops of tea tree essential oil and shake well. Spray on your stinky feet as needed, or lightly spray in your smelly shoes at the end of the day; they need overnight to dry.


When the recipe calls for buttermilk and you’re out, ACV to the rescue.  Mix one cup whole milk with one tablespoon apple cider vinegar and let sit at room temperature for a couple of minutes.  When the mixture thickens slightly it’s ready to use.


ACV will add tang to your tomato-based sauces. Homemade soup tasting a little blah — add a dash at the end to help liven it up.