Health nuts rave about the powers of apple cider vinegar, also known to its fans as ACV. This pantry staple has been used to do everything from treating a sore throat to managing weight. But did you know it also has multiple uses for your entire home?
“Apple cider vinegar is a great, low-cost cleaning product for your home,” says Dr. Amy Myers, a functional medicine physician. “Best of all, it’s free of the toxic chemicals found in many common cleaning brands that can irritate lungs and skin.”
Similar to its hardworking cousin white vinegar, ACV is a big winner for being a multipurpose household product and a natural antibiotic that can kill harmful germs and bacteria. Here are some of the best ways to use ACV in your home.
1. Kill pesky fruit flies
Banish those annoying little flies in your kitchen by using ACV to make a fruit fly trap. Simply fill a jar with a half-cup of ACV and add a few drops of dish soap. Then leave the jar uncovered overnight in the kitchen or wherever the flies congregate. The mixture smells like rotting fruit and is sure to attract them, and the drops of dish soap will sink them as they land.
2. Work as an all-purpose cleaner
A 1-to-1 solution of apple cider vinegar and water can wipe out bacteria and is safe to use in kitchens and bathrooms, on things like stoves, countertops, the fridge, toilets, and bathtubs.
Kathryn Kellogg, who runs the blog GoingZeroWaste, says her homemade apple cider vinegar cleaner has basically replaced other common cleaners.
“I use it on most of the things in my home,” says Kellogg. “My counters, my floors, my mirrors, and it works wonderfully.”
3. Unclog a drain
Standing in a pool of shower water that’s going nowhere is not only gross, but at some point, anyone with long hair will have to deal with a clogged drain. Before calling an expensive plumber, it’s worth attempting a tried-and-true DIY trick.
First, pour boiling water into the drain, followed by one cup baking soda and one cup ACV. Cover with a drain plug, wait five to 10 minutes as it bubbles, then pour more boiling water down the drain. Repeat as necessary, and the drain should unclog in no time.
4. Remove streaks on windows
Toss the blue window spray, and put something more natural and effective into the rotation. ACV can cut the streaks on your mirrors and shower doors with ease.
“Due to its high natural acid content, it has grease-clearing properties and can be used to clean windows and mirrors to a streak-free shine,” says Myers.
5. Clean carpet stains
We’ve all been there: An accident happens, and your once-spotless carpet now has a glaring stain. Fido to blame? ACV is there to the rescue.
Mix a few tablespoons of salt with ACV and rub it into a stain. Let it stand, and then vacuum up the excess mixture.
ACV also works great in water for your carpet steamer. Just mix a quarter cup ACV in 1 gallon of water.
6. Kill weeds
ACV is delicious in salads but can also be useful as an organic herbicide to eliminate those annoying weeds sprouting up through driveways and sidewalks. The benefit here is that ACV is eco-friendly and safe for humans, animals, and the environment.
Spray ACV directly onto weeds, and be careful not to spray on other plants. The weeds will dry up and die after a few days.
7. Refresh the laundry—and the washing machine
Nothing feels better than clean, freshly laundered clothes and sheets. To get your laundry even more germ- and odor-free, pour one cup of ACV into each load.
And, as ironic as it sounds, washing machines can get grimy, too, and be responsible for smelly laundry. To keep your washing machine in top condition, pour two cups of ACV into the washer and run a full cycle, without laundry inside. Say bye-bye to that musty smell!
8. Restore a coffee maker or tea kettle
Nothing ruins teatime like a kettle with chalky mineral buildup. The same goes for coffee makers that can get stained with limescale, which can ruin the efficiency of your appliance and the taste of your beverage.
But chemical-based mineral removers aren’t necessary to get rid of hard-water stains. Fill your coffee maker or tea kettle with two parts water and one part apple cider vinegar, and turn them on. Let the appliances run, and the descaling magic will happen.
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