Apple Cider Vinegar

Browse the internet for apple cider vinegar, and you will find a variety of websites touting it as a miracle agent that can treat anything from acne to obesity to household mildew. While apple cider vinegar does have many amazing properties, there are right and wrong ways to use this versatile liquid. Check out these dos and don’ts to safely and effectively use apple cider vinegar.

13. Do: Remember to Dilute It

Dilute It

While scientific support is slim, some people swear by drinking apple cider vinegar to help with weight loss, detox the body, or lower blood sugar levels. If you choose to drink apple cider vinegar, make sure to dilute the vinegar before consuming it. Apple cider vinegar is highly acidic. Therefore, drinking it straight can cause damage to tooth enamel and irritate the lining of your digestive tract. Before drinking apple cider vinegar, dilute it in water at a ratio of 1:10. This means you should dissolve each tablespoonful of vinegar in 10 tablespoons of water.

12. Don’t: Take It If You Have Ulcers

Ulcers

The sharp acidity of apple cider vinegar means you should avoid consuming it if you suffer from stomach ulcers. Peptic ulcers are open sores that form in the lining of your stomach and intestinal tract. A type of bacteria, H. pylori, is associated with the inflammation that causes this irritation and disruption of the intestinal wall. Excessive use of certain pain medications can also wear away the lining of the digestive tract. Overabundant acid production may contribute to the pain and inflammation associated with peptic ulcers. Avoid consuming acidic foods, including apple cider vinegar, if you are experiencing peptic ulcers.

11. Do: Use It to Make a Vinaigrette

Vinaigrette

To enjoy the benefits of apple cider vinegar without risking damage to your tooth enamel or stomach lining, use it to make a light vinaigrette. A leafy green salad topped with crunchy vegetables, antioxidant-rich berries, and tasty nuts goes perfectly with a tangy vinaigrette dressing. Furthermore, a vinaigrette adds flavor without the excess calories associated with creamy dressings. Check out Detoxinista’s recipe for Raw Apple Cider Vinaigrette. This recipe calls for garlic, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, raw honey, and olive oil in addition to apple cider vinegar.

10. Don’t: Put It Directly on Your Skin

On Skin

You can use apple cider vinegar as a toner to cleanse your skin and prevent acne breakouts. The versatile vinegar may also help treat dandruff or ease the pain of sunburn. However, when using apple cider vinegar on your skin, be sure to first dilute it. Full-strength apple cider vinegar can irritate, inflame, and even erode the surface of your skin. Coconuts & Kettlebells has instructions for a DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Facial Toner. Combine apple cider vinegar with filtered water, brewed herbal tea, and essential oils in varying ratios depending on your skin sensitivity.

9. Do: Use It to Trap Fruit Flies

Flies

If fruit flies are swarming around fresh fruit in your kitchen, you can use apple cider vinegar to trap and kill them. Simply pour apple cider vinegar into a juice glass. Trim one corner from a sandwich baggie and place it into the glass with the cut end down, forming a funnel. Then, use a rubber band to attach the baggie around the glass. The fruit flies will be drawn into the baggie funnel by the sweet scent of the vinegar. Once they are inside the glass, they will not be able to find their way out again.

Related: 13 Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

8. Don’t: Breathe the Fumes

Inhale

When using undiluted apple cider vinegar, be careful not to inhale the fumes. Whether using apple cider vinegar in your cooking, beauty routine, or household, avoid breathing in the vapors it gives off. Just as vinegar is caustic to your skin and digestive tract, the fumes can be irritating and damaging to the lining of your respiratory tract. If you use apple cider vinegar as a household cleaning agent, be sure to keep the bottle pointed away from your nose and mouth when mixing up your homemade cleaning solutions.

7. Do: Use It as a Household Cleaner

Household Cleaner

Apple cider vinegar can be a handy, natural agent for cleaning and disinfecting your home, and can also be used to clean and descale your coffee pot. To clean your coffee maker, run a cycle of one part apple cider vinegar to two parts water. Rinse out the coffee pot, then repeat this process. After the second cycle of vinegar and water, flush out the coffee maker by running two or three cycles of plain water. Additionally, you can add equal parts water and apple cider vinegar to a spray bottle for a handy counter and tabletop cleaner.

6. Don’t: Swig It Down

Swig It Down

Even diluted apple cider vinegar can be damaging to the enamel of your teeth. You may enjoy drinking apple cider vinegar as part of your health routine. If so, consider drinking it through a straw to minimize contact with your teeth. Rinse your mouth with water after drinking the acidic solution. Furthermore, you should avoid brushing your teeth for at least half an hour after consuming vinegar. This rest period will give your teeth a chance to recover from the weakening effects of the acids before you scrub away at the enamel with your toothbrush.

Related: Avoid Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar Like This and Get All Its Benefits

5. Do: Use It to Boil Eggs

Boil Eggs

If you find it challenging to make hard boiled eggs that are easy to peel, try adding some apple cider vinegar to the water. The acidic vinegar helps break down the eggshells, leaving the eggs easier to peel. While adding vinegar to boiling water eases the peeling, it does not infuse the eggs with the flavor of vinegar. For a delicious, tangy flavor, you may enjoy Paleo Leap’s recipe for Pickled Eggs. Boiled eggs, red onion, garlic, salt, and mustard seeds combine with apple cider vinegar to make this tasty treat.

4. Don’t: Drink Too Much

Drink Too Much

You may decide to drink apple cider vinegar in the hopes of losing weight, lowering your blood sugar levels, or improving your metabolism. If so, be careful to start slowly. Avoid thinking that if a little bit is good, more is even better. Drinking too much apple cider vinegar can cause stomach upset. Start with a maximum of two tablespoons diluted in water and gauge how your body reacts. Better yet, enjoy apple cider vinegar in recipes, rather than merely drinking it in water. Billy Parisi’s recipe for Vinegar-Based Coleslaw utilizes apple cider vinegar along with crunchy vegetables.

3. Do: Use It to Marinate Meat

Marinate Meat

Apple cider vinegar can tenderize your steaks before cooking them. The acids break down tough muscle tissues, while the vinegar imparts a unique flavor. Jim’s Perfect Steak Marinade utilizes the characteristics of soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, garlic, and ginger to marinate beef before cooking. Chicken also benefits from marinating in apple cider vinegar. Allrecipes has a recipe for Unbelievable Chicken that calls for cider vinegar, mustard, garlic, lemon, lime, and brown sugar. Allow your chicken to soak in this marinade overnight for tender, juicy, grilled chicken.

2. Don’t: Drink It at Bedtime

Drink It At Bedtime

If you drink a solution of apple cider vinegar, avoid going to bed or lying down for at least 30 minutes. When you lie down, the acids may back up from your stomach into your esophagus. This backup can cause painful burning, irritation, and the sensation of heartburn. Avoiding lying down is of particular importance if you are susceptible to acid reflux. In general, you should avoid drinking apple cider vinegar within half an hour of your bedtime.

1. Do: Use It as a Deodorizer

Deodorizer

Apple cider vinegar can deodorize many areas of your home. Pour baking soda into your garbage disposal followed by a cup of apple cider vinegar. Allow the combination to bubble and sit for about five minutes, then flush the drain with hot water. You can also clear away food smells from your microwave. Place a small dish of water with a splash of apple cider vinegar into your microwave for one minute to remove strong smells. Lastly, you can run your washing machine with two cups of apple cider vinegar between loads to clean and deodorize the appliance.

Related: 5 Side Effects of Apple Cider Vinegar You Should Know
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