Whether you're poaching eggs or clearing a drain, apple cider vinegar has a lot of uses around the house. And, it's a cheap pick-up when you're at the store. Here are all the ways to get more bang for your buck when you've got apple cider vinegar in the cabinet.
Rejuvenate Your Face
Here's a thrifty beauty hack to write home about. Use apple cider vinegar to balance out oily skin and help prevent breakouts caused by clogged pores. The alpha-hydroxy acid this vinegar gets from apples can help you manage acne, reduce oiliness, improve the appearance of photo-aged skin and remove dead skin cells.
Make a Finishing Marinade
Like leftover coffee grounds, apple cider vinegar is great for making your own marinade for meat.
Marinades made with apple cider vinegar pack more acidic punch than those made with white vinegar. Distilled vinegar has about 4 percent acetic acid while apple cider vinegar has 5 to 6 percent. That extra apple kick pairs exceptionally well with poultry, fish and pork, too.
Make a refreshing finishing marinade by whisking together one part vegetable oil, one part apple cider vinegar and two parts freshly chopped herbs. Add spices and kosher salt to taste. Brush onto your meat or vegetables right after cooking.
Keep Your Cat Away From Cables
Buy a cat a scratching post and she'll claw your couch. Give her a playhouse and she'll prefer the box it came in. Give her a chew treat and she'll gnaw on cables and cords — unless you dab a bit of apple cider vinegar on them beforehand.
Prepare a mixture of equal parts water and apple cider vinegar. Then, use a cotton swab to apply your mixture to any cords your cat chews on.
Add Sharpness to Vegan Cheese
Vegan cheesemakers do a remarkable job of replicating the consistency, color and texture of dairy cheese. But vegan cheese can sometimes lack the sharpness and bite of the real thing, especially cheddar. That's where apple cider vinegar comes in. Its acidity helps add a sharp edge to your vegan cheese. Blend one tablespoon of it into every four-cup batch to make vegan cheese more savory.
Tenderize Egg Shells
Nothing turns a pleasant breakfast of soft-boiled eggs into an exercise in anger management faster than the Herculean task of removing sticking eggshell piece by agonizing piece. Apple cider vinegar can help.
Mix a quarter cup of apple cider vinegar with six cups of water. Bring to a simmer. Add up to eight eggs, and boil for about 11 minutes.
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Trap Fruit Flies
Got fruit flies? Make your kitchen a no-fly zone. Add one cup of apple cider vinegar and a few drops of liquid dish soap to a bowl. Place the bowl near where your flies hang out. The fruit flies will detect the strong aroma of apple cider vinegar, touch down onto the surface to see what's up and promptly sink to the bottom of the bowl.
The CDC reports that roughly 48 million people suffer from foodborne illnesses every year. And, sometimes, running your produce under water simply isn't enough. Apple cider vinegar is a good alternative. Spray produce with a mixture of one-half cup apple cider vinegar and four cups water. Allow the wash to stay on your produce for a few minutes before rinsing under cool water.
DIY All-Purpose Cleaner
You can test apple cider vinegar's cleaning and sanitation prowess against just about any surface in your house. For example, try this simple, DIY all-purpose cleaner.
- Mix one cup of apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
- Add a couple tablespoons of lemon juice or 15 drops of lavender, orange or mint essential oil to temper and balance the vinegary scent.
Shake the mixture well and spray where needed, allowing the solution to sit for a few minutes on stubborn, sticky spots. Wipe clean with a moist towel.
Make Perfect Poached Eggs
Perfect poached eggs show the world — or at least your friends and family — that you cook with finesse. For the perfect poached egg every time, add half a cup of vinegar to a bowl and crack an egg into it. Let sit for a few minutes before cooking your poached egg normally.
Upgrade Your Homemade Bread
Give your bread a little more rise with this trick. Replace one tablespoon of liquid with apple cider vinegar in any bread recipe. Don't add more than one tablespoon of vinegar per batch of bread, though.
Revitalize Your Hair and Scalp
Apple cider vinegar can help restore your hair's pH balance and alleviate an itchy, flaky scalp. Try this recipe from WebMD:
- Bring two cups water and one-half cup of apple cider vinegar to a simmer on the stove and set the pan aside.
- Stir in two tablespoons of fresh rosemary and sage and one tablespoon of nettle. Cover the pan and let sit for two hours.
- Strain the mixture into a bottle.
Wash your hair as normal and squeeze out excess water. Then, shake your mixture vigorously and massage a quarter cup of it into your hair and scalp for two to three minutes.
Create Bigger, Fluffier Meringues
At their best, meringues are glossy, delicate testaments to the wonders of egg whites. At their worst, they're saggy, deflated confirmations of poor technique. But even novice cooks can whisk their whites with confidence with a little apple cider vinegar. Just add two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar for every one cup of egg whites in your meringue recipe.
Remove Moss From Your Home
When it comes to moss, you probably fall into one of two camps: You think it adds to your home's aesthetic or you fear it'll lead to costly home repairs.
Although you can find a host of manufactured chemical moss killers on the market, a simple solution made with apple cider vinegar is just as good. Pour undiluted apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle and attack the moss until it's saturated. Then, scrape it away using a deck brush and a little water.
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Clear a Drain
Although you'll need heavy hitters to tackle tough plugs, a little gravity, pressure and a simple acid-base reaction does the trick for light jobs. Just follow these steps:
- Pour a pot of boiling water into your clogged drain.
- Sprinkle one cup of baking soda in the drain followed by one cup of apple cider vinegar and water.
- Seal the drain with a drain plug and wait about 10 minutes.
- Pour another pot of boiling water down the drain.
Sanitize Cutting Boards
Whether they're wooden or plastic, cutting boards can harbor as much bacteria as a microbiology lab. Uncooked meat, fish and even vegetables leave behind traces of microorganisms that multiply and thrive in the grooves of a well-used board — and your dishwasher might not be doing enough to completely sanitize it.
Mix one part apple cider vinegar with five parts water. Pour into a squeeze bottle. After washing the cutting board, spray it liberally with the vinegar solution, then let it stand for several minutes. Rinse before using.
Make the Ultimate Gastrique
In simple terms, a gastrique is a kind of sweet-and-sour sauce. A sauce-glaze of French origin, gastriques use three cooking techniques — caramelization, deglazing and reduction — to make the most of three humble ingredients: sugar, acid and juice or stock.
Apple cider vinegar really shines if you're making a pork or poultry dish. You can also use an apple cider vinegar gastrique with any dessert that would benefit from a swift kick of concentrated apple flavor.
Itchy, unsightly and frustrating barely describe the terror that fleas bring to your home. They find all their preferred hosts — humans, dogs and cats — in one convenient, cozy place.
Prevent those buggers from setting up shop in your pet's coat and in your home with a little apple cider vinegar. Although the vinegar won't kill fleas, they'll stay away from anything you apply it to. If they're already there, they'll fall away easily in bath water or with a flea comb.
Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water along with an optional 10 drops of lavender or cedar essential oil in a spray bottle. Spray your pet's coat before they go outside and at the first sign of an infestation. You can also spray carpets and under furniture to make those areas less desirable to any fleas that might be scoping out your home.
Prevent Fruit and Vegetable Oxidation
Few things ruin the appearance of a fresh fruit- or vegetable-based dish than browning — especially when you're making guacamole.
To prevent this, mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with one gallon of water. Add your chopped or sliced produce to the mixture and store in the refrigerator. When you're ready to use the fruit and vegetables, simply rinse and dry them before using. You can also spritz the pieces with a spray bottle if you're chopping a small amount of produce.
Remove Tarnish From Copper Pots
You know you're in the kitchen of a serious, dedicated cook when you see copper pots with stainless steel or tin linings. In addition to their pleasing aesthetic, copper pots provide better thermal conduction and heat distribution than stainless steel. They don't react with acidic foods the way aluminum and cast iron pans do.
But copper requires maintenance to look its best. To clean your copper kitchenware, pour a layer of kosher salt in a saucer. In a bowl, mix two parts apple cider vinegar and one part baking soda. Wet a portion of a kitchen towel in the apple cider vinegar and baking soda, and dip it in the kosher salt.
Scrub the tarnish from your copper using a circular motion until it gleams. Rinse the cleaning residue off the pots with cool water and dry with a towel. Follow up with a soft, lint-free cloth for extra shine.
Sanitize Your Dishwasher
It's easy to forget the dishwasher when it comes time to clean the kitchen. But dishwashers can harbor as much bacteria as any cutting board, and they need regular sanitizing. Sanitize your dishwasher by adding one cup of apple cider vinegar to an empty dishwasher and run a normal cycle.