10 Uses for Vinegar for Health and Personal Care

There are so many uses for vinegar – for personal care, for health, for weightloss, for cooking, in the laundry, for odour control, for cleaning indoors and and outdoors,  in renovating, for pet care, for pest management, insect bites and so much more.


We’ve been enjoying some family reading and experimenting with vinegar lately…. cleaning the stench of old possum wee out of a yacht, cleaning a tooth for the tooth fairy…


Here are 10 great uses for vinegar in relation to health and personal care that I’m experimenting with or will try soon (there are so many many more too!):


1. Vinegar is a deodorant

Use white vinegar on underarms as a deodorant to neutralise odour, although it won’t stop perspiration – which seems a bit unnatural anyway.

2. Vinegar strengthens brittle nails

Put vinegar directly on nails to strengthen them if brittle. My gardening hands and nails might benefit from this. I have a thumb nail particulary prone to splitting – I will use this as my test case.

3. Vinegar stops chapped skin

Liberally put on sore spots and they will heal quickly. It also helps with those sore little splits at the ends of your fingers.

4. Vinegar heals split heels

Soak your feet in a glass bowl of diluted vinegar (and some coconut or olive oil to moisturise) for 15 minutes. Use a pumice to scrub your heals. Repeat again the following day and your heels should be much softer. Do this at least once a month to maintain your heels.  My heels are a disaster as I mostly do barefoot gardening.  I will do an experiment with before and after shots and post soon.

5. Vinegar heals coldsores

Douse a cold sore with vinegar often and it will dry up. If taken regularly, it should eventually prevent further outbreaks.  (I am going to test this one next time I get a coldsore – this is the first thing that happens to me when I am feeling a little run down.).

6. Vinegar and hair care

Wash your hair with a mixture of vinegar and water to add shine (and remove dandruff). Vinegar removes surplus soap and also neutralises the alkali left by shampoos.  Use a tablespoon to two in the final rinse – the smell doesn’t linger.
With so much hair in this household, some simple ideas for hair health is welcome.

7. Vinegar relieves nasal congestion

Many people who suffer from nasal congestion experience relief simply by adding apple cider vinegar to their diet. I know it has already cleared Maia’s throat tickles in the morning which I think in her case were related to nasal congestion.

8. Vinegar eases nausea

To ease nausea, sip on a small cup of water mixed with one teaspoon of vinegar with some added honey (to improve the taste). Perhaps I should take a bottle of this with me when we drive up our windy mountain roads and see if it helps.

9. Vinegar soothes minor burns

If you burn yourself cooking, splash some white vinegar on a tea towel or paper towelling and put it on the burn. Straight away it stops hurting and if you keep it on it will not blister. I usually reach for the aloe vera growing right outside my door, put I’m willing to give this a go next time.

10. Vinegar stops hiccoughs:

Apparently hiccoughs have been stopped by drinking a teaspoon of cider vinegar straight. Gargling cider vinegar is also effective. Worth a try for a serious case of hiccoughs. Hugh often suffers from hiccoughs, so I’ll offer him a vinegar gargle next time – as well as keep on encouraging him to eat more slowly and mindfully, rather than gulping his food so fast that he takes in too much extra air.

Adapted from 1001 Practical Uses for Vinegar by Margaret Briggs