Ode to vinegar

Apple cider vinegarI love cider vinegar. If you’d told me a few years ago that I would have bottles of vinegar scattered throughout my house (4 different types nonetheless) I would have told you you were barking mad. But here I am, hardcore vinegar lover, I guess I’m getting quite ‘crunchy’.

Now, not all vinegar is the same. I like to use apple cider vinegar for health and beauty and cheap white distilled vinegar for cleaning, it’s by far my favourite household cleaning product. What’s the main advantage of using vinegar? For a start, it’s a natural product made by fermenting apple juice into cider which is then fermented again into vinegar, so using it cuts down on the amount of other chemicals that you’d reach for otherwise. It’s also cheaper than many commercial cleaning products yet works just as well and it’s so versatile it feels there’s nothing it can’t be used for!  Here are some of my favourite uses.

Hair rinse
Say what? Putting vinegar on my hair? But I don’t want to smell like a fish and chips shop! – fret not, it’s not as bad as it sounds, and I promise your hair won’t smell funny. Put about one or two tablespoons of vinegar in an old bottle and fill half of it with water, then pour over your hair either after shampooing or after using your conditioner. It gives hair a lovely shine, more volume and really helps detangle it.

Multi purpose cleaner 
I have a couple of spray bottles that I use for this, one is straight vinegar and one is about a third vinegar and two thirds water, I tend to use the diluted one more and save the straight one for really tougher jobs. Vinegar kills bacteria, mould and germs, and it’s great in the kitchen – no need to worry about nasty chemicals coming in contact with food. Again, I know the smell can be off putting for some people so here’s a quick tip: soak lemon and orange peels with vinegar in a jar for a week or two, then strain into a spray bottle and add sweet orange essential oil to it (I just always have a jar soaking ready for when I finish the vinegar I’m using). The smell gets quite pleasant that way. Also, this is THE best thing to use glass, great for windows too, wipe off with newspaper and you’ll never go back! There is really no end to the uses for this.

Drink it!
Ok, I haven’t actually tried this yet, but apparently drinking small amount (a tablespoon or so) every day has numerous health benefits. It can help lower the risk of thrush, as it contains small amounts of probiotics, aid weight loss (for example, look at this study!), improve skin blemishes and tone and some studies show that it may help reduce the rate of growth of cancer cells. It’s worth a try, right? You can either take it straight, if you’re brave, or mix it it in water with some honey or fruit juice. I shall try it from tomorrow and see what happens!

Apparently it can also help with digestion, heartburn (yes, really), wind and constipation, I don’t suffer badly from any of these but it will be interesting to see if there’s a change. One word of caution though: it could interact with certain medications so do check first if you are taking anything.

Do you use vinegar? What are your favourite uses? Do you or would you any of these? Or do you, like my husband, absolutely hate anything that remotely smells like vinegar?