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10 Home Remedy Uses for Distilled White Vinegar

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Lela is a certified medical laboratory scientist (ASCP) with 38 years of experience in the medical industry and blood banking.

Distilled white vinegar

Distilled white vinegar

Many Uses for Distilled White Vinegar

1. Ringworm

I have raised many pets in my lifetime and there is a very common fungal infection that humans get from pets. It's called ringworm, but it's not a worm. It's a skin infection and it is very easily cured.

Just soak a cotton ball with distilled white vinegar and gently clean the area that shows the typical round, red irritation. Be careful around the eyes! This works for cats, dogs, humans, horses, or even inanimate objects. Vinegar's main component is acetic acid and fungal infections do not like acidic environments. This is a safe and effective treatment that will not harm you or your pets. It does take a few weeks to totally get rid of the fungus, but keep after it for best results. Remember, cats hate the smell of vinegar, so you might want to wrap kitty in a towel before treatment.

Appearance of ringworm

Appearance of ringworm

Athlete's Foot, Insect Bites, Yeast Infections, Cat Spraying

2. Athlete's foot

Athlete's foot is also a fungus. Vinegar cures this too! It's cheap enough to use daily to soak your feet in for a few minutes. If your toenails are infected, it will kill that fungus also! Now, this really does take time, maybe even months, but if you make it a habit to dip your feet into vinegar once a day, you'll never have to worry about athlete's foot again.

After dipping your clean feet, just pat them dry and go about your daily routine. You might want to dust your shoes lightly with corn starch to keep your feet nice and dry. Moisturize your feet at night to keep them soft.

3. Insect bites

Did you know that white vinegar is one of the best treatments for the sting of insect bites? Strangely enough, packing a small bottle of vinegar is a good idea when going to the beach too. Jellyfish stings are stopped instantly with vinegar. Ant bites, bee stings, and other biting or stinging insect sites can be treated with vinegar. Pain go away!

4. Yeast infections

Some people get yeast infections in the folds of their skin. Straight vinegar is a good way to cure these outbreaks. Just dab it with a soaked cotton ball as in the ringworm treatment. Keep doing this daily and for a few days after the infection clears up. This will eliminate yeast growth on the skin. You can also put a cupful of vinegar in your bathwater for those hard-to-reach places. Consult a medical professional before self-remedying reproductive issues and discomfort internally.

5. Stop cats from spraying the furniture

Cats really don't like the smell of vinegar and even in low doses, you can apply vinegar to the lower parts of your furniture once a week to keep cats from spraying. You can liberally use it outdoors to keep cats out of your gardens and from spraying the edges of your house.

Cats spray to mark their territory and when they smell vinegar, they don't want to claim that particular area.

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Used in Australia for any kind of jellyfish sting or other marine animal sting.

Used in Australia for any kind of jellyfish sting or other marine animal sting.

More great uses for white vinegar!

6. Strawberries are good for you

Everyone knows strawberries are good for you. We know wine is good, too. You can combine the two using red wine vinegar to soak strawberries in. Very interesting taste that is really good for you on the inside!

7. Lose weight with apple cider vinegar

No one is really sure why this works. Vinegar is just good for the inside and outside of a person. Mix a Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a cup of water and drink daily. Somehow this helps your intestines to absorb good minerals and nutrients from the food you eat and eliminate the fat.

Some studies have shown that this really works for weight loss. Well, you've tried everything else, haven't you? Why not give this a shot? Apple cider vinegar is cheap and easy to find even in your grocery store. There are also supplements containing apple cider vinegar that you can buy that claim to work for this purpose too.

8. Clear a clogged drain

You know that experiment that they do in science class to make a volcano and make it erupt? Well, big secret here, they use vinegar! (and baking soda). You can use this same principle at home to clear a clogged drain.

Just pour about a cupful of baking soda down the drain, let it settle, then add a cup of warm vinegar (heat in the microwave for about a minute). Use a glass container to heat the vinegar in. Voila', the drain will clean itself. Flush with hot water after the bubbling stops.

9. Cure dandruff and head lice

You can do one or the other or even both at the same time! Wet hair, pour on vinegar, let soak, then shampoo as usual for dandruff. For head lice, use a nit comb on the vinegar-soaked hair to remove all of the head lice. The vinegar makes them come off of the hair shaft easily, so you can get them all. No more horrible lice treatments!

10. Relieve chronic heartburn

This works for most people, but if you have an ulcer, I would seek a doctor's advice. Just down a tablespoon of vinegary daily; it is best to dilute it with an 8 oz glass of water. Some folks swear by this cure. It may even help you lose weight!

Bonus: Keep your CPAP humidifier holder free of mold

You can use this for any humidifier. I sleep with a CPAP device and I have to rinse out the water holder daily. My respiratory therapist said to rinse it with a little vinegar daily also to keep the mold and mildew out of it. Then just turn it upside down to dry. Works like a charm. You have to rinse the vinegar out at night just before use or it will smell like vinegar, but it doesn't take much to rinse it. I use filtered water.

Leave comments below if you think of other great uses for this cheap and plentiful home remedy!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Questions & Answers

Question: Will it hurt if white vinegar is rubbed on legs for fungus?

Answer: It will actually kill the fungus. Just rub a small amount of white vinegar on the fungus areas. Do this for several days. It will kill the fungus infection if that is what it is.

Question: How long can you soak in white distilled vinegar?

Answer: Do NOT soak in pure distilled vinegar. It is a powerful acid. Use small amounts on a cotton swab or square only to dab on the affected area. You can add a cupful of vinegar to a regular bath and soak for 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly afterward with clean water.

Question: Can white vinegar cure a vaginal yeast infection?

Answer: Several vinegar douche products are on the market for use to help aid with vaginal yeast infections. They do work, but only if used as directed. Vaginal areas should be cleaned and dried thoroughly daily. Stop eating sugar. This is what yeast lives on.

Question: Does white vinegar cure eczema?

Answer: Eczema is a systemic autoimmune illness that distilled vinegar will not cure. It may help with skin infections, but it will not treat the underlying disease.

Question: If I drink white vinegar will it help with my breathing?

Answer: Please don't drink white vinegar. That is not its intended use. Ask a doctor about your breathing. Different diseases and conditions can cause bad breath odor. You need a diagnosis before you treat halitosis.

Question: Will white vinegar help heal or relieve pain from a boil?

Answer: It's possible. Vinegar is acidic, and most bacteria prefer an alkaline environment. However, you may find more relief by using a warm, moist compress on a boil.

© 2010 Lela

Comments - What do you do with vinegar?

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on July 31, 2017:

Shyanna, vinegar might help poision ivy, but the very best treatment for the rash is a hair dryer! It's a trick a nurse told me about when I was in the e.r. for a very bad case of poision ivy.

Just gently heat the rash up with a hair dryer on high. Don't burn yourself, but you will instantly feel relief from the itch! The heat will also dry out the rash. Just keep it clean and don't scratch it. Also, there is a product that neutralizes the oil, it's called Tecnu available at Walgreens.

I also wrote a hub on poison ivy, and I have been hospitalized with the nasty stuff.

Shyanna on July 31, 2017:

Can i put distilled white vinegar on my poison ivy ?

LF on September 25, 2016:

Apple cider vinegar is also good for ringworm and cats often like the taste of it so it's great to use on cats with ringworm.

White vinegar with water is also a great solution for getting dried stool off litter boxes. Nothing lifts it off like vinegar.

Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on July 08, 2016:

I also use vinegar for cleaning countertops. And I have used it to clear drains, but you taught me an additional step - to use backing soda with it. I'll have to try that next time I need to unclog a drain. I did see your last comment and I have had success with hair in drains. It just takes longer. I let the vinegar stay in the drain a full day, then flush with hot water.

I also found your suggestion about strawberries and vinegar interesting. I'll try that too. I usually take a teaspoon of vinegar every day, so this is a better way to do that.

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on December 15, 2015:

I did try the clog unblock feature of baking soda + vinegar in a drain. It works better on greasy kitchen sink clogs than it does on bathroom tub hair clogs. Hair clogs are hard to dissolve with anything! But I would try it first before using harsh chemicals.

ketage from Croatia on December 15, 2015:

I throw a little bit of soda bicarbonate down the drain, then pour in vinegar. Works wonders on a clogged drain.

nicomp really from Ohio, USA on November 24, 2015:

I use it to clean lime and calcium deposits from faucet strainers. We have hard water in this neck of the woods.

mariekbloch on February 25, 2015:

White distilled vinegar is also the safest cleaning product for aquariums. It's particularly effective against hard water that leaves a lot of white build-up on clear surfaces, so it does a great job cleaning. While I'd avoid getting any in the water if you can help it, there's no consequence if a tiny amount is introduced, unlike other cleaning products.

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on January 07, 2015:

There are a lot of home remedies that really work, but there are some that are quite dangerous also. Wow. You just gave me an idea for another hub!

liamhubpages on January 07, 2015:

I find home remedies more useful than modern medicine, at least in some cases.

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on January 02, 2015:

Check with your tattoo artist. If it's an old tatt, it's probably ok, but it depends on the ink.

Sk on January 02, 2015:

I want to soak my feet in white vinegar to help with toenail fungus. But I have a tattoo on my foot. Will it harm the tattoo?

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on July 19, 2012:

There is some evidence that White Line disease is a hoof fungus and therefore white distilled vinegar will definitely help.

However, if the disease is caused by an anaerobic bacteria, I would treat it with both vinegar and a vet prescribes antibiotic.

At any rate, vinegar will not harm the hoof, but I would not keep the horses hooves in a vinegar solution for more than a few minutes per day.

stafford1959 on July 19, 2012:

Has anyone used white vinegar on their horses hooves to treat seedy toe (White Line disease)?

laadhy from Maldives- The Paradise on Earth on June 21, 2012:

Really very informative. thanx for sharing

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on June 05, 2012:

Eczema is a skin disorder not caused by ringworm or other parasites. I don't think vinegar will work for it.

Try this instead -

And let me know if it works.

raven on June 05, 2012:

can you use it for eczema?

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on May 12, 2012:

Vinegar is a great natural remedy. I just recently learned it is bad for your teeth, so don't use it as a mouthwash.

Ruchira from United States on May 12, 2012:

wow Lela this was such a usefulhub. I had no clue about the insect bites. my kid is allergic to insect bites and i will do this next time. I usually use white vinegar to clean my hard wood floors.

voted up as useful and interesting and sharing it across!

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on April 09, 2012:

That depends on what is in the lotion. Vinegar is acidic and if mixed with an alkaline the result will be neutral, which defeats the purpose. Also, vinegar reacts strongly with some substances like baking powder, so if the lotion has baking soda or powder, I would not mix them.

What you can do is use one in the morning and one at night. Or use them at different times like morning and afternoon, etc.

Nokia on April 09, 2012:

Can you use the vinegar and the lotion the dr prescribed at the same time for ringworm or just one?

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on March 24, 2012:

Great news. I'm happy to have helped.

Nadia Sikder on March 24, 2012:

I Love U Vinegar and the great people with great suggestions. I owe my puppy's life to you all!

Paula from The Midwest, USA on December 15, 2011:

Hi Austinstar, I had no idea of this information. Thanks a lot for sharing. A few years back, I recall hearing of some things that vinegar was good for. I recall hearing some about apple cider vinegar in particular also. Great to know! I love learning new things from other hubbers. :)

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on August 02, 2011:

I've tried apple cider vinegar for weight loss. It helps a little and every little bit helps!

Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on August 02, 2011:

Yes, wish I'd known about this when the drain on both sides of my duplex was stopped up. Took three visits by the maintenance guys AND two visits by a plumbing company to get the drain draining again, and they were never able to determine if the stoppage was on my side or the neighbor's. Thank heavens I wasn't paying the bill! I'll sure try this if it happens again though.

Also wish I'd know to use vinegar on ringworm when my kids were little and got it at least once a year.

I've heard apple cider vinegar is good for weight loss but have never tried it. Will now. Those 20 extra pounds that won't go away better be veddy veddy scared! ;D

Gypsy Willow from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand on January 14, 2011:

Wonderful hub wish I'd read it before I paid a fortune to the plumber to clear my drain! I shall print this out and put it on my fridge!

malificent on December 11, 2010:

i just started using vinegar for a chronic yeast infection my dr gave me diflocan and creams nothing works but the vinegar is clearing it right up and sooo helps the itching :)

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on October 14, 2010:

Vinegar is really a good thing to have around the house. I use it daily. Thanks for the read!

christryon on October 14, 2010:

Don't tell your Dr. about this remedy. It might put him out of business! Great tips on the uses of vinegar. You could start your own company and label it as a "miracle cure." I have heard of most of these remedies. I didn't know about its usefulness on cats.

Thanks for writing such an informative article.

Pollyannalana from US on October 03, 2010:

Wish I had seen this earlier, my son thinks he has ring worm but it started like two half circles not meeting and white blister like and he is using different things, but the fungal medicine make him hurt and it is high up on his hip. Well anyway I will have him try white vinegar. My cat is sixteen and she is just beautiful and I used contact lens medicine in her eyes and somehow it made it to her sinuses and lungs too! No more black eyes, or wheezing! You just never know, I love sharing info here, even if I am a day late and a dollar short!


sandy on June 19, 2010:

My mother said this really works for stinky feet.

Soak your feet in vinegar and warm water. If your shoes smell, put vinegar in a spray bottle and spray the inside of shoes and sneakers. Hope the helps.

GeorgiaMom on May 01, 2010:

Here is another good use with vinegar "Break a fever" I hate giving my children medication if it can be avoided. I always break their fevers naturally by rubbing them down with luke warm water and vinegar mixed. Rub down the body, the arch of their feet, cover them up and then continously gently wash their face, neck, behind the ears. They will smell something awful, but the fever will gradually drop "naturally".

TattooVirgin on April 10, 2010:

Great stuff thanks for the helpful tips with vinegar. ttyl

Pollyannalana from US on April 01, 2010:

Glad I ran across this, very interesting, I will bookmark it, great to know. I always have a jar of white vinegar and wonder why, now I know! Great hub.

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on March 09, 2010:

Wow, I'm going to have to pour it on the poison ivy oak that's growing in the back yard! Thanks for the tip!

daisyjae from Canada on March 09, 2010:

Vinegar is great for washing floors too. I pour a bit in with hot water. Also good for killing weeds. It will kill all plants actually so be careful around your lawn.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on March 09, 2010:

Really nice information. I liked to consume apple cider vinegar. And I felt healthy right now. Thanks you very much.

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on March 04, 2010:

Ear infections are soooo painful! I used to swim a lot so I discovered Swim Ear for preventing ear infections, but I'll be willing to bet that a drop of vinegar in each ear after swimming would work just as well.

Holle Abee from Georgia on March 03, 2010:

Great tips! It also helps with some ear infections!

theherbivorehippi from Holly, MI on March 03, 2010:

Are you kidding me with all this!! I knew vinegar is good to clean my cutting board but that's about it. This is awesome! My aunt has 4 cats in her neighborhood that belong to "someone" that keep coming to the fence causing her dogs to bark and she is now on her third ticket for "disturbing the peace"...which we are sure its the owner of the cat calling the police. I'm going to tell her to try spraying this along the fence where they keep congregating. This is such a great hub! OH...and insect bites! I am always the "one" person that gets bit when no one else is being bothered. Thanks for sharing all of these wonderful ideas!

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on March 03, 2010:

Some home remedies really worked. Some were just pure torture. Remember castor oil?

breakfastpop on March 03, 2010:

Interesting hub. White vinegar and apple cider vinegar really have amazing properties!

BkCreative from Brooklyn, New York City on March 02, 2010:

I am soooo glad to see us returning to home remedies. Our moms and grandmothers used to be the healers - and what they did worked. One good reason it worked is because it was individualized - rather than the one size fits all toxic pharmaceuticals.

I'll bookmark this for reference!

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