When SHTF, you will be dealing with multiple threats to your life and the lives of your loved ones. On top of the chaos, you may find yourself in a situation where traditional products and medicines are inaccessible, simply unavailable, or cost-prohibitive even if you could get to them safely.
One of the key things preppers do that others don’t think about is stockpiling food and other items that will have multiple uses in survival situations. One of these versatile items is apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar has increased in popularity in recent years with those who are interested in more natural and chemical free alternatives to health issues and household problems. And there are hundreds of uses out there. In this article, we’ll detail what it is that makes it so great, and reveal more than 40 survival uses for apple cider vinegar.
What Makes Apple Cider Vinegar So Great?
One of the great benefits of apple cider vinegar for preppers is its long shelf life. ACV can remain bottled on the shelf in a cool area out of direct sunlight, up to five years or longer. It will be cloudy and have strand like sediment at the bottom, do not throw it out! Shake it before using to ensure you get all the benefits provided by “the mother” which is that cloudy sediment that contains all the “good bacteria” and raw enzymes.
Raw, organic apple cider vinegar also contains the following beneficial ingredients:
Potassium, one of the three most abundant minerals in the human body. Potassium functions as an electrolyte and helps with fluid regulation in the body and is needed for nerves and muscles to work properly.
Pectin a soluble fiber which experts recommend should make up 6 to 8 grams of your total dietary fiber intake for proper digestion.
Malic Acid in the body functions to improve skin, provide an energy boost, and fight acne. This is also why a mixture of ACV and water can be used as skin toner.
Acetic Acid is found in vinegar and has been proven to fight bacteria and infection, especially those in burn wounds. ACV also helps encourage an alkaline environment which has been demonstrated to work well against some viruses.
The good for the body ingredients above are what make apple cider vinegar so great and give it antifungal, antibacterial, antiseptic, antimicrobial, and antiviral properties. It’s nutritious, it provides an energy boost, and Braggs brand apple cider vinegar even claims to kill 0-157 strain of E.Coli!
So, as a prepper, knowing the chaos that is coming, knowing that traditional medicine may become unavailable, you definitely want to have apple cider vinegar at the ready.
Since in most cases it is used diluted in water, just a couple 32 ounce bottles can treat a whole host of first aid and health issues, as well as work as a substitute for personal hygiene products, cooking and cleaning products. We’ve listed more than 40 survival uses for apple cider vinegar below.
First Aid & Health Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar
We’ve included some of the most widely accepted uses for ACV to treat first aid and health issues below. Many of these uses are backed by clinical evidence while others are primarily backed up by user testimonies.
To ensure your safety, always consult your own physician before using any home remedy, especially if you have chronic disease such as high or low blood pressure, diabetes, and kidney or liver disease.
If you are stockpiling home remedies for a survival situation, you need to discuss plans with your doctor now so you will be more confident in the remedies you can use if traditional medicine isn’t accessible.
1. Wound care. The antiseptic properties in ACV can kill bacterial pathogens. Use for minor cuts, scrapes, and abrasions to prevent infection.
2. Fight urinary tract infection, including bacteria in the bladder, urethra, kidneys, or ureter, by using an apple cider vinegar tonic when needed. ACV works best as a preventative method but has been shown to prevent bad bacteria from turning to infection. The acidic makeup of ACV creates an environment that does not allow bacteria to flourish.
3. Eczema treatment by applying diluted ACV to the area regularly.
4. Lower blood pressure by routinely adding a couple teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to your morning tea, coffee, or other beverages.
5. Cold remedy-mix ACV with tea, water, or other beverages and drink. Add cinnamon, ginger, and other herbs to enhance effectiveness.
6. Acid reflux treatment by using up to a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in 8 ounces or more of water. Drink immediately before or after meals.
7. Remove toxins, such as heavy metals, that accumulate in the body by adding ACV to lukewarm or cool bathwater.
8. Reduce varicose vein swelling by massaging apple cider vinegar directly into the affected area each morning and evening. The ACV will work to improve blood circulation and blood flow and will help reduce the swelling.
9. Wart treatment using ACV is popular. Simply soak cotton ball or piece of gauze in ACV and cover with bandage overnight.
10. Treat poison ivy by mixing apple cider vinegar with an equal amount of water. Use a cotton ball or q-tip to apply the mixture directly to the poison ivy rash. Repeat this process several times daily until the rash disappears.
11. Manage blood sugar by taking ACV orally. Keep in mind the evidence for this was a small study and was for type 2 diabetics only. Always consult your physician before using any natural remedies to manage your blood sugar.
12. Treat sunburn with apple cider vinegar by soaking a paper towel or other cloth material in ACV and laying it over the affected area for several minutes. It removes the sting of sunburn quickly.
13. Ease hiccups. Mix apple cider vinegar with tea or water and drink. ACV stimulates the nerves in your throat and soothes spasms.
14. Digestive aid and probiotic for issues such as heartburn, gas, bloating and constipation.
15. Ease aching muscles will soon feel better if you can soak them in a bath with a mix of apple cider vinegar.
16. Lower cholesterol according to a European Journal of Clinical Nutrition preliminary study in 2012 on soluble fibers like pectin.
17. Treat ringworm by soaking a q-tip or cotton ball in ACV and applying to the area several times daily. The antifungal properties in the apple cider vinegar should help to clear it up.
18. Soothe insect bites and stings by applying apple cider vinegar as needed.
19. Ease yeast infection symptoms.
20. Cough remedy from ACV is made from 1-2 tablespoons of ACV to 24-32 ounces of water. Store in airtight container at room temperature. Use as a gargle to soothe cough and sore throat.
21. Ease hot flashes in menopausal women with an ACV tonic.
Personal Hygiene Uses for ACV
22. Whiten teeth with ACV by using it as a gargle or rinse for your mouth. Swish in mouth for about 1-2 minutes and then spit it out and rinse thoroughly with water. Too much acid can be bad for tooth enamel so once daily should suffice. Will take up to several weeks to see noticeable change in whitening.
23. Condition hair by using apple cider vinegar as a rinse on your hair once or twice weekly. It will help eliminate residue from your regular shampoo and conditioner and leave hair clean.
24. Improve skin by adding ACV to your beauty routine. Regular use of ACV as a facial toner has been known to minimize pores, reduce wrinkles, tighten skin, and treat acne.
25. Deodorizer. Did you know apple cider vinegar is a natural deodorizer? It has been used to freshen everything from old tennis shoes, to bad breath, and even remove that pesky skunk smell from your pet! Simply give your dog a bath, using ACV like a shampoo. Rub it in thoroughly. You can add a bit of Dawn dishwashing soap to the mix to remove the oily skunk residue. Your pets will smell fabulous in no time.
26. Weight loss through the ingestion of ACV has been used by many people to lose weight. The verdict is still out on how effective this method would be alone, as most people use more than one activity or change when trying to lose weight. Do not drink straight. Dilute in water, tea, or other beverages.
27. Treat dandruff using half water and half apple cider vinegar to help balance the pH of your scalp to kill bacteria and fungus that can cause that pesky dandruff. Add essential oils to enhance the scent if desired.
28. Remove grass stains using one teaspoon ACV to 2 teaspoons water mixture. Apply to stain and let soak up to 15 minutes. Scrub with old toothbrush for stubborn stains. Washas normal with other clothes.
29. Whiten clothes by adding just one half cup of apple cider vinegar to your final rinse cycle. To keep lint from sticking to clothes once they go into the dryer, use a half cup of vinegar in your regular wash cycle.
Cooking & Kitchen Uses
Believe it or not, there are a multitude of uses for apple cider vinegar when you are cooking. In fact, you can start using ACV in your kitchen right now to replace harmful chemical cleaners and make your life easier.
30. Natural sanitizer for cutting boards and other surfaces. This will be very important in a survival or SHTF situation because keeping things sanitized can reduce illness.
31. Pickling foods is most commonly done using white vinegar but you can use apple cider vinegar with produce that won’t be dominated by the cider flavor. As long as your ACV is higher than 5% acidity, you can pickle with it. Keep in mind that some vegetables may change color due to the dark color of ACV but the taste and crunch should be just fine.
32. Unclog a sink by mixing baking soda and ACV into the clogged drain. This can come in handy if commercial plumbers are unavailable.
33. Remove fish scales easier by rubbing the fish with apple cider vinegar about 5 minutes before you scale them. The ACV will make the fish scales come off much easier.
34. Reduce salty taste of ham by soaking the ham in cool water and a few tablespoons of ACV for 15 minutes. If still salty, you can soak longer.
35. Enhance nutrients in soups by adding just one or two tablespoons of ACV while cooking.
36. Inhibit browning of food by using ACV to briefly soak foods that turn brown when exposed to air such as apples, potatoes, etc.
37. Clean stains from tea kettle or coffee pot using a paste of apple cider vinegar and baking soda and an old toothbrush or an old bottle brush. Keep in mind you can also buy ACV in powder form if you prefer.
38. Remove labels before reusing jars by scrubbing it with a little ACV. For stubborn labels soak the label with ACV for several minutes and then scrub with an old toothbrush. Recycle the jar by adding a new label or writing on the glass or the lid with a Sharpie.
39. Fruit and vegetable wash using apple cider vinegar will not only prevent foods from turning brown when exposed to air but will also kill bacteria and some viruses which can aid in preventing food poisoning.
40. Pioneer’s Lemonade or “Switchel”
Mix approximately 24 ounces of cold water with up to 2 tablespoons of ACV. Add sweetener to taste. This can be honey, sugar if available, or unsulfured molasses for an iron boost. Avoid heating drinks containing ACV as this kills the healthy enzymes and bacteria and reduces the health benefits.
Additional Uses for ACV
41. Flea repellent (add a few drops to your pet’s water, mix in bathwater, or dilute with water and spray onto coat. It also locks in moisture and will make fur coat clean and shiny)
42. Eliminate fruit flies by filling a shallow dish or cup with apple cider vinegar and a few drops of dishwashing soap. Cover with plastic wrap and poke a few holes into it. The vinegar attracts the flies into the cup and the dishwashing soap kills them.
43. Prevent ear infections in pets by swabbing your cat or dog’s ears gently with a q-tip or cotton ball soaked in Apple cider vinegar. In a SHTF event, this home remedy just may save your pet from agony.
44. Ice-free windshield by using ACV directly on your windshield. Never use hot water as you can cause a cold windshield to crack. Applying apple cider vinegar to your windshield before a frost can also help prevent ice build up.
45. Weed killer. Make your own and keep your survival garden weed free. Use 20% acidity ACV if possible.
46. Remove rust from tools and other items that were exposed to the elements for too long. Soak the rusted item in apple cider vinegar for 12 to 24 hours. Remove the item from the ACV and use a crumpled piece of aluminum foil to scrub the rust off easily.
Which of these more than 46 survival uses for apple cider vinegar have you used successfully already? Do you currently include ACV in your survival stockpile? Did we forget a survival use that you’ve discovered? Which of these uses will you rely on in a survival or SHTF situation? Let us know below.
Born and raised in NE Ohio, with early memories that include grandpa teaching her to bait a hook and watching her mom, aunts, and grandmothers garden, sew, and can food, Megan is a true farm girl at heart.
For Megan, the 2003 blackout, the events of 911, and the increasing frequency of natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, spurred a desire to be more prepared for whatever may come along. Soon to be living off-grid, this mother of four and grandmother of nine grandsons and one granddaughter, is learning everything she can about preparedness, basic survival, and self-sufficient homesteading. She is passionate about sharing that knowledge so that others can be increasingly prepared to protect their families.