White vinegar is almost available everywhere and is one of the wonderful ingredients to have at home as it has amazing benefits for hair, skin, health, cleaning and cooking. A study has also proven that increasing the usage of vinegar in our diet also results in faster weight loss.
Along with exercise and healthy food intake, try to include vinegar in your diet in moderation to lose weight faster. The number of things you can make with white vinegar is quite long. You can make wonderful things with white vinegar, from homemade hair rinse to fruit and vegetable wash. I have given a few that I have tried over the years, try and let me know how you like it…
What Is White Vinegar?
White vinegar is nothing but almost 90 to 95 % water and 5 to 10 % acetic acid. It is a white colorles liquid with a very pungent smell and a sharp taste. White vinegar we get normally in the markets is of two types – distilled white vinegar and synthetic white vinegar.
a. Distilled White Vinegar:
Traditionally white vinegar was made by fermenting grape wine or cider mixed with acetic acid bacteria and the process took weeks to finish. Then later with the use of quicker methods, people started using cheapest alcohol produced in their place to make white vinegar. Over the years ethanol was produced from ethylene that is extracted from natural gas.
Since it was cheaper any other ethanol, people started using that for making vinegar but always live acetic acid bacteria culture was used for fermenting alcohol. Now we get white vinegar using ethanol got from various sources, it can be from ethanol distilled from plant based sources like grains, sugar beets, etc and we also have white vinegar fermented from ethanol distilled from ethylene. Almost all the brands, mention how it is produced in the bottle.
b. Synthetic Vinegar:
I have always wondered why white vinegar in India is 10 times less than the ones sold by foreign brands, that is because synthetic white vinegar is not made using fermentation method using live bacteria, it is made by mixing synthetic acetic acid with water. This makes it very cheap and it is usually mentioned in the bottle. For best results, try to use only distilled white vinegar and not synthetic vinegar. Especially for use in cooking, try to use only distilled white vinegar.
Where To Buy White Vinegar?
Every departmental store in India stocks white vinegar. Usually all the vinegar is sold with 5 % strength and most brands mention it, don’t buy it if it exceeds 5 % as it can be too corrosive and if it is less than 5 % it will be not be effective. For using white vinegar for cleaning, you can buy the cheapest white vinegar available but for use in cooking, I would suggest buying only white distilled vinegar sourced from plant based sources. It is ten times more expensive than synthetic vinegar but it is really worth it.
White Vinegar Side Effects:
White vinegar does not have any side effects when used for cleaning and it is a very good alternative for chemical cleaners. When used for hair and skin care, make sure to dilute it with a liquid like water or green tea and then use, else it will be very drying. If consuming white vinegar internally, try to be careful with the amount you are consuming else it will cause intense stomach irritation. Also try not to use synthetically produced white vinegar for internal consumption and also for hair and skin care.
5 Benefits & Uses Of White Vinegar For Hair, Cleaning, Skin & Health:
1. White Vinegar Hair Rinse For Dandruff & Dry Hair:
White vinegar hair rinse is really fun to make and can be really customized to suit every type of hair. For making the white vinegar hair rinse, you need fresh herbs. I like to first make herbal white vinegar by steeping the vinegar in herbs for a few days and then make the hair rinse. To make the hair rinse, take the required herbs (either dry or fresh) in a glass bottle and top it with white vinegar till the herbs are fully immersed. Close it with a lid and keep it away from sunlight for 4 to 6 weeks (pantry is the best place to store) till the vinegar is infused with the herbs.
Don’t forget to shake the bottle once in a few days. You can also bruise the fresh herbs slightly to release the essence better. Once the herbs have released the essence, strain and store the vinegar. To make the rinse, mix 1/4 cup of herb infused white vinegar with a cup of water and use. Like I mentioned this rinse can be customized to suit different hair types by adding the appropriate herbs to treat the problem. Neem leaves treat all scalp infections, rosemary prevents hair loss, holy basil like neem treats all infections and lavender has a soothing smell.
You can also add the appropriate essential oils to the hair rinse to make it more effective. To use the rinse, apply it allover the scalp and hair, wait for 10 to 15 minutes and then wash it off. This white vinegar hair rinse also removes product build up and treats dandruff and itchy scalp very effectively. Since this rinse removes product build up, it leaves the hair soft, shiny and also relieves the hair of dryness. The herbal vinegar also stays well almost from 6 months to a year. Whenever you want to make the rinse, just mix the required amount of herbal vinegar in water.
2. White Vinegar Skin Cleanser For Acne & Skin Whitening
White vinegar makes an excellent cleanser. This cleanser is very easy to make and is very effective in cleaning the skin of all impurities. But since white vinegar is too strong, it always best to dilute it before using it on the hair and scalp. This cleanser also brightens the skin tone really well and prevents acne. To make the cleanser, make a cup of strong green tea and let it cool, once cool add equal quantity of white vinegar and few drops of tea tree oil. Mix well and store in the refrigerator.
To use, take a little bit of the cleanser in a tissue and gently wipe the face with it to remove all the dirt and grime. You can splash your face with plain water after using the cleanser, pat dry and then apply a moisturizer. All the 3 ingredients used in the cleanser are very good for treating acne. This cleanser has a shelf life of about 2 weeks in the refrigerator. If you find equal quantity green tea and white vinegar too strong, reduce the amount of vinegar a bit.
3. White Vinegar Vegetables & Fruit Wash:
Nowadays I think twice before eating any fruit with the skin. Most of the time it is hard to get organic fruits. Since I am living in a village, the small towns near by my village does not have organic shops. I have constantly suffered eating fruits than not eating them due to pesticides. Each time I eat a watermelon, I get throat infection due to the pesticide spraying. You will be surprised, if I say how I wash my grapes! I bring water to the boil and add the grapes and let it sit till the water cools and then eat it. The problem is that since the fruit is almost cooked in the boiling water, it does not have the fresh taste and tastes bland.
I was looking for a good natural fruit and vegetable wash recipe that can be done easily at home and one that really works. I also wanted it to be chemical free, as chemical laden washes will add few more layers of chemicals on the fruits. I really liked this recipe as I found it be quite effective. This recipe for homemade fruit and vegetable wash has vinegar and lemon juice. Vinegar is excellent in removing pesticide coat on top of the fruits. I personally like 1: 2 vinegar to water ratio. You can also use 1: 3 vinegar to water ratio, but anything below this ratio will not be very effective.
You can make this fruit wash and store it in a spray bottle. To make the spray, mix juice of half a fresh lemon to 1/2 cup of white vinegar and add a cup of water to it and mix well. To use, spray it on the fruits and veggies till it is coated with the spray. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then the fruits can be washed well and used. Any time you buy non organic fruits that has to be eaten with the skin on, always try washing it with this homemade wash. It only takes 10 minutes for the whole process but saves us from lot of toxicity. Though this process does not guarantee a 100% reduction in pesticide, it greatly reduces it. Enjoy pesticide free fruits and vegetables!
4. White Vinegar Foot Soak:
White vinegar is especially helpful in treating and preventing problems of the foot like foot odor, athletes foot, etc. During rainy
season, many school going children get their socks wet and they don’t remove their socks till they get home. This leads to foot odor and all sorts of infection in the toes. All young children love to play in the mud which increases the chances of them getting infected even more. This vinegar and lemon foot soak is an effective way to prevent foot problems in children. The acidic nature of the lemon and vinegar prevents and treats all foot infections.
This vinegar soak also helps to soften the feet thus reducing foot cracks. Make your children immerse their feet weekly once for 5 to 10 minutes in this foot soak till the water turns cold. Then apply moisturizer after patting their feet dry. Adults can use a scrubber after this homemade vinegar soak to remove the dead skin from their foot and then can apply a moisturizer. This soak if done weekly once will prevent foot infections very effectively.
To make this vinegar foot soak, take a fresh lemon and grate the outer skin with a grater. Boil 2.5 liters of water in a pan along with grated zest and once it comes to a boil, switch off. Wait for it to come to lukewarm temperature then add 1/2 cup of vinegar and 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Enjoy using this homemade vinegar foot soak!
5. White Vinegar For Cleaning: Laundry, Dogs & Cats
White vinegar cleans really really well and it can be rightly called a super cleaner! To clean blocked stinking drains, first pour in 1/4 cup of baking soda into the sink followed by 1/2 cup white vinegar. It will immediately start foaming. Wait for the foam to subside completely and then pour boiling water into the sink. This method is very effective and will remove bad odor too. White vinegar also softens the clothes really well.
After washing and rinsing your clothes with regular detergent powder, add 1/4 cup of vinegar mixed with water, I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised at how soft the clothes turn out. It is especially useful adding vinegar while washing children’s laundry as it also removes the bacteria and germs very effectively. If you have dogs or cats at home, you know how messy they are and white vinegar will come to the rescue there too. Mix vinegar with equal parts water and use this solution to clean up all the mess. It is cheap, easily available and really works!