There are many types of baths that can be used for detoxification and relaxation, but none that benefit the skin with a single ingredient as much as vinegar baths.
I’m not a fan of the smell of vinegar, but I’m a huge fan of vinegar baths because they leave my skin and hair looking and feeling amazing.
Why Vinegar Baths?
Apple Cider Vinegar is a versatile natural remedy and natural home product. It can be infused with herbs to be a natural cold remedy and health tonic, or sipped to relieve heartburn.
Sprayed on skin, it takes the sting out of sunburn and as a foot soak it helps alleviate athlete’s foot.
It is also a beneficial natural beauty ingredient in several ways:
For Its Vitamin and Mineral Content
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is a natural source of B-vitamins, Vitamin C and trace minerals, making it nourishing to skin. Since the skin is the body’s largest organ, it is possible to obtain these nutrients from soaking and to nourish the skin. It is naturally nourishing and moisturizing and can soften skin and hair.
Vinegar is naturally acidic so it helps restore balance to the skin’s pH which should be slightly acidic (here’s why). Though it helps restore the skin’s pH it has an alkalizing effect internally and can also help aid digestion for this reason.
Also, many people with joint problems notice improvement from soaking in apple cider vinegar baths, and these beneficial acids and vitamins may be part of the reason.
Soothes Skin Problems
ACV can help naturally kill fungus and bacteria on the skin and offers relief for many with eczema and other skin conditions. Vinegar is often recommended for skin problems like eczema, dandruff and dry skin. These same antibacterial properties and beneficial acids make vinegar effective against zits. A tiny dab of ACV can often help reverse a zit overnight.
For this reason, AVC baths are also sometimes recommended for urinary tract infections as the vinegar can help kill the yeast or fungus and create an environment where it is difficult for infection to thrive. ACV is also a potential remedy for warts and athlete’s foot for this reason.
Reduce Body Odor
Body odor occurs when bacteria mixes with sweat or moisture from the body and thrives in the warm moist environment, especially in places like the underarms. Vinegar can help kill this bacteria, reducing odor. It also creates an environment where odor is less likely to thrive.
I haven’t personally tried it, but many people who can’t tolerate deodorants containing baking soda claim that using diluted apple cider vinegar works wonderfully as a deodorant. I would think that an armpit detox would also be helpful for those with body odor or skin irritation in the underarms.
How to Take a Vinegar Bath
Once or twice a week, I fill a tub with warm to hot water and add 1-2 cups of apple cider vinegar.
I soak for 20-30 minutes, using a washcloth to clean my face and making sure to get my hair wet as well.
After bathing, I rinse off in a cool shower, though some sources recommend letting the vinegar water dry on the skin.
Other Skin Uses for ACV
- As I mentioned, a tiny dab of ACV can often remedy a zit overnight
- I also use a diluted spray of apple cider vinegar (1 tablespoon in 1 cup of water) as a soothing facial toner
- This same spray can be used on the underarms for a natural deodorant, though some people find that they need to increase the concentration of vinegar for this use
- Dab undiluted vinegar on toenail fungus or soak in a strong (50:50) solution of white or apple cider vinegar and water.
- Dab ACV on warts
- Rinse hair with 1/4 cup ACV in 1 cup water for shiny hair.
How do you use vinegar? Ever taken a vinegar bath?
Discussion (114 Comments)
Isn’t the whole point of a detox bath to pull toxins out of the body through pH gradient: body=acidic –> bath=alcaline? therefore soaking into an acidic bath isn’t helping detox 🙁 It’s beneficial for other things you mentionned of course.
Detoxification with ACV would pertain more to internal usage. For topical use it may seem acidic but the pH is actually close to what normal skin pH should be, as our skin and hair prefers a slightly acidic environment to keep the acid mantle intact. ACV acts similarly to an exfoliant. It isn’t a scrubby type of exfoliant but it digests dead skin cells on the surface to reveal the new skin layer underneath that is healthier looking. Exfoliating skin in a gentle manner is one of the most revitalizing things we can do for our skin to keep it from looking dull and sallow. It also helps to increase circulation and that is a great benefit.
If you wanted a more detoxifying bath you would need to add something like a clay, such as bentonite clay or white Kaolin Clay for sensitive skin. You could also use Dead Sea Mud but ACV will not provide a detoxifying benefit externally. It’s just very beneficial to skin because of its mild acidity.
Just started using ACV in a chamomile tea solution as a hair rinse (conditioner), as a starting point for my hair detox routine. It feels really good. I also used it as a facial cleanser (since I’m in the shower already). Besides its innumerous benefits, I love that one “product” can be used for so many things (e.g. conditioner and cleanser), so I don’t need a dozen of different products piling up in my (small) shower cabin. It surprised me a lot that the vinegar smell doesn’t stay in my hair. That was my greatest concern too.
I don’t have a bathtub though, so no vinegar baths for me. 🙁
Does anyone have a recipie for making your own ACV?
Helps neutralize the Flu in a flash! I did well keeping it down. I noticed a difference real soon. The acidity helps neutralize it. happy sigh
Thank you so much for all your helpful tips . I love your blog you are amazing and congrats on your pregnancy:)
Amazing! I just passed this onto 4 ppl. Great info to know and to put to use! Thank you!!!
I use Braggs ACV for so many things. When used diluted it can be so beneficial to the skin because, like Katie said, it is acidic, which our skin and hair prefers. I make a spray for my dogs and I put just a little bit of ACV in it along with other things to help with itchiness and such.
For years I suffered from regular heartburn and was always using some form of antacids. Then about a year ago I took a round (about 6 to 8 weeks) of a few different supplements and as of November of last year I have not had to use any antacids. If I feel like I’m getting a little heartburn from certain foods I put a couple capfuls of ACV in a glass of water and drink it straight down. Works every time!!! I love ACV.
I’d really love to know what that round of supplements was. Can you help me out?
Hi Terri. I would be more than happy to share what worked for me. It does take a little time and patience and if you eat certain foods that trigger heartburn you may still have some instances of heartburn. You can drink a couple capfuls of ACV in a glass of water if this occurs.
I took Mastic Gum by NutriCology. One in the morning and one in the evening before dinner and sometimes one in between there if I felt I needed it. It is a bit expensive at around $26.00 but you get 120 capsules so thats about 6 to 8 weeks worth. I also took Black Cumin Seed Oil capsules, one in the morning and one before eating dinner. I used the Life Extension Brand. There is an actual Black Cumin Seed Oil but it has a pretty powerful earthy, herbal taste that is almost impossible to cover up in anything you mix it with. I just liked the capsules better. The third supplement was a Digestive Enzyme by Now Foods called Plant Enzymes. I took 2 capsules about 15 minutes before every meal. I still take the Digestive Enzymes before every meal but have dropped down to one capsule before every meal. I do keep all the other 2 supplements on hand just in case, but I usually have great success with just the ACV in water for times when I eat something a little too spicy. You You can do some research on both the Mastic Gum and Black Cumin Seed oil. They both have great benefits for heartburn and H. Pylori, which is said to alter the pH of the stomach and in turn, causes more heartburn. Antacids only exacerbate it. ACV has an alkalizing effect naturally when taken internally without destroying the equilibrium of the stomach.
If you decide to try it I hope it works as well for you as it did for me. If you currently take other medications for other conditions I would talk to a Naturopathic Doctor first. I do not know of any side effects or contraindications with other medications with the supplements I took but it is still always better to discuss those things with someone licensed in conventional medicine or Naturopathic medicine.
Good Luck! I wish you great success because heartburn sucks!!!
that was so kind of you to pass that on to me! I’m currently on 20mg of Prilosec twice a day. I wonder if I can even find a Naturopath in my neck of the woods. And my doctor is totally against anthing that wasn’t thought of by a “doctor” and/or western medicine. I’ll start looking for a Naturopath – wish me luck.
Hi Terri, my son used to have terrible heartburn. They had him on so much crap and nothing worked. I was so fed up I told him for a biofeedback health anaysis. Started him on digestive enzymes and magnesium. To this day he still does that. So my point is there is hope. I can’t find anyone who does the biofeedback around here any more. But I also like integrative medical doctors. I follow a couple from the Atlanta area. If u can’t find a naturopath maybe u can find an integrative MD or functional medical doc. Good luck.
I am replying here but this comment is aimed at people generally. I just wanted to say that there is no need for anyone to be on tons of prescribed medication for heartburn. I understand how frustrating and potentially painful it can be. It’s also the reason why I am up at 4am! It stops me from sleeping when it gets bad.
I am in the midst of turning my health and life around. Getting away from doctors/conventional thinking has been a great help to me. Just educating and THINKING for yourself about health issues is a great start to true empowerment. I encourage anyone to look for answers on their own, find a way to wean off medication (under a doctors supervision) and try other natural means.
One great remedy that works in a pinch is bicarbonate of soda. This has personally given me more relief than any. I encapsulate mine since I cannot bear the taste of the stuff. Since I don’t know how regularly anyone here has heartburn then please do your own research on whether this would be good for your health to take as regularly as you would personally need to.
Of course, relieving symptoms is a western mindset. What we need to be addressing is the CAUSE of the heartburn. My doctors answer to EVERYTHING was always ‘some people just suffer more than others with so and so’ if I ever asked her what the cause was of X and how to address it. I’ve had enough of that generic answer and I am seeking my own answers. . Although other people’s experiences can be a great resource,everyone’s answers will be different, so don’t get too hung up on other people’s diets/reasons/ways etc. Focus on finding your own.
Since I currently have a water infection and heartburn, I am going to reach for the bicarb as it will relive both. I know that a good greens powder (I don’t have any at present) alkalises too but I have no idea if it would as ‘instant’ as bicarbonate of soda? Just another thought for someone to pick u on if they have any? Another remedy is bentonite clay which I have used and found worked. Although I would personally never recommend clay internally daily.
Anyway, good luck everyone in your own journey. Keep learning and asking questions!
Terri, did you find something that helped your stomach/heartburn?? My daughter was on 2 meds for a stomach ulcer. She always woke up with stomach pain and not feeling well until she could take the Prilosec and other stuff. She found a natural supplement that helped more than any of the meds. No more medication needed and wakes up feeling great!! It has been over 2 years and she still has had no Prilosec!!
I have suffered for years with heartburn, indigestion and a lot of wind both top & bottom 🙁
After seeing a natural therapist I eliminated sugars (incl fruit), bread and dairy products. That was at Easter (great timing, not). I actually found that all my symptoms stopped completely and have not been back on Losec since 2010 and don’t have any antacids in my handbag anymore. I do occasionally suffer from it but only if I’ve eaten too many grains (barley, oats) and sugars and I”ll have ACV in a glass of water and that usually helps. If you are suffering with all of those symptoms I’d suggest checking what foods you are consuming. By the way, I was advised if you eat fruit, only a small amount and first thing in the morning before any other foods. Hope that helps!
Terri, Try the Bragg brand ACV 2 teaspoons in 3 ounces of water immediately after every meal before u spend all that money. Bragg ACV is only $6-7 and its amazing for heartburn!!!! You may be able to cut down to one Prilosec daily after a week or so and then, like me, you can try to go off Prilosec completely. I’m taking the leap of faith that the ACV is the answer to heartburn altogether! My allergist said that heartburn is nothing more than a food allergy to something you just ate…do you ever notice its only certain foods that give you the heartburn? Also, ACV makes your skin soft, keeps you more regular than probiotics, and is amazing for skin allergies!! Just some friendly advice for my PPI people; longterm use is dangerous but ACV is awesome!! Best of luck!
Try a pinch of Baking Soda in 1/2 cup of water, sip, increase up to 1/2 teaspoon if the gerds, or acid reflux is severe, I agree with Kate ACV helps as well, there was a time when the pain was so bad I thought I needed to go to emergency room, but I tried the Baking Soda and Praise GOD the Baking Soda in water did the trick within a few minutes…I was diagnosed by doctors after having an endoscopy, I was also told I had a hiatal hernia, I was put on medication, and had side effects, so I looked for natural remedies, I no longer take prescription drugs and its been 17 years, I also take enzymes sometime as well…for emergency heartburn I always carry either a little “Baking Soda” in my purse or a product called “Picot” it contains Baking Soda (sodium bicarbonate) with citric acid they come in little packets, you just mix with water, but in emergency I sprinkle a bit on my tongue use my saliva and swallow, then get water. I also found just drinking plain water on the onset can stop the burning as well…you can purchase the “Picot” at Walmart or the drug store…hope this helps along with others suggestions.
Great article! I also use ACV on my dog! After her bath, I give her an ACV rinse. In between baths, I rinse her paws off especially after a walk with ACV. She looks and feels great at 8 years old.
Does this take the bad smell away
Can I use ordinary Apple Cider Vinegar (non organic ) to do all mentioned?
Hi Bridgette. I think Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar is the best and while it’s more expensive than plain old apple cider vinegar it has a lot more benefits health wise.
My husband and I have used Braggs ACV for weight loss by putting 1 tabelspoon in 16 ounces of water 3x/daily and 1/4 -1/3 tsp cayenne pepper as well for when I get a cold or just to get the blood pumping! And as well as these other simple remedies that wellnessmama suggests! I love all of her homemade, tried and true recipes.
I buy 6 bottles of ACV from Vitacost.com for a good price and the cayenne pepper from herbdoc.com, best highest quality (250,000 heat units per 1/4 tsp).
Local grocery store (preferred supporting) has Bragg for same or slight better price with no shipping.
Costco has an ACV that looks exactly like Braggs, is organic, and contains The Mother probiotics…I’m fairly convinced it’s bottled by Braggs. It is half the price and seems identical in a side-by-side test. I would not say the same about any other store brand ACV I’ve tried.
Does this work in helping to lose weight?
Search the net for a recipe, but making your own apple cider vinegar is very easy/way less expensive and allows you to use up the apple core or misc bits/scraps you don’t otherwise eat.
Thanks for the tip!
Is there an age restriction on this? I mean is it ok to give babies/toddlers an ACV bath?
I would definitely dilute much more with babies and toddlers, but my two year old loves vinegar baths, especially when we were trying to figure out what was causing her eczema- they gave her a lot of relief.
My 3 year old has some splotchy/white/dry spots on her skin suddenly and I’m wondering if this is eczema. How do you determine that it is eczema and then what protocol did you use for treatment? Thank you so much!
Here’s a few resources: https://wellnessmama.com/12065/eczema-remedies/