Simplify Your Life With These Cheap, Healthy Apple Cider Vinegar Hacks

Apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting apple sugar. It is sweeter than your average vinegar and has many health benefits. But people don’t only cook with it; they also use it for skincare, cleaning, and bug repellents.

Did you know that you can clear zits more quickly with apple cider vinegar? Or that you can unclog your drain with it? Once you know all of these uses, you’ll save a lot of money. Here are the best apple cider vinegar hacks.

Treat Foot Fungus Naturally

A woman soaks her feet in a foot bath with sage.
graceie/Pixabay
graceie/Pixabay

Apple cider vinegar can help remove fungi such as athlete’s foot. According to a 2010 study, vinegar is a stronger anti-fungal than a food preservative. The probiotics in apple cider vinegar destroy yeast that causes fungi.

Combine two parts of warm water with one part of apple cider vinegar. Soak your feet in the mixture for ten to 15 minutes a few times a day. After a few nights of this, your foot fungus should start to disappear. If not, contact your doctor.

Clear A Stuffy Nose With The Aroma

A woman blows her nose.
Christina Sabrowsky/picture alliance via Getty Images
Christina Sabrowsky/picture alliance via Getty Images

Viruses such as a cold can enter the body through your nose. In response to the inflammation, the body becomes congested. Apple cider vinegar can reduce inflammation, which may clear up your nose.

You can add a few tablespoons of the vinegar to boiling water and breathe in the aroma. The steam may clear up your nasal passages. You could also mix a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with a glass of water and drink it.

Help Your Heart: Lower The Risk Of Disease

A glass jar of apple cider vinegar sits near apples.
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Anjelika Gretskaia/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

If you care about heart health, you may want to incorporate apple cider vinegar into your meals. Animal studies suggest that apple cider vinegar reduces cholesterol, blood triglycerides, and blood pressure. Human studies have yet to be done, but these results are promising.

You can add apple cider vinegar to salads or cook vegetables in it for flavor. Many studies that have covered vinegar (not specifically apple cider vinegar) agree that it could have beneficial effects.

Zap Zits

A woman has acne on her face.
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Anna Sass/Barcroft Media/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Dermatologists like Dr. Ellen Marmur say that you can reduce acne with apple cider vinegar. The vinegar is antibacterial and gets rid of skin lesions. Marmur says that apple cider vinegar can dry out whiteheads and shrink some zits.

Mix one part of vinegar with four parts of water. For those with sensitive skin, add more water to lower the acidity. Apply the mixture to your skin with a cotton ball, wait 15 minutes, and then wash it off.

Spray It Onto Windows To Prevent Bugs From Entering

Butterflies hang around a window sill.
Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Insects detest the smell of apple cider vinegar. If you have a bug problem, place vinegar on your windows to prevent bugs from coming in. Spray it both inside and out to fortify your home.

Combine half apple cider vinegar with half water. Spray it on the borders of windows and doors, both inside and outside of your house. You’ll have fewer chemicals around your house and fewer insects. Isn’t that preferable to seeing bugs in your home?

Clean Your Home Without Chemicals

A person sprays disinfectant onto a cleaning rag.
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Jens Kalaene/picture alliance via Getty Images

Apple cider vinegar is a natural antibacterial. It can safely clean dust, dirt, and bacteria in your home. If you mix it correctly, you can clean your furniture with it. It’s perfectly safe and natural.

Combine one cup of apple cider vinegar with a gallon of water. Stronger solutions may harm certain surfaces, such as wood. You can spray and wipe it as usual. Keep in mind that it may not be as effective as standard cleaning sprays.

Quickly Ease A Sore Throat

A woman in the 1940s rubs her sore throat.
H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/Getty Images
H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/Getty Images

Research has found that apple cider vinegar combats bacteria. It could be your saving grace during a cold when you’re suffering from a sore throat. By gargling it, you could kill some of the bacteria in your throat and ease the pain.

Place one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into a glass of warm saltwater. Gargle it for 20 to 30 seconds. If it tastes too bitter, stir in a bit of honey.

An Easy Way To Unclog Your Drain

Soap bubbles are clogged in a kitchen sink drain.
Ernst Haas/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Ernst Haas/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Apple cider vinegar can clean many things, including a drain. If your sink is beginning to clog or smell, break out some apple cider vinegar and baking soda. The two will make a chemical reaction that will break down grime.

Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain, then follow it with one cup of apple cider vinegar. The solution should bubble. After a few minutes, pour hot water down to clean everything out.

It Might Help Your Heartburn

A man with heartburn sits up in bed and clutches his chest.
Tom Kelley/Getty Images
Tom Kelley/Getty Images

Some people say that apple cider vinegar and alleviate heartburn because of its probiotics. Keep in mind that there is no research to back this up; it could help for some people and worsen it for others.

To try it, mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with a glass of water and drink it. Doing it before dinner may be your best bet. If your heartburn is caused by too much stomach acid, this method may not work for you.

The Hassle-Free Way To Remove Stickers

Stickers representing different parts of Japan decorate a laptop.
@albrb/Unsplash
@albrb/Unsplash

Why break your nails trying to remove stickers when you don’t have to? Apple cider vinegar dissolves the sticky residue, which makes it much easier to tear a sticker off of an object.

Rub apple cider vinegar onto the sticker and the area surrounding it. Leave it for five minutes, and then take the sticker off. If you still find some residue afterward, do it again. Wipe it down, and you should find it much easier to remove the residue.

Scrub Away Sticky Mildew

A bathtub is filled with water, a sponge, and a rubber duck.
GraphicaArtis/Getty Images
GraphicaArtis/Getty Images

Scrubbing mildew off of a bathtub or shower is easier said than done. Apple cider vinegar will make the process go much faster. Let it break down the mildew before you start scrubbing. Apple cider vinegar can also make shower screens look less foggy.

Pour or wipe apple cider vinegar across your bathtub/shower. Let it sit for around 30 minutes. Then, wash your tub normally with warm soap and water. The mildew and water stains should come off much more easily.

Keep Bugs Off Of Plants

Multiple caterpillars eat from a cabbage leaf.
Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Apple cider vinegar is created from fermented apples. Although it is acidic, it does not harm plants if used correctly. And it is a natural bug repellant. You can spray a vinegar mixture onto your plants to ward away insects.

Do not spray vinegar directly on your plants. Instead, dilute it with water (at least a 1:1 ratio, if not more) and spray it around your plants. If you have fruit flies, leave out a bowl of vinegar to trap them.

Goodbye, Stains!

A mug of coffee has stains on the rim.
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Because of the acidity, apple cider vinegar can deteriorate stains. It also works great as a pretreatment for stains. That said, don’t pour vinegar right onto your clothes; it’s too strong and could even damage the fabric.

Instead, mix half a teaspoon of laundry detergent with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a quart of water. For stained clothes, soak them in the solution for about 15 minutes. You can also rub the solution into a stained carpet or rug.

Clean Your Phone Or Laptop Screen

A person cleans an iPhone screen.
SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP via Getty Images
SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP via Getty Images

Pouring vinegar onto a phone or laptop may seem counter-productive. But a diluted solution of vinegar can clean the screen, wiping away spots and making it less foggy. Do not use only apple cider vinegar; it could destroy the protective casing on screens.

Dilute one part of apple cider vinegar with one part of distilled water. You want distilled water because it won’t leave water spots. Dig a cloth in the solution and wipe your phone or laptop with it.

Scrape Dried Wax Off Of Objects

A candle drips and the wax has dried.
Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

If you’ve ever had candle wax dry on your candle holder or furniture, you know how frustrating it can be to scrape it off. Apple cider vinegar makes it easy by dislodging the waxy texture.

Remove as much dried wax as you can. Then, combine a mixture of one part water to one part apple cider vinegar. Dip a rag in the mixture, and scrub the rest of the wax off. Once it’s gone, wipe the rest down with a damp cloth.

Kill Pesky Weeds With No Chemicals

A gardener pulls weeds.
Eye Ubiquitous/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Eye Ubiquitous/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

If you need to get rid of weeds, break out some apple cider vinegar. Its active component, acetic acid, can kill weeds within hours or days. Spray the vinegar onto weeds to make them decay.

The downside is that apple cider vinegar is a temporary solution. It does not kill the root, which causes weeds to grow back. But if you need a quick solution–one that also keeps bugs away–use apple cider vinegar to kill weeds.

Remove Foul Smells From Your Home

A mother and her kids pinch their noses.
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If you have a foul smell in your house, try to eliminate it instead of cover it. Apple cider vinegar can absorb foul smells because it is corrosive and removes bacteria. It’s more effective than a pleasant-smelling candle.

If you have a smelly room, leave a small bowl of apple cider vinegar in the room for 30 to 45 minutes. You can also combine one part of vinegar with one part of water and spray it like aerosol.

Using Apple Cider Vinegar As A Face Toner

A boy splashes water on his face.
Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The skin naturally has an acidic pH. Apple cider vinegar can restore some of your skin’s natural pH, tightening your pores and softening your skin. In a sense, it can work as a skin toner if you use it correctly.

Combine two parts of water with one part of apple cider vinegar. Apply the mixture with a cotton ball, avoiding the eyes. You can use it after washing your face and before putting on moisturizer.

Boost Your Immunity

A woman pours apple cider vinegar into a measuring cup.
Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via Getty Images
Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Apple cider vinegar is filled with probiotics. A study in Current Opinion in Gastroenterology found that probiotics can help the immune system. They are also therapeutic for many diseases and can shorten illnesses such as colds.

Apple cider vinegar gives you probiotics and can kill some more harmful bacteria. To boost your immune system, consume more apple cider vinegar. You can mix it with water, place a tablespoon in tea, or pour some on a salad.

Make Your Wooden Furniture Look New

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Cem Genco/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Cem Genco/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Is your wooden furniture beginning to look dull? You can make it look new with some apple cider vinegar. Combining a 3/4 cup of olive oil with 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar will make a rebuffing solution.

Dip a rag into the solution and rub it into your furniture. Buff it afterward to remove the oiliness. The apple cider vinegar will destroy grime and dust. If you have light-colored wood, white vinegar may work better.

For An Itchy Scalp, Create A Hair Rinse

A woman rinses her hair in the sink.
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If you have an itchy scalp, you can rinse your hair with apple cider vinegar. The vinegar is an antimicrobial and restores the scalp’s natural pH. It can also improve hair luster.

Also shampooing and conditioning your hair, combine one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with five tablespoons of water. Massage it into your scalp, and let it sit for up to five minutes. Rinse it out afterward, and your scalp should feel less itchy.

Make Your Laundry Cleaner And Softer

An open washing machine has clothes inside.
Eli Meir Kaplan/Getty Images
Eli Meir Kaplan/Getty Images

Apple cider vinegar can help clean clothes more effectively. While it can’t replace regular laundry detergent, it can enhance it. Your clothes will have fewer stains, feel softer, and smell fresher if you add some apple cider vinegar.

Add a 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar to a full load of laundry during a rinse cycle. If you’re washing delicates, only add one or two tablespoons of vinegar. Do not pour vinegar on delicate fabrics like silk; the acid could damage some materials.

Apple Cider Vinegar, The Deodorant

A woman applies deodorant.
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Believe it or not, some people use apple cider vinegar as a deodorant. Its antibacterial abilities and acidity make it difficult for bacteria to thrive, and it can kill microbes that cause odor.

Experts at The People’s Pharmacy advise never to use apple cider vinegar on broken skin. Do not use it after shaving. When your skin is dried and healed, you can pat some vinegar on with a cotton ball. If you feel like it’s burning too much, rinse it off after a minute.

Trap Fruit Flies

A fruit fly is seen close-up.
DeAgostini/Getty Images
DeAgostini/Getty Images

While many bugs don’t like apple cider vinegar, fruit flies enjoy it. They like the smell and will approach it for food. You can use this to your advantage by creating a vinegar fruit fly trap.

Put apple cider vinegar in a shallow bowl or cup. Include a few drops of dish soap. Cover the container with plastic wrap, and poke holes large enough to allow the flies through. The flies will enter and not be able to escape.

It’s A Natural Mouthwash

A man gargles a glass of water.
SSPL/Getty Images
SSPL/Getty Images

Bacteria does not thrive in acidic environments, which is why apple cider vinegar can make a natural mouthwash. It may not taste as fresh as a store-bought mouthwash, but it’s cheaper and still effective.

Stir one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into a cup of water. Swoosh it around your mouth for about 30 seconds, gargle, and then spit it out. The vinegar should remove bacteria from your gums, teeth, and throat. Always dilute the vinegar; it could harm your teeth if you don’t.

Soothe Joint Pain, Especially In Arthritis Patients

A woman rubs her aching elbow.
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Many people believe that apple cider vinegar can soothe joint pain in arthritis patients. The Stanford Chiropractic Center says that the vinegar supplies calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which can relieve pain.

Apple cider vinegar also contains enzymes that help the joints absorb nutrients. Arthritis patients often lack vitamins that could otherwise aid their joints. Although research has not looked into this correlation yet, many say that consuming a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar can do wonders.

It Might Lower Blood Sugar Levels

Varieties of apple cider vinegar are in glass bottles.
MikeGoad/Pixabay
MikeGoad/Pixabay

A few studies have discovered that apple cider vinegar can lower blood sugar. In 2004, researchers from the American Diabetes Association found that drinking diluted apple cider vinegar can lower blood sugar.

Combine 20 mL of apple cider vinegar with 40 mL of water. If you drink it before bed, your blood sugar should be lower in the morning, according to a 2007 study. But you can eat more apple cider vinegar in general to receive benefits.

Finally, You Can Remove Those Coffee Stains

Two teenage girls load the dishwasher.
Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Universal Images Group via Getty Images

If your dishwasher is not removing stains as well as you want it to, add some apple cider vinegar. The vinegar can’t replace dish soap, but it will enhance it. It should add some acidity that will clear your dishes of stains.

Before running your dishwasher, add a quarter cup of apple cider vinegar. You can place the vinegar in a glass that’s in your dishwasher. It should scrub away hard-to-wash stains, such as coffee rings in mugs.

…Then Deep Clean Your Dishwasher

A person fills a dishwasher with dishes.
Juana Arias for the Washington Post
Juana Arias for the Washington Post

Have soap stains and grime covered your dishwasher? If so, it’s probably time to deep clean it. You can clean it by running it once with nothing inside except for a cup of apple cider vinegar.

Place one cup of apple cider vinegar on the top rack. Run the dishwasher on the hottest water setting. The vinegar will wipe off grime with its high acidity and antibacterial properties. After that run, wash your dishwasher again with baking soda to deodorize it.

Make Clothing Wrinkles Disappear

A close-up shows a wrinkled green silk shirt.
@sharonmccutcheon/Unsplash
@sharonmccutcheon/Unsplash

If you don’t own an iron or ironing board, you can remove clothing wrinkles with apple cider vinegar. You can also prevent wrinkles from occurring by pouring some vinegar into the wash cycle.

Mix one part of apple cider vinegar with three parts of water, and put the solution in a spray bottle. Spray your clothes and moisten the wrinkles. After, spread your clothes out and allow them to air dry. Once they dry, they should be wrinkle-free.

Relieve Bloating And Other Digestive Issues

A woman clutches her abdomen.
BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Apple cider vinegar is made from fermented apples, which produce healthy proteins, enzymes, and probiotics. According to the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation, it can alleviate bloating and aid digestion. Consuming a little vinegar can go a long way.

Apple cider vinegar can also relieve inflammation in the gut by replacing harmful bacteria. For the best results, buy organic, non-filtered apple cider vinegar. This is likely to have more probiotics than filtered vinegar (it may even look murky with the extra bacteria).

A Clean Washing Machine Means Clean Clothes

Towels are seen in a washing machine.
Soeren Stache/picture alliance via Getty Images
Soeren Stache/picture alliance via Getty Images

When is the last time that you cleaned your washing machine? If the answer is more than once a month, then break out the apple cider vinegar. Adding vinegar to an empty washing machine will remove water stains, germs, and odors.

Pour two cups of apple cider vinegar into your washing machine with nothing else inside. Run the machine on a hot water cycle. In the middle of washing, pause the machine for ten minutes to let the acid dissolve stains.

The Anti-Aging Skin Solution

An older woman looks in the mirror.
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Many people use apple cider vinegar for skin creams and washes because it can remove wrinkles. The vinegar contains alpha hydroxyl acids, an ingredient that removes dead skin and gets rid of age spots.

Using a cotton ball or cloth, dab apple cider vinegar on your face. If you have sensitive skin, dilute one part of the vinegar in four parts water. Leave it be for ten minutes, and then rinse it off and moisturize as usual.

Fertilize Your Garden With Vinegar

A woman waters her garden with a hose.
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Believe it or not, apple cider vinegar can act as a fertilizer for your garden. The enzymes and nutrients can feed the soil while warding off fungi. However, this only works on acid-loving plants such as gardenias, azaleas, and blueberry bushes.

Stir ten ounces of apple cider vinegar with ten gallons of water (yes, it’s a very heavy dilution). Use this mixture to water your plants. The acidic vinegar can prevent weeds from forming and guard against plant diseases.

Restore A Rusty Cast Iron Skillet

Two cast iron skillets sit next to each other.
Yoon S. Byun/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images
Yoon S. Byun/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Cast iron skillets develop rust easily. If that happens to you, use apple cider vinegar to remove the rust. It will take a few days of waiting, however.

Pour two to three gallons of apple cider vinegar into a bucket. Submerge your rusty skillet in there for two to three days. Remove it, and use a wire brush to scratch off any rusty patches. Then wash it and season it. Pour olive oil into the pan, and bake it at 350 degrees. You’re ready to cook!

Soak Away Nail Fungus

Fungus appears on a toenail.
BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images
BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images

Since apple cider vinegar is a natural anti-fungal, it can get rid of toenail fungus. It can also soften cuticles and polish your nails. A vinegar nail bath could be just what you need.

Combine one part of warm water with one part of apple cider vinegar. Soak your fingernails or toenails in the solution for ten to 15 minutes. Do this once every day until the fungus subsides. If you’re struggling to get rid of nail fungus, contact your doctor.

Scrub Away Hard Water Stains

A person wipes away water stains on a table.
mb farinola-isaacs/Pinterest
mb farinola-isaacs/Pinterest

If someone forgot to use a coaster in your home, you might find chalky white circles on your furniture. These are hard water stains, and they can be hard to clean. But apple cider vinegar will take care of it.

Create a mixture of half water and half apple cider vinegar. Put it in a spray bottle, and spray it on the water stains. Leave it for five to 15 minutes before wiping it off. The vinegar will break down the stains.

Clean Your Iron While It’s Hot

A man irons a shirt.
In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images
In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images

Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which dislodges dirt and oil. It’s a great ingredient for cleaning an iron. All you have to do is put vinegar on the iron and burn it off–but beware. It smells very bad, but it works!

When the iron is off and unplugged, rub apple cider vinegar on the heating part. Then, turn it on and let the vinegar burn off. If you see dirt on the surface, wipe it off. You may need to do it a couple of times.

Remove Grime Or Excess Product From Your Hair

A barber combs a woman's hair.
Rosdiana Ciaravolo/Getty Images
Rosdiana Ciaravolo/Getty Images

If your hair constantly feels greasy, then it may be due to buildup. Grease, dirt, or excess hair products can clog up your hair. Apple cider vinegar will dissolve these clogs because it is more acidic than your average shampoo.

Combine five parts of water with one part of vinegar inside of a spray bottle. Spray your hair, and work the mixture through with your fingers. Leave it for three to five minutes before rinsing your hair with cool water.

De-Grime Your Coffee Maker

Coffee is brewed and pours into a mug.
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

If your coffee has been tasting bitter lately, you may want to clean it. Uncleaned coffee makers can get clogged and bitter. You can easily clean it with apple cider vinegar.

Pour one part of apple cider vinegar with three parts of water into your coffee machine. Run it. The vinegar should scrape off the muck. Afterward, run your coffee machine with nothing but water–otherwise, your coffee will taste like vinegar! You may need to do a water run two or three times to get rid of the taste.

Apple Cider Vinegar Is An Anti-Inflammatory

Someone pours apple cider vinegar on a salad.
Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images
Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

According to some animal studies, apple cider vinegar is an effective anti-inflammatory. In 2004, Iranian researchers found that the vinegar reduced inflammation and chronic pain in mice. This is because of apple cider vinegar’s B vitamins.

A small amount of apple cider vinegar goes a long way. Adding one tablespoon of vinegar to an eight-ounce glass of water will do wonders for inflammation. While more research is needed, current studies show promise for apple cider vinegar and inflammation.

Polish Many Metals With Apple Cider Vinegar

A woman holds up a silver tea kettle after polishing it.
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You can polish silver, brass, bronze, and copper with apple cider vinegar. The acidic vinegar will dissolve any tarnish that has formed on these metals. You can soak the metals in a diluted vinegar solution or rub the tarnish off.

Combine a half cup of apple cider vinegar with two tablespoons of baking soda. Expect it to bubble a bit. Dip a rag in the mixture and clean your silverware or other metals with it.

Aid An Ear Infection

A man places drops in his ear.
BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images)
BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images)

In 2019, a study in Natural Product Research found that apple cider vinegar fights against bacteria, fungi, and viruses. If your ears feel plugged, or if you suspect an infection, you may want to use it.

Fill a dropper with half apple cider vinegar and half warm (not hot) water. Place around five drops in your ear and cover it with a cotton ball. Wait five minutes before wiping it out. If you have a middle ear infection, this may not work.

Degrease Your Kitchen And Pots

A woman washes strainers and pots.
Godong/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Godong/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Grease is notoriously difficult to clean. Because it’s oil, it is difficult to break down. But apple cider vinegar is acidic enough to dissolve grease on kitchen counters, pots, pans, and cooking utensils.

Create a 1:1 mixture ratio of warm water and apple cider vinegar. Use a sponge to rub the mixture into the grease. The acid should loosen the grease enough to remove it. Afterward, wash your counter or pots regularly with soap and warm water.

Unstick Scissors For Easy Cutting

Barber scissors sit on a table with a comb.
Miquel Benitez/Getty Images
Miquel Benitez/Getty Images

Old scissors have a tendency to stick their blades together, making it hard to cut. Don’t use water to loosen them; it’ll cause rust. Instead, use apple cider vinegar to smooth the metal.

Pour some apple cider vinegar onto a cotton ball, and use it to wipe down the scissor blades. Let it dry before using the scissors again. Vinegar will not cause rust, but it should dissolve any grime that is clogging up the blades.