Apple cider vinegar is the perfect non-toxic alternative for your home and garden. In fact, it’s suitable for even the toughest cleaning and gardening tasks thanks to the acetic acid in the vinegar. And, because of apple cider vinegar’s antibacterial and antifungal properties, it also makes an effective disinfectant that prevents molds and bacteria from flourishing. Here are six ways to use ACV in your home and garden.
Ant Repellant Spray with Apple Cider Vinegar
Ants communicate by using sounds, touch, and pheromones, and can perceive smells with their antennae. If a forager ant finds food, it will mark a trail leading back to the colony. Soon the other ants will follow to the source of the food. Each time the trail is traveled, the smell is intensified. Apple cider vinegar disrupts their scent trails, making it harder for them to find the food source.
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp dish soap
- 2 tbsp baking soda
- Large spray bottle
- Large bowl or bucket for mixing, do not try to mix this in the spray bottle!
- Gather the ingredients and the spray bottle.
- Measure the apple cider vinegar and the dish soap.
- Pour both ingredients into the large bowl or bucket.
- Add the baking soda very slowly. It will foam up a lot, so be patient.
- After it has stopped foaming, fill the spray bottle with the mix using a funnel.
- Now fill the bottle to the top with water.
- Mix well before each use.
- Spray the problem area with ants really well. This mix will not harm your outside plants if you have an ant problem there as well.
- Use as often as needed.
This project takes about 10 to 15 minutes to make.
ACV Drain Cleaner
Some drain cleaners contain an extremely dangerous chemical (sodium hydroxide) that can be harmful to your health if swallowed, inhaled, or come in contact with your skin and eyes. The New York Times health guide notes that some symptoms may cause severe reactions that include:
- Abdominal pain
- Breathing difficulty (due to throat swelling)
- Loss of vision if the poison touched the eyes
- Mouth pain (severe)
- Throat pain (severe)
- Severe burns
Instead, use a non-toxic solution to clear and deodorize partially clogged drains made with apple cider vinegar, baking soda and cup salt. Simply mix together 1/2 cup of salt and 1/2 cup of baking soda and pour into the clogged drain. Next, pour 1/2 cup of ACV down the drain. After two to three hours simply flush the drain with water.
Permanent weed killer with apple cider vinegar
Weeds sprouting through driveways and walkways can drive you to distraction. Nothing ruins curb appeal more than weeds. Apple cider vinegar is an effective weed killer, but when mixed with salt — kills them permanently! Unlike commercial weed killers, ACV is eco-friendly and won’t harm people, pets or the environment.
The acetic acid in the vinegar will draw out the water in the weeds, making them dry up. The salt will prevent the weeds from absorbing water, eventually killing them. The dish soap acts like a surfactant, helping the solution adhere to the weeds better. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 4 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup of salt
- 1 tsp liquid dish soap
- Large spray bottle
- Large bowl or bucket for mixing
- Wooden spoon
- Measure the apple cider vinegar and salt in a large bowl or bucket.
- Mix ingredients together with the wooden spoon until salt completely dissolves.
- Add the dish soap to the mixture and stir to combine.
- Fill the spray bottle with the weed killer, using a funnel.
- Soak the weeds with the solution on a dry, sunny day. Coat all surfaces well with the spray.
Any plants soaked with the ACV weed killer will die within several days. They won’t return, and nothing else will ever grow in their place. So, make sure you only use this where you want nothing to grow like sidewalks, walkways, driveway and patio stones.
Keep animals out of your garden with apple cider vinegar
Animals love the garden. Whether they’re using it as a feeding ground or a litter box, apple cider vinegar will keep them out. Rabbits, cats, raccoons, moles, rodents, and deer hate the smell of vinegar. Just soak a few rags in apple cider vinegar and place them around the garden or any areas that attract unwanted animals. Apple cider vinegar will keep them at bay without causing any harm. Simple re-soak the rags occasionally, as needed, to keep animals from entering the garden.
Kill mold fast with apple cider vinegar and baking soda
Mold exposure can cause a number of health concerns. But the problem is, you could be suffering and not even realize your symptoms are due to mold. Symptoms may range from runny noses, headaches and rashes to fatigue, depression and memory loss. Serious exposure could cause respiratory or neurological problems. Therefore, it’s important to remove mold in your home when you find it. One area that seems to attract a lot of mold is window sills, particularly tracking. Apple cider vinegar and baking soda are a quick way to zap mold fast.
Simply pour baking soda over moldy window tracking. Then pour apple cider vinegar over the baking soda. Let it sit and soak in. Use a paper towel to wipe up the mess. Make sure to wear gloves and a mask to prevent breathing in mold spores.
Homemade glass cleaner with apple cider vinegar
Some brands of glass cleaners contain nerve-damaging butyl cellosolve according to Organic Consumer Association. Others may contain ammonia, which can irritate airways and will release toxic chloramine gases if accidentally mixed with chlorine-containing cleaners. ACV is a wonderful and safe alternative for cleaning glass, here’s what you’ll need:
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol
- 1 tbsp cornstarch (the cornstarch reduces streaking)
- 2 cups water
- 10 drops orange, lemon or lavender essential oil
- Large spray bottle (reuse an old one, or head to the dollar store)
- Combine all ingredients in the spray bottle.
- Shake well to mix, and each time prior to use.
- Spray onto the glass surface and wipe clean. Make sure to label your bottle.
If you’ve never used ACV in your home or garden, now’s your chance. Along with ACV, keep a few basic ingredients on hand like baking soda, cornstarch, and salt to refill your bottles. Once you try these low cost, non-toxic and environmentally friendly solutions you’ll never go back to using commercial cleaning and gardening products again.