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5 Surprising Things To Do with Vinegar

Cure an upset stomach, solve a sore throat and beat bad odours with five ingenious new uses for vinegar.

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Perfect for pickling, cleaning and curing, vinegar is one of our most versatile household products, and best of all it’s cheap. Here are five fun new ways to use vinegar around the home:

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1. Banish Bad Smells

The high acid content gives it a nice, sharp scent that can override less lovely odours. A vinegar rinse will banish the smell of cigar smoke from clothes, freshen a baby’s nappies when added to the final rinsing water or expurgate unpleasant pongs from armpits or feet.

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2. Treat a Sore Throat

Vinegar is also a trusted folk remedy for sore throats. Some people recommend gargling with a tablespoon of vinegar in a glass of warm water. Others make a homemade cough syrup by combining equal amounts of honey and cider vinegar and stirring or shaking until dissolved.

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3. Treat a Sunburn

Spread on skin, it evaporates quickly, which provides a friendly chill that can take the burn out of sunburn. Vinegar also helps to counter the inflammation that causes sunburnt skin to itch.

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4. Solve Swimmer’s Ear

When bacteria or fungi flourish in the warm, moist hollows of an ear canal, the condition is called swimmer’s ear. Vinegar does double duty – fighting both kinds of invaders – which is why, when mixed in equal parts with rubbing alcohol and dropped into the ear, it may help to cure the condition (but never drop anything into the ear if there is any chance that the eardrum is ruptured and, if in doubt, always get a doctor’s advice).

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5. Settle Your Stomach

If you suffer from indigestion because of a lack of stomach acid, a teaspoon of vinegar after meals may be just what you need. (Of course, if your problem is too much stomach acid, vinegar won’t be any help and will probably make things worse.)

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