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April 26, 2009

Different uses of vinegar

Breathe easier
Adding 1/4 cup white vinegar to the water in your hot-steam vaporizer can help ease congestion caused by a chest cold or sinus infection. It can also be good for your vaporizer: The vinegar will clear away any mineral deposits in the water tubes resulting from the use of hard water. Note: Check with the manufacturer before adding vinegar to a cool-mist vaporizer.

Treat an active cold sore
The only thing worse than a bad cold is a bad cold sore. Fortunately, you can usually dry up a cold sore in short order by dabbing it with a cotton ball saturated in white vinegar three times a day. The vinegar will quickly soothe the pain and swelling.

Make a poultice for corns and calluses
Here's an old-fashioned, time-proven method to treat corns and calluses: Saturate a piece of white or stale bread with 1/4 cup white vinegar. Let the bread soak in the vinegar for 30 minutes, then break off a piece big enough to completely cover the corn. Keep the poultice in place with gauze or adhesive tape, and leave it on overnight. The next morning, the hard, callused skin will be dissolved, and the corn should be easy to remove. Older, thicker calluses may require several treatments.

Get the jump on athlete's foot
A bad case of athlete's foot can drive you hopping mad. But you can often quell the infection, and quickly ease the itching, by rinsing your feet three or four times a day for a few days with undiluted apple cider vinegar. As an added precaution, soak your socks or stockings in a mixture of 1 part vinegar and 4 parts water for 30 minutes before laundering them.

Pamper your skin
Using vinegar as a skin toner dates back to the time of Helen of Troy. And it's just as effective today. After you wash your face, mix 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar with 2 cups water as a finishing rinse to cleanse and tighten your skin. You can also make your own facial treatment by mixing 1/4 cup cider vinegar with 1/4 cup water. Gently apply the solution to your face and let it dry.

Say good-bye to age or sun spots
Before you take any drastic measures to remove or cover up those brown spots on your skin caused by overexposure to the sun or hormonal changes, give vinegar a try. Simply pour some full-strength apple cider vinegar onto a cotton ball and apply it to the spots for 10 minutes at least twice a day. The spots should fade or disappear within a few weeks.

Soften your cuticles
You can soften the cuticles on your fingers and toes before manicuring them by soaking your digits in a bowl of undiluted white vinegar for five minutes.

Make nail polish last longer
Your nail polish will have a longer life expectancy if you first dampen your nails with some vinegar on a cotton ball and let it dry before applying your favorite polish.

Clean your eyeglasses

When it's more difficult to see with your glasses on than it is with them off, it's a clear indication that they're in need of a good cleaning. Applying a few drops of white vinegar to your glass lenses and wiping them with a soft cloth will easily remove dirt, sweat, and fingerprints, and leave them spotless. Don't use vinegar on plastic lenses, however.

Treat a jellyfish or bee sting

A jellyfish can pack a nasty sting. If you have an encounter with one, pouring some undiluted vinegar on the sting will take away the pain in no time, and let you scrape out the stinger with a plastic credit card. The same treatment can also be used to treat bee stings. But using vinegar on stings inflicted by the jellyfish's cousin the Portuguese man-of-war is now discouraged because vinegar may actually increase the amount of toxin released under the skin. Warning: If you have difficulty breathing or the sting area becomes inflamed and swollen, get medical attention at once; you could be having an allergic reaction.

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