Clean Beauty Tips & Techniques How to Take an Apple Cider Vinegar Bath: Step-by-Step Instructions This practice can help soothe skin and fight dryness. By Starre Vartan Starre Vartan Writer Columbia University Syracuse University Starre Vartan is an environmental and science journalist. She holds an MFA degree from Columbia University and Geology and English degrees from Syracuse University. Learn about our editorial process Updated September 20, 2022 Fact checked by Elizabeth MacLennan Fact checked by Elizabeth MacLennan University of Tennessee Elizabeth MacLennan is a fact checker and expert on climate change. Learn about our fact checking process Share Twitter Pinterest Email Aniko Hobel / Getty Images Clean Beauty Products Tips & Techniques Overview Working Time: 15 - 20 minutes Total Time: 25 - 30 minutes Skill Level: Beginner Estimated Cost: $6 Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a natural food known for its many beneficial qualities, including its antimicrobial properties and heavy load of antioxidants, probiotics, and vitamins B and C. Those attributes have also proven their worth in a myriad of other applications, from cleaning to skin care. A bath in ACV is said to soothe dry, itchy skin and help provide temporary relief for conditions such as eczema and dandruff, likely because ACV naturally kills fungus and bacteria. A 2018 study in the Journal of the Dermatology Nurses' Association found that bathing in three to four cups of apple cider vinegar per 20 gallons of water puts it at an ideal pH for treating atopic dermatitis. Their recommendation was to soak for 10 minutes, then rinse and pat the skin dry, rather than rubbing it. Though not yet confirmed by science, an apple cider vinegar bath may help fight bad odors caused by bacteria and balance your skin's pH, thanks to the ingredient's acidic nature. This creates a stronger protective barrier on your skin. If nothing else, an ACV bath is certainly relaxing and can help your skin feel clean and moisturized. Follow these steps to take an apple cider vinegar bath. What You'll Need Materials Washcloth Measuring cup Ingredients Warm water 2 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar 1/2 cup Epsom salts (optional) 10 drops lavender or orange oil Instructions This is a simple process and the most important thing is to ensure that you get your bath temperature right (details below). If you are concerned that the bath will be too stinky, fear not; the vinegar smell will be obvious when you first pour it in, but tends to dissipate quickly. You can also add some essential oils of your choice to cover any smells that might linger. How Much Apple Cider Vinegar Should You Put in Your Bath? The apple cider vinegar should be well diluted in your bathwater. These instructions call for 2.5 cups of ACV for a bathtub full of water. However, those with sensitive skin should do a patch test first and dilute the ACV even more, starting with half a cup of vinegar. Draw Your Bath Make sure your tub is clean (a quick sponge-out with some baking soda or just water is always a good idea). Then, fill it with warm—not hot—water. Very hot water is irritating to skin, as well as drying, and an ACV bath should be calming and moisturizing to skin. Aim for warmer than body temperature, but not so hot you have to get in slowly or your skin turns red. Add Ingredients Pour your ACV in, followed by the Epsom salts and your preferred essential oils. You may want to add colloidal oatmeal or lavender buds. Mix Well Using a washcloth, swirl the bathwater around to get everything mixed in. You can also use the washcloth to gently scrub your skin for gentle exfoliation once you are in the tub. Commence Your Bath Gently ease into the bath, allowing your body time to acclimate to the warmth and the water—this should be enjoyable and relaxing. If it's too hot, add some cold water and mix again. Don't force yourself into a too-hot bath. Soak Try to stay in the bath for at least 15-20 minutes to reap the benefits of the ACV for your skin. Consider listening to music, a favorite podcast, or bring a book or magazine into the tub with you. You can wring the washcloth out and put it over your eyes and just breathe. This is an opportunity to do absolutely nothing, if that feels good. Rinse and Dry Off If you are in a tub/shower combo, you can simply turn on the shower when you are finished soaking as the tub drains to quickly rinse off the ACV and salts (remember, keep the water warm but not hot). If you don't have a shower there, simply step out of the tub, rinse the washcloth in a sink with cool water, and sponge off the ACV bathwater with your cloth, rinsing a few times. Gently pat dry with a clean towel after your rinse. Frequently Asked Questions How often should you take apple cider vinegar baths? Apple cider vinegar baths should be taken as often as two or three times weekly for best results. Can you take an apple cider vinegar bath every day? Although you can rub apple cider vinegar on body parts, like your armpits, daily to combat odor, taking an apple cider vinegar bath daily could cause dryness and irritation. Should you rinse after an apple cider vinegar bath? You can leave the apple cider vinegar on your skin after bathing to continue reaping its topical rewards. However, if the smell becomes too much, you should rinse the vinegar off afterward. View Article Sources "Apple Cider Vinegar Baths." Journal of the Dermatology Nurses' Association. View Article Sources "Apple Cider Vinegar Baths." Journal of the Dermatology Nurses' Association.