Sinus Infections
Natural Remedies

Steaming with Apple Cider Vinegar for Sinus Infection

| Modified on Dec 06, 2023
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Steaming with apple cider vinegar is an effective natural treatment that alleviates sinus infections and offers relief to clogged, painful sinuses. While a number of over-the-counter and even home remedies for sinus infection, congestion, and headache are available, many of those remedies only offer temporary relief and do little to actually treat the cause of the condition. Apple cider vinegar steam, on the other hand, is an effective treatment option that helps to cure the sinus infection while relieving pain and making breathing easier.

Apple Cider Vinegar for Nasal Congestion

Apple cider vinegar is a home remedy that has been used for centuries to treat a wide range of conditions. Today, the treatment is still used in a variety of ways and is popular with millions as an effective health aid.

Steaming with apple cider vinegar is the typical method used to clear the nasal passages. This process allows the vinegar to safely and effectively irrigate the sinuses without irritating the sensitive mucous membranes.

Is It Safe?

Apple cider vinegar is a safe, natural alternative to many over-the-counter nasal decongestants and sinus infection remedies. The vinegar functions to naturally clear the nasal passages as well as to eliminate infection. Some caution is required when using the remedy as the vinegar is acidic and could potentially cause damage to sensitive tissues. However, when used in diluted amounts for a temporary period, such as with steaming, there is not usually a problem.

How to Cure Sinus Infection Using Apple Cider Vinegar Steaming

Steaming with apple cider vinegar is a safe, natural cure for sinus congestion. To use the treatment, heat a pot of water until it steams -- be careful not to bring the water to a boil! Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to the water and drape a towel over the neck and head with the face over the steaming pot. Breathe in the steam and repeat throughout the day.

How it works:

Apple cider vinegar typically contains 5 to 6% acetic acid. This acid keeps bacteria from growing and works to eliminate infection in the sinuses. The natural substance also contains an assortment of vital nutrients that reduce inflammation.

The best kind of ACV to use:

Raw organic apple cider vinegar is the best form to use as it contains the most living nutrients. Bragg apple cider vinegar is one of the best options.

The steam and the nutritional contents of apple cider vinegar help to safely and naturally relieve sinus congestion. This treatment can be used regularly to treat sinus infection and to support the recovery of the immune system.

Related Links:

10 Cold and Flu Home Remedies
Find Relief from Sinus Infections Naturally
Natural Allergy Relief: 10 Simple Remedies to Alleviate Symptoms
Natural Sinus Congestion Remedies

18 User Reviews

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Posted by Brenda (Maryland) on 01/20/2017

Sinus infection treatment with steam and vinegar

After a lifetime of sinus misery, stumbled on this idea. Sinus infection for past 6 mos. Began steaming with plain water 1 week ago. Helped a bit. Tried the vinegar and water steam and it is amazing. Clearing up my sinuses, can breathe almost normally for the first time in years. So impressed, have begun drinking a small shot of vinegar once a day. Very happy with the results.

Replied by Leland

What do you mean by steaming with vinegar? Breathe in hot water? Or is there some device you are using? I'm familiar with neti pots and squeeze bottles for sinus but curious what method you are using.

Steaming With Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Carmen (Ky) on 03/18/2016

I started out with a sore throat and then it turned into a nasty cold for about 10 days. No OTC medicine was giving me any relief. Found this website mixed 1/2 cup of ACV with 2 cups of water and let it get to a good steam and then closed my eyes and mouth and breathed it in for about 5 min and what a relief. It also relieved my sinus pressure. Gonna do this a couple for times a day. Already feeling better after 1 time. Thank you.

P.S. Can you reuse the the mixture in the same day for another treatment or should it be a new mixture?

Replied by Aida101
(Nevada City)

I, too, would like to know if the apple cider vinegar solution can be used again in the same treatment day.

Replied by Mama To Many

If I were doing the apple cider vinegar steam, I would reuse the same water and vinegar during one day. I cannot think of a reason not to.

~Mama to Many~

Steaming With Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Ellen (Arlington, Tx) on 11/19/2009

I have had a horrible sinus infection that was causing headaches and horrible pressure. I tried mixing 1/2 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar with 1/2 cup of water and heating it on the stove until it gave off a good amount of steam. I inhaled the steam with my mouth and eyes closed and it has helped tremendously after 2 treatments. I plan to keep doing this until all symptoms are completely gone. I also made the spicy tomato juice, garlic, and cayenne "tea" and I'm sure that helped also.

Steaming With Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Kristen (Phoenix, Az) on 10/11/2009

I have had a severe sinus infection for at least 2 weeks, but have head sinus problems with congestion for at least 8 weeks. I've been on an antiobiotic for the last 10 days and I'm still miserable, but not as miserable. I tried the steaming with the apple cider vinegar about an hour ago. I used one cup of water and one cup of apple cider vinegar put it on the stove top and put my sweatshirt hood over my head to help catch more of the fumes. I'm not 100% but I'm definitely much clearer. I'm hoping it works as well as everyone has been saying and that I'll be feeling much better in the next few days doing this a few times a day. The fumes are strong and it makes your house stink, but I feel better. I also use a neti pot daily twice a day as a preventative measure, and since my sinuses have been so clogged I can only use it about 1/3 of the time. 2/3 of the time my sinuses are so clogged that the water can't come out the other nostril.

Replied by Sandy
(Henderson, Nv)

When using your neti pot, make sure it's been sterilized (bleach water) and only use warm distilled water. Tap water has bacteria which can add to your problem. Good luck.

Replied by Missy

Bleach water? You sterilize water by boiling it. Never put bleach in your nose!

Steaming With Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Jen (Cincinnati, USA) on 04/05/2008

I was really not sure about the ACV and breathing in the vapors, but I tried it because I was so tired of being sick. So when I got home from work I tried it and almost immediately the pressure in my sinus' was relieved. The next day all I had was a slight headached, but that was it! I am so excited and I would definetely recommend anyone who is suffering from this annoying problem to try it. Just 1 cup of ACV and 1 cup hot water boiled together. But definetely close your eyes and mouth it is a strong odor.

Steaming With Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Stacey (Saginaw, MI) on 03/04/2008

I cured my sinus infection with apple Cider Vinegar. I was suffering the last 5 days. I took 2 treatments of antibotics and still felt horrible this morning. I decided to search for a home remedy. I was amazed by this website. I seen the info on drinking the acv but that didnt sound appetizing so when i seen the info on inhaling the vapors I went right to the kitchen and tried it. Within 20 minutes my ears where popped and now i have relief. I did it a second time and by this evening i am symptom free and feel like my self. I wish I had know sooner but i do believe it works. Thank you so much!

Replied by Jonathan
(Greenville, South Carolina)

what is the recipe for this?

Steaming With Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Nickol (Tonawanda, New York) on 02/03/2008

I tried boiling a cup of water and a cup of apple cidar vinegar and inhaled it, with my eyes and mouth closed as the other writer advised. It was not pleasant, but it worked immediately! I couldn't go to the doctor today because its Sunday and they are closed. Now I can watch the superbowl with my friends and not be in constant pain. thanks alot!

Steaming With Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Chartruse (San Francisco, California) on 01/19/2008

Came down with a sinus infection, the first for me. Nasty experience. Had the flu for two weeks previous, which progressed into a cold. Kept thinking I must be getting better soon.....then.. the outside of my nose became so sore it was as if I had been hit by something and I felt like I was getting another cold, but it was in my head, not body....Googled sinus infection and whala here sprang your website. Drank acv for a day with no results. Then steamed acv for about 5 minutes in the evening, and next morning. In short, I've steamed 3 times with acv and the bloody infection is almost gone. I can breath, my nose is about 75% less sore and I've stopped coughing. TRY THE STEAM, IT WORKS! And as others write, it hurts a little but who cares......think of it! A cure for a major time and life consuming ailment for about $3.00! Spread the word! Btw, there is a great old book on the wonders of Apple cider vinegar....don't know the name unfortunately.....but it's amazing curative powers are nothing new!

Steaming With Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Jennifer (Brandon, Florida) on 12/11/2007

ACV cured my daughter's sinus infection. After a week on an OTC medication, she agreed to try this remedy of ACV and Water boiling and inhaling the steam. After just a few minutes she said her headache was gone and she could breath again through her nose. I gave her the remedy twice the first day and she got up and went to school today...THANK YOU! She is still quite congested but I think that is normal and the phlem is breaking up. PS: I am looking for information on Lymes Disease in the secondary stages for my husband. He's been on antibiotics for over two months now. I have him on ACV and apple juice twice daily for his sore joints but the doctor has not given him any direction on what to do now that his antibiotic treatment is done. He will be starting a detox and pro-biotic treatment today. Any other info on what to do to help him would be appreciated.

Replied by Sa'vant
(Tallahassee, Florida)


Steaming With Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Katt (Arlington, VA) on 02/18/2007

Well Boy did I come down with a doozy this year. It recently got cold and started to snow so I figured that was the reason until I came across your site.The connection between ice cream and sinus problems came up. And what do you know just the night before and a few nights before actually I had been eating ice cream, Which I never eat but my roommate brought it home. I went and got ACV. I boiled it and inhaled it. I was so stuffed up I didn't even noticed or could tell the fumes were strong.Well after about 5 min after the inhaling was complete...The only word I can use to describe this action is Hocked.... I hocked up a good amount of phlegm through my throat.It was yellow and very thick. I can breath better but will still continue the treatment for the rest of the evening. Thanks for the tip.

Replied by Stephz
(New York, Ny, Usa)

After a simple cold was exacerbated by two airplane trips and seasonal weather changes, it became a sinus infection after about a week. By the second day of the infection, I was experiencing terrible pressure in my face and pain in my teeth.

I don't usually get sinus infections, so I didn't know what to do. I'm young and healthy, normally take no medication, and am very wary of antibiotics. Usually home remedies do just fine.

Besides lots of sleep and fluids (water, broth, juice), and hot showers, I've tried a sea salt rinse, drinking Apple Cider Vinegar, and steaming with both water and ACV.

It seems each of these things brings some measure of relief, but I would say steaming with and drinking ACV were most effective.

I tried one of those cold, pre-mixed ACV drinks from Whole foods, chugged it all in one sitting, and literally minutes later, saw more productive nose-blowing.

I drank two double-doses of ACV "tea" over the next 24 hours - 8 oz boiled water to 2 tbsp of ACV, or 16 oz boiled water to 4 tbsp of ACV. I added as much honey as ACV each time, heated everything together on the stove, and sipped. I'm not a big fan of vinegar, but I found this ratio pleasant, certainly tolerable for most.

Felt lessened pressure in my face, and saw more productive nose-blowing. Mucous became more clear, less green.

I was a little nervous about steaming with ACV, but I went for it.

I used about 1/2 cup ACV, 1/2 cup water, boiled together on the stove. Once it came to a boil, I poured into a bowl, and inhaled with a towel over my head. You'll want to close your mouth and eyes, and there is a hot sensation, very slight burning. Just inhale gently and take breaks if you have to. It's not so bad. In fact, you may want to try it full-strength, I think I will next time, but then the burning will obviously increase.

I did this for 5 - 10 mins.

Did not create the productivity I was hoping for, but I can now breathe completely out of the nostril that had been blocked. I still feel pressure in my face, but it has lessened slightly, along with the tooth pain.

I'm drinking a big glass of water, (the ACV seems to dry you out just a bit) then getting a good night's sleep. Planning to repeat this technique, and hoping to see results in the next few days.

Replied by Glenda

I have been coughing up yellow cold and coughing. This has been going on for some time. I am doing the stream Apple Cider Vinegar but I'm still coughing. I have taken cough medicine, sinus pills, saline spray and I'm still coughing. Does anyone have a solution? Oh, I have been to the doctor and I have done everything he said. Thanks for any info.

Replied by Mmsg
(Somewhere, Europeb)

Glenda, read up on Bill Munro's inhalation method with h2o2.

Replied by Michael
(New Zealand)

Sinus infections are a pain. Maybe you could search out my recent posting on how to assist with Ear, Nose and Throat issues. I cover my life-long experiences there by adopting a multi-pronged attack.I think I posted it last month?!

Anyway, in short, it involves steaming inhalation over a saucepan (don't burn yourself! ) with, at the MOST, one or two drops of tea tree oil OR eucalyptus oil or similar.Do this twice a session, as the water cools down quite quickly. Then repeat in the evening. I put the bowl on a wooden breadboard on table and have a towel over my head to trap the steam.Breath gently in and out to let the steam penetrate the tubes. Be patient. Work at it like a project!

Then gargle with a warm saline solution you make up yourself. In my experience you must gargle for a minimum of 30 seconds several times to attain results and this takes a bit of practice. One half teaspoon approx. (more or less) in a cup or mug to take to the bathroom.Get the gargling as far back into your throat as is possible without gagging. This one is my all-time favourite. Remember that just because it is cheap and simple, does not mean it is no good- rather the reverse!!

A doctor once told me to gargle the same way with an asprin but to swallow the lot at the end rather than spitting out. Now there's a wrinkle! You first heard it here.

Load up on Vitamin B and C or something similar (flavonoids?)-you might have been short on that in the first place. Should you have been taking ehinacea?

Immune boosting may help relieve. Eat a healthy diet with five daily servings of vegies/fruit. Include fresh Garlic/Onion or take garlic capsules if you want to keep your friends a bit longer.Make a herbal tea of echinacea, goldenseal and liquorice but avoid the liquorice if you have high blood pressure. Also DON'T take my herbal advice if you happen to be pregnant!!! Otherwise, drink a cup three times a day.There are acupressure points that you could research. Also, my Ayurvedic breathing exercise is almost compulsory. Check out an Indian site for that one, as it must be done exactly right.

A great brew is my "Hot Toddy" of hot water plus a teaspoon of: lemon juice, honey, molasses, Apple Cider Vinegar, and a small tot of whisky or rum to get it all into the blood stream (optional! ). Do all the above and I would be very surprised if you didn't shift it inside a week!

Replied by Ji
(Ontario, Canada)

Hay Glenda, Another easy thing to try is lemon juice. Mix the juice from one lemon(using a real lemon---not the bottled variety) in a glass of water. You can add a sweetener if you really feel the need, but in either case, a glass of this lemony water every few hours should do the trick quickly for the cough and help your immune system fight the infection.

Replied by Janet

Glenda Please look at the videos portion of earth clinic for an instructional video on hydrogen peroxide inhalation. We have used it for years. Ted also says to take nac n acetyl cysteine every time you cough you will feel better pretty quick.there is an entire section on earth clinic on h2o2 and Bill Munro's method and what results many have had.

Diet ...I would not eat any grains or milk until you get passed it.

To cure an infection 1000mg of vitamin c with a pinch of baking soda at least 2 or 3 times a day. Take lysine 500 to 1000mg 4 one hour doses in a row in the am for 3 days at least. Can take it for longer.


Replied by Roberto Manuel Latorre

50/50 water & ACV is NOT recommended. More like 20-ACV/80-Water is better & more productive. Acetic acid is a potent corrosive in higher doses (drinking it is more or less OK to your stomach) and your mucous tissues are not going to thank you for it.

Steaming With Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Lori (Orland, CA) on 05/02/2006

I came upon your website today looking for a natural cure for my sinus infection. Never having had one like this, I was miserable.. mostly from the severe headache, upper jaw pain and pressure. I did not want to go to the doctor, mostly because I knew he would just prescribe antibiotics (which I am against), and for the fact that I no longer have health insurance. I tried drinking 4 oz. of ACV mixed with 12 oz. of water. I noticed right away that my sinuses were clearer. But, unfortunately, my stomach became pretty upset. So I tried boiling the rest of my drink and inhaling the steam... boy, did that do the trick! My headache is almost gone and I can breathe through half of my nose!! I will continue the steam therapy throughout the day and look forward to more miraculous results! Thank you so much for this website! I can't wait to see how this helps my allergies, too! Bless you!

Replied by Randy
(Wolverine Lake, Mi)

To make the ACV more pallatable, and get added benefits of oxygenation to your system as well as other benefits of PH balance to make your body less acidic, mix this way...

2 TBLS ACV, 1/2 tsp baking SODA to 8oz water.

(I use just a little water in the above mix and gulp it down then follow with water)


It will def make you cough in a heartbeat! I make sure my mouth is closed and VERY GENTLY breath in through my nose and hold it in as long as I can then repeat. Let me just say that I have suffered my entire life (I am 57) with sinus problems and ACV is without a doubt the most awesome cure. NOTHING will work quicker to open your sinuses and relieve the pressure... Especially if you can tolerate it full strength as I do. Read up on this site about keeping your body NON-ACIDIC!!! It is truly the key to a healthy immune system and preventing these kinds of "agonies" from happening in the first place!

Steaming With Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Kelliegh (Lake Hiawatha, NJ) on 03/31/2006

Thank you for developing this website!!! I tried drinking the ACV with water it helped a little but I didn't like the taste. So I decided to boil water pour ACV in the boiled water, remove from heat and breath in with a towel over your head. This cured my Sinus infection completely I can't believe how quickly this worked. Thanks for the VALUBLE INFO!

Steaming With Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Jason (USA) on 01/24/2006

I am 28 years old. This year I have gotten a few sinus infections,i have always had allergies but never got these kinds of infections before. I used to drink a gallon of milk a day as a kid and recently i realized i am getting lactose intolerant and the milk in the ice cream might be the reason for the sinus problems and mucus people are getting. I often feel bad after drinking milk and because i rarely eat ice cream it has to be in the milk product.

Replied by Try This
(Queen City, Mo)

Also you can take some of your garden dried cayennes maybe 4-5 make a cup of tea and squirt some up your nose and suck in deep then drink the rest. Pure pain but sinuses open instantly and drain and healed by morning. They cut out the inflammation and allow sinuses to drain.

Steaming With Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Nancy (Alpharetta, GA) on 12/29/2005

I suffered for 3 days with congestion and cough. Found your site on the internet yesterday, thank goodness! I started breathing the steam from the ACV/water boil several times throughout the day. It immediately cleared my sinuses. I also drank the ACV with lemon juice and honey. I slept throughout the night breathing through my nose. Will repeat this remedy today. I'm almost feeling back to normal. I will tell everyone I know about apple cider vinegar cure for colds.

Steaming With Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by AJ (Bronx, New York) on 11/23/2005

I tried inhaling ACV 1/2 cup water 1/2 cup ACV and I boiled it for a sinus infection. I placed a towel over my head to govern the fumes and did this twice a day for 3 days. I totally cleared my sinus infection. My doctor had prescribed me an antibiotic and that didn't work. I am glad I stumbled on this. And I didn't go to the organic store like most suggest, I just used the regular one out of the grocery store. Good Health!!!!

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