How to Use White Vinegar for Sunburn Relief?

Almost nothing ruins a good summer day by getting one of those painful, stinging, red sunburns. With my fair skin, I’m no stranger to them. I realized years ago, after turning into a red tomato for the hundredth time, that you can use white vinegar to help soothe the pain.

How to use white vinegar for sunburn relief? White vinegar is excellent for soothing and treating a sunburn. Add distilled white vinegar to a spray bottle and spray a few times on the sunburnt regions of your body. Repeat every 2 or 3 hours or as desired to help soothe the pain. This will instantly cool your skin and provide relief.

In the event that you are suffering from one of those painful, red sunburns, go look in your kitchen for vinegar to help relieve the pain. It soothes the sting; however, vinegar doesn’t work for everyone as it can dry out your skin.

Read on to learn how to use white vinegar to relieve yourself of a sunburn, including how to make your own homemade vinegar treatment.

Use White Vinegar for Sunburn Relief

Homemade Vinegar Sunburn Treatment

What you’ll need

  • Spray bottle
  • Distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • Cotton ball
  • Lukewarm bathwater
  • Gentle cotton cloth

The vinegar I buy on Amazon is Lucy’s Family Owned Distilled White Vinegar and Bragg’s Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar. As an alternative, you can use apple cider vinegar instead as they both are similarly effective. Both are good value, and the jugs last me a long time. 


Step 1

Pour some of the vinegar into a spray bottle. Keep the vinegar bottle away from kids and pets as it could get into their eyes, or they could drink it.

Step 2

Spray just a bit of the vinegar onto the burnt regions of your body. Repeat spraying the sunburn about every 2 to 3 hours or at whatever point your skin starts to inflame and hurt again.

Avoid spraying it all over because you’ll risk getting it in your eyes which will burn a lot. I’ve done this, and it is no fun. If you do get vinegar in your eyes, don’t panic! Just hold your eyes under the tap and let a gentle stream of the water flush the vinegar out.

Step 3

Add some vinegar onto a cotton ball. Gently spot-treat the sunburned parts of your body. Dab the cotton ball gently on the skin and add more vinegar when the cotton dries out. Instead of the cotton ball, you can use a gentle cotton cloth.

Step 4

Pour 1 or 2 cups of white vinegar into a tepid bath. Alternatively, add apple cider vinegar. Soak in the bath for about 10 or 15 minutes to let the water relive and calm the sunburn and help take the pain away.

A compliment to the vinegar bath is to before-hand gently slather yogurt onto the sunburn.

Let the yogurt sit for about 5 or 10 minutes so that it absorbs into the skin. Use cool, refrigerated yogurt for even more relief. Then get into the bath, or have a shower with lukewarm to cool water.

Step 5

Splash a gentle cotton cloth with white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Lay the cloth on the sunburned regions for roughly 10 to 15 minutes. As the cloth dries out, add some more vinegar to it and leave it on as long as desired to soothe the pain.

Can You Burn Your Skin with Vinegar?

Remember to never use vinegar in its undiluted form, as this can burn, sting, and irritate the skin. Go for distilled vinegar. Vinegar sold at the grocery store for food will be labeled “distilled,” so you are fine with that. For example, the most popular brand, “Heinz,” is a distilled vinegar.

For many, vinegar will diminish the probability that your skin will dry out and become flaky and blisters after the burn settles. However, some have reported that vinegar dries out their skin, so it is best to experiment with a small amount to ensure your skin doesn’t get too dry.

After applying the vinegar and letting it sit, wash it off, and then apply a moisturizer to prevent skin drying.

If the sunburn leads to constant, large blisters or leads to painful fevers or feeling cold all the time, it is important to go see a doctor.

These are symptoms that the sunburn is very bad, and it is best to get a professionally qualified doctor to assist you in healing. For more about sunburns and sun protection, see our post on what the skin makes when exposed to sun.

Other Benefits of White Vinegar for the Skin

White vinegar is effective for taking the sting out of sunburns, yet, did you realize that it is also a standout among the most powerful treatments for many other skin issues?

From adding a vibrant glow to your skin to keeping your skin smelling fresh, it has many benefits. See how else this age-old liquid can be easily added to your daily skincare routine.

Helps and Prevents Blemishes, Acne, and Pimples

Vinegar is antimicrobial, which means it destroys harmful bacteria and soothes the skin, as noted by Bonnie K. McMillen, R.N., B.S.N., professor at the University of Pittsburgh.

It is these antibacterial and antifungal properties that help reducing inflammation and helps to prevent acne and other breakouts from popping up.

Gets Rid of Age-related Spots

If you have apple cider vinegar in your pantry, your skin can benefit greatly from it. Apple cider vinegar has hydroxy acids, which work by eliminating dead skin cells. This results in getting rid of age spots and lightening your skin.

Balances the pH of Your Skin

Vinegar balances the pH levels of your skin and keeps it from storing excess oil. Vinegar also works as a pore cleanser, helping to keep the pores clean and preventing them from getting clogged with dirt, debris, or dead skin.

This, therefore, helps treat irritated skin, acne breakouts, and flaky skin. Contrasted with the very expensive beauty store cleansers and face washes that are stacked with synthetic compounds and additives, vinegar is a toxic-free and more natural approach to restoring your skin and making it look amazing.

Decreases and Prevents Wrinkles

Applying distilled white vinegar routinely to your face will aid in the elimination and preventing of wrinkles. This will make your skin keep its youthful look, so you age slower. Wrinkles are a common side effect of sunburns.

So the best prevention against wrinkles is to avoid getting sunburnt in the first place.

Expels Toxins from Your Face

Consistent application of vinegar draws out poisons from your skin, which gives it a fresh glow and clean scent. Use vinegar to clear and cleanse your pores and prevent acne breakouts.

Homemade White Vinegar Toner

What You’ll Need

  • 1 tablespoon of white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1.5 cups of water
  • Optional 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel


Step 1

Add to a spray bottle the vinegar, water, and the optional aloe vera gel. Shake the bottle well, so it is all mixed.

Step 2

Put some of the vinegar on a cotton ball or gentle cotton cloth.

Step 3

Spot treat your skin with the cotton ball, adding all over your face and anywhere else on your body that is sunburned or in need of toning.

How Often to Apply?

Apply this homemade skin toner about twice a day, or to make it easier to remember: apply each morning and night.

The vinegar’s antimicrobial nature, along with its hydroxy and acetic acids, will decrease the size of your pores, promote blood flow, and leave your skin looking toned and fresh.


White vinegar is effective at soothing and treating sunburn. Pour distilled white vinegar into a spray bottle and spray a few times on the sunburnt regions of your body. Repeat every 3 hours or as desired to help soothe the pain. In about 3 days, you’ll have sunburn relief.

Related Questions

How many days does a sunburn last? Most sunburns will last for only about three days. Worse sunburns go on for around five days, and after, the sufferer will have flaky skin. The more serious cases of sunburn can keep going for over seven days, and then you may need to contact your doctor.

How do you stop a sunburn from peeling? To prevent the sunburn from peeling, make sure to moisturize often with thick cream or lotion. Keep your skin well-hydrated at all times. Use a moisturizer with added aloe vera for even greater relief.

Is toothpaste good for burns? For quite a long time, it’s been proposed that putting toothpaste on a sunburn could really mitigate the inflamed skin. Sadly, this isn’t correct. Truth be told, toothpaste can hurt your skin more than heal it. Instead, add cold water to the sunburn along with vinegar or aloe vera gel.

Related reading:

Noxzema for Sunburn [Is Noxzema Good or Bad for Sunburn?]

Noxzema for Eczema [Is Noxzema Good or Bad for Eczema?]

How Long Does It Take for the Sun to Damage Your Skin?

How Long Does Skin Peel After a Sunburn?