Homemade Natural Anti-Itch Rub with Free Printable

Mosquitos are the enemy of the state around here, and they love to eat on Gabriel and I. Each bite causes a welt on his little limbs and he scratches them until they bleed. Definitely not good with the combo of dirty hands and a national West Nile Virus outbreak going on! We have to make sure he gets basically bathed in bug spray for even a five-minute romp outside (and thankfully my homemade recipe is non-toxic with no deet, so I don’t have to worry anymore).

So, what’s a mom to do when we forget the spray and he gets attacked? I hesitate to just coat and coat him with drug store creams – they are expensive and not recommended for little people under age 2 (even though he’s 3 now). And since he scratches them so much, the cream gets under his fingernails and makes its way onto his toys, food, bed…everything! Plus, it just doesn’t seem to work! He itches anyway!

I’m crazy about using apple cider vinegar (ACV) (read more about it here) for my hair as a conditioner (read my post, DIY Baking Soda Shampoo & Apple Cider Vinegar Conditioner) and decided on a whim the other day to try it on some of my bug bites to see if it would stop the itching…and it did! I was so excited! I tried it on myself first, in case it stung. It does sting a little on the open, raw bites, but Gabriel has yet to complain of any pain. In fact, he comes to me when he’s itching and says, “Mama, can you pweeze gimme some binegar? I’m itching.” So, I started using it on him several times a day when the bites are bad and it not only stopped his itching, but it reduces all the swelling and dries up the bites in a day! It has softening properties for clothes and hair and does the same to our skin. My skin feels so soft after I rub it on, like I just applied lotion.

I’m starting to think this stuff is magical! And it’s the easiest homemade recipe I’ve come up with yet.

Anti-Itch Rub

  • 1 tablespoon raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (love Bragg’s – only $4.32 on Amazon!)
  • 1 cup water (filtered or distilled is healthiest, if possible)

Mix the two ingredients together and pour into a small travel-size squirt bottle. Squirt onto cotton balls or a cloth and rub onto bug bites, irritated skin, dry skin, and even eczema.

Download the free printable here and affix to your bottle with clear packing tape to make it waterproof so you can make it without looking up the recipe.

This post is being shared at:
Natural Living Mama
Whimsy Wednesdays at The NY Melrose Family
Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways at Frugally Sustainable
Simple Lives at Gnowfglins

About Sara McFall

Sara is the owner and founder of My Merry Messy Life, which started in 2011 as a way to chronicle her journey to a natural, chemical-free lifestyle and to share her passions of mothering, real food, homeschooling and crochet. She is a mama to three precious and energetic little boys and wife to a university professor who loves to sing, dance ballet and ballroom, and live simply and naturally.


  1. This is great! I’m in MS, where there’s definitely a huge mosquito problem, and I would love a natural solution as opposed to the harsh bug sprays.

  2. Vinager is great for a lot of things…
    Have a nice day free from scratch…

  3. I broke out in hives really early this morning and was trying to search for any natural remedies. I had remembered that Toad (http://primaltoad.com) had come down with hives recently and suggested using ACV. Luckily I had a big bottle from Trader Joe’s (organic/unfiltered), poured a small amount on a paper towel, and rubbed it over my welts. Within 10 mins, itching was mostly gone and now, 2 hours later, no itching at all and my welts are almost gone 🙂 Thanks so much for posting about this and other wonderful remedies!!!

  4. Thanks so much for sharing this on Natural Living Monday!

    Thankfully the buggies have not found us this year. I guess that is what drought is good for. I never thought to use it on eczema! My daughter gets it when she eats gluten. Ill have to give it a go.

  5. I will be trying this TONIGHT! Hubby has a crazy rash, we think it’s poultry mites but we aren’t sure. It’s driving him insane and calamine lotion is only minimally helpful. We use ACV for practically everything else, don’t know why I never thought of it for this 🙂

  6. This seems so obvious and yet I never thought of it! I have been trying to figure out a natural, frugal ‘anti-itch cream’ for bug bites. I suppose straight ACV would work too? Thanks for the info!

  7. Congratulations! You were the most viewed post on Natural Living Monday! I would love to see you back again this week. Thank you! <3

  8. I find Witch Hazel also works really well at getting rid of itches whether it’s a bug bite or hives among many other uses.

  9. Vitamin B. my dauther has bad skin allergies so we cant use anything with chemicals. I discovered The wonders of Vitamin B from a scuba diver. Taking vitamin B everyday keeps all bugs away not just the mosquitos. bugs hate the smell. :-). I even sent them on Church Camping trips armed with nothing but vitamin B and they came back fine while others were covered in bites. for little ones there is a liquid Vitamin B.

  10. Stephanie says:

    I am so grateful for your post! I moved into a new apartment the past week and it was infested by fleas. I have over 40 bites on each leg and foot and it is absolutely unbearable. Hydrocortisone and calamine lotion are no longer effective, and I’ve been waking up every day in unbearable itchiness. This apple vinegar cider mixture is phenomenal. It literally took the itching away which has not happened for a week. Plus I’m so happy to finally having a natural mixture to put on my skin instead of more OTC chemicals, and after our landlord used a flea bomb in here. This is my new favorite remedy. I could hug you!!!!

  11. Can you use this on a rash all over a baby?

    • Hi Lindsay! If you do, I’d do a tiny spot test first and dilute it really well. It depends on what the rash is caused by, too, as to how to treat it. I hope it’s better!

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