Can apple cider vinegar burn your throat?

In this brief guide, we’ll address the query “Can apple cider vinegar burn your throat?” Also, we’ll explore why apple cider vinegar can burn a person’s throat, what can be done to prevent apple cider vinegar from burning your throat, and how to treat apple cider vinegar throat burns. 

Can apple cider vinegar burn your throat? 

Yes, apple cider vinegar can burn a person’s throat. 

The acetic acid content in apple cider vinegar makes it mildly corrosive, which means that if it is constantly used for gargling and oral hygiene, it may indeed inflict mild caustic burns on the mucosa of a person’s throat, as well as damage the enamel on a person’s teeth. (1)

Why does apple cider vinegar burn a person’s throat? 

Consuming undiluted vinegar can pose significant issues by harming various organs within the body, including the mouth, teeth, esophagus, and stomach.

The primary reason behind this is its acidic properties, which can potentially erode the organ linings upon contact, leading to a range of complications.(1, 2).

Apple vinegar is part of vinegar fruit apples obtained by biotechnological process of double fermentation, alcoholic and acetic.It has acidity of approximately 5% and pH between 2.5 to 3.0. 

The acetic acid present in apple cider vinegar can be mildly corrosive and when used without watering it down, it may cause burns to the inside of a person’s mouth and throat. 

When used topically and on membranes, the acetic acid may have a detrimental effect on the membranes of the cells in these tissues, which may lead to lesions, and by extension, burns. 

Sometimes, the burns are purely accidental, as there have been recorded cases in which young children consume apple cider vinegar and suffer burns on their throat and esophagus. In fact, acetic acid is regarded as the most common causative agent of throat burns. (1, 3)

What can I do to prevent apple cider vinegar from burning my throat? 

Safe consumption of apple cider vinegar involves diluting it in water, juice, or other liquids. It can also be consumed by adding it to food.To incorporate apple cider vinegar into your diet, it is recommended to add a small amount, approximately 1 to 2 teaspoons, to other dishes or even water.

It is advisable to avoid using apple cider vinegar as a mouthwash or to treat sore throats with it. There are other products on the market that are specially formulated to be used orally and for treating discomfort in one’s throat. (1, 4, 5)

How can I treat throat burns from apple cider vinegar? 

Apple cider vinegar may cause serious throat lesions, which may require treatment from healthcare professionals. 

When a considerable amount of vinegar is ingested, it is recommended to dilute it with water as the initial step. 

In cases where a substantial quantity has been consumed, gastric lavage may be considered, depending on the amount ingested. 

However, it is crucial to avoid using carbonated beverages in such situations. Carbonated drinks release a significant amount of carbon dioxide gas, which can lead to stomach distention and make them unsuitable for addressing vinegar ingestion.

Depending on their severity, one may have to attend a clinic to receive treatment, or if they’re mild, they can be treated at home. 

In some cases, where the lesions are severe, doctors may prescribe steroid treatments to abate the discomfort. If the lesions have progressed into ulcers that bleed, surgery may be necessary to properly treat them. 

In the case of mild burns and irritation, warm fluids can be used to soothe an irritated throat, along with hydration and over-the-counter analgesics (such as ibuprofen and paracetamol). (1, 6)


In this brief guide, we’ve addressed the query “Can apple cider vinegar burn your throat?” Also, we’ve explored why apple cider vinegar can burn a person’s throat, what can be done to prevent apple cider vinegar from burning your throat, and how to treat apple cider vinegar throat burns. 


  1. Pravasi, S. D.  Acetic Acid. Encyclopedia of Toxicology, 33–35. 2014.
  2. M.C. Garcia-Parrilla, M.J. Torija, A. Mas, A.B. Cerezo, A.M. Troncoso, Vinegars and Other Fermented Condiments, Fermented Foods in 
  3. Adriana Dabija et. al. Study concerning the quality of apple vinegar obtained through classical method. Journal of Agroalimentary Processes and Technologies  20(4), 2014.
  4. Chin Wai Ho, et al, Varieties, production, composition and health benefits of vinegars: A review, Food Chemistry, 221, 2017,
  5. M. Plessi, VINEGAR, Encyclopedia of Food Sciences and Nutrition (Second Edition), Academic Press, 5996-6004, 2003.
  6. Alexandra Benisek, Brunilda Nazario, Apple Cider Vinegar. WebMD LLC, 2022

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