Can cider vinegar go bad? (3 Points to know)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, can cider vinegar go bad? We will discuss if cider vinegar goes bad and the factors that encourage the spoilage of cider vinegar. We will also discuss ways to store cider vinegar properly and some of its uses. 

Can cider vinegar go bad?

Cider vinegar can go bad. Even though the process is slow and rare, some factors can cause it to happen. One of the contributing factors is the intrusion of contaminants and microorganisms.

Cider vinegar is slow to spoil because it is highly acidic. pH that lies between 2 and 3 means that the environment is too acidic to let bacteria thrive. Therefore, acidic substances do not let bacteria harbor and last longer than they would otherwise. 

Moreover, cider vinegar has antimicrobial properties. It wards off bacteria when consumed and also when stored in a bottle. According to scientific findings, vinegar was proved to possess the greatest antibacterial properties compared to coffee, soda, tea, juice, and olive oil.

Why and how will cider vinegar go bad?

Cider vinegar will not be unsafe to use, but a decline in quality occurs that most people do not like. The taste and texture will change. The cider vinegar becomes more acidic, hence more sour and intense.

The best buy date indicates that the cider vinegar retains quality until that time. After the date passes, the cider vinegar will not have gone bad and possibly retain optimum quality. 

The printed best buy date of cider vinegar is around 2 years after its manufacture. The cider vinegar will, however, last for 5 years, conditionally. In most cases, the cider vinegar will last you even longer.

The guarantee to prolonging the shelf-life lies in proper handling and storage. 

After you open the bottle of vinegar, you need to seal tightly to prevent any external particles or contaminants from getting in the bottle and store it in the fridge.

When the cider vinegar goes bad, you will be able to tell by the appearance of sediments at the bottom and a color difference. It also adopts a hazy, cloudy appearance. You can proceed to taste the cider vinegar if you feel it to be necessary and use it if it checks in. 

Vinegar is prone to oxidation which makes it susceptible to spoilage. When the lid of cider vinegar is opened, oxygen enters the bottle. Oxygenation causes citric acid and sulfur dioxide in vinegar to release that is present in vinegar as preservatives. 

However, these factors contribute to the quality of cider vinegar rather than the safety.

To what does cider vinegar owe its popularity?

Cider Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar is made by fermenting crushed apples. Fermentation is a fascinating chemical reaction that produces vinegar in a multi-step process. 

First, they add yeast to crushed-up apples, and the sugars in fruit change to alcohol. Then, alcohol oxidizes further and alcohol changes to acetic acid.

There are two kinds of cider vinegar; 

  1. raw, unprocessed cider vinegar

Raw, unprocessed vinegar doesn’t undergo the filtration process or heat treatment. There is an additional substance called the mother that is also produced during the fermentation process. Mother has a stringy and murky appearance that has probiotics and beneficial enzymes.

  1. Filtered, pasteurized cider vinegar

Cider vinegar is filtered to remove the mother solution. It is also pasteurized to make it safe. The filtered, pasteurized cider vinegar has a clear appearance, a milder taste, and costs less.

What are the health benefits of cider vinegar?

Cider vinegar is revered and publicized for its health benefits that affect almost every organ of the body.

Cider vinegar and metabolism

Cider vinegar aids weight loss, reduced cholesterol, lowers blood sugar levels and controls the symptoms of diabetes. 

Animal studies have proven that taking cider vinegar daily, causes a decrease in LDL cholesterol and triglycerides levels.

For people who suffer from diabetes, taking cider vinegar helps to prevent the blood sugar from spiking and makes insulin more effective.

Skin and Hair Health

Cider vinegar is used by some people to combat eczema and restore the pH of the skin. Cider vinegar is also used as an ingredient in toners and facewash to fight acne.

It is also used to improve hair health, prevent frizz, treat sunburn and dandruff.

Reduce inflammation and improve gut health

Cider vinegar is used to improve gut health and fight acid reflux by strengthening gut bacteria and reducing inflammation.

It helps to improve ulcers by reducing inflammation in the colon.

IT also helps against other inflammatory problems such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

In this brief guide, we answered the question, can cider vinegar go bad? We discussed if cider vinegar goes bad and the factors that encourage the spoilage of cider vinegar. We also discussed ways to store cider vinegar properly and some of its uses. 


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.