Can you boil vinegar? (+5 ways to prevent mold)

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you boil vinegar?”, and does boiling vinegar make you sick?

Can you boil vinegar?

Well, yes, you can boil vinegar but you should not because It is unsafe. The common household use vinegar contains about 4-6% by weight of Acetic Acid. This vinegar will typically boil at 100.6 degrees Celsius, or about 213 degrees F. 

The boiling point will be higher than this If the water has impurities. The same is the case If the vinegar has greater than 6% acetic acid.

When vinegar is boiled, in addition to water, acetic acid evaporates as well which results in a decreased tardiness of the boiled vinegar. This phenomenon can be observed when a hot pan is deglazed using vinegar. (1) 

Does boiling vinegar remove odors?

The steam produced as a result of simmering vinegar has the ability to bind volatile molecules. Therefore, boiling vinegar can help remove unwanted doors from your house. The plus point is that the smell of vinegar won’t linger around.(2)

Are vinegar fumes harmful?

Vinegar fumes can be harmful and should be handled with caution. Acetic acid, a primary component of vinegar, has corrosive properties that can potentially damage the skin and gastric mucosa.

Direct contact with liquid vinegar or its spray mist can be particularly harmful to tissues, especially sensitive mucous membranes such as those found in the eyes, mouth, and respiratory tract. 

The inhalation of vinegar spray mist may lead to severe irritation in the respiratory tract, resulting in symptoms like coughing, choking, or shortness of breath. Furthermore, vinegar fumes are known to cause inflammation of the eyes and skin.

Repetitive exposure to acetic acid can have various adverse effects, including dental enamel erosion, bronchitis, and eye irritation. Acute overexposure to vinegar fumes may even result in more serious conditions such as bronchopneumonia and pulmonary edema.

In the event of vinegar coming into contact with the eyes, it can cause irritation, redness, and potentially damage the cornea. It is crucial to clean the eyes promptly if this occurs. It is recommended to remove contact lenses and thoroughly rinse them with room-temperature water. (3)

How can you safely handle vinegar?

To ensure safety when using vinegar, it is essential to prioritize proper ventilation and minimize inhalation of dust or vapor. 

It is advisable to take precautions to prevent direct contact between vinegar and the skin, eyes, or clothing. After handling vinegar, it is crucial to thoroughly wash your hands to remove any residue or potential irritants.(4)

What should you do if you get hurt by vinegar?

In the event of exposure, it is of utmost importance to immediately relocate the affected individual to a well-ventilated area with fresh air. Thoroughly rinse the skin, eyes, and mouth with ample water. Any contaminated clothing or jewelry should be removed and isolated.

To prevent extended contact of the acid with the eyes, contact lenses should be removed. While cleansing the skin, a mild soap solution can be used; however, it must never be applied to the eyes. It is important to refrain from applying any creams, ointments, or dressings to the affected area.

If a small amount of vinegar is accidentally swallowed, dilution with water is a suitable course of action. However, under no circumstances should carbonated beverages be used, as they release significant amounts of carbon dioxide gas, which can cause stomach distention.(3)

When to use vinegar?

Vinegar is valued for its acidity and tanginess, as it enhances the flavor of a wide range of foods, adding brightness and balance to rich dishes. It is a popular ingredient in essential kitchen staples like salad dressings, marinades, sauces, mayonnaise, and ketchup.

In addition to its flavor-enhancing properties, vinegar can also impact the texture of food. It possesses the ability to break down the chemical structure of proteins, making it an effective marinade for tenderizing meats and fish.

Moreover, vinegar plays a role in the production of cottage cheese. Its acidic content aids in the separation of solid curds from the liquid whey in milk, contributing to the creation of this beloved dairy product.

Another important application of vinegar is in pickling. Pickling is a preservation method that extends the shelf life of perishable foods by eliminating bacteria. 

This process involves soaking food in a brine solution composed of vinegar, water, salt, and sugar. Beyond preservation, pickling imparts a distinctive flavor profile to the food, enhancing its taste and creating a unique culinary experience. (5)

What are the health effects of vinegar consumption?

Vinegar has long been acknowledged as a significant component of a healthy diet, particularly when used as a condiment in vegetable-based recipes. Its flavor-enhancing and acidifying properties provide the added advantage of reducing the reliance on excessive salt consumption, thus helping to mitigate the risk of hypertension.

Throughout history, vinegar has been utilized to combat infections and treat acute ailments, with roots dating back to the time of Hippocrates. 

In recent times, research has shown that consuming vinegar can have a positive impact on biomarkers associated with heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. (6)


In this article, we answered the question “Can you boil vinegar?”, and does boiling vinegar make you sick?


  1. Dimian, A. C., Bildea, C. S., & Kiss, A. A.  Acetic Acid. Applications in Design and Simulation of Sustainable Chemical Processes, 483–519. 2019.
  2. Vicki Lansky Vinegar: Over 400 Various, Versatile & Very Good Uses You’ve Probably Never Thought of, Book Peddlers,page 27,  2004.
  3. Pravasi, S. D.  Acetic Acid. Encyclopedia of Toxicology, 33–35.(2014).
  4. Scholar Chemistry. Vinegar. Material safety data sheet, Harper College, 2009.
  5. Harvard. The Nutrition Source. Vinegar, Harvard T. H. Chan. School of Public Health 677 Huntington Avenue, 2019
  6. M.C. Garcia-Parrilla, M.J. Torija, A. Mas, A.B. Cerezo, A.M. Troncoso, Vinegars and Other Fermented Condiments, Fermented Foods in Health and Disease Prevention, 577-591, 2017.

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