Does balsamic vinegar go bad?

In this brief guide, we will address the question, “does balsamic vinegar go bad” as well as other questions pertaining to the subject at hand like how much time does balsamic vinegar take to go bad or does its acidity change over time. Moreover, we will also discuss some of the storage practices needed to prolong the shelf life of balsamic vinegar.

Does balsamic vinegar go bad?

Balsamic vinegar rarely ever goes bad. It is only when there is an addition of contaminants that it does so.

Vinegar is a fermented product. It is produced by the action of acidophilic bacteria, resulting in  a very low pH. This makes it unfavourable for more bacteria to grow because of the competition that takes place inside the medium.

So if you have balsamic vinegar in your cupboard somewhere, just make sure that you close the top of the container properly and you will be good to go.

Changes that may occur over time in balsamic vinegar

Like other kinds of vinegar, balsamic vinegar does not expire, some organoleptic or aesthetic changes might occur over the course of time that may be the result of exposure to light and air, these changes are mainly due to improper storage:

  • Balsamic vinegar may get hazy or cloudy due to deposition of some sediments, but they can be removed after filtration and vinegar are good to use again.
  • Balsamic vinegar that has been stored for longer duration develops a slimy substance particularly known as ‘mother’ because it can be used to make a new batch of vinegar. So, old vinegar is harmless and safe to use for consumption purpose.
  • By the time oxygenation process occurs in red wine vinegar that may affect its odour and flavour of red wine vinegar become deeper, sour and acidic.
  • The moisture in the air can weaken the acidity of balsamic vinegar as water from the air can be absorbed by acetic acid. Balsamic vinegar will lose its flavour as acidity declines, therefore; it is advised to cover the container tightly with the lid immediately after using it.

Does acidity of vinegar change?

By the time yes, the acidity of vinegar weakens gradually, mainly by two reasons.

1- Due to moisture, it is absorbed by acetic acid and it will lose its acidity.

2-    Stability, acetic acid decomposes by time

White balsamic vinegar storage tips

Storing balsamic vinegar is pretty similar to storing other kinds of vinegar, like rice, white or red wine vinegar. Proper storage helps in reducing food waste and maximizing food quality by delaying their deterioration and decomposition processes.

Never buy balsamic vinegar that’s in a clear bottle as the light will cause the balsamic to deteriorate more rapidly. Balsamic vinegar should be stored in an airtight properly sealed container to protect it from oxidative changes. If exposed to air, it will cause evaporation hence, results in loss of flavour.

Balsamic vinegar should be placed at the dry place at room temperature. Direct sunlight and heat could degrade the vinegar much more quickly. Balsamic vinegar should be kept away from heat sources and light at some dark place to extend its shelf life.

Does balsamic vinegar need refrigeration or freezing?

Balsamic vinegar does not need refrigeration or freezing, it is ideally stored at room temperature. The chilled temperature may alter its flavour.

Balsamic vinegar is best stored at room temperature as it is highly acidic in nature and has antimicrobial properties. Its ph is around 2 and at this ph, most of the microorganisms are not able to grow or proliferate.

 Thus, the product is safe from microbial spoilage therefore it is known as self-preserving.

Other FAQs about Vinegar which you may be interested in.

Does vinegar expire?

How long does Balsamic vinegar last?

Does rice vinegar go bad?

Usage of balsamic vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is called by all kinds of cooking. Like other kinds of vinegar, balsamic vinegar also widely used in seasonings around the world, it would make the great dipping sauce and used as salad dressings, condiments to preserve meat, for pickling spiced fruits and vegetables. It is an important ingredient for many recipes, sauces and marinades.

Balsamic vinegar is used in foods to enhance its flavour and add balance to dishes, it also improves the texture of the product by breaking down the complex substances.

Here are some dishes where you can use balsamic vinegar

  • Balsamic Asparagus Salad
  • Chicken Quinoa Bowls with Balsamic Dressing
  • Roasted Pepper Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Apple Roasted Pork with Cherry Balsamic Glaze
  • White Balsamic Blueberry, Corn and Feta Salad
  • Fennel Salad with Orange-Balsamic Vinaigrette

You can read about balsamic vinegar recipes here. 



In this brief guide, we have addressed the question, “does balsamic vinegar go bad” as well as other related questions pertaining to the subject at hand like how much time does balsamic vinegar take to go bad or does its acidity changes over time and what are some of the storage practices needed to prolong the shelf life of balsamic vinegar.


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.