What can I substitute for white vinegar?

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question, “What can I substitute for white vinegar?” with an in-depth review of white vinegar, as well as some of the best white vinegar substitutes.

What can I substitute for white vinegar?

The global vinegar market reached 1.3 billion US dollar (USD) in 2019. In the European Union, the revenue from the vinegar market amounted to 1 billion USD in 2018 and the quantity of vinegar produced was around 1.2 billion liters the same year (1). In the USA, white distilled vinegars have the highest unit shares (68%), while in China, brewed and white fruit vinegars are the most popular (2).

You can substitute the below things for white vinegar:

·         Champagne vinegar

·         Rice vinegar

·         Apple cider vinegar

·         Lemon juice

·         White vinegar

·         Malt vinegar

·         White balsamic vinegar

What are the uses of white vinegar?

White vinegar is a flexible component that may be used in a variety of ways, including cooking and baking. It’s also a common element in many recipes. You may clean with white vinegar as well. Vinegar provides health beneficial effects such as anti-infective properties, antitumor activity and control of blood glucose (1).

What are the best substitutes for white vinegar?

Champagne Vinegar:

Because champagne is a sort of white wine, it is fermented champagne that adds lightness and a strong acidic flavor to a dish. It has a milder flavor than other vinegar and is the most similar to white vinegar. Keep in mind that it won’t have as much acidity as white vinegar, but it will still have enough flavor.

Champagne vinegar has no bubbles. It’s prepared from a still, dry white wine made from Chardonnay or Pinot Noir grapes (both of which are used to make Champagne) (3). 

Rice Vinegar:

Rice vinegar is a less acidic version of white vinegar that can be used in place of it. It may be an option for people who find white vinegar excessively harsh if you need to lessen the acidity. Rice vinegar has been made by the Chinese for over 5,000 years. The Japanese rice vinegar Kurosu has a high composition of compounds like phenol showing it is a strong source of antioxidant activity (3).  

Rice vinegar is a sweet and sour vinegar with a mild sweetness. Rice vinegar is high in vitamins and minerals, making it beneficial to your health. Potassium, iron, and phosphorus are all found in rice vinegar (4).

Apple cider vinegar:

Apple cider vinegar, as the name implies, is made from fermented apple cider and has a distinct flavor that combines powerful acidity with a hint of fruitiness. It’s not an exact match for white vinegar because of the fruity undertones, but it may still provide a lot of flavor to a meal, especially in dishes that benefit from some fruit taste. 

Apples are essential resources of antioxidants that prevent free radical generation. The apples have high nutritive value and their products are a good source of phenolic compounds, vitamins, minerals, calcium, potassium, phosphorus which are useful in various chronic diseases. Apple cider vinegar is made up from renewed pressed apples, similar to apple juice, treated in the same way but it is not filtered. Apple cider vinegar is formed from Cider that has undergone acetous bioconversion and contains low acetic acid (less than 5%), flavonoids, phenolic compounds, organic acids, minerals and vitamins (5).

One thing to keep in mind is that, while white vinegar is colorless, apple cider vinegar has a slightly amber hue that may affect the final appearance of a dish. This vinegar is famous for its health benefits. Made from apple juice that has been fermented after the apples have been smashed and the juice squeezed out. 

It goes through the fermentation process, which converts the sugar to alcohol. It has a fruity and acidic flavor. Salad dressings, marinades, and food preservatives all benefit from this vinegar. Use it to give a fruity flavor to dishes such as juice mixes, teas, and other beverages.

Lemon Juice:

Lemon juice can be used as a substitute for white vinegar since it gives a hint of brightness as well as a bit of acidity. Lemon juice is a particularly good substitution for white vinegar in baking recipes when other substitutes with varying pH levels can be harmful.

Due to presence of citric acid and ascorbic acid, lemon juice is acidic (pH= 2-3) in nature, and thus it works as acid catalyst in organic reactions. Lemon juice obtained from lemon is sour in taste. The juice is used to control high blood pressure, arthritis and rheumatism, asthma, and prevent kidney stones (6).

White Wine:

Another excellent substitute for white vinegar is white wine. This is a white wine vinegar that has a milder flavor than red wine vinegar. Because of the grapes used to manufacture it, this vinegar has a little fruit flavor, but this shouldn’t compromise with your recipes.

Vinegar is a product obtained as an outcome of impartial oxidation of alcohol in a fermentation of sugar containing fruit or cane juice, molasses, fermented mash of malted grain, honey, syrups, etc. It is made from the fermentation of ethanol by acetic acid bacteria. The ethanol may be derived from many different sources including wine, cider, beer or fermented fruit juice (3).

This white wine vinegar can be used to make sauces, salad dressings, and marinades. Because the pale shade won’t impact anything, you can use it for pickles as well.

Malt vinegar:

White vinegar can also be replaced with malt vinegar. Ale is used in making this grain-based vinegar. The light version will not alter the flavor of foods that call for white vinegar.

The light-colored vinegar and the dark malt vinegar, which has a caramel added for color, are the most frequent types used in cooking. Malt vinegar’s acidity isn’t quite as high as white vinegar’s.

Malt vinegar is very popular in England. It’s made from fermented barley and grain mash, and flavored with woods such as beech or birch. It has a hearty flavor and is often served with fish and chips (3),

White balsamic vinegar:

White balsamic vinegar can be used in place of white vinegar. It contains a mild sweetness and a hint of acidity, but it lacks the flavor of conventional Balsamic vinegar.

This alternative is great for salad dressings and sauces because the color and consistency will remain the same, and the slightly milder flavor will complement such foods.

Balsamic vinegar is brown in color with a sweet-sour flavor. It is prepared from the white Trebbiano grape and aged in barrels of different woods. Some gourmet Balsamic vinegars are over 100 years old. Studies show that melanoidins, which are synthesized in the final stage of the Maillard reaction during traditional balsamic vinegar production, exhibit potential health benefits including antihypertensive activity (3).

Other FAQs about Vinegar that you may be interested in.

Can you be allergic to vinegar? 

Can you be allergic to apple cider vinegar?

How to counteract too much apple cider vinegar?

Can you eat distilled vinegar?


In this short article, we have provided the answer to the question, ”What can I substitute for white vinegar?” with an in-depth review of white vinegar, as well as some of the best white vinegar substitutes.


  1. Prisacaru, Ancuța Elena, et al. Physicochemical Characteristics of Vinegar from Banana Peels and Commercial Vinegars before and after In Vitro Digestion. Process, 2021, 9, 1193.
  2. Hutchinson, Ucrecia Faith, et al. Vinegar engineering: a bioprocess perspective. Food Eng Rev, 2019, 11, 290-305.
  3. Sankpal, Avinash A. An overview on types, medicinal uses and production of vinegar. Pharma Inn Jl 2019; 8, 1083-1087.
  4. Akpinar-Bayizit, Arzu, et al. Inductively coupled plasma optical-emission spectroscopy determination of major and minor elements in vinegar. Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca, 2010, 38, 64-68.
  5. Tripathi, Smriti, and Papiya Mitra Mazumder. Apple cider vinegar (ACV) and their pharmacological approach towards Alzheimer’s disease (AD): A review. Indian J. Pharm. Educ. Res, 2020, 54, s67-s74.
  6. Pal, Rammohan. Fruit juice; A natural, green and biocatalyst system in organic synthesis. Open J. Org. Chem, 2013, 1, 47-56.