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Can Apple Cider Vinegar Go Bad? Yes and No

can apple cider vinegar go bad
Foto: CCO / Unsplash / Towfiqu barbhuiya

Can apple cider vinegar go bad? Apple cider vinegar is great for everything from salad vinaigrette to softening hair and decreasing blood sugar levels, but how long will it stay fresh?

Apple cider vinegar is a popular kitchen staple used in a huge variety of recipes. But its uses can go far beyond the kitchen: you can even clean the house with it or use it to soothe your sore throat. 

Apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting chopped apples in water to form ethanol, which is then converted by its natural bacteria into acetic acid, the main component of vinegar.

Because recipes usually only call for a small amount of vinegar, it could take quite a long time before you use up the contents of a bottle. This might make you wonder whether apple cider vinegar can go bad, or if it ever expires.

Does Apple Cider Vinegar Expire?

Apple cider vinegar is made from Freshly picked apples.
Apple cider vinegar is made from Freshly picked apples.
(Foto: CCO / Unsplash / Sydney Rae)

Technically apple cider vinegar doesn’t expire or sour because the high acidity levels within it act as a self-preserving pantry staple. Therefore, it is still safe to consume and use in recipes even if it’s old.

The best time to use apple cider vinegar is within the first year after opening, or two years if unopened. Over time, the vinegar will still age and you might notice it becoming hazy, separating, or a slight difference in taste due to the oxygen exposure when opened. 

However, as mentioned above, it is still safe to consume at any time, even far past the expiration date – you just might want to check out the taste before using it in your recipe.

How to Store Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is best stored in a cool, dark place away from sunlight, such as a kitchen pantry, to keep the quality and flavor. There is no need to store it in the fridge, as there is no evidence this improves its shelf life.

If you have more apple cider vinegar than you can handle, try putting it to good use:

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