apple cider vinegar

Does Apple Cider Vinegar Go Bad and Expire?

Surely you have one bottle of apple cider vinegar in your pantry that you are not certain about either when you bought it or when you opened it. The question is, can you use it without getting food poisoning? We bring you all the answers you need.    

Apple cider vinegar is undoubtedly something that is implied to have in the kitchen but rarely does anyone use it often. Here and there, you remember to spice up a salad with it. Still, if you have more modern culinary habits, you’d rather use lemon or some of the more delicate kinds of vinegar for that. One thing I know for sure, my mom can’t imagine living without apple cider vinegar. 

But do we know enough about ACV, as some call it for short? Except that we see it in pantries, rarely does anyone know how long this product actually lasts and how to store it properly. That’s why we bring you some obligatory knowledge that will help you in the kitchen.  

How Long Does Apple Cider Vinegar Last?

Vinegar is produced by fermenting apple juice. That’s why you get a very acidic product, and that acidity is what helps it last a long time and not be attacked by bacteria. This is also why you do not have to keep an open product in the refrigerator because it will not spoil so quickly. But let’s first see how long it lasts.   

Unopened Apple Cider Vinegar

Although the shelf life written on the label will also serve as an orientation, you can count on unopened vinegar to last approximately two years. If the deadline has recently expired, and it seems that the product is in order, you are free to use it anyway. 

Many will say that vinegar has natural antimicrobial properties and that it can actually last for many years. This is true, but the fact that a product is not dangerous to consume does not mean that it is tasty. Fermentation will continue to occur, and your vinegar may be simply over-acidic in time.      

Opened Apple Cider Vinegar

Once you open the bottle, it is calculated that the product will be good for about a year. After that, you should replenish supplies even if you have not used up all the fluid. Many homemakers will leave the vinegar to stand longer than that, but it’s not advisable. It may not be a spoiled product, but it is definitely safer to buy fresh. When opening the bottle, you allow air to enter it each time, and an oxidation process occurs. It can spoil the taste of the product over time.    

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Go Bad? 

Yes, despite being a very acidic product, it can spoil over time. You will notice this by a few sure indicators that we bring to you below. If you see any of them, rather throw the product in the trash.  

Sign 1: It doesn’t look nice anymore 

Vinegar is used to spice up a salad, create some excellent dressings or even make some drinks. That is why it must have good taste but also appearance. Over time you may notice that the appearance is hazy or that sediment has formed at the bottom of the bottle. Then it is time to replace the stock.    

Sign 2: It smells funny 

The nose will serve as a good detector of correctness. If the smell is too strong for you, it could mean that the product is additionally acidic, and it will undoubtedly spoil the taste you want.  

Sign 3: The taste is changed   

As with odors, you will find by the taste that the product has additionally acquired acidity. If the taste is too strong, rather throw everything away. Don’t ruin the whole dish because of it.   

Which is the Best Way to Store Apple Cider Vinegar? 

Although it is very resistant to spoilage and has self-preservatory capabilities, there are still a few tips on how you can maintain product quality for a long time. Here’s what you need to do.   

Tip 1: Keep products away from the sun  

This is almost the golden rule for all products. Do not allow the sun’s rays to fall on the goods so as not to lose their appearance and taste. Any place in the pantry or the kitchen cabinets will be fine.    

Tip 2: Keep the bottle tightly closed  

Oxygen is not a good friend of vinegar. Try to keep it as little open as possible and close the bottle well after use. You want to prevent oxidation from happening.

Tip 3: Keep at a relaxed temperature 

There is no need to keep vinegar in the refrigerator after opening. It will not in the least enhance its permanence. But it is certainly advisable to keep it in a cooler place to preserve its characteristics.    


How do you know if apple cider vinegar has gone bad?

It is best to pay attention to its appearance, to begin with. You will notice visible sediment in the bottle or other changes in color and texture. Then follow the odor and taste inspection.     

Is apple cider vinegar okay to use after the expiration date?

Yes, this product has excellent self-preservatory properties and will not spoil quickly. However, changes in taste may occur. 

Does apple cider vinegar need to be refrigerated?

No, there’s no need to place the vinegar in the fridge, opened or not. Room temperature or a bit cooler place will be just fine.  

Can I use apple cider vinegar every day?

Some medical advice says that you should not use vinegar every day and certainly not in large quantities. 


Apple cider vinegar is one of those foods that doesn’t seem to have an expiration date. Its high acidity provides good resistance to bacteria and is therefore slightly prone to spoilage. But specific changes in taste, smell, and appearance can undoubtedly occur over time. In that case, you should rather throw the product in the trash because it can spoil the taste of your food. 

Keep the vinegar in a cool and dark place and try to keep the bottle open for as short a time as possible. Also, avoid leaving it in the sun if you are on a picnic outside. Besides, there aren’t a lot of rules you have to follow.   

See more: Substitute for apple cider vinegar

*image by 9dreamstudio/depositphotos

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