Shelf Life of
Vinegar

How Long Does Vinegar Last?

Does Vinegar Go Bad?
Does vinegar go bad? The shelf life of vinegar depends on the type and how it is stored. Because of it’s high acidic properties, it is used as a preservative to keep other foods fresh. It is often used in canning, as in turning fresh cucumbers into pickles so that they can keep for years to come.

Most people wonder does vinegar go bad? That depends on the type of product and what was added. There are many types of vinegar, with the most common for eating being apple cider vinegar. It should be noted that some vinegars go bad before others, but all of them last a very long time. White vinegar lasts the longest and basically never expires when stored under the proper conditions. The distilled white variety is made from only sun ripened corn and water while the apple cider variety is made from only apples and water [1].

It is the fermentation process that produces the extended shelf life of both products. When properly stored, the shelf life of vinegar past its best before date is …

Does Vinegar Go Bad?

(Unopened/Opened) Pantry
White Vinegar lasts for Indefinite
Apple Cider Vinegar lasts for Indefinite
Balsamic Vinegar lasts for Indedinite
Raspberry Vinegar lasts for Indefinite
Rice Wine Vinegar lasts for Indedinite
Red Wine Vinegar lasts for Indefinite





Like a lot of other condiments, it may have a best before date but not a use by date or expiration date. Because of this distinction, you may safely use vinegar for your salads, baking, canning or even cleaning needs (white vinegar) after the best before date has lapsed according to the above table.


Why the Shelf Life of Vinegar is Indefinite?

Through numerous studies, the Vinegar Institute confirmed that vinegar’s shelf life is almost indefinite. Which means that white vinegar does not go bad!

This is because it is acidic by nature, thus it is self-preserving and does not require refrigeration. White distilled vinegar will remain basically unchanged over an extended period of time. This white variety can still safely be used for all purposes beyond any date.

While in all other types, some changes may be observed such as a development of a haze, sediment, cloudiness or altered color. These are usually aesthetic only changes. Flavored varieties, depending on what ingredients have been added to the bottle, you may want to replace after 5-10 years instead of consuming.

It should be noted that while vinegar does extend the shelf life of other foods, these other foods are never extended forever. [1]


How to tell if vinegar is bad, rotten or spoiled?

Has your vinegar gone bad? Old product may begin to have a dusty type settlement in the bottom of the jar or a cloudy appearance. Although it will not be harmful to consume, the flavor may be slightly compromised after 5-10 years because of the added ingredients.

If your vinegar has gone bad (whether it be raspberry, champagne, cider or another type) then search our vinegar substitute table to find the proper substitute for your purpose.

Practicing proper hygiene and food safety discipline will help prevent food borne illness.


How to store vinegar to extend its shelf life?

The best way to store it is in its original air tight container in a cool dark place like the pantry, away from heat sources.

A constant temperature is also best for any food or drink product, so store it away from the stove or dishwasher where it may become constantly heated and then cooled back down again.

Proper food storage is the key to extending the expiration date of all food and drink.

How long is vinegar good for when prepared in a dish?

How long does vinegar last? That depends. How long do eggs last? In general, it will be the longest lasting ingredient in any dish, soaking into the other ingredients. But, it can only last as long as the quickest expiring ingredient in the dish. To find out how long other ingredients are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or search below!

Search the Shelf Life Guide!


What are our shelf life resources?

Our does vinegar go bad content incorporates research from multiple resources, including the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Food & Drug Administration. In addition, we scoured the web for informative articles and reports related to food safety, food storage and the shelf life of apple cider vinegar and other varieties.


*An important note about expiration dates …

Although the does vinegar go bad information on Eat By Date is generally reliable, please remember that individual cases will vary and that our advice should only be taken as an opinion. Please eat responsibly!
FYI – vinegar is often misspelled in dozens of ways including veniger, venigar, viniger, vinager, vineger, vineagar vinger, viniga.