Does Apple Cider Vinegar Need to Be Refrigerated after Opening? How to Store It?

apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has become a household staple for its numerous health benefits and versatility in cooking. But when it comes to storage, a common question arises: does apple cider vinegar need to be refrigerated after opening? Some people believe refrigeration is necessary, while others do not

It’s important to store your apple cider vinegar the right way to keep it fresh and maintain its potency. Apple cider vinegar does not need to be refrigerated after opening. It is highly acidic and unlikely to be contaminated with pathogens, so it can be stored in a pantry or cabinet away from direct sunligh

In this blog post, we’ll dive into a detailed answer to the question, “Does apple cider vinegar need to be refrigerated after opening?” and provide tips on the best way to store it. 

Whether you’re a long-time fan of this versatile ingredient or just discovering its many benefits, you’ll find all the information you need to make an informed decision about how to store your apple cider vinegar. 

So get ready to take your apple cider vinegar to the next level!

What is Apple Cider Cinegar?

Using fermented apple cider as a base, apple cider vinegar is one type of vinegar. The cider is made from crushed apples that have been juiced and then fermented to turn the sugar into alcohol. The alcohol is then transformed into acetic acid by bacteria, which is what gives apple cider vinegar its sour taste. 

Apple cider vinegar has been used in cooking and as a natural remedy for health problems for hundreds of years.

In recent years, apple cider vinegar has gained popularity for its potential health benefits. Some people believe that consuming it can help with weight loss, improve digestion, lower blood sugar levels, and even boost skin health.

While there is some research that supports these claims, it’s important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the effects of apple cider vinegar on the body.

You can find both filtered and unfiltered apple cider vinegar in most grocery stores. The unfiltered variety, also known as organic apple cider vinegar, contains the “mother,” a type of culture of yeast and bacteria that gives the vinegar its cloudy appearance.


Before you can drink apple cider vinegar, you need to dilute it with water. If you drink vinegar straight, it can hurt your throat and mouth and make you feel like it’s burning. It’s also a good idea to choose an organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar, as it is made without the use of harmful chemicals.

Does Apple Cider Vinegar Need to be Refrigerated After Opening?

Experts and consumers debate whether apple cider vinegar should be refrigerated after opening. Some people say that vinegar needs to be refrigerated to make it last longer and keep its quality, while others say that it doesn’t.

Advantages of Refrigeration

Refrigerating apple cider vinegar slows degradation and extends its shelf life. Refrigeration keeps the vinegar from being affected by light, air, and changes in temperature, all of which can cause it to go bad. 

If you put the vinegar in the fridge, it helps keep its potency and flavor, making it a more enjoyable product to use.

Disadvantages of Refrigeration

While refrigeration has its benefits, there are also some disadvantages to consider. Refrigeration can cause the vinegar to become cloudy and thick, making it difficult to pour. This can make it harder to use, and it might also make the vinegar taste and look worse. 

Also, putting vinegar in the fridge can change its potency because cold temperatures can slow down the fermentation process and make the vinegar less acidic.

Shelf Life of Apple Cider Vinegar

Unopened Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar that hasn’t been opened can last for a long time because it is acidic and the bottle seal protects it. If the vinegar is kept in a cool, dark place, it will keep its quality and taste for many years. As long as the bottle is not opened and kept in the right way, the vinegar should be fine.

Opened Apple Cider Vinegar

The shelf life of opened apple cider vinegar is much shorter than that of unopened vinegar. The vinegar is exposed to air, light, and other factors that can cause it to deteriorate more quickly once it is opened. It is thought that opened apple cider vinegar will last between 3 and 6 months, but this can change depending on how it is stored and how good it is. 

Over time, the vinegar’s potency and flavor may start to get worse, making it less effective and less tasty. The vinegar may develop a cloudy appearance, which is a sign that it is no longer at its best.

Can You Freeze Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is generally stored in a cool, dark place; you may wonder if it can be frozen. The answer is yes, you can freeze apple cider vinegar, but it is important to understand the potential effects of freezing on the quality and texture of the vinegar.

When apple cider vinegar is frozen, it can form crystals and separate into two layers. The liquid can become cloudy, and the vinegar may not look as appealing. 

However, freezing does not affect the flavor or potency of the vinegar, so it can still be used for cooking or as a natural remedy after thawing. 


Take note that freezing apple cider vinegar in a glass bottle is not recommended, as the expansion of the liquid can cause the bottle to break.


To freeze apple cider vinegar, it is best to transfer it to a freezer-safe container, such as a plastic bottle or freezer-safe bag. The vinegar can then be frozen for up to six months. When you’re ready to use the vinegar, just let it thaw in the fridge or at room temperature. If the vinegar has separated, shake it well before using it to re-emulsify the mixture.

What is the Mother in Apple Cider Vinegar?

mother apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is known for more than just its taste and versatility. It may also be good for your health. The “mother” in apple cider vinegar is one of the things that makes it good for your health.

Apple cider vinegar’s “mother” is a culture of good bacteria that turns apple cider into vinegar. During the fermentation process, yeast breaks down the sugars in the apple cider into alcohol. Acetobacter bacteria then convert the alcohol into acetic acid, the main ingredient in vinegar. The mother is a combination of yeast and bacteria that is responsible for the transformation process.

Apple cider vinegar with the mother, which is organic and hasn’t been filtered, looks cloudier than vinegar that has been filtered. This is because the mother contains strands of bacteria and yeast that are responsible for the fermentation process. 

While the appearance of the mother may not be appealing to some, it is the presence of the mother that is linked with improved health benefits.

Studies have shown that eating apple cider vinegar with the “mother” can improve digestion, help you lose weight, and lower your blood sugar levels, among other things. The mother is rich in acetic acid, which has antimicrobial properties and can help kill harmful bacteria in the body.

When buying apple cider vinegar, you should look for one that is organic, unfiltered, and has the “mother.” This will ensure that you are getting the maximum health benefits from your vinegar. If the appearance of the mother is unappealing, it can be strained out before using the vinegar.

Signs of Apple Cider Vinegar Has Gone Bad

While apple cider vinegar has a long shelf life, it is possible for it to go bad over time. If this happens, it can make the vinegar taste bad and be dangerous to your health if you eat it. Knowing the signs of bad apple cider vinegar can help you determine if it is safe to use and when it should be discarded.

One of the most noticeable signs that apple cider vinegar has gone bad is a change in color. If the vinegar turns a yellow or brown color, it may indicate that it has gone bad. Another sign is the formation of sediment or a cloudy appearance. This is because the yeast and bacteria that help the vinegar ferment have settled to the bottom of the bottle.

An off-putting odor or smell may indicate bad apple cider vinegar. If the vinegar has a sour, musty, or moldy smell, it may no longer be safe to use. Also, if the vinegar tastes very sour or bitter, that could be a sign that it has gone bad.

Like anything else, if you are unsure about the quality of your vinegar, it is best to err on the side of caution and discard it.

Best Practices for Storing Apple Cider Vinegar

Proper Storage Conditions

To ensure that apple cider vinegar stays fresh and of the highest quality, it is important to store it under proper conditions. This includes keeping the bottle sealed and stored in a cool, dark place, away from direct light and heat sources

You should keep the vinegar away from moisture and other sources of contamination, such as food products or cooking oils.

How to Store Apple Cider Vinegar

One of the best ways to store apple cider vinegar is to keep it in its original bottle, with the cap securely tightened. This will help to prevent exposure to air and light, which can cause the vinegar to deteriorate more quickly. 

If the original bottle is not available, you may need to transfer the vinegar to a clean, airtight container that can be tightly sealed. This will help to preserve the quality and potency of the vinegar, while also reducing the risk of contamination.


The question of whether apple cider vinegar needs to be refrigerated after it has been opened comes down to personal preference, as there are both pros and cons to putting the vinegar in the fridge.

While refrigeration can help extend the shelf life and preserve the quality of the vinegar, it can also cause the liquid to become cloudy and thick,and potentially reduce its potency and flavor.

Whether you keep apple cider vinegar in the fridge or not, it’s important to store it the right way to make sure it stays safe and fresh. This includes keeping the bottle in a cool, dark place, away from direct light and heat sources, and in a tightly sealed container. It’s also important to keep an eye on the vinegar’s quality and throw it away if it starts to go bad or change.

In the end, the decision to refrigerate apple cider vinegar after opening should be based on individual needs and storage conditions. If you store the vinegar correctly and keep an eye on its quality, it will stay fresh and of the best quality for as long as possible.

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