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Difference Between White Vinegar and Apple Cider Vinegar

Difference Between White Vinegar and Apple Cider Vinegar

White Vinegar vs. Apple Cider Vinegar

Vinegar is a staple cooking and household item. What many are unaware of, however, is that there are multiple types of vinegar. Geographic locations and the specific ingredients tend to determine the type of vinegar that is developed.

As mentioned above, there are numerous types of vinegar. Malt vinegar, which is made from grains (most commonly barley), originated from the English. Coconut vinegar is common in Asia and is produced through the process of fermenting coconut juice. Cane vinegar, produced from fermented sugar cane, is popular in the Philippines. There are many others, but the most widely known ones are white vinegar,  mainly utilized in cooking to cleaning, and apple cider vinegar, which has gained popularity in recent times thanks to its versatility and health benefits.

The same process used in distilling wine is utilized in producing vinegar. However, the fermentation process of the ethanol is more concentrated, producing acetic acid. The term ‘vinegar’ was derived from the French ‘vin aigre’, which literally means ‘sour wine.’ Traditionally, vinegar is produced over the course of several weeks or longer. This promotes the natural accumulation of acetic acid bacteria (aka ‘mother of vinegar’). Modern methods allow for faster development through the usage of bacterial cultures and machinery that speed up the oxygenation and, consequently, the fermentation. White vinegar and apple cider vinegar are produced in a similar manner, but with slight differences.

White vinegar is actually clear vinegar. It is produced using the same means as other vinegars, but is often derived from vinegars themselves. A popular choice is malt vinegar due to its cheap cost. In comparison to other vinegars, white vinegar is extremely sour. Because of its higher acidity level than others of its kind (distilling malt vinegar with water, for instance, yields around 5-8% acetic acid content), white vinegar is more often used for cleaning purposes, though it is also known for its medicinal uses as well as for baking, pickling, and preserving meat products. Rice vinegar, popular in Asian countries, is perhaps the only white vinegar almost exclusively utilized in cooking. White vinegar can be used to clean windows, stains, and even to sterilize tools; it is often used in laboratory settings.

Apple cider vinegar (commonly referred to as ACV), on the other hand, is made through the fermentation process of apple cider. In the same manner as all vinegar is produced, apple cider vinegar is first fermented into alcohol. Next, it is further processed to increase its acetic acid content, thus turning it into vinegar. Another difference between white vinegar and apple cider vinegar is that the latter has a yellow-brown light coloration. It is commonly distributed unfiltered and without going through pasteurization. Remember the ‘mother of vinegar’ that is produced using other processed vinegar? Apple cider vinegar is often distributed with the ‘mother of vinegar’ residue at the bottom of the container. Apple cider vinegar is popular among the health conscious due to its supposed health benefits superior to those of vinegars. While both white vinegar and apple cider vinegar have potential medicinal uses, many contend that apple cider vinegar is more potent, particularly in the areas of controlling blood sugar levels and weight loss, as a remedy to some skin conditions and allergies, as well as boosting the immune system. It is also thought to have positive effects on reducing high levels of bad cholesterol and lowering blood pressure.

In summary:

1.White vinegar and Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) are produced through the same process; through the distillation of fermented ethanol, which yields acetic acid, the key component of vinegars.

2.White vinegar encompasses a larger scope of vinegar types as it is generally produced from vinegars themselves; apple cider vinegar is the product of the distillation of ethanol from apple cider.

3.White vinegar is more often used as a cleaning agent, while apple cider vinegar is popular for its health benefits.

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  1. I applaud the effort to create a “difference between” resource. But, the writing in this particular article (Difference Between White Vinegar and Apple Cider Vinegar) is remarkably poor. The diction, sentence structure and grammar are bad, which detracts from the readability of the article. As well, many items of information are imprecise or incorrect. For differencebetween.net to be a really good resource, you folks need an editor.

    • I enjoyed the content and found this article very helpful, I am interested in relevance not grammar.

    • The criticism from Rob Stevens seems stuffed with a love of pompous bureaucracy. The discussion of differences between white and apple vinegars was both informative and practical for folks who merely want to chose which product will work for their particular project or health application.

      • Rob Stevens is a fairly common name so I can’t say that I definitely know the poster. However, if it is the Rob Stevens that I went to school with, he is indeed pompous, so on that regard your assessment of his comments is right on the money.

    • Dear Jeanne –
      You sound unsure as to the extent of your allergies. Are you also allergic to wines? Perhaps your allergy is not to vinegar per se but to some measure of pesticides or chemicals used in the growing. You might try some small tastings of vinegars made from organic veggie/fruit stock.

    • I have been using apple cider vinegar as a cleaning agent it works much better on windows etc than white which I am surprised this article didn’t give any info on!

  2. I am allergic to vinegar. I want to try apple vinegar. Will I likely be allergic to it?

    • Dear Jeanne –
      You sound unsure as to the extent of your allergies. Are you also allergic to wines? Perhaps your allergy is not to vinegar per se but to some measure of pesticides or chemicals used in the growing. You might try small tastings of vinegars made from organic veggie/fruit stock.

    • I am also allergic to vinegar. Was wondering if the apple cider vinegar will give me a problem. I had an allergy test so I know for sure anything soak in vinegar is a no no for me

    • Hi Jeanne, you and many others are allergic to vinegar, including my wife. There also seems to be a link to other fermented products like soy sauce. Did you try the Apple Cider Vinegar, if so, what was your experience?

  3. I found this article very useful and meaningful to me. Thanks so much as I was confused at some point how the two really differ. Super!

  4. I wanted to know if it would harm my hair to use white vinegar as my rinse instead of the usual ACV. I found the article frustratingly simple and a lot of words signifying nothing. I still have no idea why white vinegar is not as good a ACV or what the effects would be different from the effects of ACV.

    • There is hardly any difference between the two other than the fruit it is made of, grapes vs apples. And to my knowledge there are more (acv) health claims than that there is scientific evidence.

    • I have to agree with you. Unfortunately, there was very little take away w/ this article. Disappointing . . .

  5. Can anyone suggest a brand apple cider vinegar ? and tell me if it needs be organic also? I want it scalp dandruff and to drink to decrease yeast imbalance in my system. Thxs

    • Don’t know if u r a man or a woman. But if you r a woman
      Yeast infections can be caused from using too strong of soaps on the genital area – soaps like dove or caress made for body only, switch to gentle soaps – like liquid Petals from Walmart, Periwash pump sprays Geneva Woods, too much sugar in your diet – sugar feeds yeast, salt. I use to be a salt addict now rarely salt no yeast infections. Sitting 3 hours to commute and 8 hours accounting
      Equals yeast infections guess too moist needs 100% ventilation at night Oxygen for ventilation

      • Also cotton panties high cut leg to breath, ventilation. Silk, nylon, thong very bad for that area only to be worn short intimate amounts for show only, no panties sounds good but irritates badly especially jeans. Cotton house dresses good for ventilation probably why in the old days women did not wear pants but dresses, nylon pantyhose bad for that area also vs. better knee highs or thigh tops not pantyhose can’t breath no ventilation

    • Bragg brand for sure….

    • Braggs Apple cider
      Pricey but worth it.

  6. The article answered my question. I appreciate the explanation of the differences and could understand it quite well. I am not on here at this time for a grammar check.

  7. Which is best to can with? Apple or white

  8. Is the white vinegar safe to dilute with water to remove makeup as people would normally use the apple cider vinegar for that purpose?

  9. After reading this I have better idea of the differences than I had before.
    I am interested in understanding how cider vinegar lowers blood pressure. Many sources recommend cider vinegar. No source which I know of recommends any other form of vinegar.

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