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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?

    • I am also allergic to vinegar, and I found that it is likely the bacterial fermentation process used because that process often uses the juice from bugs (hope I didn’t gross too many people out). Vinegar is used in almost all condiments, including, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, sweet and sour sauce, barbecue sauce, salad dressing, etc., and, of course, anything pickled. FYI, this means that all the products I mentioned are NOT vegan. However, the one notable exception is spaghetti sauce. Also, I am not going to try wine just to see if I am allergic to it. I read this article to see if apple cider vinegar is truly a vinegar (i.e., uses the same fermentation process), and I am disappointed.

  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 . . .

    • Hi there, my gran had always used vinegar on us. Use malt vinegar on dark hair and white vinegar on fairer hair or blonde hair but you must dilute both to 1 part vinegar to 9 parts distilled water. Then you put it on your hair and scalp as a final rinse and leave it on. It works as a detangler and puts shine on the hair and a scalp balancer especially for people with dandruff.

    • Hi there, my gran had always used vinegar on us. Use malt vinegar on dark hair and white vinegar on fairer hair or blonde hair but you must dilute both to 1 part vinegar to 9 parts distilled water. Then you put it on your hair and scalp as a final rinse and leave it on. It works as a detangler and puts shine on the hair and a scalp balancer especially for people with dandruff.

  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

      • On dry skin surfaces yeast has the least chance of multiplying.We all have yeasts on skin and bowel- it’s a commensal.Anti yeast medication if persisted with may clear yeasts fully but in a matter of days or weeks they recognize the skin.What is needed is to not allow multiplication above a level which results in symptoms. GOOD blood sugar control Nd keeping the skin dry will keep yeasts at bay.Note yeasts cause symptoms only in moist areas.

    • 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

    • Apple cider good fresh from the orchard but nasty fermented later big chunks nasty apples no preservatives
      White vinegar maybe from barley ask google

    • I don’t can but I use apple cider vinegar in my refrigator pickles and it gives it a nice tang.It is also better if you are needing to avoid white vinegar due to candita overgrowth.

    • White is better as the cider vinegar leaves a cloudy residue.

    • I am a chemist that teaches food science. I had an article on canning from a midwestern University (but the article originated from the University of Georgia ) that stated Heinz distilled, white vinegar had a 5% acetic acid that was quality controlled. Apple Cider Vinegar was no so well controlled. The point was that for consistency one was better using a brand that was designed and manufactured for the purpose of canning.

      That is what I use as my grandmother agreed.

  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.

  10. The active ingredient in ALL vinegars is acetic acid. White vinegar is essentially made from grains (usually malt vinegar), then distilled to remove the impurities and colors and off flavors. It also contains less acetaldehyde, which can cause cancer. So, if you want the main positive effects of vinegar with less of the potential downsides, I would choose white vinegar. It is also much cheaper. Unfortunately, so many people think that apple cider vinegar has some special ingredients that it is about all you will find in capsule form. Two other supplements to take along with any vinegar to reduce the amount of acetaldehyde exposure are molybdenum and L-cysteine. They will greatly reduce your odds of getting cancer from ingesting too much vinegar.

  11. My God! Nobody seems to have even a basic knowledge of chemistry! First, any vinegar is made, not by distilling, but by oxidising the ethanol. The oxidation is performed by the bacterium acetobactor aceti in air, of course. Secondly, all vinegars are judt dilute solutions of acetic acid in water. The %age may be easily adjusted with water — in any case, you don’t intend to drink it straight … or, did you? The additional molecules present in ACV are present in too small concentrations to have any effect on the human body biochemistry, unless you drink a few litres every day. Thus, if ACV performs any miraclean, white vinegar can match them. Lastly, acetic acid does not really have any miraculous health benefits. The trouble is that the marketing hype elevates ACV to a superfood and the ignorant public and media are fooled. If everybody realises that cheap white vinegar is just the same thing, the wind goes out of the sails of these marketeers (the double ‘e’ is intentional — to equate this breed to profiteers and bucaneers)

  12. The answer received is not helpful.whether white vinegar marketted as a dilute solution of acetic acid is helpful for preserving a special kind of mango preparation,amsuta/amsi.Grammarticals are not the matter.Answer should be appropriate.

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