There are so many uses for apple cider vinegar; almost everyone uses it in some way, and therefore, the question is often asked:
Does apple cider vinegar spoil and how can you tell when it does?
Storing Apple Cider Vinegar
First of all, if you’re using apple cider vinegar, you need to know how to properly store it so that you can keep it as fresh as possible. The basic composition of apple cider vinegar is acidic.
The pH of ACV falls somewhere between 4.25-5.0. This pH inhibits microbial/bacterial growth.
In addition, the disinfectant and antibacterial properties are enhanced due to the acetic and malic acid content levels. Therefore, apple cider vinegar can last for several years without deteriorating.
However, after you open the bottle, it’s best to keep it in a cool, dry area with the top tightly closed.
Dust, bacteria, and other contaminants in the air are what causes it to deteriorate, so the more you can keep these away, the better.
Does Apple Cider Vinegar Have a Shelf Life?
You already know that due to the acidic nature, you can use apple cider vinegar safely for some time.
However, is it possible to determine the shelf life of this amazing, useful product? The answer is fairly simple; when you look on the side of the bottle, you’ll typically find an expiration date.
This expiration date is actually indicative of how long it’s safe to consume it for joint pain or osteoporosis.
Keep in mind that in some cases, due to changes in the climate or other things that are out of your control, it could become cloudy/hazy.
This does not mean that it’s gone bad; it’s still perfectly safe for you to use. Something else to remember is this: Over time, the acidity of the vinegar will get stronger and you’ll find that it’s developing intense aromas/flavors.
Typically, you can safely use apple cider vinegar for up to five years.
However, you must keep the above information in mind and avoid exposure to environmental contaminants. It’s best to store it in your fridge after you open it.
How to Determine if Apple Cider Vinegar is Bad
Now that we’ve taken a look at the average shelf life and proper storage of apple cider vinegar, it’s time to take a look at some of the indications that your apple cider vinegar has gone bad.
If you find that any of these apply to your apple cider vinegar, you need to throw it out; it is no longer safe for you to consume.
If there are any bugs in your apple cider vinegar, it has been contaminated.
If there are any extreme changes in color/odor/taste, it has spoiled. In addition, if you see any lumps or changes in the viscosity, you can be sure it is no longer safe for consumption.
Even if the expiration date has not passed, it’s still best to throw out vinegar in these situations. You would not want to risk your own health or that of your loved ones.