Difference Between White Vinegar and Apple Cider Vinegar

Cooking is a process that is never as simple as it looks like. It involves a lot of terminologies, processes, and methods.

In order for someone to get a dish cooked properly, or even master the recipe, one should be familiar with these terms thoroughly.

Vinegar is one of the most important, and commonly used products, used in order to create a number of dishes. The main purpose of vinegar is to pickle liquids, prepare sauces, and bring that tangy taste to them.

Vinegar is of two main types. White vinegar, and Apple Cider Vinegar.

White Vinegar vs Apple Cider Vinegar

The main difference between white vinegar and apple cider vinegar is its color. White Vinegar is actually colorless, while apple cider vinegar has a murky reddish-brown color.

White Vinegar vs Apple Cider Vinegar 1

White vinegar, which is also known as spirit vinegar, consists mainly of a little bit of acetic acid and a lot of water. This is colorless and is the most common form of vinegar used. 

Apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting crushed apples with yeast, and then fermenting that with bacteria to finally form a bunch of compounds, of which, the main one is acetic acid.

It is important to note that acetic acid is the most important ingredient of any vinegar.

Comparison Table Between White Vinegar and Apple Cider Vinegar

Parameters of ComparisonWhite VinegarApple Cider Vinegar
ColorWhite Vinegar is colorless.Apple Cider Vinegar has a reddish-brown color.
CompositionAcetic acid and Water.Acetic Acid, Water, Malic Acid, Citric Acid.
PreparationFermentation of potatoes, molasses, and milk.Fermentation of crushed apples.
UseUsed as a cleaning agent.Used as a toning agent.
Health BenefitsHas no known health benefits.Has a lot of health benefits.

What is White Vinegar?

White vinegar is the most standard form of vinegar, that is used at both, commercial and industrial levels.

The composition of white vinegar consists mainly of water and acetic acid.

There is 94% to 95% water present, while acetic acid is only 5% of the total composition. This is ideal for consumption and other uses at home. For industrial purposes, acetic acid is present up to as much as 20%. 

Acetic acid, the main ingredient of vinegar, is a colorless organic compound, which is also known as ethanoic acid. It has a distinctive sour taste and a pungent smell.

This taste and smell are what we actually experience when we try to taste or smell vinegar.

This is because the other main component of vinegar, which is water, does not have any taste or smell of its own, hence any other compound added to it predominates over these characteristics.

White Vinegar is a very useful substance, not only for cooking but also for cleaning, gardening, cooking, etc.

When used in the kitchen, this compound can be used with a number of food items, such as pickles, salads, and sauces.

They serve as a base for a wide array of quick pickles, and also many vegetables, and eggs. Vinegar, when added to salads, enhances the flavor, and brings a very characteristic tang to it, without which, the salad seems a little bland.

Besides used for dressing, vinegar is also used in baking, where it is used as a leavening agent alongside soda. The acetic acid in the vinegar reacts with the baking soda present in it, which is basic in nature.

This reaction releases carbon dioxide gas, which makes the baked goods rise, and become fluffy.

Another very important use of vinegar in home recipes is the process of cheesemaking. A small amount of vinegar is usually added to a relatively large amount of milk. The acetic acid in the vinegar reacts with the milk and alters its proteins.

This leads to the curdling of milk, which eventually for soft, mild cheese.

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What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is the second most majorly used form of vinegar. In contrast to white vinegar, apple cider vinegar has a different process by which it is made.

First of all, apples are crushed and then fermented with yeast.

After fermentation is done, then bacteria is added, which leads to further fermentation and the formation of acetic acid. Acetic acid is always necessary for vinegar, that is why this is the end process. 

Acetic acid and water are the main components of apple cider vinegar too. However, there are some more compounds that are not found in white vinegar.

These compounds are malic acid, citric acid, and lactic acid.

Apple cider vinegar has many health benefits, however, most of them do not have any research backing them up, and are mainly home remedies.

Apple cider vinegar has antimicrobial properties and even helps prevent infections when applied on the skin which might have got cut somehow.

Even though apple cider vinegar might be used as first aid if hydrogen peroxide is not available, it is however recommended to get the wound treated by a medical professional as soon as possible.

Other benefits of apple cider vinegar include weight loss, immunity boosting, lower sugar levels, and provide vital nutrients.

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Main Differences Between White Vinegar and Apple Cider Vinegar

  1. The main difference between White Vinegar and Apple Cider Vinegar is its color. White vinegar is colorless, while apple cider vinegar is murky reddish-brown.
  2. In addition to acetic acid, and water present in both kinds of vinegar, apple cider vinegar also has malic acid.
  3. White vinegar is obtained by fermenting potatoes, while apple cider vinegar is obtained by fermenting apples.
  4. White vinegar is used as a cleaning agent, while apple cider vinegar is used as an immunity-boosting agent.
  5. White vinegar does not have any known health benefits, while apple cider vinegar has plenty of known health benefits.
Difference Between White Vinegar and Apple Cider Vinegar


Both kinds of vinegar, white and apple cider, are very simple in composition, save for a few ingredients. But it is really interesting to see how much difference they still have in between them even though they are so similar.

Right from their appearance, smell, and taste to their usage in commercial and industrial areas, they have a lot under their umbrella of uses. Knowing what to use when can be a really useful thing at times.


  1. https://academicjournals.org/journal/JDE/article-abstract/61C12974375
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jopr.12207
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Last update on 2022-09-25 / Amazon Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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