Comparing Apple Cider Vinegar and White Vinegar: A Detailed Guide

Apple cider and white vinegar are widely known for their numerous uses. They excel in cleaning, cooking, and even as natural remedies. These variants showcase the vast utility of vinegar, proving its unassuming power.

Two prominent vinegars, apple cider vinegar and white vinegar, offer diverse properties and applications. Fermented apples produce apple cider vinegar, which boasts a delicate fruity flavour underscored by a mild sweetness. 

This makes it an excellent choice for salad dressings or marinades. Furthermore, as a health tonic, it potentially contains probiotics while providing alleged health benefits. Manufacturers produce white vinegar from grains like corn or wheat, infusing it with a harshly acidic flavour and clear appearance. 

Read on to find the main pointers of the distinction between apple cider vinegar and white vinegar.  

What is white vinegar?

Distilling grain-based ethanol and fermenting it with bacteria yields white vinegar. Also referred to as the spirit or distilled vinegar, this particular type is clear and colourless. It derives its sour taste and pungent aroma from primarily one element known as acetic acid.

White vinegar, in contrast to apple cider or wine vinegar, exudes a harsh and sharp flavour, lacking the source's subtle undertones. Its culinary uses are reduced due to this unique taste. However, it is an exceptional option for cleaning and household tasks.

White vinegar exhibits high acidity with an acidity level of approximately 5-8% acetic acid. This attribute gives it potent natural cleansing capabilities. Indeed, it can cut through grease effectively, eliminating mineral deposits and disinfecting surfaces. Its versatility is further highlighted by its application in various areas, such as laundry care, dishwashing and window cleaning. 

What is apple cider vinegar?

Made from fermented apple juice, apple cider vinegar has been found to have several applications. Natural sugars and nutrients in apples infuse them with a tangy, slightly sweet flavour. It has an amber colour that differentiates it easily from white vinegar.

Two fermentation steps comprise the production process. Firstly, yeast converts natural sugars in apple juice to alcohol. Subsequently, with the introduction of bacteria, a further fermentation occurs where alcohol transforms into acetic acid, vinegar's principal active compound.

Acetic acid, polyphenols, enzymes and amino acids are the components of apple cider vinegar. These beneficial compounds contribute to its potential health advantages. It is believed that this rich composition aids in weight loss and improves blood sugar control while promoting healthy digestion as a bonus feature. 

To reap the full benefits of ACV, use high-quality, responsibly made apple cider vinegar. You may browse Zandu's selection of excellent apple cider vinegars. 

A comparative study between apple cider vinegar and white vinegar

Both apple cider vinegar and white vinegar possess comparable traits, yet they vary in terms of their taste, appearance, and advantages for health. Formed through the fermentation of apple juice, apple cider vinegar boasts a rich brownish-amber hue and an intricate, fruity essence. Conversely, white vinegar is derived from grain alcohol, resulting in a starkly transparent and acidic flavour. 

Apple cider vinegar is good for your health. It can help you lose weight, control blood sugar, and keep your stomach healthy. It has good bacteria in it. White vinegar doesn't have the same health benefits. It's mostly used for cleaning around the house.

Table showing the differences between apple cider vinegar and white vinegar


Apple Cider Vinegar

White Vinegar



Grains (often corn or wheat)


Light to medium amber

Clear to pale yellow


Fruity, mild, slightly sweet

Sharp, acidic

Acidity level (typically)



Taste in Cooking

Adds subtle fruity notes

Neutralises flavours

Culinary Uses

Salad dressings, marinades, etc.

Pickling, cleaning

Health Benefits

Potential for probiotics, vitamins

Antimicrobial properties


Often more expensive

Generally more affordable

Also check:

Let’s take a look for a detailed comparison:

Consider the following distinctions between white vinegar and apple cider vinegar while shopping for items at the grocery store:

  • Acid concentrations: Apple cider vinegar typically contains approximately five to six per cent acetic acid, whereas white vinegar can range from five to ten per cent. This higher concentration in white vinegar renders it generally more acidic than its apple-derived counterpart.
  • Colour: Apple cider vinegar exhibits a dark brown or amber hue, while white vinegar boasts a clear, colourless appearance.
  • Cooking uses: Both apple cider vinegar and white vinegar are popular in salad dressings, marinades, and seasonings for dishes like beets. When combined with baking soda, white vinegar serves as an effective leavening agent in baking, contrasting with the potential bloating effect of an apple cider vinegar and baking soda mixture.
  • Fermentation: White vinegar is made in just one step, where alcohol from things like corn, wheat, or potatoes is turned into acetic acid. On the other hand, making apple cider vinegar takes two steps. First, apple mash is mixed with sugar and yeast to create alcohol. Then, in the second step, special bacteria called acetic acid bacteria are added. 
  • Household uses: Renowned for its antimicrobial properties, white vinegar serves as a popular disinfectant in household cleaning. Some individuals advocate for apple cider vinegar as a natural remedy for dandruff.
  • Taste: Apple cider vinegar imparts a distinct apple flavour and aroma, whereas white vinegar offers a sharp, tart flavour and scent.

Nutritional facts 

Apple cider vinegar and white vinegar are often utilised interchangeably in various recipes. While the former has a slightly fruity and milder taste, the latter is more acidic and neutral. Furthermore, apple cider vinegar is likely to contain trace amounts of antioxidants and probiotics. So, this vinegar has added health benefits, unlike white vinegar. Therefore, people prefer apple cider vinegar more when it comes to consumption purposes. 


Apple Cider Vinegar

White Vinegar

























Apple cider vinegar uses

  • Digestive aid: Some individuals believe apple cider vinegar might aid digestion and ease indigestion.
  • Salad dressing: Apple cider vinegar enhances salad dressings with its tart flavour.
  • Hair rinse: Use diluted apple cider vinegar as a natural hair rinse to improve shine and reduce buildup.

White vinegar uses

  • Cleaning: Use white vinegar to clean windows, remove stains, and deodorise surfaces.
  • Pickling: White vinegar's strong acidity is excellent for pickling fruits and vegetables, extending their shelf life.
  • Weed Killer: For an eco-friendly weed killer in gardens and roads, combine white vinegar with water.

Can you use substitute apple cider vinegar for white vinegar?

You can use apple cider vinegar and white vinegar in most recipes in the same way, but apple cider vinegar tastes much more sour. You can often exchange apple cider vinegar for malt vinegar or use white vinegar instead of white wine vinegar when cooking. Both kinds of vinegar can be used for pickling foods, but white vinegar works better because it is more acidic.


Both apple vinegar and white vinegar have their unique advantages and applications. With its pleasant aroma and possible health advantages, Apple vinegar is popular in cooking and as a natural cure. White vinegar, with its strong acidity and adaptability, excels in cleaning and preservation jobs. When it comes to apple vinegar versus white vinegar, the winning component is determined by personal choice and the task at hand.

Don't forget to check:

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is apple cider vinegar more effective for weight loss compared to white vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar might help people lose weight because it has a lot of acetic acid. This acid is thought to help control blood sugar and make you feel less hungry. But just drinking apple cider vinegar won't make you lose weight on its own. To see the best results, you also need to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.

2. Can I swap white vinegar for apple cider vinegar in recipes?

Yes, white vinegar can generally substitute for apple cider vinegar in most recipes. Yet, note that the flavour profile will differ as white vinegar lacks the fruity undertones of apple cider vinegar.

3. Is apple cider vinegar suitable for cleaning?

While apple cider vinegar can be used for cleaning, its amber hue may stain certain surfaces. White vinegar is a preferable option for cleaning tasks where colour preservation is essential.

4. What are alternative applications for white vinegar?

White vinegar serves multiple purposes besides cleaning and preserving, such as a fabric softener, natural weed killer, and unclogging drains. Before utilising vinegar as a remedy, it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional and experiment to determine the most suitable vinegar for various needs.


Zandu Ayurvedic Team

Zandu Ayurvedic Team has a panel of over 10 BAMS (Ayurvedacharya), boasting a collective experience of over 50 years. With a deep-rooted understanding of Ayurveda, they are committed to sharing their expertise & knowledge through our blogs.
We use all kinds of Ayurvedic references in our content. Please use the contact form for any editorial queries.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published