Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)—the buzzy ingredient that has benefit claims, from weight-loss to skincare. You picked up a bottle, used it once, and it’s been sitting in your cabinet ever since. Now you’ve found another use for your dusty bottle of ACV (household cleaning, perhaps) and wonder, does apple cider vinegar expire? Read on for the need-to-know answers to your ACV shelf-life questions.
Does apple cider vinegar expire?
In short, no. Thanks to its anti-microbial properties, you can still use and consume your apple cider vinegar safely after the expiration date. Good to know, but that raises even more questions, like the next one.
How long does it last, and should you go by the expiration date?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires the bottle to have an expiration date. However, apple cider vinegar is acidic and self-preserving by nature, meaning you can continue to use it well past the expiration date. So, go ahead and try that clarifying hair rinse with confidence.
How do you know when it’s getting old?
This one’s tricky since ACV already has a sour smell—those are actually the main ingredients, acetic acid and vinegar, that contribute to its longevity. However, you should keep an eye out for cosmetic changes to your apple cider vinegar, due to typical oxidation from opening and closing the cap. It’s normal to notice cloudiness, sedimentation, separation, and a stronger taste, sources say.
How should you store it?
Apple cider vinegar loves a cool, dark, dry place away from sunlight and in an airtight container. A kitchen cabinet is a good spot, since keeping it in the fridge doesn’t extend its already extensive shelf life. And if you forget all about your ACV in the back of the cabinet (again), no worries—you can always use it later.