Almost everyone uses vinegar as it is considered to be an item in the pantry that could be used for multiple purposes. Vinegar can be used for several things such as sanitizing, cooking, cleaning, and more. We also have various forms of vinegar and it can have several functioning branches varying from rice vinegar to apple cider vinegar, and cleaning vinegar, there are a lot of options.
Just a small amount of vinegar is enough to be used and we usually purchase it in large containers. This means there is a need for good options for storing and preserving it once it has been opened for us not to waste it.
For the storing process, can we freeze vinegar? Perhaps, what is considered the best method to store it? Vinegar can be stored at room temperature for a long time but it can also be frozen if there is a need to.
The Ultimate Guide to Freezing Vinegar
Vinegar can melt items, even to the extent of frozen items like ice. Vinegar melts ice because of its makeup. Vinegar has a composition that when combined with water, the water’s freezing point is reduced. Whenever you find yourself needing to work through the ice, consider using vinegar to melt it. However, it just does not happen immediately, it takes some time, so when using it to clear the ice on your windshield try to anticipate and prepare the windshield before the ice comes on it so that it will prevent too much ice sticking to it.
Many individuals take the functions of vinegar for granted. The makeup of vinegar is acetic acid that has various additives or additional flavorings and trace chemicals. You could make vinegar’s acetic acid in several ways. It can commonly be made when you ferment ethanol or some other sugars. You can trace the reason why vinegar has so many types to the fact that it has several sources that it can be made from. Check below for some of the common vinegar types:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Distilled vinegar
- White vinegar
- White wine vinegar
- Red wine vinegar
- Traditional vinegar
- Rice vinegar
- Balsamic vinegar
Uses for Vinegar
You can use vinegar for so many things. Apple cider vinegar can be best used for its benefits to health such as helping with acne, to soothe bug bites, to condition the hair, reduce blood pressure, and help boost your immune system. Some other types of vinegar also have several benefits but this particular one is the most common because of its additional benefits to the health that can even be considered more powerful when you mix it in baking soda. Check below for some other things you can use vinegar for:
- Pie crusts
- Pan sauce
- Dipping sauces
- (Vinaigrette) Homemade salad dressing
- Stain remover
- Used in cleaning mold
- Unclog shower faucets and heads
- Clean a microwave
- Preserve freshly cut flowers
- Kill weeds
- Window cleaner
Shelf Life of Vinegar
There are people who argue that typical vinegar can last forever and this could be true. However, it has best-by dates and usage time and storage options recommended. Vinegar can be kept on the shelf for a very long time whether it has been opened or not. You may notice some changes in your mixture.
The Agriculture Department of the United States recommends that vinegar can only be kept on your shelf for around two years after you have opened it. Though it will not necessarily become bad because it is considered very acidic and this helps it to self-preserve which is usually for all vinegar. You are recommended not to store the vinegar under direct sunlight, instead, store in a dark area and semi-cool or closed pantry.
If you allow it to pass two years before you use, you will notice that there is discoloration in the mixture. You may also realize it is looking filmy due to the factor of fermentation involved in making vinegar. This will most likely not affect the usefulness and flavor of the vinegar. All you need to do is to shake it excellently and then use it as you want. Even though it has labels of the expiration date, it is only a recommendation that might not really affect the use.
What Happens When You Freeze Vinegar?
Vinegar can be frozen irrespective of the type and it is possible to notice different reactions linked with different vinegar types. If you want to preserve your vinegar, you don’t need to freeze it because it is considered to be a product that self-preserves and can be stored for years on the pantry shelf without any noticeable effect.
If you, however, decide to freeze vinegar, it is not a bad idea but you will most likely notice some things. Firstly, you will freeze vinegar at a temperature of about 28°F. If left outside where the temperature is not controlled, the vinegar could freeze. You could see discoloration in the acetic acid because it decomposes after a while. It does not mean the vinegar has gone bad but the potency and the acidity would have reduced.
The vinegar acidity could be diluted even more when you freeze your vinegar because it will freeze and then melt leading to the addition of excess moisture diluting the acid within the vinegar. Furthermore, you may have to alter the way you use your vinegar after you have frozen it. For example, you may not notice any difference after using the vinegar mostly in making dressings or cook but for pickling of items or for cleaning it is better not to freeze the vinegar because the potency will be reduced due to the dilution which may lead to it being less effective.
How to Freeze Vinegar
You can freeze any vinegar using similar instructions and you must take notice of the container you want to use to freeze the vinegar to avoid break, crack, or leak which may lead to it melting ice.
- Begin by transfer your vinegar into your freezable and sealable sturdy container that will not crack or leak.
- Ensure you allow one or two inches of space because liquid usually expands as they freeze.
- Use a plastic wrap to cover the top of the container before you use a lid to seal it. This will help against any leak.
- Put the lid and also seal with tape so that it will be appropriately placed.
- Freeze it until you want to or indefinitely.
Don’t forget that you should freeze at a temperature of 28°F because the lower the temperature, the more it will lose its acidity. Check below for some of the alternative methods you can use to freeze it in smaller amounts instead as a big batch:
- Pour your vinegar inside ice cube trays
- Proceed to freeze the trays for about 6 to 12 hours so that they will become solid
- Then pop the cubes from within the trays before you proceed to transfer them into heavy-duty bags or storage containers
This method will help you to use only the ice cubes that you need per time.
Red Wine Vinegar
It got the name red wine vinegar as a result of being fermented using red wine. It has a similar concept to the traditional vinegar. The color becomes red instead of clear because of the presence of red wine. It is most commonly used for dressing and cooking. You can add it to a vinaigrette. Check below for some of its benefits:
- Marinade meats
- Facial toner when diluted
- Could help enhance weight loss
- Contains antioxidants
- Enhance the health of the heart
- Help to lower blood sugar levels
Red wine vinegar can also be used for household cleaning but you will need to do the research and also be mindful of the red color.
This is vinegar that can indefinitely last on a shelf just like other types of vinegar. Use it within two years to get the best quality. Once you have opened the lid, store it inside your refrigerator so that it will preserve the vinegar. It can also be frozen but it is not necessary. Follow the previous freezing method if you decide to freeze it.
Distilled or White Vinegar
Distilled and white vinegar are the same and they are the most commonly found type of vinegar with several multi-functions. Use distilled or white vinegar if you want to use vinegar for disinfectant and cleaning purposes. White vinegar can be used mixed with your baking soda and it will help you to clean soap scum and mold in the bathroom. People usually refer to it as traditional or regular vinegar.
You don’t have to refrigerate or freeze white vinegar unless that is your preference. If you want to freeze your white vinegar, simply follow the freezing steps in the guide above. Its shelf life is infinite and can stay for a long time though you might need to shake it after a while that it has sat.
You usually use white vinegar to clean, but you can also get cleaning vinegar that has contained in it 1% more acetic acid. The difference is that cleaning vinegar will slightly be stronger to clean but the more effective will be white vinegar.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can be used commonly marinades and salad dressings. Some people drink it by mixing with tea or juice because it supports the immune system and some other benefits to health when regularly used. It is an acetic acid like other vinegar but apple juice is used to ferment it.
You can store apple cider vinegar just as you have stored traditional vinegar. Ensure it is not stored in an area that is exposed to sunlight or with heat but instead a cool and dark place, consider the corner at the back of your cupboard or pantry. You may also put it in the fridge but you don’t need to because the shelf life is two years and you can still use it after then. This is the most regulated type of vinegar with a stamped specific expiration date.
Apple cider vinegar will only go bad due to the fermented apple juice contained in it. It can be frozen but we do not recommend it most especially if you have made your own because it could lose its potency when you freeze it. Just tightly seal it and store it on your cabinet.
The discussed types of vinegar are the most popular that require specific instructions to preserve. Treat any other wine-based form like the red wine vinegar and that means you can store in a dark and cool location or the refrigerator.
Does Vinegar Actually Kill Mold?
Vinegar contains acid and can be used to kill about 80 to 85 percent of molds and it can be used to prevent the growth of mold from an already treated area. Though it will not kill every mold, it still performs well and ensure you do not dilute white vinegar to fight against mold.
Does Red Wine Vinegar Clean as Well as Distilled Vinegar?
You can use red wine vinegar to clean as much as your distilled vinegar but because red wine vinegar is special, it is expensive and it will also leave a slight stain because of the red color.