15 What Is In Your Vinegar?

Vinegar is so versatile and a staple in the cupboards of anyone trying to reduce toxins in their home. But have you ever stopped to look at the label?  Chances are that there isn't much on there and if there is a list of ingredients it may not provide any information on what went in to making the vinegar but instead just list the type of vinegar that is in the bottle. 

White Vinegar

Vinegar is acetic acid and water and is made through the fermentation of ethanol. Ethanol is a grain alcohol that can take many different forms and uses. The most common grains used to make ethanol that goes into making vinegar are corn and malt but it has been reported that natural gas and petroleum derivatives are also being used.

You want to see that it is made from a grain, if it does not indicate this on the label then you can not trust that it is not made from petroleum.

Photos sent by Beth Terry

If you want to avoid GMO's then look for organic vinegar as corn is almost always GMO. Organic vinegar can be expensive so to save some money you can buy the non organic for cleaning and the organic for food.

Photos sent by Beth Terry

You can't just look at the company that makes the vinegar either. These 2 brands are made by the same company (Loblaws Inc.) yet one is clearly labeled and the other is not.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar should always be made from apples. One would think with the name apple that it would be, but this is not always the case.  While some labels contain pictures of nice looking apples they do not anywhere say that they actually use apples in the process of making the vinegar. In fact, earlier this year there was talk in the green living blogger world that some apple cider vinegar's are made from petroleum bases with a caramel colour added to make it look like apple cider vinegar made from apples.

Since apple cider vinegar is typically used in food or natural remedies it is best to buy organic to ensure you are getting GMO free and pesticide free (apples are very high in pesticides).

Photos sent by Beth Terry

Photos sent by Karen Lee

Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is made from white grapes and is aged for a very long time giving it a dark colour. Unfortunately this process makes it very expensive to buy and thus the majority of balsamic vinegar for sale in grocery stores is of a cheaper grade. Those brands make their vinegar from grape juice and then add sugars and caramel in to give it its dark colour.

To ensure your vinegar is safe and healthy for your family ensure you read labels carefully each and every time you buy it. You never know when a company may change their manufacturing processes.

What kind of vinegar do you buy? Is it clearly labelled?

Related Posts - Check them Out
Stripping Your Clothes Without Chemicals
Natural Ways to Get Rid of Bugs and Insects
Vinegar FTW

photo credit: BreadnBadger via photopin cc


  1. Even being a "green" blogger for a while, I never thought about what might be in my vinegar, esp. plain white vinegar. I thought it was just, well, vinegar! thanks for this -- I'm definitely going to be inspecting labels in future purchases!

  2. Same here Sarah. A few months ago I turned a bottle over after asking myself the same question and was shocked that there was no label of ingredients!

  3. i'm a vinegar freak. just love the stuff, but fortunately i'm also a fussy vinegar freak. wow, i had no idea about most of this stuff. great post!

  4. Thanks for posting this! I love using apple cider vinegar & balsamic as dressings and white vinegar for cleaning (but occasionally food) so good to keep in mind!

  5. Great info, Jen! Thanks for sharing this! I haven't paid too much attention to vinegar and now I will!

  6. I,like Sarah, never gave much thought to my vinegar (although I do buy organic!). Interesting information. It's all about awareness. Thank you.

  7. I like your vinegar post. Apple Cider Vinegar - the go to for everything (at least according to my mother). I eat organic as much as I possible can. If not I read labels. I think you found a new follower :)

    Here via NaBloPoMo

  8. I never looked at my vinegar labels but good to know that my distilled vinegar (for cleaning) is made from grain.

  9. As someone who uses vinegar a lot - to clean and to cook - I had no idea about all of these things. Thanks for the information & tips!

  10. Awesome article! I thought about writing a post on vinegar, but haven't gotten around to it. I am going to share this on my FB page! Thanks so much. Karen@NourishWithKaren

  11. This was kind of an eye-opener. I'll be checking the vinegars I have in my kitchen now, for sure.

  12. Wow, never knew. I try to be an aware shopper, but there is always more to learn!

  13. In my town I have no access to organic vinegars and have to order mine online. I didn't realize apple cider vinegars were even made without apples, but since I use Braggs Organic I know I am safe there. :-)