Difference between Apple Cider Vinegar and Regular Vinegar

By: | Updated: Nov-19, 2017
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Vinegar is one of the most commonly used condiments in the world. Adding vinegar enhances the taste of the dish you are preparing. There are different types of vinegar and their taste varies depending on its variety. The most commonly used varieties of vinegar are apple cider vinegar and regular vinegar. What is the difference between apple cider vinegar and regular vinegar? Let us find out in this article.

Summary Table

Apple Cider Vinegar Regular Vinegar
Made from apples Made from rice
Pale to medium amber color and has a cobweb-like appearance No color, transparent like water
Takes six months to produce Takes 20 hours to three days to produce
Has antibiotic properties Can be used as an alternative cleaning solution
Used as a dressing or a vinaigrette in salads Used as an ingredient in ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise


Bottles of Apple Cider Vinegar
Bottles of Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar, also known as ACV, is made from apple must or cider. It is often sold unfiltered with the mother of vinegar present. Apple cider vinegar can easily be distinguished because of its pale to medium amber color and has a cobweb-like appearance.

It can also be made at home. Apples are placed in a container with water covered with cheesecloth. Cheesecloth is used to ensure that insects do not get into the fermented apples while letting them breathe. It takes six months to fully ferment the apples to produce apple cider vinegar. After six months, the residue is removed by straining the solution through a coffee filter.

ACV is used in vinaigrettes or dressings in salads. It is also used as a marinade for beef or pork cuisines in Asia. Some also prefer to use ACV as a condiment instead of regular vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar has antibiotic properties, which are believed to cure diarrhea caused by a bacterial infections. It is also believed that ACV can help prevent indigestion when consumed half an hour before eating. ACV is usually diluted with fruit juice or water for consumption as a health beverage.

Bottles of regular vinegar
Bottles of regular vinegar

Regular vinegar is usually made from rice. It has a mild acidity and is transparent in color. Some varieties of regular vinegar are red or black in color. This is due to the color of the yeast added during the fermentation process. Vinegar contains acetic acid that is produced during the fermentation process by adding bacteria that produce acetic acid. Commercial vinegar is usually produced by the fast fermentation process. In this process, mother of vinegar is added before adding air into the solution. It only takes 20 hours to three days to produce vinegar using the fast fermentation process.

Regular vinegar is commonly used as a dressing or as a vinaigrette in salads and in the pickling process. It is also an ingredient in other condiments such as ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard.

Regular vinegar is also used as an alternative cleaning solution to chemical-based cleaning implements. It is used to clean glass, mirrors, and surfaces. It is also used in carpet cleaning machines. In addition, it is used to treat pet urine stains and odors. Vinegar prevents the pet from returning to the same spot.

Apple Cider Vinegar vs Regular Vinegar

So, what is the difference between these two types of vinegar? While apple cider vinegar and regular vinegar are technically both vinegar, there are still key differences in their appearances, production processes, duration of their fermentation, the methods of consumption, and other uses.


Apple cider vinegar has a pale to medium amber color and a cobweb-like appearance while regular vinegar has no color and looks similar to water.

Production Process

ACV is produced by fermenting apples in a container covered with cheesecloth, while regular vinegar is produced by adding acetic acid produced by bacteria to ferment the product.

Fermentation Duration

Apple cider vinegar takes six months to ferment, while regular vinegar takes only 20 hours to three days to produce.


ACV is used to cure diarrhea caused by bacterial infections while regular vinegar is used as an alternative cleaning solution.

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