Why Does Apple Cider Vinegar Smell So Bad?

Apple juice makes up the majority of apple cider vinegar, but when yeast is added, the juice’s sugar ferments into alcohol. Fermentation is the term used for this process. Alcohol is converted by bacteria into acetic acid. This is the source of vinegar’s sour flavor and pungent smell.

Apple cider vinegar has a long history as a folk treatment for ailments like varicose veins and sore throats. The statements are not well supported by science. However, several academics have started examining apple cider vinegar and its potential advantages more closely in recent years.

Some claim that the mother, a cloud of yeast and bacteria that you could notice in an apple cider vinegar container, is what gives the vinegar its health benefits. These items are probiotic, which may help your digestive system, but there is insufficient evidence to support the other claims.

Is the smell of apple cider vinegar supposed to be foul?

  • Cloudiness is the first indication of bad apple cider vinegar. This does not necessarily mean that anything is bad, but it needs to be thrown out right away. If apple cider vinegar is diluted, its acid concentration will decrease; under these circumstances, germs can proliferate. As an alternative, the ACV’s consistency should be clear. However, you ought to discard it if it’s overcast or hazy.
  • A fizzing sound when you open the bottle is another indication that the apple cider vinegar is bad. The apple cider vinegar’s natural response is what causes the fizzing sound. This is a sign of bad apple cider vinegar, even if it has been pasteurized. If you’re unsure, try a small amount. You can always throw the used vinegar bottle away if you’re unsure.
  • Search for sediment to determine whether apple cider vinegar is bad or not. If it hisses, throw it away. If it has completely lost its color, throw it away and try again. Vinegar contamination is probably the cause of any leaks. Similarly, if there is a lot of silt, get rid of it. The vinegar will eventually become spoiled by the sediment, which is fiber and not acid.
  • The vinegar’s expiration date should also be verified. It should still be used after the expiration date has passed. The vinegar will taste and smell different if it has been oxygenated. If it has an odor, you can use it after it has expired, but the vinegar will smell bad. It will be overcast. Prior to consumption, you should always give the vinegar a sniff and taste.

How can you eliminate the smell of apple cider vinegar?

Take heart! We’ve got you covered with some simple instructions that will quickly get rid of the vinegar odor in your house.

In general, there are three ways to handle any type of offensive odor: mask it, neutralize it, and/or eradicate it. Vinegar smell is no different. Continue reading for our suggestions on how to use these 3 strategies to get rid of the vinegar after-cleaning odor in your house.

How to mask the smell of vinegar

Typically, we don’t favor hiding offensive odors quite that much. After all, unpleasant smells may be an indication of a significant issue (and you don’t want to cover up a condition that could be serious and then ignore it!). Additionally, concealing odors rarely addresses the root of the problem, so ultimately the odor will just return.

However, in the case of a vinegar smell left behind after cleaning, (1) you know what the underlying cause is (your freshly cleaned home!) and it’s not bad (quite the opposite! ), and (2) the smell will go away after a short while, so it won’t come back tomorrow when the smell you used to cover up the vinegar goes away.

So as far as we’re concerned, masking the smell of the vinegar you just used to clean your house is acceptable. In general, there are two methods you can employ if you decide to take this course of action: (1) disguise the scent of the vinegar cleaning solution itself, or (2) cover the smell that remains after cleaning. Below are some ideas for both.

  • Add aromatics of your choice to your fantastic homemade vinegar cleaning solution to help conceal the smell and make it even more fantastic (one may even call it personalized). Lemon or another citrus fruit peel, as well as herbs, spices, or essential oils, can be used. You have a choice! Be aware that these aromatics will work better if you let them steep in the vinegar solution for a longer period of time before utilizing it. (In other words, don’t be hesitant to let them marinade for a few days, up to). The vinegar-powered cleaning line 9 Elements, like their Multi-Purpose Cleaner (also available in eucalyptus! ), is highly recommended if you want the cleaning power of vinegar without the overbearing fragrance and with a lovely lemon scent.

Change up the percentages. Try using a little less vinegar than usual when you mix up your next batch if you’ve been using the same vinegar cleaning solution recipe for a long and the scent is getting to be too strong. A somewhat weaker version of your vinegar cleaning solution should still have plenty of cleaning power but will have a milder vinegar scent. And keep in mind, if the solution you’ve made isn’t strong enough, you can always add more vinegar (or baking soda).

To mask any vinegar aftertaste from cleaning, light a Febreze Candle or other fragrant candle. In short time, the scent of the vinegar should be replaced with your favorite scented candle. and where it belongs? a fragrance that whisks you away to a distant island, a lemon orchard, or practically anywhere you like (because that’s the allure of scented candles).

Boil some lemon peel on your stovetop after cleaning if you like citrus and want to change the fragrance of vinegar into something more enticing. The aroma is about to fill your house. Do you prefer baking spices more? Put a few of your preferred baking spices on a baking sheet and bake them at a low temperature. Prepare for your house to begin to smell like the holidays after that.

Use a diffuser with your preferred essential oils or light some incense. Incense, like scented candles, offers a variety of uses, as do essential oils.

How to neutralize the smell of vinegar

What additional means are there to get rid of vinegar smell? Put an end to it! Why do you do this?

Utilize Febreze Unstopables AIR Fresh to effectively eliminate odors and assist in restoring the freshness of your home.

Your vinegar cleaning mixture should also contain baking soda. Baking soda is the ideal partner for vinegar because it not only has outstanding odor neutralization abilities but also has some fairly potent cleaning power of its own. Try mixing 2 parts vinegar with 1 part baking soda (and feel free to add a spoonful of dish soap in there, too, if you want a little extra boost of cleaning power). Surface cleanser that is still natural and effective but significantly less smelly should be the end result.

(Take note that while baking soda and vinegar perform wonders when combined, doing so can result in a little bit of a… bubbly reaction.)

Pro tip: If you have a stain that is really difficult to remove, adjust the baking soda and vinegar cleaning solution’s ratios to form more of a paste. Then, use an old toothbrush, sponge, or rag to attack the stain aggressively.

  • Get the air moving. Even though using vinegar to clean is relatively easy, making sure your room is well aired before, during, and after will help to mask the scent. To let some fresh air into your home, open the windows and doors (unless its February in Chicago, in which case wed highly recommend you dont). Place any fans you have in place; the more the merrier. Running your air conditioning can also be helpful if you have it. The idea is to get your property ventilated well and effectively to get rid of the vinegar odor.

Also keep in mind that there is no reason you can’t approach this issue from different directions; you should feel free to both cover up the smell with aromatics and a scented candle and eliminate it by keeping your windows open and turning on a fan.

How to remove the smell of vinegar

We frequently discuss locating the source of the scent and addressing it when it comes to eliminating an offensive stench. However, in this instance, we actually enjoy the fragrance of the source (your freshly cleaned home), so instead of getting rid of the vinegar smell, we strongly advise you to disguise and/or neutralize it by following the advice above!

And keep in mind that, however how potent it may appear right now, the vinegar smell won’t last forever. Even if you don’t follow any of the advice we provided above, the vinegar smell will eventually disappear on its own. Just give it a little bit of time. What a terrific reason to leave the house and enjoy some fresh air, too!

Do you have any other unpleasant odors in your house? Check out our tried-and-true tips for getting rid of musty smells if that is the problem. And check out this article for more of our favorite advice on how to create a mouthwatering aroma in your house.

How can I tell when apple cider vinegar is no longer good?

Apple cider vinegar can spoil occasionally, albeit it’s uncommon (mostly due to some contaminants that found their way into the bottle).

Although vinegar has no set shelf life, its quality will undoubtedly decline with time (the majority of people dislike the changes in taste that are taking place) (especially after opening the bottle).

The apple cider vinegar occasionally has a murky or hazy appearance, but it is still safe to use. As I indicated above, vinegar changes over time, becoming more acidic and flavorful as well as changing in taste and odor.

The presence of sediment at the bottom of the bottle and observable changes in color or flavor are a couple of indicators that the vinegar isn’t good.

It is absolutely better to taste the vinegar before using it if you are unsure whether the vinegar in your bottle is okay. You can use it if the flavor seems to be fine. If not, discard it.

In conclusion, apple cider vinegar doesn’t lose its potency like other products do. Given adequate storage and the absence of any pollutants inside the bottle, the highly acidic chemical should be fine for many years.

But if they do, the apple cider vinegar can deteriorate as a result. Because of this, answering the fundamental issue “can apple cider vinegar go bad? It might spoil, but if it’s properly and adequately preserved, it shouldn’t.

Is it safe to consume apple cider vinegar’s mother?

Apple cider vinegar with “mother” is the unfiltered, unprocessed vinegar with a hazy, murky look. Due to the good bacteria, yeast, and protein it contains, it is used for drinking and has several health advantages. During filtration and refinement, the bacteria’s culture is eliminated, leaving behind clear, transparent apple cider vinegar. Acetic acid and other advantageous components in vinegar are what give it its therapeutic abilities.

Do you need to chill apple cider vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar has a two-year unopened shelf life and a one-year shelf life if the bottle’s seal has been broken. Once opened, apple cider vinegar doesn’t need to be kept in the fridge. Instead, keep it out of the sun in a cabinet or pantry.

Quite acidic is apple cider vinegar. This makes it unlikely that it contains any infections. But to increase the shelf life, keep it appropriately.

How about items produced using apple cider vinegar? Some products, such marinades and salad dressings, may have a reduced shelf life. This is due to the likelihood that they include substances that spoil quickly without refrigeration.

Salmonella and E. coli are possible contaminants in unpasteurized apple cider vinegar. Make sure apple cider vinegar has been properly pasteurized before using. Although apple cider vinegar from stores is often pasteurized, always check the label.

How long does it take for the smell of vinegar to disappear?

I’ve been researching this and experimenting with several solutions. I initially thought it was a disgusting concept because I couldn’t imagine combining vinegar and oranges together in any way. But after giving it a go, I was pleasantly pleased by the outcomes—it actually works! Consider experimenting with various citrus fruits and including some fresh herbs or spices. Fun with it, please! Many people claim that you must wait two weeks, but I don’t believe that to be the truth. I’ve discovered that giving the vinegar a few days to settle in before using it will give it a fresh scent. Just a quick reminder that citrus fruits contain oils that aid in degreasing throughout the cleaning process.

What you need:

  • a Mason jar
  • The mason jar should be around 3/4 full of citrus peels and fresh herbs of your choice (single measurements: about 3 oranges/2 grapefruits/4 lemons/5 limes/a handful of herbs or any mix thereof).
  • unflavored white vinegar
  • Strainer


  • Citrus peels should be added to the mason jar until it is about 3/4 full. You can also add herbs if you like.
  • 90 percent of the way full, fill the jar with vinegar and add peels.
  • Shake the jar occasionally for 4-5 days.
  • Peels should be removed over a bowl so that the perfumed vinegar is clear of peels, herbs, and floating debris.
  • Refill the Mason jar with vinegar and use as needed for regular cleaning (i.e. glass cleaning, floors, etc).

You will be astounded by how nicely these techniques work and will be delighted. While they won’t entirely get rid of the vinegar smell (that’s moving mountains, people), they will greatly cover it up. When employing the right ingredients, it will also increase vinegar’s cleaning ability, therefore it’s a win-win situation!

Does the smell of vinegar disappear on its own?

Due to its acidity, vinegar can easily remove stains, grease, and offensive odors. As much as it can aid in cleaning, it can also leave a bad stink in its wake. Slowly, the fragrance dissipates on its own.

What exactly is the substance circling in my apple cider vinegar?

Don’t be alarmed if you discover any stringy sediment, no matter how minor, in a vinegar bottle. In actuality, congrats—you have a mother. that is, a mother in vinegar. Although this spongy mass of bacteria may appear pretty ominous and unsettling floating on top of the vinegar, it is actually entirely safe. The presence of a vinegar mother in your vinegar simply indicates that some sugars or alcohol were not fully fermented throughout the vinegar-making process. Vinegar mothers are nothing more than bacteria that feed on alcoholic liquids.

With your vinegar mother, you have several choices. Use a coffee filter to drain it out and keep using the vinegar as-is. Alternatively, you shouldn’t even try straining it out because the vinegar mother won’t do you any harm.

You can start your own batch of vinegar if you want to get rid of it and use it for something. You can start afresh by adding the mother to white wine. When allowed to run for years, this homemade vinegar process can result in some really amazing, richly flavorful vinegar.