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White vinegar also called distilled vinegar, is a common liquid used in most households from time immemorial. The clear magical solution is widely available, very affordable, and, most importantly, versatile.
Vinegar can be used on wounds for killing weeds, tenderizing meat, cleaning, disinfecting surfaces, and other credible medical applications.
The article will discuss in details on:
- Definition of a white vinegar
- How to make a white vinegar
- White vinegar nutrition facts
- Health benefits of a homemade vinegar
- Risks and potential side effects
Read on to find more about white vinegar and its applications.
What is White Vinegar?
Vinegar is a homemade solution comprising 93-96 percent water and 5-20 percent acetic acid, trace elements, and flavorings in some cases. However, a diluted acid may not qualify as vinegar since vinegar consists of other minerals like amino acids and vitamins.
Also present in vinegar are bioactive products such as catechin, gallic acid, caffeic acid, and epicatechin.
How To Make White Vinegar
White vinegar is available in many different types with varying acidity levels, making vinegar mostly dependent on the readily available products in your region.
Vinegar production is a fermentation process that uses foods such as potatoes, sugar beets, milk whey, or molasses. Additionally, some vinegar is made from fruits such as barley, rice, and other foods rich in sugar.
You may need other supplies such as warm water, glass jar, apple juice, cucumber white wine, dish soap, among others depending on the type of vinegar you use.
Other types of vinegar include:
- Rice wine vinegar
- Apple cider vinegar
- Fruit Vinegar
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Distilled vinegar
- Spirit vinegar
- Cider vinegar
All the above vinegar varies in levels of acidity. Note that white vinegar with more than 20 percent acid is not suitable for human consumption. Such vinegar is mostly for cleaning purposes and agricultural applications.
White Vinegar Nutrition Facts
White vinegar contains very few calories and just a handful of magnesium, calcium, manganese, phosphorus, and selenium.
A single cup of white distilled vinegar has below nutrient components:
- Zero grams of protein and fat
- 1 grams of carbohydrates
- 1 milligrams of manganese
- 2 micrograms of selenium
- 4-milligram magnesium
- 5 milligram phosphorous
- 3 milligrams phosphorous
- 24 calories
Other components of vinegar also include nutrients such as sodium, potassium, and copper.
Health Benefits of White Vinegar
White vinegar has multiple benefits for health, use as a disinfectant, and other agricultural purposes. Below we explore some of the benefits of vinegar.
White vinegar benefits stretch beyond use in kitchens and as a disinfectant. The medicinal aspect of vinegar focuses on its acetic acid content.
Below are some of the health benefits:
- Kills Bacteria: Acetic acid found in vinegar has been used for ages as an antiseptic agent for curing wounds and preventing diseases such as plague.
Its antimicrobial properties also help in treating ear infections, nail fungus, head lice, and warts.
- Supports Weight Loss: Studies show that acetic acid, the major compound in white vinegar, reduces appetite, making it ideal for managing weight.
- Promotes pH Balance: The antimicrobial properties in white vinegar help fight bacteria and other yeast infections. Additionally, it helps in balancing the skin Ph and also cures acne.
Dilute it first and perform a test before using it on the skin to avoid possible irritation.
- Controls Blood Sugar: Research shows that consuming vinegar can promote glycemic control by reducing insulin and blood sugar levels after meals. Acetic acid regulates blood sugar by altering the effects of enzymes used in metabolism.
- Reduces Cholesterol: There is limited research on vinegar’s ability to lower cholesterol; however, studies on rabbits and mice have shown a significant reduction in cholesterol when ingested.
Note: There isn’t much research about the health benefits of vinegar yet. Therefore, it’s crucial to consult a health expert if you doubt any application.
Uses in The Kitchen
White vinegar is a practical ingredient used in the kitchen as part of a recipe. Below are some popular uses:
- Baking: White vinegar works great as a leavening agent when paired with baking soda. The acidity reacts with alkaline in baking soda, producing carbon dioxide gas, enabling the baked products to rise.
- Salads: Just a little white vinegar will add flavor to a variety of your traditional and other composed salads. However, you may need to be very careful since it’s very easy to ruin the food by adding more.
Just put a small amount and taste as you determine the right amount.
- Pickles: Vinegar is a great base for making various quick pickles such as fruits, eggs, and vegetables. Pair the vinegar with water and the pickling spices.
- Cheesemaking: Adding acidic vinegar to milk will alter milk proteins allowing it to separate whey and curd. The process results in soft and mild cheese.
- Sauces and Marinades: White vinegar enhances the flavor in sauces and marinades. When used in marinades, the acidity helps in tenderizing seafood, meat, and vegetables.
Household Chores and Other Gardening Applications
White vinegar is an ideal alternative for commercial disinfectants and cleaning detergents. In addition, its antimicrobial properties make it suitable for cleaning various surfaces like:
- Windows and mirrors
- Sinks and countertops
- Showers, bathtubs, and drains
- Laundry for removing stain and scum
White vinegar will also remove weed from your garden (mix with soap or salt) and prevent mold growth.
Important: Dilute vinegar with some water before using it in household chores. Use gloves and a protective mask when using in gardens where vinegar acid levels are high.
White Vinegar Risks and Side Effects
Good things in excess are harmful, and white vinegar is a non-exemption. Below are potential side effects and preventive measures you should take when using white vinegar or any other type of vinegar.
- White vinegar is highly acidic and can induce heartburn or acid reflux symptoms. It will also irritate or burn your throat. So, dilute before use or discontinue in case of adverse effects.
- The acetic acid in white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and other types of vinegar can easily erode teeth enamel after a long time of use.
- Vinegar, when used on the skin without diluting may cause burning, redness, or skin irritation. Perform a test before applying it to your skin.
Note: Vinegar reacts with some medications. If you’re on drugs for lowering potassium or blood sugar levels, consult a doctor before incorporating vinegar into your routine.