Most people know vinegar for its mouth-puckering sour flavor, but very few know where it comes from, how it is made, and the different ways that it can be used outside of salad dressing recipes. While there are over 20 different types of vinegar available today, we are going to focus on the most common and most useful variety: white distilled vinegar. Read on to learn more about this multi-talented ingredient.
The History of White Vinegar
Believe it or not, vinegar is as old as civilization itself, with a history spanning back to 5,000 B.C. Since that time, a wide variety of vinegars have been developed by many different cultures in many different countries. For thousands of years, vinegar has been used for pickling, flavoring, to treat wounds, to kill unwanted plants, and to clean.
Vinegar’s signature flavor comes from acetic acid, which is formed by fermenting a sugary liquid such as wine, apple cider, and fermented grain, malt, rice, or potato mashes. In the first stage, the liquid is fermented so that the sugars break down into alcohol. In the second stage, oxygen is added to this alcohol, allowing bacteria to turn it into acetic acid. This process was poorly understood until Louis Pasteur published a paper in 1858, in which he reveals the microbiological processes that give us vinegar. The resulting vinegar can range in potency from 5 to 30 percent acetic acid; lower percentages are for food and cleaning, which higher percentages are meant for agricultural and horticultural uses.
How can White Vinegar be Used?
When most people think of vinegar, they think of food items like pickles and salad dressings. But white vinegar has many uses beyond the kitchen, the most popular being as a cleaning agent. White vinegar was in fact the most common household cleaning agent until the early 1900s, when large companies began to manufacture and advertise chemical-based cleaning agents.
The acetic acid in vinegar makes it a powerful, natural cleaner for both homes and businesses. It is also significantly cheaper than chemical cleaners, and poses little risk to your health. White vinegar can be used to clean floors (except marble and hardwood), hard surfaces, toilets, bathtubs, and showers, as well as disinfect fridges and microwaves. Vinegar is also useful as a streak-free window cleaner, and for cleaning scale and buildup in coffee makers and on faucets or shower heads.
Where can I buy White Vinegar?
White vinegar is pretty simple to buy if you are just looking for a low acetic acid content, as these are available at all grocery stores. If, however, you are looking for something higher than 5 to 8 percent, online shopping is often your best option. In order to help meet your white vinegar needs, we carry an array of vinegars ranging from 5 to 30 percent. Simply pick which works best for you, purchase, and enjoy the perks of our bulk sizes, which help save you money and trips to the store.