Find Out If Rice Vinegar Goes Bad Or If It Lasts Forever

You don’t see or hear about a bottle of rice vinegar as much as you see and hear about apple cider vinegar and white vinegar.

But if you happen to have a bottle of this vinegar with you now, you’re probably looking at it and wondering if it will go bad before you need it again.

Not many recipes call for rice vinegar, but it’s okay to have a bottle somewhere in the house. And on some days, you may need it as a substitute for apple cider vinegar or white vinegar.

Now, that you know how useful this condiment can be, let’s look at how long it can last and how you can preserve it.

What is rice vinegar made of?

Rice vinegar is a kitchen ingredient made from fermented rice water. It is used to flavor meals like stews, dips, barbecue ribs, pickles, fries, and salad dressing.

Furthermore, it has a mild flavor with an acidic taste which makes it a good condiment for meals.

Chefs use this vinegar to enhance the flavor of their meals. It is a clear liquid that works well with other ingredients like herbs, spices, and fruits.

Does rice vinegar go bad?

Rice vinegar has a very long shelf life, but it’ll go bad after a while.

It takes a lot of months for this vinegar to go bad because of its acidity. The acidic nature of this ingredient helps to inhibit bacterial growth and keeps it usable for a long time.

However, because no food item can last forever, it will lose its quality over time. This rarely happens, but it will if you don’t store it properly. Also, a bottle of this vinegar that is close to its expiration date will go bad quickly.

Therefore, you should always buy a bottle of vinegar with a longer best-before period. Additionally, make sure you use it up before its expiration date.

Does seasoned rice vinegar go bad?

Seasoned vinegar doesn’t go bad quickly, but it will if you don’t store it properly.

It is commonly used for sushi rice and Asian salads. It also enhances the flavor of marinades, dips, and dressings.

Does rice vinegar go bad if not refrigerated?

No, it does not.

Rice vinegar is stable at room temperature and can last up to two years or even more under proper storage conditions. Some people would rather refrigerate it but it’s not necessary.

However, storing it in the refrigerator will make it last longer than it would if you stored it in the pantry or kitchen cupboard.

Does unopened rice vinegar go bad?

No, it doesn’t.

An unopened bottle of rice vinegar properly will last almost indefinitely if you store it properly. Moreover, an unopened bottle that has gone past its expiration date is still usable.

What is the shelf life of rice vinegar?

Rice vinegar has a very long shelf life. An open bottle can last up to five years in the pantry. On the other hand, an unopened bottle will last up to ten years in the pantry.

This vinegar is more acidic than apple cider vinegar and many other types of vinegar. This contributes to its long shelf life.

Can you cook with expired rice vinegar?

Yes, you can.

This vinegar rarely goes bad to the extent of being completely unsafe to use. However, when you notice any signs of spoilage, discard it.

How to tell if rice vinegar is bad

Examine the appearance

Take a good look at the vinegar. If it has changed from its clear color to a dark yellow liquid, it has gone off.

But if you notice anything like cloudy or slimy sediments in it, do not throw it away. This is not a sign of spoilage; it is called the mother.

However, you can filter it out if you don’t feel comfortable with its presence in your vinegar.

Smell it

Smell the vinegar if it doesn’t look bad. Fresh vinegar has a sweet, sharp smell. If you can’t detect this, it has gone off, and you should throw it away.

Taste a little

Rice vinegar is naturally sweet and has a mild flavor. That’s why it is used to enhance or deepen the flavor of many dishes.

Take a sip. If it tastes nothing like fresh vinegar, throw it away already.

How to preserve rice vinegar

  • Store the vinegar in the pantry at room temperature
  • Close opened bottles of vinegar after every use
  • Also, keep bottles of this vinegar away from sunlight and direct heat
  • Refrigerate it to keep it longer
  • Most importantly, consume it as quickly as you can
  • In addition, don’t freeze it if you don’t have to. Frozen vinegar will lose its flavor and acidity after it thaws


Can you use cloudy vinegar?

Yes, you can.

A cloudy vinegar is not bad vinegar. The cloudy sediment you see at the bottom of the bottle is called mother. It may look disgusting, but it’s harmless, and you can cook with it. But if you can’t stand it, you can filter it out.

Can you freeze rice vinegar?

You can freeze rice vinegar, but you don’t have to.

This kitchen ingredient is very stable at room temperature and can stay out in the pantry or kitchen cupboard for months. Freezing the vinegar will reduce its flavor and acidity.

Why is your rice vinegar slimy?

Slime in your vinegar is not a cause for alarm. It’s a clump of yeast and bacteria that you can easily discard and use the remaining vinegar.


A bottle of rice vinegar isn’t a waste after all. If you have invested in one, take care to store it properly. It’ll come in handy someday.

Use it to flavor your stews, dips, and dressings. However, remember that a bottle of vinegar cannot last forever. It’ll go bad after some time.

While there are authentic ways to preserve this kitchen ingredient, the best way to make the most of it is to add it to meals. Also, alternate it with apple cider vinegar to get the best of it.  

Thanks for reading.

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