White Vinegar Substitute

White vinegar is a solution of 4 to 7 percent acetic acid and water. It is common worldwide for several purposes, from cooking to agriculture and even cleaning. Though distinct in its features, several white vinegar substitute options are available if you don’t have it on hand.

In the past, sugar beets, potatoes, molasses, or milk whey were used to make white vinegar. After fermentation, the result was a partly transparent, slightly sweet, and shiny liquid.

This post will walk you through some of the best alternatives for white vinegar to ensure a sumptuous meal.

What Is White Vinegar?

Vinegar created from distilled grain alcohol is called white vinegar. It’s commonly used in pickling recipes and as a cleanser because of its strong, sharp flavor. 

This vinegar is an everyday household staple used in various ways. It is most often used to make sauces, marinades, and salad dressings. But it can also be added to stews, curries, casseroles, and much more.

While white vinegar carries a distinctive sour taste, it becomes milder when heated in cooking and baking. In addition, it has an almost infinite shelf life because vinegar’s acidity preserves it. It’s also inexpensive and easy to find at any supermarket. 

White Vinegar Substitute

White vinegar is unique in its own way for its subtle flavors and unobtrusive color. However, a suitable alternative is required when you cannot use white vinegar. Below are some of the best white vinegar substitutes to use in its place.

1. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice makes an excellent replacement for white vinegar for providing the same acidity to a meal. Moreover, you can find it at any store or make it yourself by squeezing a few lemons.

The juice of a lemon offers a similar level of acidity and sourness to the dish. However, remember that its citrus undertones may alter the dish’s flavor depending on the amount used.

To achieve the same effect, replace one tablespoon of white vinegar with the same amount of lemon juice.

2. White Wine Vinegar

Many confused white wine vinegar with regular white vinegar due to the similarity of their names. When added to recipes, white wine vinegar also looks and reacts like white vinegar. This alone makes it the perfect substitute for white vinegar.

However, white wine vinegar is somewhat less acidic and has a fruity undertone. White wine vinegar’s subtler flavors make it a fantastic alternative for preparing salad dressing or quick-pickling vegetables for a garnish. You can use white wine vinegar to replace white vinegar in a 1:1 ratio. 

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has been touted for its purported health advantages. It’s believed to assist with a variety of issues, from skin conditions to digestive issues. But it’s an excellent alternative to white vinegar in many recipes.

This ingredient is made by fermenting apple cider. It has a distinct taste that combines bold acidity with a hint of fruitiness. Remember that its fruity undertones prevent it from being a 1:1 substitute for white vinegar. You can use half a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to replace one teaspoon of white vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar has plenty of culinary uses, especially in dishes that may benefit from an additional fruity taste. However, the color is something to keep in mind. White vinegar is colorless and transparent. While apple cider vinegar can appear amber or golden in color, which may alter the dish’s appearance. 

4. Lime Juice

Lime juice is a perfect substitute for white vinegar because it delivers a robust acidic punch. And incorporating freshly squeezed lime juice into your meal is a great way to perk up the dish’s flavors. Like lemon juice, you can find limes in most grocery stores.

This replacement is fantastic for citrus-heavy dishes such as those in Thai cooking. However, your recipe may ask for white vinegar because it needs that zap of neutral acidity. In this case, the citrusy notes could affect the overall taste of the meal. 

Use one tablespoon of white vinegar for one tablespoon of lime juice to yield the best results.

5. Champagne Vinegar

As you might have guessed, Champagne vinegar is made from the same grapes used to make champagne. It’s somewhat floral in flavor, and the acidity is considerably more subdued. But champagne vinegar’s delicate taste makes it ideal for use in non-cooked applications like salad dressings and condiments.

The only real drawback to this substitution is its accessibility. Champagne vinegar is far more challenging to track down. Aside from this, champagne vinegar is a perfect match for white vinegar, with a taste and texture you won’t regret.

Moreover, for those concerned with aesthetics, this vinegar’s light golden color ensures that it won’t drastically alter the meal’s appearance. Replace white vinegar with champagne vinegar at a 1:1 ratio.

6. Malt Vinegar

This grain-based vinegar is made from processed ale. Sharing so many features with white vinegar, malt vinegar could be your perfect white vinegar replacement.

Most people may think malt vinegar tastes nothing like white vinegar, primarily because of its dark color. However, malt vinegar tastes very similar to white vinegar in terms of its sharp acidity and mild sweetness. The only significant difference is the impact of the dark color on your meal.

It is a staple in many cuisines across the globe. So, you’ll easily find malt vinegar in the condiments or bakery aisles at your local grocer. Use one tablespoon of malt vinegar as a substitute for one tablespoon of white vinegar.


You may wish to replace the white vinegar in your recipe for many reasons. Perhaps you’ve run out of white vinegar and don’t have time to go to the store. No matter the reason, each white vinegar substitute above will provide an equally impactful flavor to your culinary creation.