Find Out if Rice Vinegar Goes Bad or 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 the bottle 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 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. This ingredient has a mild flavor with an acidic taste which makes it a good condiment for meals.

Furthermore, many cooks like to add this ingredient to meals because it helps to enhance flavor. 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, if you buy a bottle of this vinegar when it is close to its expiration date, it’ll 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.

SEE: Does Cinnamon Go Bad and Start to Mold?

Does Seasoned Rice Vinegar Go Bad?

Seasoned rice vinegar is rice vinegar that contains sugar and salt. It is commonly used for sushi rice and Asian salads. Generally, you can use it to give marinades, dips, and dressings a deeper and stronger flavor.

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

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 this great condiment buy it’s not necessary.

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

SEE: You’d Be Surprised That Lemon Juice Doesn’t Last Long

Does Rice Vinegar Go Bad if Unopened?

No, it doesn’t. If you have stored an unopened bottle of rice vinegar properly, it will last almost indefinitely. It can stay at room temperature for a long period. If you have an unopened bottle that has gone past its expiration date, it is still usable.

What Is the Shelf Life of Rice Vinegar?

Rice vinegar has a very long shelf life. It has a shelf life of up to five years in the pantry if you have opened the bottle. An unopened bottle, on the other hand, can last up to ten years in the pantry.

This ingredient 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. The expiration date, best-by date, and best-before date written on a bottle of store-bought rice vinegar don’t mean it’s no longer usable. It rather implies that before that due date, you can enjoy the best of your vinegar.

SEE: Discover the Benefits and Side Effects of Eating Rice Every Day

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. If you notice anything like cloudy or slimy sediment in it, do not throw it away. It is not a sign of spoilage. It is called the mother.

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

Smell it

If your vinegar doesn’t look bad, you can smell it. 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. If you take a sip and it tastes nothing like when the vinegar was fresh, you should throw it away already.

SEE: Tell Pollo Campero & Get Free Meal

How to Preserve Rice Vinegar

  • Store the vinegar in the pantry at room temperature
  • If you have an opened bottle of the vinegar, close it tightly after every use
  • Also, keep bottles of this vinegar away from sunlight and direct heat
  • Refrigerate it if you want 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. The 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?

If you notice slime in your vinegar, it’s not a cause for alarm. It’s a clump of yeast and bacteria that you can easily discard and use the remaining vinegar.

SEE: If It’s Safe To Use Rice Vinegar Instead of White Vinegar


A bottle of rice vinegar isn’t a waste after all. If you have invested in one, you should take care to store it properly. It’ll come in handy someday. You can use it to flavor your stews, dips, and dressings. However, keep in mind that the 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 your meals. Alternate it with apple cider vinegar. This way you’ll be getting the best of it.  

Thanks for reading.

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