Hold Up — Does Apple Cider Vinegar Actually Need to Be Refrigerated?

Apple cider vinegar, once a humble pantry item, has been elevated to a kitchen necessity in recent years. It boasts a supposed array of health and beauty benefits, like weight loss, boosting your immune system, and glowing skin. People sing its praises like the dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding talks about Windex. (Only, unlike Windex, there's actually evidence to back up the benefits of ACV.) Basically, we can't get enough.

But how, exactly, should one store ACV to reap the maximum benefits? Specifically, does it need to be refrigerated?

Short answer: no. Apple cider vinegar does not need to be refrigerated. The acidity of the vinegar effectively ensures that no bacteria will grow in it. Plus, vinegar is itself a preservative, which negates any need to preserve it by putting it in the fridge. It is recommended, however, that you store it in a cool place away from direct sunlight to keep the quality and flavor.

Just remember: though ACV has a multitude of benefits, you shouldn't be guzzling it down like water after a sweaty run! Here's how to know how much ACV you should drink.