Difference Between Water and Vinegar

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: July 26, 2023


Difference Between Water and Vinegar

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Water is one of the elements holding up the sphere of life on our planet Earth. It is the major component of the Earth’s hydrosphere. Water can easily be credited with being the primary facilitator of life on Earth; life on Earth started its evolution from the mighty oceans. Water composes of around 60% of an adult human’s body.

Vinegar is the magic ingredient that acts as the secret to a perfect flavourful Chinese dish and, at the same time, serves the purpose of a household cleaner. Vinegar is a mixture of water and acetic acid which is prepared by the process of fermentation. Vinegar has a very long shelf life, almost infinite.

Water and vinegar are both very useful liquids, the former having more uses than the latter. Both are used in cooking, with water having a daily-basis use.

Water Vs Vinegar

The main difference between water and vinegar is the smell, which can instantly be recognised. Water is an odourless liquid, whereas vinegar has a strong and pungent odour that is easily recognisable. Pure water is tasteless, whereas vinegar has a sharp sour taste. Water can exist in all three states of matter, be it ice in solid form, water in liquid form, or water vapour in gaseous form, whereas vinegar exists only in liquid form.

Difference Between Water and Vinegar in Tabular Form

Parameters of comparisonWaterVinegar
Composition2 Hydrogen atoms, 1 oxygen atomAcetic acid, water
SmellOdourlessPungent smell
UsesDrinking, cooking, cleaning, bathing, farming, generating electricity, recreational purposes, etc.Cooking, cleaning, insect control, unclogging drains, baking, weed control, etc.
State of matterSolid, liquid, gasLiquid

What is Water?

Water is an essential component of planet Earth. It covers over 70% of the earth’s surface. Of the total water present on the earth, over 97% is saline water in the vast oceans, and of the remaining 3%, only a little over 1% of the freshwater is present in landlocked water bodies, like lakes, rivers, ponds, etc. this 1% is enough to sustain the life on planet Earth.

The chemical formula of water is H2O. This formula clearly shows the composition of a water molecule, which is two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen.

Water is very important in many different fields. Be it for the survival of humans, animals, and plants, producing hydroelectricity, or for manufacturing those trendy jeans; water is a component that cannot be skipped.

Importance of Water in the Human Body

Up to 60% of the average human body consists of water. This fact alone proves the significance of water for the survival of the human species. Almost all bodily functions need water to run smoothly. Starting from breathing to blood circulation and filtration to digestion and many more; water is the basis of life for human beings.

Water helps in regulating body temperature by dissipating body heat. When our body overheats, we lose water by sweating. When the sweat evaporates, it leaves a cooling effect. 

Water is a constituent of the synovial fluid. Thus, it helps to lubricate the joints and keeps them from rubbing against each other.

Water makes it easier for our kidneys to filter out toxins from our bloodstream. It also helps the liver to work efficiently in filtering out wastes from our bloodstream.

Water dissolves the minerals and nutrients that we get from the food we eat, thus, making them more accessible to different organs of our body.

Along with these, water has numerous other benefits which make it an indispensable part of our lives. 

Importance of Water for Plants and Animals

Plants, which provide us with the breath of life to survive, need water to survive. Just like us humans, water plays an essential role in the survival of the plant kingdom. An average plant body has 90% water. This percentage is enough to prove the necessity of water for plants.

Water present in the soil has various nutrients and minerals absorbed in it. Through their roots, plants absorb these nutrients that help in their growth and maintenance.

Water also helps in translocation in plants. Translocation refers to the process through which the food prepared in the leaves is transported to various parts of the plant. Water absorbs the food and helps in transporting it to parts like stems, roots, etc.

Water also aids in transpiration. It is the process through which water evaporates from the surface of the leaves. Transpiration plays an important role in bringing rainfall.

Water also provides plants with a shape and mechanical support which allow them to remain upright without wilting.

Thus said, water is a necessity for the survival of the plant kingdom.

Importance of Water for Agriculture

An important requirement for agriculture is irrigation. Irrigation refers to the supply of water to agricultural fields for the growth of crops.

The water helps in the germination of the crop seeds, ensures a steady nutrient supply to the crop plants, and helps in the conversion of starch to sugar.

Irrigation plays quite a key role in agriculture as in many areas across the globe the soil does not contain enough moisture and water content to meet the requirements of the crop plants.

Importance of Water in Electricity Generation

Water is a key source of non-renewable energy in the form of hydroelectricity and tidal energy. Approximately 71% of the renewable energy generated on the earth is from hydropower.

The kinetic energy from moving water is used to produce hydroelectricity. The greater the speed of the falling water, and the greater the height at which the water is dropped, the greater the amount of electricity produced.

In hydropower plants, water is made to fall from a height through a pipe and spins the blades of turbines. The turbines, in turn, spin a generator, thus, producing electricity.

Importance of Water in the Textile Industry

The textile industry depends heavily on water. Almost all the dyes and finishing chemicals are applied to clothes through water baths. In addition to this, most fabric preparation steps use aqueous mediums.

Water is used significantly in the desizing process. It is the process through which sizing material is removed from the fabric. Water is also used in scouring, i.e., the cleaning of the fibre before dyeing. Water is also used in mercerizing and bleaching.

Thus said, it is proven that water is quite necessary for the textile industry.

Interesting fact check: Manufacturing just a single pair of jeans uses up around 7600 litres of water.

What is Vinegar?

Vinegar is a useful condiment as well as an effective cleaner that is common in every household. It is a combination of acetic acid and water which is prepared using a two-step fermentation process.

First, the liquid from plant food (any fruit) or whole grains is taken. This liquid is then left to ferment. Yeast feed on this liquid and turn it into alcohol. This alcohol is then subjected to acetic acid bacteria Acetobacter and oxygen in order to sit and ferment again for weeks. Thus, vinegar is formed.

Types of Vinegar

Unlike water, vinegar comes in many types. Following are some of the most popular types of vinegar around the globe:

  • White Vinegar- Distilled white vinegar, which is also labelled as white vinegar is the most common kind of vinegar. It is usually composed of 5 to 10 percent acetic acid and 90 to 95 percent water. It is one of the most versatile kinds of vinegar.
  •  Balsamic Vinegar- This type of vinegar, unlike clear white vinegar, has the effects of its ageing. The longer this vinegar is aged, the darker, the sweeter, and thicker it becomes. Although it is easy to find such vinegar in supermarkets, it has a huge price range.
  •  Rice Vinegar- As the name suggests, rice vinegar is made from fermented rice wine. It is sweeter and less sour in comparison to the other kinds of vinegar and has a delicate flavour. Its colour varies, depending on the type of rice used.
  •  Apple Cider Vinegar- This type pf vinegar has recently climbed up the stairs of popularity. As evident from the name, apple cider vinegar is prepared from fermented apple juice. This gives it a unique flavour. 
  •  Industrial Vinegar- This kind of vinegar, also called horticultural vinegar, is not for household use. It usually contains around 20 to 30 percent acetic acid. It is used for commercial tasks as well as for agricultural tasks (like killing weeds).

Importance and Uses of Vinegar


Vinegar, though not as extensively used as water, has various uses. Ancient Chinese, Middle Eastern and Greece records have shown vinegar as having medicinal purposes. These records describe vinegar as being helpful in the treatment of digestive issues, dressing wounds, treating cough, etc.

Even today, vinegar is widely believed to be an all-purpose treatment for body ailments. Though no sufficient scientific research supports this prestigious position of vinegar, it is still widely used across the globe for medicinal purposes.


Now, moving on to the most practical purpose of vinegar, i.e., cooking.

  • Vinegar is used generously in preparing ketchup, mayonnaise, sauces, salad dressings, etc. With its sour taste, vinegar balances the rich dishes and adds more flavour to them.
  •  Vinegar also changes the texture of food. It is, therefore, used as a marinade to tenderise the meat. It breaks down and simplifies the proteins present in the meet. Due to this property of vinegar, it is also used to prepare cottage cheese by adding it to milk. The acetic acid present in vinegar separates the milk’s solid curds from watery part that remains after the formation of the curd.
  •  As mentioned earlier, the shelf life of vinegar is almost infinite; it can never go bad. So, what better pickling agent can be found better than vinegar? This immortal sour liquid is used widely to pickle various fruits and vegetables and increase their shelf life while making them refreshingly sour.
  •  Vinegar is also used in baking. The next time you devour a yummy fluffy treat, make sure to silently thank this wonderful liquid.


The next popular use of vinegar after cooking is cleaning. The acetic acid present in vinegar makes it a popular cleaning tool.

  • Vinegar is quite effective in removing stubborn stains and mineral deposits from kitchen surfaces such as sinks, shower heads, etc.
  •  Vinegar is also helpful in unclogging kitchen drains that are jammed with junk.

Although vinegar is an effective cleaner, it is not a recommended replacement for commercial disinfectants. 

Main Difference Between Water and Vinegar in Points

  • A water molecule is composed of 2 atoms of hydrogen and 1 atom of oxygen; whereas vinegar is composed of a certain proportion of acetic acid and water.
  •  The chemical formula of water is H2O, whereas the chemical formula of vinegar is CH3COOH.
  •  Pure water is generally odourless, whereas vinegar has a pungent smell.
  •  Water is used for purposes such as drinking, cooking, cleaning, bathing, farming, generating electricity, recreational activities, etc., whereas vinegar is used for purposes such as cooking, cleaning, insect control, unclogging drains, baking, weed control, etc.
  •  Water exists in three states of matter, namely, solid (ice), liquid (water), and gas (water vapour); whereas vinegar exists only in the liquid state.


Water, the liquid of life, and vinegar, the immortal liquid. Both these liquids hold important positions in human life. While one of them is essential for sustaining life, the other one is important for various household and industrial purposes.
Water, though present in abundance on the earth’s surface, is limited, namely fresh water. Judicious use of water is important to ensure sustained availability of water to future generations of living species on the earth.
Vinegar, on the other hand, is not a necessity. Thus, its availability is not threatened like that of water.
Although these liquids have marked differences, they also have quite a few things in common. For instance, both are used intensively in their liquid form. Both are used for cooking and cleaning purposes. Both have an important role in agriculture as well.


  • https://www.usgs.gov/special-topics/water-science-school/science/water-you-water-and-human-body
  • https://www.boavontade.com/en/health/learn-about-importance-water-human-body
  • https://www.trustbasket.com/blogs/how-to-grow/importance-of-water-for-plants
  • https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/vinegar/#:~:text=The%20acidity%20or%20sourness%20of,change%20the%20texture%20of%20foods.
  • https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/ingredients-guide/vinegar


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"Difference Between Water and Vinegar." Diffzy.com, 2024. Tue. 18 Jun. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-water-and-vinegar>.

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