What is Acetic Acid

Acetic Acid, also known as ethanoic acid or methanecarboxylic acid, is the active ingredient in vinegar, effective in multiple cooking and cleaning applications. It is used as a buffer in chemical reactions and solutions including protic solvents.

  • Synonyms: Ethanoic acid or methanecarboxylic acid
  • INCI: Acetic Acid
  • Chemical formula: CH₃COOH or C2H4O2
  • CAS #: 64-19-7
  • Hazard: 8, Corrosive Liquid
    • H226: Flammable liquid and vapor [Warning Flammable liquids]
    • H314: Causes severe skin burns and eye damage [Danger Skin corrosion/irritation]

Buy Acetic Acid in Various Grades

Use the links below to view all package sizes for these specific products:

Acetic acid 56%
Acetic acid 56% FG
Acetic acid 70%
Acetic acid 80%
Acetic acid glacial

AppearanceClear colorless liquid
Oderpungent vinegar odor
Solubilities:Soluble in water
Boiling point244.22°F (117.9°C)
Molecular weight60.06
Weight per gallon8.7088
ClassAromatic chemicals
GradesGlacial / Food Grade / USP / NF Grade / Kosher

In less than 60 seconds, this video will explain acetic acid, also known as ethanoic acid or methanecarboxylic acid, and how it is the active ingredient in vinegar. It can be effective in multiple cooking and cleaning applications.


Acetic acid is also commonly used to make vinyl acetate monomer (VAM), which is an ingredient in many paints and adhesives. In addition, cellulose acetate film, used in photography, is derived in part from acetic acid.

There is tremendous demand worldwide for acetic acid, with about 6.5 million metric tons manufactured every year. If you are an acetic acid supplier in the United States, use Brenntag North America as your distributor for acetic acid and related products.


Uses and applications for acetic acid

Because acetic acid is so versatile, it is used in a great number of industries, so knowing where to buy acetic acid is important for many business suppliers. The cleaning industry and companies use acetic acid, often in the form of vinegar, for its cleansing and disinfecting properties. Restaurants, in the food & nutrition business, also use a variety of flavors of vinegar in abundance. Other industries that may need an acetic acid supplier include photography studios, packaging companies and suppliers of paints and adhesives.


Acetic acid is an acid in the carboxyl group and is known as a carboxylic acid. Acetic acid is an organic compound comprised of two carbon atoms, four hydrogen atoms and two oxygen atoms. It is colorless but has a distinct, sour odor.

As found in vinegar, acetic acid is safe to eat and is found in such cooking products as balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar and more. Acetic acid is an approved food additive in Canada, the United States, the EU and many other countries. It is classified E260 under the food additive code as an acidity regulator and condiment.

Quick answers

Acetic Acid is a synthetic carboxylic acid with antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Knowing where to get acetic acid is probably just the beginning of your company’s chemical requirements, and Brenntag can fulfill them all in one place, with 10,000 products, a world-class and about 180,000 customers. We think you will find that the experience, global reach, inventory, and commitment to quality and safety inherent in all of our chemical distribution will fit in perfectly with your needs as a chemical supplier or the needs of your industry.

Buy acetic acid now.

Brenntag is the established global market leader in ingredient and chemical distribution and can fully supply all your acetic acid and other chemical needs.

You can buy acetic acid in various package sizes by contacting us directly or registering for a Brenntag Connect account where you can purchase all your products directly online.


This document is for informational purposes only. You accept sole responsibility for reading and complying with the Safety Data Sheets (SDS’s), as well as any other safety information, relating to the products listed herein. The information contained herein is based on Brenntag’s knowledge at the time of publication or release and not on any publications, independent studies, empirical evidence or other form of verification. You should not use or rely on any statements contained herein as a basis for any representations or warranties to your customers or end users as to the safety, efficacy or suitability of any product or for purposes of ensuring your compliance with any laws or regulations. Brenntag makes no warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained herein or as to fitness of any product for any particular purpose. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as an authorization to use or an inducement to practice any patent, trade secret or other intellectual property right. Before producing and distributing any product, it is your sole responsibility to adequately test and document the performance of the product and acquire any required intellectual property rights. You assume all risks for failing to do so and Brenntag shall not be liable (regardless of fault) to you, your employees, customers or end users or any third party for direct, special or consequential damages arising out of or in connection with the furnishing or use of this information. Please contact your local Brenntag representative if you have any questions about this information.