Some household products that contain acetic acid include sealants, window cleaners containing vinegar, certain brands of dishwashing liquids and mildew stain removers. The most common household product that contains acetic acid is vinegar, which is produced by fermenting fruit or other items that contain sugar.
Acetic acid is known by several other names, including glacial acetic acid, ethanoic acid and vinegar acid. One way to make acetic acid is to expose ethanol to air. Over a short period of time, the ethanol is converted to ethanoic acid by certain types of bacteria. The bacteria create acetic acid by converting the sugars in a fermented substance. Acetic acid can also be produced by distilling wood. Acetic acid created by wood distillation is often used for manufacturing or industrial purposes, such as in the production of glue.
White vinegar typically contains at least 4 percent acetic acid by volume, while other vinegars can contain up to 6 percent acetic acid by volume. Although acetic acid in the form of vinegar is often used in the household for preserving foods, adding a distinct sourness to foods and cleaning grease or inhibiting bacterial growth, acetic acid is also used to treat certain ailments, such as outer ear infections.