Vinegar Dos and Don’ts


Vinegar is a very handy household item, as it is natural and non-toxic, and nearly everyone has it on hand. It has an assortment of uses, including cooking, cleaning, and a variety of assorted household hacks. Although it can be used as an alternative to harsh chemicals to clean a lot of surfaces in your home, there are also a few things that vinegar should not be used for. Keep reading for some tips on what to do and what not to do (and why) with vinegar!

Do clean:

Windows- A mixture of two tablespoons of vinegar in one gallon of water, put into a spray bottle, gives you a great window cleaner. Just squirt on the glass surface and wipe off with a dry cloth.

Appliances- Your dishwasher, washer, microwave, coffee maker, and more can all be cleaned with vinegar. A mixture of vinegar and hot water can be used to safely clean the outer and inner surfaces of your appliances. Running the dishwasher with just a cup of vinegar at the bottom helps to freshen the unit. This also works in the microwave, by microwaving a (microwave safe) cup of vinegar for a couple minutes and then wiping it down. Run an empty load in the washer with vinegar in the detergent cup to clean the inside of it and keep your clothes smelling fresh. Run vinegar through the coffee pot instead of water once a month to get rid of any stubborn gunk.

Drains- Have a stubborn clog in your sink, garbage disposal, or tub drain? Pour a pot of boiling water down the clogged drain. Dump a half cup of baking soda down the drain, followed up by a cup of vinegar. Immediately follow that up with another pot of very hot water. This vinegar solution should fix whatever gunk is stuck in the drains.

Bathroom surfaces- A straight or slightly diluted vinegar solution can be used for stain and odor removal on most bathroom fixtures. For areas that need more intensive cleaning, such as the tub and toilet, baking soda and vinegar can be used together to deep clean.

Germ prone surfaces- Use a half and half vinegar-water mix to wipe down telephones, doorknobs, faucet handles, and other frequently handled surfaces that are breeding grounds for germs.

Don’t clean:

Marble, soapstone, or quartz counter tops- Acidic substances can cause natural stones to lose their shine, and cause them to etch and pit. This is also the case for natural floor tiles. A mild cleaning mixture is a better option to clean these surfaces.

Hardwood floors- Some use vinegar to clean hardwood, and as long as it is properly sealed, it is probably okay. However, as with the natural stones, hardwood is more susceptible to pitting and becoming scraped from acidic solutions. Especially if the hardwood is not finished or if it old flooring. You will be better off using a cleaner specifically meant for hardwoods, and always test out any mixture in a small, inconspicuous area first.

Kitchen knives and other metal utensils- Vinegar will dull knives and make them look older quicker than other cleaners. It works to clean them, but the acid wears them out faster. Instead, use dish soap and hot water.

Egg related messes- If eggs are spilled on a surface in your home, vinegar will actually make it harder to clean up. This is because the egg will coagulate much quicker, so it suggested to use soap or cleaner made for the surface it is spilled on instead.

Solid wood fixtures- The wooden furniture in your home should never be cleaned with pure vinegar, as it can leave spots and eat away at certain finishes. Wood should always be taken care of with wood-specific cleaning agents. A little vinegar mixed with olive oil can be used as a wood buffer, but the ratio should be less vinegar than oil.

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