In the rush to clean green and as natural as possible, vinegar seems like an excellent candidate for cleaning naturally! While it is a multipurpose cleaner, it is not an all-purpose cleaner. Several years back we wrote about the ways vinegar can actually strip your wood floors.
It’s a bit of a shock learning that vinegar—which is safe to eat, and natural—doesn’t work well, but this is because of the high, acidic nature of vinegar. The concentration of acid can actually eat away at some surfaces and objects (depending on what they’re made of). This does more damage than good. This doesn’t mean that natural cleaners don’t work, it means that vinegar might not be the best go-to cleaning choice. There are plenty of all natural cleaners that work and are safe to use on your floors, furniture, and other household items! It can be expensive to replace things—especial nicer household items and appliances. With this in mind, let’s look at what we should skip when cleaning with vinegar!
What You Shouldn’t Clean with Vinegar
For starters, never mix vinegar and bleach. While it sounds like an extraordinary stroke of genius— coupling the cleaning power of both vinegar and bleach— it’s an incredibly bad idea. The two cleaning agents combined create a toxic gas that is harmful to breathe in.
Furniture That is Waxed; Granite & Marble Counter Tops (or other stone objects): because of its strong, acidic nature, vinegar tends to eat away the nice, finished surfaces on waxed surfaces, as well as granite or marble surfaces (such as countertops). It’s a slow process, but it can be a painful experience if the vinegar eats away the polish and surfaces of expensive furniture and countertops.
Inside of Appliances (such as dishwashers): the vinegar’s acid can actually eat away at the rubber parts inside of the appliances, hoses, and the seals. It’s also not recommended for the inside of gadgets such as irons.
Grout: crumbly grout in our showers and bathtubs can be eaten away by vinegar too. This is definitely annoying since moisture makes grout to growing all sorts of dingy scum and mold, staining it. Vinegar simply makes the tile and grout deteriorate even faster.
Tech Devices: vinegar can absolutely destroy the coating on the screens of your tech devices. Cleaning these devices is best done with products recommended specially for the devices.
Pet Messes: vinegar certainly covers up the odors we smell when furry friends make messes, but it doesn’t cover it up for our pets’ exceptional sniffers.
Pots, Pans, & Baked on Grease: it’s not that the vinegar destroys your pots and pans, it’s that it just simply doesn’t work.
Initially, the inability to use vinegar on these objects can be frustrating and feel like a huge setback; but there are alternatives to cleaning these objects naturally, safely, and effectively—without sacrificing our home and items. It takes a little bit of extra research and thought, but that’s where the Maid to Shine blog can come in to help you find safe, natural, and green alternatives!