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The Dos and Don’ts of Vinegar

The Do's and Don'ts of Cleaning with Vinegar

Vinegar can be powerful in fighting dirt and grime, but with all power comes responsibility.

In this article we will cover the right and wrong ways to use it.

Vinegar is a great all natural, eco-friendly cleaning product that is safe and non-toxic to children and pets. It’s extremely versatile and easy to use but best of all its cheap, with a gallon being just a few dollars. But some people underestimate the power of this product. As well is it cleans, it can also damage some surfaces or just make some messes more difficult to take care of.

  • Clothes Iron – You might think cleaning up the buildup on your clothing iron would be helpful, but i can damage the inner workings of the device. A Magic Eraser works wonders here, strong enough to remove stains but not abrasive enough to cause scratches.

  • Egg-Based Messes – The acids in vinegar can make the proteins in eggs coagulate, making that mess a sticky, gluey disaster. Just stick to a soapy sponge or washcloth.

  • Kitchen Knives – Acids should be avoided when cleaning the sharp blades of your kitchen knives. To keep them sharp and new, just stick to the basics of soap and water.

  • Granite, Marble and Soapstone counter tops – As most of us know vinegar is great at breaking down mineral deposits. But as natural counter tops are composed of minerals too it can be pretty harsh on these surfaces. Vinegar can cause pitting; making natural counters lose their luster and giving nasty germs a place to hide.

  • Solid Wood Furniture – It isn’t a good idea to clean wood with pure, undiluted vinegar. In addition to leaving water marks, the acid in the vinegar could “eat” certain kinds of finishes. (However, for polishing wood, a homemade treatment of half olive oil and half white vinegar can buff up stained and oiled wood finishes nicely.)

Clean These Household Items With Caution

Some surfaces and items can be cleaned with vinegar but you should be careful, using it sparing or in small amounts. Porous surfaces such as wood stone and grout can be damaged by the acids present in vinegar. However using a heavily diluted solution can give you the cleaning and sanitizing benefits without the danger of damage But as always, use your best judgement when cleaning your hardwood floor, stone floors and grout.

Though there are a few things to avoid when cleaning with vinegar, there are far many more useful applications for this money saving solution. Here are but a few:


Remove bathtub film by wiping it first with white distilled vinegar then with baking soda. Rinse away grime with clean water. Also,To prevent soap scum build-up, wipe shower doors with a sponge soaked in white distilled vinegar. No need to rinse.


Before treating the area with vinegar, test for colorfastness in an inconspicuous place. If colors don’t run, saturate the stain with a solution of equal parts white distilled vinegar and water. Allow it to sit on the area for 10 minutes. Blot as before, replacing towels as needed. When the carpet is mostly dry, sprinkle baking soda on the area. This will help absorb odors. Vacuum in about an hour.


For sparkling results, add 1 ½ to 2 cups white distilled vinegar to the bottom of the dishwasher. Wash on regular cycle using the usual amount of detergent. Vinegar can also be used to sanitize that musty old sponge making them last longer.


To dissolve minerals and oily build-up, fill the reservoir with white distilled vinegar and run the coffee maker through a brewing cycle. Empty the carafe. Rinse away vinegar residue by running a full reservoir of water through the brewing cycle. (As always, follow manufacturer’s care instructions.)

  • Dishwasher

  • Washing machine

  • Refrigerator

  • Carpet

  • Toilet Bowl

  • Clogged Drains

  • Humidifier

  • Sticky stuff

  • Windows & mirrors

  • Shower head

  • Hard water stains

  • Soap scum

  • Smelly towels

  • Garbage disposal

  • Suede

  • Denim

  • Oily skin

  • Vinyl auto interiors

  • Microwave

  • Reusable Shopping Bags

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