A Crash Course on Cleaning with Vinegar

clean with vinegarIt’s no secret that distilled white vinegar is a cleaning powerhouse; it can be used to clean many household surfaces and items. What some people may not know, however, is that certain materials should never be cleaned with vinegar solutions.

Learn why this all-natural household cleaner shouldn’t be used for certain cleaning tasks and which materials you should avoid cleaning with vinegar. Then, check out a few acceptable uses for vinegar that can make your housekeeping easier.

How to Clean with Vinegar 101: The Faux Pas

It’s important to remember that vinegar is an acid. If used on the wrong types of surfaces, it can have an undesirable reaction. For example, it can etch stone tiles or granite counters, which can be expensive — or impossible — to repair. Additionally, it can damage the finish on some flooring or the inner workings of certain household appliances. Because of this, you need to be mindful of what you’re cleaning with vinegar.

You should never use vinegar for washing the following items or materials:

  • Any type of stone surface, including slate, marble, granite, ceramic and so forth
  • No-wax floors
  • Unsealed grout
  • Clothes irons
  • Electronics and screens
  • Wooden furniture that has been waxed or finished
  • Carbon steel knives
  • Cast iron cookware
  • Any appliance containing parts made from aluminum
  • Egg spills (Vinegar can cause the egg to coagulate, making it even more difficult to clean.)

Note: This list is by no means comprehensive. If you have doubts about whether a certain item can be washed with vinegar, consult the manufacturer’s instructions.

How to Clean with Vinegar 102: Three Quick Tips

Don’t let the above scare you off of using vinegar as an all-purpose cleaner. It can come in handy in cleaning many different areas of the house and is inexpensive and all natural to boot. Here are three handy uses for vinegar that can help with your daily housekeeping routine.

Chrome cleaner

You’ll need:

  1. Pour the vinegar into the bottle and spray it directly on your chrome and stainless-steel surfaces.
  2. Wipe the vinegar away with a microfiber cloth.
  3. Buff any streaks with a clean microfiber cloth.

Window and glass cleaner

You’ll need:

  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Water
  • A spray bottle
  • Microfiber cloths or coffee filters

  1. Mix equal parts vinegar and water in your spray bottle.
  2. Mist windows with the liquid. Make sure you don’t apply too much solution, or you’ll end up with streaks.
  3. Working from top to bottom, wipe the windows clean using a microfiber cloth or coffee filter. If you start to see streaks, switch to a fresh cloth or filter.

Toilet bowl cleaner

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup of distilled white vinegar, separated into halves
  • A toilet brush
  • A spray bottle
  • A clean microfiber cloth
  1. Pour ½ cup of the vinegar into your toilet bowl. Let this sit for about three to five minutes.
  2. Add the remaining ½ cup of vinegar to the spray bottle, and mist the rim of the toilet. This should also sit for three to five minutes.
  3. Scrub the bowl with your toilet brush, and wipe down the rim of the toilet with your microfiber cloth.
  4. Flush when you’ve finished.

Once you learn how to clean with vinegar properly, you’ll discover what a miracle product it can be. However, there’s no miraculous cleaner that can add more time to your busy days. If you’re having trouble keeping up with the daily housekeeping, contact your local Merry Maids for some backup.

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