Vinegar is well-known for its amazing cleaning properties when it comes to the tedious domestic chores but this doesn’t mean your true assistant should be considered as an all-purpose detergent. Some surfaces can’t handle its acidic nature and from a beloved helper you can turn it into your worst enemy because you neglected this fact. Yes, vinegar is easily accessible in every house and often you will find it in different recipes for homemade eco-friendly cleaning products. However, it’s not always an appropriate option – read on to see which are the surfaces and materials you should not clean with vinegar.
- Maybe you are keen on doing the laundry with environmental-friendly detergents. Usually vinegar is mentioned as an essential ingredient but you should know which one exactly is the suitable type for your garments. Forget about using apple cider or wine one for your laundry. The appropriate solution is to add only white distilled vinegar in your washing machine. It is known to remove undesirable odours and bleach the fabrics. One more thing – apple cider is not only inappropriate for your clothes but for cleaning light surfaces too, so have that in mind.
- If you are among the lucky ones and you have marble flooring or countertops at home, don’t risk to damage them by cleaning them with vinegar. It is a great natural cleaning solution for a wide range of surfaces but that doesn’t include marble itself. Again, as it is an acid it will corrode the porous structure of your precious marble. Domestic cleaners recommend using hydrogen peroxide instead, if you want to clean this natural stone the green way.
- You will be disappointed but vinegar can’t help you in removing grease stains from dirty dishes. In order to get the best results you should opt for alkaline cleaners – even ordinary soap is a lot more effective. The same applies when you are cleaning your cast iron pans and aluminium dishes – those metals react with the vinegar and they are more likely to be damaged afterwards. If you need to clean your cast iron skillet, for instance, use coarse sea salt instead. However, vinegar is safe for your stainless steel and enameled cast iron. Remember that you should not use metal dish when preparing homemade cleansers with vinegar – better make it in ceramic or glass bowl.
- Don`t risk to damage your expensive kitchen knives by cleaning them with vinegar. If the blades are made of carbon steel, they should not be treated with acidic cleaners. Instead, you can use a mild soap.
- In every bathroom mold appears inevitably. Bleach and vinegar are both known as household items that can effectively help you in removing it but you should not use them together – when mixed they produce toxic gas. Use them separately or add natural substances only.
- From time to time you have to deal with protein stains. You are not sure how to identify if the stain is protein-based? The common protein stains include dairy products, blood, eggs, baby food and body soils. No matter if you have to clean your carpet, upholstery or clothing never reach for vinegar, lemon or any acidic detergents. The acid will coagulate the protein and it will form a gluey substance which will be even harder to clean. And you weren’t aiming for this results, were you? In order to get rid of the protein stain you will need a cleaning detergent with enzymes – usually liquid laundry cleaners would do the job as they contain enzymes. Another option is oxygen bleach but make sure it is colour-safe. An important thing to know is that you should avoid heat – any iron, hot water or a dryer will set the stain and you will not be able to get rid of it. Completely remove the spot before drying the stained item.
- Even if you are tempted to clean your waxed flooring or wood furniture with vinegar, you will just damage their matt gloss and coating. However, if you need to remove this layer because you need to apply a new one, vinegar would do it. You may do this to the surfaces that are treated with wax or paraffin such as floors, frames and other wooden accessories – wait about half an hour and wipe with clean cloth afterwards. The coating will be gone and you can put the new layer on.
- If you have a beautiful garden and you want to keep it neat in eco-friendly way, you can do it without spraying all these chemical pesticide around. Yes, you can use vinegar against insects and weeds. However, you should be extra careful as if you spray onto your plants, it will kill them.
Now you know when it’s not appropriate to use the help of vinegar at home. Still, this doesn’t mean we don’t trust our true helper anymore – next time you want to clean your house with it, just make sure you are not dealing with the cases mentioned above.