What You Should NEVER Clean with Vinegar
We’re big fans of vinegar when it comes to doing laundry or cleaning windows. It’s even useful when you’re cleaning the toilet! It’s a true miracle product and very cheap as well. The list goes on and on about the benefits of vinegar, but you do have to beware about using it with certain applications, especially when it comes to acting as a cleaning agent.
Since vinegar is acidic you should be cautious when cleaning surfaces that can corrode. If left on too long or used in too strong of a solution the acid in the vinegar can damage the surface, dull the shine, or leave a cloudy mark.
1. Smartphone, tablet of computer screen
There’s no doubt we all share some things in common, one of them being using at least of these devices each day. Once the screen gets blurry or you think it’s a good time to sanitize, these devices are filled with germs!
Do not use vinegar to clean your smartphone, tablet and laptop monitors. They have a thin layer of oleophobic coating that limits fingerprints and smudges, and acidic vinegar can strip this coating, causing the layers below to be exposed.
2. Natural stone / granite surfaces
Natural stone doesn’t react well to vinegar, or other acidic cleaning products (like ammonia or lemon). Because of the acid, vinegar can etch marble and granite.
For stone surfaces you should stick to special stone cleaning products. Some dishwashing liquid and warm water will also do the trick without the damage.
3. Hardwood floors
This one’s a bit complicated. Depending on what your hardwood floors are finished with, it can be a bad idea to clean your floors with vinegar. Some people say that vinegar solutions clean their hardwood floors beautifully, but others say it damages the finish. The acidic vinegar can eat away at the finish over time, removing the protective coating over the wood and making your floors look dull. So, don’t take the risk.
4. Waxed furniture
While it’s possible that you may want to remove the wax from your furniture, in all other cases you’ll want to avoid wiping waxed furniture down with vinegar. Vinegar will strip the wax off your furniture, leaving a cloudy mark. Furniture polish designed for waxed furniture is a safer choice.
5. Tile Grout
You’ll find several articles that suggest cleaning your grout with vinegar. And while it will brighten it up, it could come at a cost. Grout that hasn’t been sealed or needs to be resealed should not have vinegar used on it. Grout is an alkaline substance, so if it is unsealed, vinegar’s acidity could eat away at it and decolour it over time.
6. Carpet Odours
Often vinegar is suggested to be used on pet stains on carpet, but it doesn’t work as well as an enzymatic carpet cleaner. Vinegar might mask the odour, but it won’t eliminate the reason for the odour.
7. Steam Iron
If you iron your clothes regularly (yes, some people still iron), then you know that cleaning your iron is necessary to keep it working. You’d think that if you wanted to clean your iron, you should pour some vinegar in it, right? Wrong! Vinegar can seriously damage the inner parts of an iron. You should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when cleaning your iron.