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13 objects not to clean with vinegar: the advice of professional cleaners

It’s not that we decided to write a master’s thesis on the topic “Vinegar and its effects on materials” – we just want to tell you when you should not use it.

White vinegar can do many things: it can make bath towels softer or eliminate bad odors from the refrigerator. However, there are some items that are not recommended to be cleaned with vinegar. Here are the things professional cleaners advise you to keep away.

What you previously cleaned with bleach

Of course, this does not mean that if you have doused the toilet with chlorine at least once, it can no longer be treated with vinegar. But never use these products together or one after another: even if it seems that you washed one well and then took another, everything will end in a headache and odor strange which seems to have become embedded in the nasal mucosa.

The danger of using vinegar to clean an item that contains traces of bleach is that it releases chlorine gas, which produces all those special effects. So remember: chlorine and vinegar are a dangerous duo, and it’s best never to mix them.

All natural stone

vinegar and natural stones


Vinegar and natural stone do not mix well: the liquid can damage countertops, walls and floors made of granite, marble, quartz, limestone or travertine. “These materials are inherently porous and vinegar is an acid. It penetrates and leaves surfaces dull and discolored, and can sometimes cause tiny pitting. You also risk damaging the sealant layer. So it’s best to use a mild soap solution or special products to wash natural stone, explains Alicia Sokolowski, president of the cleaning service.


Ceramic tile and vinegar are not always a good combination. The acid will not damage the coating itself, but the seams can be damaged if they are not sealed or damaged. “Vinegar will dissolve exposed grout if used regularly,” says Mark Atkins, technical director of a company that makes natural stone and tile cleaners.

Untreated and waxed wood

“The harm of vinegar on wooden surfaces can manifest itself in different ways. Firstly, wood perfectly absorbs odors, and secondly, acid can cause deformation of the furniture or lead to the appearance of stains on it, as well as destroy the protective layer of wax or oil applied to the parquet floor. Many manufacturers consider cases where flooring is damaged by vinegar to be out of warranty,” says Marla Mock, president of the cleaning company.


“The danger of using vinegar to clean an iron is that most appliances have a special protective coating on their water tank: the acid will first corrode it and then damage the metal parts. So be sure to read the instructions—most irons have a self-cleaning feature—just press a button to get rid of dirt, says Larry Ciufo, a testing manager at an appliance company.

Small appliance

The plastic used to make most small kitchen gadgets (blenders, coffee makers, toasters, mixers, and coffee grinders) can be safely cleaned with vinegar, but the same cannot be said for the metal parts of the appliances household appliances.

“There are different grades of stainless steel,” explains Jim Nanni, who works in the appliance testing department. – For small gadgets, the simplest and cheapest alloys are usually used, which can begin to rust if constantly exposed to acid. Therefore, these devices cannot be cleaned with vinegar.

Washing machine

Using vinegar when cleaning is a popular tip, but there’s another one that’s just as famous: it’s often recommended as a replacement for fabric softener. However, Stephen Grayson, owner of the repair service, explains that this trick should never be used all the time. “If you add vinegar every time, the acid can literally melt the hoses and rubber seals of the washing machine – we have seen such breakdowns many times,” he explains.


A similar taboo exists regarding dishwashers: You may have heard that you should put a cup of vinegar in them to remove residue and odors. Larry advises not to use this method often – in his opinion, it can accelerate the wear of the device.

“First, dishwasher seals are made of rubber, which is not well affected by acid. Second, we tested this hack and, frankly, we were disappointed: professional tools give much more impressive results. Vinegar may have been a great option when it didn’t exist, but now it’s very easy to find something better,” says Siufo.

Electronic appliances

Vinegar and electronics are compatible, but with certain reservations. “Pure vinegar can strip the screen of its anti-glare properties and reduce its ability to respond to the user’s touch. However, a one-to-one mixture of vinegar and distilled water for cleaning monitors is recommended, for example, by Acer and Samsung. However, I always recommend using special sprays, spraying them not on the screen, but on the cloth with which you wipe it,” explains Antonette Acedillo, electronics product tester.

Kitchen knives

Experts have already mentioned that vinegar and stainless steel don’t mix well. Jim Nanni adds that in the kitchen, the first thing to remember is this rule when washing and disinfecting knives: their fine edge is particularly sensitive to acid, which can leave small wormholes.

Cookers and hobs

“One thing you shouldn’t clean with vinegar is your cooktops, no matter what they’re made of. It’s not that it will damage them – you’ll just make your life more difficult. Vinegar is too weak to break down encrusted grease. As a result, you will have to spend a lot of time and effort cleaning dirt from the surface – it is easier to just use a special degreaser that can easily remove them, ”says Erica Beckman, professor of engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. .


I can't clean with vinegar

“Cast iron pans and pots are coated with a layer of polymerized oil which protects them from rust and makes the surface non-stick. Vinegar can remove this film and your cookware won’t last as long as it could,” says Alicia.

Cat litter and dog beds

“White vinegar is an excellent disinfectant and neutralizes odors, and if it enters the stomach in small quantities it will not cause any harm. Therefore, many people think that vinegar should be used to clean cat litter and wash pet bedding. I advise you to abandon this practice: the fact is that the product leaves a residual aroma that people do not notice, but the animals feel very good. Sometimes this is why they refuse to use trays and beds,” says Sokolowski.

Source: The Voice Mag

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