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What You Should & Shouldn't Clean With Vinegar

Post By Amanda LaForest

When you go to the supermarket to do your regular shopping, chances are you often have to make a stop in the cleaning aisle. With all of the natural cleaning products being added to the shelves these days, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed by all of the different options. If you’d like to simplify both your shopping list and your cleaning regimen, you can’t beat vinegar for all-around effectiveness at cleaning many different areas of your home. Keep reading to learn the many different surfaces that can benefit from vinegar’s cleaning power – and a few you should always be sure to avoid.

Vinegar-Safe Surfaces

For anyone interested in natural cleaning, vinegar is a go-to option for many different surfaces around their homes. Here is a list of the best ways to use vinegar for cleaning:

Glass:

You can use vinegar to clean any glass surface, from windows to tabletops. Spray a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water onto the glass, and wipe away with newspaper for a streak-free finish. You can also add vinegar to your dishwasher cycle for spot-free glassware, and use it to keep soap scum and hard water stains from building up on shower doors.

Vinyl:

You know all of those blinds you never dust? Give them a deep cleaning with a mixture of warm water with ½ cup vinegar. Wipe the mixture onto the blinds with a sponge, then rinse with clear water.

Wax-Free Floors:

Give your floors a thorough cleaning and shine with a mixture of ½ gallon warm water and ½ cup vinegar. Simply mop as usual, and change the water anytime it gets dirty.

Stainless Steel:

Fighting fingerprints and smudges on your stainless steel surfaces? Wipe them away with a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water and a rag to keep your stainless steel looking like new.

Copper, Brass and Pewter

To remove tarnish on these metals, mix together 1 teaspoon salt and ½ cup of white distilled vinegar, then add in flour to form a paste. Apply to the metal and allow it to stand for 15 minutes. Rinse with clean water and polish with a soft, dry cloth.

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Surfaces to Avoid

While vinegar is great at cleaning many different areas of your home, there are also some surfaces that should be avoided. This is because vinegar’s acidic nature can cause damage to delicate surfaces. These include:

Granite, Marble, or Soapstone

These natural stone materials have smoothed surfaces that make them great for flooring, countertops, and more. But vinegar can cause pitting and dulling, and require you to hire someone to refinish the surface.

Solid Wood

While vinegar leaves many surfaces shiny and spot-free, this is not true for solid wood. Vinegar can eat away at certain kinds of finishes, and leave furniture dull and water-marked.

Kitchen Knives

This might seem like an odd one, but if you’re someone who has pricey knives, keep them away from your cleaning vinegar. It can cause pitting on the blade, or damage natural wood handles.

Hardwood Floors

While vinegar, when diluted properly, is unlikely to cause damage to hardwood, there is a small chance that it can. That is why it is best avoided entirely in favor of a hardwood-safe natural cleaner.

For these surfaces, a different natural cleaning product is recommended OR you can dilute the vinegar to reduce the acidic nature. For all of your vinegar-safe surfaces, we highly recommend starting a vinegar cleaning regimen today, to keep your house clean without any noxious fumes or dangerous chemicals!

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