7 Things Not to Clean With Vinegar
If you are like me, when you started DIY with ingredients from the kitchen cabinet, you may have used vinegar for everything. Maybe you washed windows, toilets and shelves with vinegar, maybe you put it in the dishwasher and washing machine, made face masks and hair conditioners with it, and used it wherever a cleaning agent was needed. And everything may have smelled like vinegar, but what a miracle this stuff is!
But then you may have learned that this stuff is strong ... maybe it etched big white stains into your marble countertop? I still love vinegar for cleaning, but there are some household items where that is not the case.
There's a popular belief that vinegar can clean anything, but it's not the cure-all you think it is. Discover 7 things that should not be cleaned with vinegar.
1. Stone countertops
I once left half a lemon face down on my stone countertop (a rookie mistake) and subsequently had a perfect half lemon etched into my countertop. Acid and many stone countertops do not get along - although some types of stone handle it better than others. The acid etches and dulls the beautiful surface and can even cause pitting.
Some people recommend cleaning the inside of the iron with a little vinegar, but that's not a good idea. The acid can attack the heating element and destroy the whole thing. Read your iron's instruction manual (good times, I know) and follow the instructions for cleaning.
Using vinegar in your dishwasher seems like a really good way to freshen up your machine. And many bloggers recommend using vinegar instead of rinse aid. Many do-it-yourselfers recommend using white vinegar, which makes the dishes shine, but its high acid content can damage the dishwasher, especially the rubber parts in the rinse chamber.
If you are still interested in using vinegar in your dishwasher, you should first ask the manufacturer of the appliance for advice and get his blessing.
4. Washing machines
I know a lot of people who use vinegar as a fabric softener. In fact, I have probably recommended it before! But just like dishwashers, it can corrode rubber parts like gaskets and hoses and cause leaks ... and no one wants a leaky washing machine. My front-loading washer relies on a large rubber gasket on the front to keep water from pouring over the floor; and in fact, CR points out that front-loading washers are particularly susceptible to vinegar-related damage.
5. Egg soiling
Do not use vinegar to clean up egg spills, because the acid reacts with the eggs, changing their consistency and making them harder to remove. To test this, I made a small egg batter, and although I did not notice any change in the egg batter after using vinegar, I found it easier to clean with hot water and a sponge.
6. Greasy messes
You might think that something acidic would cut through the grease, but greasy spills respond better to alkaline cleaners like baking soda or borax. For dirty, greasy cookware and utensils, you can use a mixture of baking soda and dishwashing liquid.
7. Wooden furniture and floors
Vinegar can attack the protective coating on some wood floors and furniture, making them look sad and cloudy instead of shiny and glossy. Use natural products that are specifically made for wood for the best results.
For everything else, you can use vinegar!