Growing up, I could always tell when mom had been cleaning the house because the scent of vinegar filled the air.
Mom sprayed that stuff on everything.
Now that I’m older, I’ve come to learn that despite what mom may have thought… vinegar isn’t the end-all-be-all for cleaning.
While it’s great for removing coffee stains from the pot and giving your windows a streak-free shine, the acidity of vinegar can begin to eat away at some surfaces, leading to some serious damage.
If you’ve got stone countertops like granite or marble, you’ll want to clean those with a mild detergent and water rather than vinegar.
The acid in vinegar can scratch stone surfaces, leaving them dull and scarred.
Now, you may think vinegar would be great for glass surfaces, like TVs and smartphones since it works so well on windows.
Many of these devices have anti-glare properties that can be damaged by vinegar’s acidity. Also, repeated cleaning with vinegar can make the touchscreen on tablets and phones less responsive.
Have hardwood floors? Don’t let vinegar touch them.
Some flooring companies will void your warranty if there are any signs that vinegar was used on them.
You see, vinegar can dissolve your wood floor’s finish, leaving them looking cloudy, dull, and scratched.
If you’ve been with me a while, you know that my favorite kitchen tools are my knives.
Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that you should not clean knives with vinegar, as a few months of repeated cleaning with vinegar resulted in pitting (holes) on the blades.
Really any metal can be corroded by continuous exposure to acid, so keep your knives and other metal tools away from vinegar.
If you have a lingering odor in your dishwasher or clothes washer, some well-intentioned friend may have told you to use vinegar to get the smell out.
Sorry friend, vinegar won’t help.
In fact, it may even hurt by damaging the seals and other rubber parts of those appliances.
During this pandemic, you’ve probably been doing a lot of cleaning over the last several weeks.
And, if you’ve been having trouble finding your regular cleaning spray in the stores, you may have picked up a bottle of diluted white vinegar instead.
Just remember that while vinegar can be a great natural alternative to chemical cleaners, be sure to keep it away from those items that can be damaged from its acidity… especially your knives.
Stay safe out there.