Discover the 5 things you should avoid at all costs when cleaning with vinegar! Protect your items and read on.

Vinegar is undoubtedly a popular home remedy for cleaning, as it is versatile and environmentally friendly. However, there are certain situations where using vinegar can do more harm than good. Before we get to the five things you shouldn’t clean with vinegar, here’s a little tip: use lemon juice instead to remove lime scale on stainless steel – this way you’ll avoid unsightly stains!

Why is vinegar so popular as a cleaning agent?

Vinegar is an extremely popular household cleaning agent, and for good reasons. Here are some of the main reasons why vinegar is so appreciated for cleaning the home:

  • Natural and environmentally friendly, vinegar is a natural product derived from fermented alcohol. Unlike many chemical cleaners, vinegar is biodegradable and environmentally friendly.
  • Versatile: Vinegar can be used for a variety of cleaning tasks. Whether used to descale kettles, clean glass surfaces or remove mold, vinegar is a true all-rounder in the home.
  • Antibacterial effect: Vinegar has a natural antibacterial effect that helps to kill germs and bacteria. This makes vinegar particularly suitable for cleaning kitchen and bathroom areas.
  • Inexpensive: Vinegar is an inexpensive cleaning product available in any supermarket. Compared to specialized cleaning products, vinegar is often the less expensive alternative.
  • Odor neutralizing: Vinegar helps neutralize unpleasant odors. For example, if you have a musty smell in your washing machine or refrigerator, vinegar can help eliminate that odor.

How to tell which items you shouldn’t clean with vinegar

As a general rule, you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations before using vinegar to clean. Care should be taken with delicate or porous materials, as the acetic acid can attack them. If in doubt, it is worth carrying out a test on an inconspicuous area.

How vinegar attacks certain materials

The acetic acid contained in vinegar can attack sensitive and porous materials and damage their surfaces. When it comes into contact with metals, vinegar can also cause corrosion. Therefore, it is important to know exactly which materials and objects you can and cannot clean with vinegar.

  • Stone and marble – beware of acetic acid

Stone and marble are delicate materials that can be attacked and damaged by the acid in vinegar. The surfaces can become dull or discolored. Instead of vinegar, it is recommended to use special stone or marble cleaners or simply wipe the surfaces with a damp cloth.

  • Hardwood floors – protect your floor from damage

Wood floors, especially hardwood, are sensitive to moisture and acids. Using vinegar can attack the protective seal of the wood and cause discoloration or damage. Instead, you should use special wood floor cleaners or mild soap solutions. Be careful not to mop the floor too wet and always allow it to dry thoroughly.

  • Electronic devices – Not a good combination

Vinegar and electronic devices do not mix well. The moisture and acid can damage delicate electronic components and cause them to malfunction. Rather, clean electronic devices with a dry or slightly damp microfiber cloth and use special cleaners for electronics if needed.

  • Eggshells and lime – An undesirable reaction

Vinegar can cause undesirable reactions when cleaning items that contain eggshells or lime. Acetic acid reacts with the calcium carbonate found in eggshells and lime to form calcium acetate and carbon dioxide. This can roughen and damage the surface. Rather, use warm water and mild soap to clean items with eggshells or lime.

  • Iron and steel – risk of rust due to vinegar

Iron and steel can rust if vinegar is used for cleaning. The acid attacks the metal surface and can cause corrosion. To prevent rusting, use mild soap solutions or special cleaners for metals to clean iron and steel items. Be sure to dry items thoroughly after cleaning to avoid moisture.