January 12, 2017
Cleaning With Vinegar 101

vinegarIf you grew up in a Caribbean household then you probably know that vinegar is great when it comes to cleaning meat. In the West Indies, it’s a tradition to rinse any form of meat before cooking as it’s said to clean any bacteria from the chicken, goat, duck, or cow. Scientists have debated whether or not it’s effective to rinse the meat with vinegar before cooking however this tradition is not going anywhere anytime soon. As the world continues to shift to a more “green” and natural way of doing things, vinegar is quickly becoming one of the most popular cleaning solutions. Today we break down cleaning with vinegar to discover if it’s really safe. The short answer is yes, it is safe to clean your household with vinegar most of the time, however there’s an asterisk. There are certain items you will never ever want to clean with vinegar and we breakdown why.


Never Use Vinegar To Clean Stone Countertops


If you have granite or marble countertops, then you probably will want to avoid putting vinegar anywhere close to the counter. Many people have made the mistake of using vinegar to clean these marble or granite countertops and have paid a dear price, literally. Vinegar is very acidic and while this acid is safe to clean the majority of the house, it eats away at granite or marble. When working with any kind of stone, the most effective solution is to rinse the countertops of with warm water instead.


Avoid Using With Any Kind of Stones


Forget the kitchen countertops for a minute, you probably don’t want to put vinegar on any kind of stones. Think about anywhere in the house where stones are located. Perhaps you have stone flooring in the kitchen or stone tiles in the bathroom, you’ll never want to clean these areas with a vinegar based solution. While granite and marble are the most popular stones used for interior decor, vinegar could eat through just about any kind of stones over time. As a general rule of thumb, avoid putting vinegar on any variation of stones in the house and you should be fine. If it has acid in the product (think about lemons or vinegar) then the natural green way is not the way to go, it will cut these stones and transform your heart into stones, not something you want to deal with!


Eggs and Vinegar Are A Bad Combo


Every now and then, we all get a little messy in the kitchen, especially when it comes to eggs. Eggs can indeed get messy which is why blogger Joanna Goddard shows us the best way to crack and egg using one hand. However, let’s say you made a mess in the kitchen while baking or making breakfast for the family. You may be thinking that vinegar will clean up any unwanted bacteria and leave your kitchen looking spotless. Unlike salt and pepper, ketchup and mustard or Ben and Jerry’s, vinegar and eggs do not make the perfect combo. When you try to clean up any sort of egg spill using vinegar, the vinegar will cause the eggs to coagulate, creating an even bigger mess than the one you started. Water, soap and plenty paper towels is probably the way to go when trying to clean up sticky situations.


Keep Vinegar Away From the Iron


If your iron is clogged up, acting funny, or maybe you just want a new fresh smell, be sure to keep vinegar far away from this product. Putting vinegar down the iron in an effort to make things cleaner or to unclog the iron may seem like a good idea but we promise, it isn’t. Vinegar has the ability to damage some internal parts of the iron, which means that you may go to work the next day in a messy, untidy shirt or skirt. When working with electronic items like irons, it’s best to always read the labels to avoid any detrimental situations, like showing up to work in a KISS shirt that you bought during the 1979 Dynasty Tour because you broke your iron the night before!


Some Hardwood Floors Are Not Vinegar Friendly


While cleaning with vinegar is safe in most cases, there are just some instances where you probably shouldn’t take the chance. At iRestify, our cleaning service experts come with decades of experience therefore we know that older hardwood floors respond fine to a vinegar-based solution. However, newer hardwood flooring does not respond kind to vinegar. There have been many reports of vinegar damaging the finish on newer hardwood floors therefore you may want to be extra careful before using vinegar on your flooring.


Vinegar Works Well In Most Cases, Just Not With Stains


Vinegar does a great job at cutting through hard objects like granite and marble so you would think that vinegar would be able to remove a simple grass strain, curry stain or ink stain. Wrong. Unfortunately the acid does absolutely nothing for stains which is deeply sad. This acid could cut through some of the toughest rocks on the planet but can’t handle a simple grass stain. That’s like an NFL player recording six sacks in a game but crying over a paper cut.  For stains, it’s best to use a specific laundry detergent, or one of those on-the-spot stain removers.

While we applaud anyone who takes the initiative to clean using green, natural products, vinegar is not for everything. While vinegar will do a great job at rinsing meat, as the West Indians have done for years, it will not do well when it comes to cleaning any sort of stone. Vinegar and eggs are a bad combination and vinegar is about as ineffective when working with stains as we are when we try to sing like Adele. When working with electronics or anything that appears to be expensive, always read the labels because natural cleaning solutions may have an adverse effect on specific items. Green is definitely the way to go and natural products reduce our ecological footprint, however vinegar will not work to clean everything, though it is generally safe!