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7 Mistakes to Avoid when Cleaning with Vinegar

Household vinegar has a variety of applications in home cleaning. However, due to its acidic nature, using vinegar is not appropriate in many situations – it can destroy wax, corrode wood and stone, destroy plants, and cause damage to other items or materials. Below are seven ways vinegar should not be used when cleaning:

  • Polishing hardwood floors - vinegar can damage hardwood floor finishes, causing them to look dingy. To clean hardwood floors, a cleaner specifically made for hardwood floors or a mix of soap and water can be used. Tips to protect hardwood floors from water damage are available here.
  • Removing grease stains - vinegar is not efficient in removing grease from any surface because of its acidic properties. In order to clean greasy spots, a regular dishwashing detergent or another alkaline cleaner should be used.
  • Cleaning waxed surfaces - vinegar dissolves the wax, and should not be used to clean waxed furniture. However, vinegar is a reliable option for removing an old coat of wax from a surface. To clean waxed surfaces, a wax cleaning solvent should be used instead.
  • Scrubbing granite or marble stoneware - stone can pit and corrode when it comes in contact with vinegar. Thus, vinegar should never be used to clean stone. A mix of mild dish detergent and warm water ought to do the trick.
  • Sanitizing sensitive electronic surfaces - most laptops, smartphones, tablet screens, televisions, etc. have a layer of oleophobic coating that gets damaged if you spray vinegar on them.
  • Getting rid of bugs on plants - although vinegar can act as a weed killer, spraying it on bug-infested plants will most likely damage the plants, and could even kill them.
  • Cleaning egg spills - when vinegar mixes with the proteins in the egg, its acidity will cause the egg spill to coagulate, resulting in a gluey substance that’s difficult to remove.

Baking soda is also commonly used in home cleaning. The ten best ways to clean with baking soda are available here. More green cleaning tips for homeowners can be found in this article. The PuroClean team stands ready to provide professional restoration services to any property affected by fire, water or mould damage.

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