It’s the weekend and for many of us, that means it’s time to clean house. We love our share of green cleaning products here at First for Women, and when it comes to versatile household products that save us time — and money — white vinegar is high up on our list. However, we’re here to make sure you don’t make the mistake of using your favorite natural household cleaner on the wrong surfaces — because the results could be catastrophic!
Things You Should Never Clean with Vinegar
Vinegar is considered to be a great cleaning product because it contains acetic acid. Acetic acid is a natural disinfectant and antibacterial making it ideal for cleaning glass, stovetops, bathroom surfaces, and so much more!
But when using vinegar for cleaning, there are a few spots in your home that you should definitely avoid. Turns out, acetic acid isn’t friendly on all surfaces, and it can even cause irreparable damage. Below, we list the things you should never clean using vinegar.
Need to disinfect your phone or laptop? Reach for an alcohol wipe instead of a vinegar solution. Experts over at Consumer Reports say that vinegar’s acidity can actually damage screens if they have an anti-glare coating on them, and even make touchscreens less responsive!
Marble or Other Stone Countertops
You can clean a countertop that’s covered with tile or artificial coating with vinegar, but if your counter is made of real marble or another stone, don’t use it! The folks over at Good Housekeeping note that the acid in vinegar will actually make the stone dull and weak and could create scratches and pits. Instead, use a mild detergent like dish soap.
Hardwood Floors and Wooden Furniture
This one may or may not come as a surprise, but you shouldn’t clean hardwood floors with vinegar. Flooring pros at Lumber Liquidators say the acid in vinegar can actually deteriorate the finishing on your shiny hardwood floors and furniture, leaving it looking dull and susceptible to scratches. Opt for cleaners that are specifically designed for wood furniture and flooring.
Metal Kitchen Supplies
Never clean your knives, cutlery, or other metal kitchen supplies with vinegar. These tools often have a protective coating on them that vinegar will wear away. Plus, tools with sharp or jagged edges, like knives, can become dull and pitted. Instead, simply go with dish detergent and water.
You may have heard that you can run vinegar through a dishwasher or washing machine, but experts actually advise against it. The vinegar won’t damage your dishes or clothing, however, home improvement expert Bob Vila says that appliances like these often contain rubber parts in them that won’t survive vinegars acidity. In fact, you shouldn’t clean anything rubber with a vinegar-based solution.
So while natural and non-toxic cleaning is great for you and your family, make sure you’re protecting your home by using the appropriate solutions, too. Happy tidying!
This article originally appeared on our sister site, First for Women.