It is not just an old wives’ tale: distilled white vinegar is actually quite a powerful—and safe—household cleaner. Indeed, this simple and practical natural chemical compound can be quite an effective cleaner all around the house. But as powerful, effective, and safe as it usually is, Éco Nettoyage warns that distilled white vinegar is not appropriate for all your household cleaning needs.
When Not To Use Distilled White Vinegar
It is important to remember that distilled white vinegar is acidic and, therefore, caustic. That means it can be a little too abrasive for some surfaces. Thus, you should avoid using distilled white vinegar to clean:
- No-wax floors
- Cast iron cookware
- Clothing irons
- Electronic screens (computer monitors, televisions, etc)
- Carbon steel knives
- Unsealed grout
- Aluminum appliances
- Stone surfaces (ceramic, granite, marble, slate, etc)
- Egg spills (because vinegar can cause eggs to coagulate (thicken, clot), which results in a much more complicated clean up job.
If you are not sure whether something can be cleaned with distilled white vinegar, you should consult with the manufacturer.
Distilled White Vinegar as A Chrome Cleaner
You can apply distilled white vinegar directly to chrome and stainless steel to restore their original shine. The easiest way is to pour it into a spray bottle and simply spray it on! For a more effective shine, wipe the distilled white vinegar away from the surface using a microfiber cloth to buff out any streaks.
Distilled White Vinegar as A Window/Glass Cleaner
Basically, you only need to a 50/50 dilution of distilled white vinegar and water to make an effective, safe, and eco-friendly household glass cleaner. Again, pour the vinegar into a spray bottle (but mix with equal parts water) and spray the solution onto the glass surface you want to clean. And, again, use microfiber cloths for a streak-free finish.
Distilled White Vinegar As a Toilet Bowl Cleaner
To use distilled white vinegar as a toilet bowl cleaner, you want to pour about ½ cup into the toilet bowl and let sit for 3 to 5 minutes. Use the 100% vinegar spray (from the chrome cleaner) to mist the rim of the bowl and let this sit for 3 to 5 minutes, also. Finally, use your standard toilet bowl scrubbing brush to dispense the vinegar all over the bowl; wipe down the outside and rim with the microfiber cloth (and flush).