Is It Safe And Effective To Use Vinegar For Cleaning? This Is What You Should Know

Vinegar is perhaps the most popular homemade cleaning solution out there. Google anything about household cleaning products, and it’s almost guaranteed that vinegar will appear somewhere at the top of every list.

Why is it so popular? Vinegar has proved to be very effective at cleaning different household equipment. It also does a remarkable job disinfecting surfaces. Even more interesting is the fact that it does all the cleaning without leaving behind toxic chemicals. Therefore, it’s generally viewed as a more user-friendly cleaner that’s safer than the aggressive chemically-formulated products sold at the store.

With that said, you should know that there are limitations to where you can use vinegar. It’s also important to use the product carefully to avoid unnecessary complications.

It’s also worth pointing out that vinegar does produce some smell which some people find unpleasant. The scent is harmless and nowhere as toxic as the fumes from other cleaning products, but it’s nonetheless bothering. Luckily, you can easily avoid it by mixing vinegar with essential oil or using a scented vinegar solution like apple cider vinegar. This gets the job done without being harsh to your nostrils.

Types Of Vinegar

Below are five of the most common types of vinegar on the market:

1. White Vinegar

Also known as distilled white vinegar, this versatile solution has a sharp flavor. It’s sometimes used for preparing mashed potatoes, salad dressing, barbecue sauce, and hard-boiling eggs.

White vinegar is also extremely popular for cleaning. It’s used on microwaves, coffee makers, floors and to soften fabric in the laundry. You can also use this vinegar for cleaning CPAP and other machines. In addition to cleaning the CPAP machine itself, the solution can be used on the machine’s accessories like the hose, humidifier, mask, headgear, and filters. You must be very careful while cleaning these items to avoid damaging them.

2. Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is made from a grape must. It has a distinctly dark appearance and sweet flavor. It’s commonly used in making salad dressings, chicken marinade, sauce, etc.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

The vinegar is made from fermented apple juice, giving it a pleasant aroma. Apple cider vinegar is reportedly good for gut health and other body functions. It’s used in making shrimp, potato dishes, meatloaf, etc. It can also be mixed with olive oil to prepare salad vinaigrette.

Vinegar is also used to make skin and hair products.

4. Wine Vinegar

Red and white wine vinegar are commonly used to prepare Mexican salsa and some European dishes. The vinegar is made from fermented red or white wine.

5. Rice Vinegar

Rice vinegar is less acidic than the other types of vinegar. It comes from fermented rice wine and is commonly used to prepare dressings and dips and marinate meat.

Things You Can Safely Clean With Vinegar

Things You Can Safely Clean With Vinegar


Vinegar solutions can be used to clean windows, mirrors, and other glass items in the house. Mix two parts vinegar with one part water and spray the solution on glass surfaces as you wipe with a cloth.


Vinegar is used to clean hard water stains and calcium deposits from faucets. For the best results, mix vinegar with some salt. You may also have to spray the solution and tie the fixture with a bag overnight to get rid of stubborn stains.


Vinegar cleans and disinfects countertops. It also does a remarkable job of getting rid of any foul odors on surfaces. You can use vinegar and water alone or add some drops of dawn soap.

Take note that vinegar should not be used on marble and granite surfaces.


Vinegar can be used on certain types of floors, including ceramic tiles. However, it shouldn’t be used on hardwood.


Undiluted vinegar is very effective in getting rid of rings around the toilet bowl. Just pour two cups into the bowl and let it sit for two hours, then scrub the bowl.

Showers And Tubs

Mix vinegar with baking soda to form a paste. Apply the paste on the shower walls and scrub it off. You can also use undiluted white vinegar instead of the paste.


Pour one cup of vinegar into the rinse compartment of your dishwasher and let it run for a complete cycle.

Household Appliances

Vinegar is effective in removing stains and eliminating foul odors in household appliances like microwaves. Put a bowl containing 1 cup of water and ¼ cup of vinegar in the microwave and heat for several minutes.


Distilled white vinegar eliminates fabric stains and odors.

Things You Shouldn’t Clean With Vinegar

  • Anything containing bleach
  • Kitchen knives
  • Soapstone, granite, and marble surfaces
  • Metal surfaces
  • Solid wood furniture
  • Tech devices
  • Pet messes
  • Egg-based messes

Vinegar is generally safer than most cleaning products sold in grocery stores, but it must be used correctly. And if you are having a hard time dealing with the smell, mix it with lavender, peppermint, or lemon essential oil.