8 Mistakes To Avoid When Using Vinegar For Home Cleaning (Updated)

Mistakes to avoid when using vinegar for home cleaning. Vinegar is most commonly found and used in home cleaning. Its benefits are quite obvious and straightforward. Due to its numerous advantages, many people immediately purchase vinegar and begin using it in cleaning without gathering insights on what can be cleaned with vinegar or not.

Unfortunately, this is often a costly mistake that can result in material damages or risk your family’s health. It is important to note various home cleaning mistakes that people make when using vinegar to avoid them. Otherwise, you will also be a victim.

Here is a brief description of 8 common home cleaning mistakes you should avoid.

Vinegar cleaning countertop
Vinegar cleaning countertop

1. Don’t use vinegar on your marble and granite countertops 

According to research studies, vinegar can actually wear down natural stones such as granite and marble. Although it will cleanse your countertops better than mild dish detergents, it also eats into the stone, and repeated cleaning will eventually break down the surface, causing cracks and crevices.

Rather, you will use the dish detergent and warm water for natural stone countertops if you want to keep the aesthetic appeal for much longer. Having crevices on the body of natural stone countertops can make cleaning a nightmare when dirt and spills begin to hide behind the cracks and spaces.

2. Don’t use vinegar on egg stains

This is something most chefs already know, and you should have it in mind when next you notice egg spills on your carpets and fabrics. Vinegar cannot clean out egg spills for the simple fact that it causes the egg to coagulate.

This makes the stain more difficult to remove. This is the same for warm water, although water will solidify the egg at some point. What’s more, vinegar is much better at refreshing and killing bad odor than eating into the dirt. It is better used as a finishing cleanser.

8 Mistakes To Avoid When Using Vinegar For Home Cleaning
Mistakes to avoid when cleaning your home with vinegar

3. Do not use vinegar to clean the internal surfaces of iron

According to experts working research studies in cleaning products laboratories, vinegar has the potential to damage internal surfaces of iron. In fact, most manufacturers now offer cleaning instructions for internal iron surfaces and include the warning against use of vinegar as it can cause clogging. Never pour vinegar to freshen or clean out internal surfaces of iron as this will increase the chances of corrosion, clogging and rusting. 

4. Vinegar is not perfect for all hardwoods

There have been mixed reports on whether vinegar can be used in cleaning hardwood floors. Some manufacturers suggest the use of vinegar to clean certain sealed hardwoods and there are testimonials to suggest that it does a beautiful job.

However, there also exist complaints about damages to certain hardwood finishing which calls for precaution. It is therefore advisable to first test out vinegar on inconspicuous areas to see the result before using it on the entire floor. Alternatively, you should find the ideal cleansing agent recommended for your type of hardwood floor and finish.

Vinegar cleaning
Vinegar cleaning

5. Vinegar is not for all stains

There are certain types of stains that will just stare at your face despite rubbing and sponging several times with vinegar. Stains like ice cream, grass, ink, and blood will generally not get off by using vinegar alone.

Such stains set into the fabric much quickly and do not respond to the weak acid in vinegar. It is therefore advisable to first treat the surface with a prewash solution before you consider vinegar. Otherwise, you risk damaging your fabrics.

6. More vinegar does not correspond to cleaner surfaces

Using cleaning agents often creates an awful assumption that more detergent and soap result in better cleaning. When you add the amount of soap, it causes more foam which makes cleaning fun and easier. However, this is not the same when using vinegar.

The acidic nature of the solution means it should only be used in sprinkles and increasing the amount of vinegar should be accompanied by a corresponding increase in water. If you use more vinegar than required, the surfaces are much more likely to corrode and damage. It may seem cleaner at first sight but the damage will gradually increase and its symptoms will be soon visible.

Cleaning with vinegar
Cleaning with vinegar

7. Never assume vinegar will replace other cleaning agents

It is easy to get lost in the many advantages of cleaning your home using vinegar and baking soda. People often think these two ingredients will replace the other cleaning agents and do the perfect job, which is never the case.

Vinegar cannot replace any cleaning agent as it is ineffective on its own. In fact, vinegar was intentionally manufactured for cooking and other mild applications other than cleaning. Nonetheless, the modern market has vinegar specifically meant for home cleansing and disinfection.

You will still need soaps, bleaches, and various cleaning agents to use alongside vinegar and baking soda. They only reduce the cleaning effort and amount of other supplies.

8. Ignoring safety precautions

Vinegar has been used for many years in cooking, and many people are already found. It is easy to assume that vinegar has no harsh side effects when handled, which can mean handling it without gloves or never worrying about its contact points.

This is a crucial mistake. It would help if you always were vigilant about safety precautions when dealing with vinegar and any other compound during cleaning. Vinegar has the potential to cause skin, eyes, and nose irritation. You are also likely to mix it with other cleaning agents such as baking soda, thus increasing the risk. Never forget that you are in a clean environment where most solutions and agents are harsh and potential health risks. 


Vinegar is a powerful home cleaning agent you can use on different surfaces ranging from kitchen countertops to floors, utensils, laundry, fridges, and other appliances. Yet, it is not ideal for everything. Natural stone floors should also be kept away from vinegar.

Essentially, you should always confirm whether vinegar is safe and effective for the specific surface you are about to clean. What’s more, you should only purchase genuine quality vinegar to deliver the desired properties and qualities.

Other interesting reads:
How To Use Vinegar To Clean Every Room In Your Home
How To Clean Oven With Baking Soda And Vinegar?

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