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8 Ways Not to Use Vinegar

8 Ways Not to Use Vinegar

By Adam Verwymeren, Networx

Common household vinegar is one of those wonder products that people are always discovering new uses for. Whether you want to drive away dandruff, eradicate mildew, or keep bugs at bay, vinegar has been proposed as a solution to just about every problem under the sun.

But while it has a number of uses, vinegar isn’t always the solution, and on occasion it can be downright dangerous. Here are the top 8 ways not to put this miracle substance to work in your home.

1. While vinegar is good at cleaning many things, you shouldn’t confuse it with soap. Alkaline cleaners like dish detergent are ideally suited for lifting grease, whereas vinegar will have little effect on it. If you have a greasy cleaning job, reach for regular soap and leave the vinegar on the shelf.

2. You should never use vinegar on waxed surfaces. The vinegar will only strip the wax off, dulling the sheen on your nicely shined car. However, vinegar is a great option if you’re looking to remove an old coat of wax before you put down a fresh layer of polish.

3. Do not use vinegar on marble countertops or other stoneware, as it can cause the stone to pit and corrode, according to the Marble Institute.

4. Your smartphone and laptop monitor probably have a thin layer of oleophobic coating that limits fingerprints and smudges. Acidic vinegar can strip this off, so you should never use it to clean sensitive screens.

5. Cast iron and aluminum are reactive surfaces. If you want to use vinegar to clean pots and pans, use it exclusively on stainless steel and enameled cast iron cookware.

6. While both bleach and vinegar are powerful cleaning agents, when mixed together they make a powerful chemical weapon. Chlorine gas, the stuff used to clear the trenches in World War I, results when bleach is mixed with an acidic substance, so never mix them together.

7. While vinegar can be useful as an insecticide, you shouldn’t spray it directly on bug-infested plants as it can damage them. However, you can use vinegar’s plant-killing effect to your advantage by using it as a weed killer, as suggested by several people on Hometalk.

8. If you’re the victim of an egging, do not try to dissolve the remnants of this prank away with vinegar. Vinegar will cause the proteins in the egg to coagulate, creating a gluey substance that is even more impossible to clean up, says Popular Mechanics.

I also feel obligated to say that although vinegar is touted as a great way to remove mildew and mold, like bleach it only kills surface mold. Most mold problems are deeper than what you see on the surface, and your best bet is to kill them at their source (which is usually leaks and rotting drywall).

Image: Chaya Kurtz for Networx.com

Related:
23 Ingenious Uses for White Vinegar
We Tested It: Cleaning the House with Toothpaste
30 Things in Your House That Could Explode

Read more: Basics, Crafts & Design, Crafts & Hobbies, Food, Home, Household Hints, Materials & Architecture, Non-Toxic Cleaning,

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Networx.com empowers people to make educated, economical and Earth-friendly renovation and home repair choices. We are a community of homeowners, renters and contractors who are committed to sharing home improvement expertise and experience.

353 comments

+ add your own
11:37AM PDT on Jul 30, 2014

Thank you :)

7:53AM PDT on Jul 30, 2014

thank you for sharing

9:29PM PDT on Jul 29, 2014

thank you

3:06PM PDT on Jul 29, 2014

Great, thanks!

8:45AM PDT on Jul 29, 2014

Most mildew and mold (primitive fungus species) are "surface cleaned" with bleach or vinegar, but if you want to kill them you may want to use an ammonia solution, which will destroy the micelia. Then you can clean the "surface" as usual and the mildew will be gone. Mildew and mold grow as a consequence of leaks and rotting drywall, but also on substrates that keep moist most of the time. So they may appear again and again.



3:25AM PDT on Jul 26, 2014

ty

6:31PM PDT on Jul 20, 2014

Noted.

8:35AM PDT on Jul 14, 2014

Thanks

11:12AM PDT on Jul 11, 2014

Thanks

8:51PM PDT on Jul 7, 2014

Thanks for the tips, especially about the smart phone and computer screens.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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