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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

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

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8:03AM PDT on Oct 2, 2015

I have recently discovered that vinegar works the best on removing oil stains from clothing. I tend to forget to do the Lucy thing and put on an apron when I'm cooking, so consequently, I have several t shirts with oil spots. I have tried the cornstarch thing, but that doesn't really work, I don't want to buy toxic stain removers or dish washing liquids, so one day I had a hunch after leaning into some wayward olive oil and doused it with some 7th generation dish soap, then saturated it with vinegar before tossing it in the washer and voila- well almost, it did take two goes to get the stain completely out, but it worked better than anything I have tried previously.

4:51PM PDT on Oct 1, 2015

Boy am I glad that I came across this article. I'm especially relieved to have read example number three:

"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."

I still have a bottle of store-bought glass cleaner that I use for all shiny surfaces, including my marble end table. I was going to start using vinegar when the store-bought bottle was empty in order to save money, help the environment and because I've heard that it works really well. I think I'll stick to my trusted W****X!

8:47AM PDT on Oct 1, 2015

Good information, thanks for sharing.

10:34PM PDT on Sep 30, 2015

good info

7:27PM PDT on Sep 28, 2015


5:27AM PDT on Sep 22, 2015

Ryan P :

6:00PM PDT on Sep 9, 2015

Thank You

5:51AM PDT on Sep 8, 2015


4:57AM PDT on Sep 8, 2015


2:46PM PDT on Sep 5, 2015

Thanks for the tips.

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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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