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Baking Soda and Vinegar Together?

Baking Soda and Vinegar Together?

Dear Annie,
I have been cleaning with vinegar for years. Now people are adding baking soda? Don’t they just neutralize each other?

Dear Shamana,
Yes, children are taught about acids and bases using baking soda and vinegar because they are opposites. They make a fun “volcano” with a heap of baking soda (mountain) and vinegar, which is added in a drizzle down the top, resulting in “lava.” When combined, baking soda and vinegar neutralize each other in a safe bubbly, hissing kind of way.

Baking soda is alkaline, a base, with a pH of around 8.1. Vinegar is acidic, and most commercial distilled white vinegars contain 5 percent acetic acid and has a pH of about 2.4. Neutral is 7.0.

There is one instance when I recommend combining baking soda and vinegar, and that is in the drain. Sometimes the bubbling and hissing in the drain when you combine these two is enough to dislodge hair and gummy buildup. (I recommend a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a cup of vinegar.)

Otherwise, readers take note that when you combine baking soda with vinegar you end up with a neutral liquid that isn’t much use for cleaning.

Read more: Home, Ask Annie, Non-Toxic Cleaning, , , ,

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.


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8:18AM PST on Nov 19, 2014


8:18AM PST on Nov 19, 2014

Thanks for sharing

8:17AM PST on Nov 19, 2014


1:18AM PST on Nov 19, 2014


1:38PM PST on Nov 17, 2014

Thank you

2:37PM PST on Nov 16, 2014

They say you should learn a new thing every day. Once again, Care2 fills the bill!

10:29AM PST on Nov 16, 2014

I will have to try that drain method again. Baking soda and vinegar never worked for me my first try, so I resorted to the chemical stuff and I hated to do that, but my upstairs bathroom sink is so problematic, yet I rarely use it. The chemical stuff didn't work so well either, so I really hope the baking soda and vinegar works.

3:15AM PST on Nov 12, 2014

Interesting combination for cleaning sink drains will try that one

12:34PM PDT on Oct 12, 2014


7:48PM PDT on Aug 18, 2014


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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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