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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?
—Shamana

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 anniebbond.com, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

274 comments

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1:30AM PDT on Mar 9, 2015

ty

9:29AM PST on Mar 6, 2015

I always have at home both. Thank you

2:08AM PST on Mar 3, 2015

Shukran .

9:54AM PST on Feb 28, 2015

ty

6:56AM PST on Feb 28, 2015

tyfs

2:55AM PST on Feb 28, 2015

~My grandmother used these combined for sinks and drains! So did my mum, and so do I! they may not be as powerful as commercial products but they don't harm the environment, and a weekly or fortnightly treatment seems to prevent blockages from building up...at least I've only ever had one blocked sink, and that was when my 4 year old decided to 'send' some of his Lego to the seaside after a chat about where water goes when it rains :)

10:05AM PST on Feb 26, 2015

Baking soda & vinegar for drains has been used for generations in my family.

9:12AM PST on Feb 26, 2015

Thanks

9:12AM PST on Feb 26, 2015

Thanks

9:11AM PST on Feb 26, 2015

Thanks

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