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Vinegar Kills Bacteria, Mold and Germs

Vinegar Kills Bacteria, Mold and Germs

Vinegar is a mainstay of the old folk recipes for cleaning, and with good reason. The vim of the vinegar is that it kills bacteria, mold and germs.

Heinz company spokesperson Michael Mullen references numerous studies to show that a straight 5 percent solution of vinegar—the kind you can buy in the supermarket—kills 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold, and 80 percent of germs (viruses). He noted that Heinz can’t claim on their packaging that vinegar is a disinfectant since the company has not registered it as a pesticide with the Environmental Protection Agency. However, it seems to be common knowledge in the industry that vinegar is powerfully antibacterial. Even the CBS news show “48 Hours” had a special years ago with Heloise reporting on tests from The Good Housekeeping Institute that showed this.

Just like antibiotics, common disinfectants found in sponges and household sprays may contribute to drug resistant bacteria, according to researchers of drug resistance at Tufts New England Medical Center. Furthermore, research at the Government Accounting Office shows that many commercial disinfectants are ineffective to begin with, just like antibiotics.

Keep a clean spray bottle filled with straight 5 percent vinegar in your kitchen near your cutting board, and in your bathroom, and use them for cleaning. I often spray the vinegar on our cutting board before going to bed at night, and don’t even rinse, but let it set overnight. The smell of vinegar dissipates within a few hours. Straight vinegar is also great for cleaning the toilet rim. Just spray it on and wipe off.

Read more: Home, 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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1:26PM PDT on Jun 20, 2014

I know :)

7:01PM PST on Feb 18, 2014

I also spray my cutting board with vinegar and let it air dry. Works great!

11:14AM PST on Feb 1, 2014

Tried & tested! Simple, economical & always available. Thanks for the article

6:27AM PST on Dec 23, 2013

Shared, thanks.

8:36AM PDT on Jun 27, 2013

Great ideas!

5:29AM PST on Dec 10, 2012

Well, guess I've been using an overkill mixture of 50% vinegar! So far I haven't stripped the
paint off anything :-) Ok, so I won't be asked to do a "Hints From Heloise" post. What did
I know? !@#$ it Jim, I'm a Car Guy, not a Homemaker! (I'll cut it back to 20%)

11:44PM PDT on Oct 6, 2012

There is no better glass cleaner...No streaks, film just crystal clean!

11:32PM PDT on Oct 6, 2012


11:30PM PDT on Oct 6, 2012

Deanne W. There is such a thing as Government Accountability Office... Might want to do some research and have an idea of what you are talking about before spouting off.

10:39AM PDT on Apr 2, 2012

I'm all for using vinegar as a household cleaner. It's effective, it's cheap, and it's environmentally friendly. However, there is no "Government Accounting Office" that deals in product testing. There is no "Government Accounting Office" at all, and if there were, they would probably be tasked with, well, accounting. Not product testing. There is a "Government Accountability Office", but they are also not in the business of product testing.

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