Which vinegar is used for cleaning? There are so many varieties of vinegar available to buy today. There is a range of different colors. Some are clear, brown, green or even red.
Did you know that although some kinds of vinegar, such as malt vinegar, are generally bad for us, other vinegar such as balsamic vinegar is really good for us?
There is a whole world of vinegar to explore, taste and enjoy. But have you ever heard of using vinegar to clean?
Vinegar is an effective natural alternative to your everyday household cleaning products which can be extremely toxic and dangerous.
In this post, you will discover which vinegar is used for household cleaning. Read on!
What Is Vinegar?
Vinegar is a liquid substance made from acetic acid and small amounts of other chemicals. Sometimes it is made from different flavorings too.
The acetic acid is derived from the fermentation of sugars or ethanol from fruits or grains. It is formed by 5-20% acetic acid and the rest is water.
Although the acidity percentage varies depending on the type of vinegar, we can usually see this percentage on the product label.
There are multiple types of organic and non-organic kinds of vinegar such as white distilled vinegar, wine, champagne, balsamic, sherry, cider or apple, port, etc.
The type of vinegar will depend on what it is made from.
It is now used for a variety of purposes, but is well known for its benefits in the kitchen – pickling, cooking ingredient, flavoring in sauces, health benefits, etc.
It is the easiest form of a mild acid to produce and therefore it also has a history of domestic and industrial uses, e.g. cleaning.
Wine and Vinegar?
Have you ever tasted a wine that has turned? Let me save you the trouble, it tastes very sour and similar to a bottle of vinegar that you might find in your pantry.
When making wine, sugar is turned into alcohol through the process of fermentation.
When wine is then exposed to oxygen, ethanol is converted into acetic acid and the wine turns into vinegar.
Why is Vinegar Used for Cleaning?
Acetic acid is what makes vinegar acidic.
This acidity is what makes vinegar an ideal natural cleaning alternative. It can kill many gems, break down grease, dissolve soap scums and tackle a variety of stains.
The lower the pH level, the more acidic the vinegar is and the better it is for cleaning.
Distilled white vinegar is the most acidic vinegar and usually has a pH of around 2.4. It is a strong acid, making it a potent cleaner.
Many stores stock ‘cleaning vinegar‘ which is a stronger form of distilled white vinegar.
It is important to note here that when doing household cleaning, apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar will be effective for general-purpose too and it is less harmful to the environment because of the lower levels of acidity.
When I am tackling a more challenging cleaning task, I will use cleaning vinegar.
Difference Between Cleaning Vinegar & Distilled Vinegar
The difference between the two is the strength. Cleaning vinegar is stronger than distilled vinegar.
Ordinary white vinegar usually has 5% acidity content and distilled white cleaning vinegar usually has a 6% acidity content.
What appears to be a small difference, one percent, actually makes the cleaning vinegar a staggering 20% stronger!
So when I get I asked for vinegar recommendations regarding cleaning, I always recommend purchasing the cleaning type as it will be more effective.
When cleaning most people will want the stronger option as it will perform better, for example, it is better at breaking down builds ups, killing germs, etc.
For a more detailed look at this, watch the following video:
Did you know that regular household cleaning supplies are constructed from some of the most powerful bacteria killers around?
They are expertly engineered to annihilate nearly every single organism they come into contact with.
Knowing this, it is no surprise that these man-made poisons are extremely harmful to our health and the health of our environment.
Many of these products have toxic effects on our bodies, and animal life and plant life once they enter our waterway.
The reality is that there are very few scenarios when these harsh chemicals are needed.
Does Vinegar Clean?
I am personally cleaning with vinegar every day.
The cupboard under my sink has a variety of homemade vinegar-based cleaning products: all-purpose, window cleaner, dusting spray, wood polish, wood floor cleaner, shower spray, oven cleaner, etc.
It s simple, basic and is more organized and healthy space. It is not jam-packed with toxic chemicals.
Do you find it strange that many people choose to store these dangerous chemicals in the same space where they prepare food? I know I do!
Vinegar acidity makes it a very diverse cleaner and a good alternative to bleach.
It dissolves mineral deposits, soap marks, grass stains, glues, mildew, wax build-up, removes sticky stains, sweat stains, hard water stains, polishes many metals, cleans brick and stone and deodorizes.
However, be always cautious when using vinegar for the first time. It can be too strong for some types of delicate fabrics and stone surfaces, therefore it may need diluting with water first.
I often dilute and test a small area first if I am concerned about how the two materials may react.
Is Vinegar a Disinfectant?
Many people use vinegar as a disinfectant as it kills the majority of bacteria.
However, it is not a registered disinfectant and is not approved for this use by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
This is because it doesn’t kill some dangerous bacteria such as staphylococcus or salmonella.
When I am concerned about dangerous bacteria lurking in my household, I add a little (less than 3%) of hydrogen peroxide (a natural disinfectant or bleach) to my homemade all-purpose cleaner.
I especially like doing this when one of my three kids has the lurgy!
I also use hydrogen peroxide when cleaning my toilet as a natural alternative to bleach.
Tip: Cleaning Red Wine Stains on Carpet
Make up a paste using 2 tbsp. Of cleaning vinegar and ¼ cup of baking soda.
After blotting up wine with a cloth, rub the paste into the carpet and then allow it time to dry.
Then finish by vacuuming up whatever may be leftover.
The Environmental Working Group
“To empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. With breakthrough research and education, we drive consumer choice and civic action.”
This is a non-profit organization that provides information to help people better understand how they can protect themselves and the environment.
They cover a range of topics from household cleaning products, drinking water to choosing healthier mattresses.
They have a fantastic reference guide to assist people when choosing natural cleaning products. They have an app called ‘EWG’s Healthy Living’ too.
Baking soda cleans well, especially when used in combination with vinegar. This is because a chemical reaction takes place when the two are combined.
You know it is working because you will see and hear the fizzing.
I like to use the Arm and Hammer brand as they are well trusted. They also receive an ‘A’ rating with The Environmental Working Group.
Challenge: Read ‘The Dirt on Cleaning Product Companies’
Read this review about how well five leading cleaning product manufacturers are rated on toxic chemicals and consumer right-to-known issues.
It is called ‘The Dirt on Cleaning Product Companies’, by Woman’s Voices for the Earth (WVE).
Which Vinegar is Used for Cleaning? The Final Verdict!
There are many different types of vinegar on the market. How do you choose which one to use when cleaning?
This comes down to personal preference. If you want to best protect the environment I would use a more gentle vinegar such as apple cider vinegar as an all-purpose day to day cleaner.
When you need something stronger, because there are germs in the house, you have difficult dirt to tackle then up the ante a little bit and opt for a distilled white vinegar or cleaning vinegar.
You can even add in a tiny amount of hydrogen peroxide as a natural alternative to bleach.
I prefer to use the Heinz All Natural Cleaning Vinegar. They also receive an ‘A’ rating with The Environmental Working Group.
A Few Final Thoughts
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