Vinegar has long been hailed as one of the most useful natural substances to have in the kitchen and laundry room. Whether you want to clean the microwave, remove limescale from chrome taps or keep bugs at bay, vinegar can indeed work wonders. However, it’s not always the solution. In fact, there are some situations when vinegar can do more harm than good.
- Granite, marble and natural stone worktops and floors don’t take kindly to acidic cleaners such as vinegar (or lemon, for that matter) as it can attack the surface. Much better to use warm soapy water instead.
- Waxed surfaces should never be cleaned with vinegar; it will dull the shine as the wax is stripped off.
- Do use vinegar to clean stainless steel pots and pans and enamel cast iron cookware. However, aluminium and cast iron are reactive surfaces, meaning vinegar is not safe to use on them.
- Similarly, vinegar can damage the internal parts of an iron. You are better off following the manufacturer’s instruction for cleaning and descaling your iron.
- If you try to clean up an egg spill with vinegar, the acidity will cause the egg to coagulate, making it more difficult to mop up.
- Don’t use vinegar to clean computer or smartphone screens. Most have an oleophobic coating to minimise fingerprints and smudges, which can be stripped off by acidic vinegar.
- Finally, a word of extreme caution: If you’re tempted to mix together vinegar and bleach in the kitchen for maximum cleaning – don’t do it! The combination gives off chlorine gas – a powerful chemical weapon used in the trenches in World War I!