Cleaning Guides

Cleaning Vinegar vs White Vinegar – What’s the Difference?

Pat_Hastings / Shutterstock.com

Green cleaning is all the rage nowadays. Rightfully so, when using green cleaning products the quality of air in your home improves.

Do a little googling, and you’re bound to find cleaning with vinegar. It’s not a new concept in cleaning, as vinegar has been used for thousands of years as an antiseptic. Its acidity is what makes it a good cleaning agent, and that’s why it’s a good substitute for many cleaning agents.

Table of Contents:

Cleaning vinegar vs white vinegar

Regular, white vinegar consists of about 5% acetic acid and 95% water. On the other hand, cleaning vinegar has an acidity of 6%. That 1% more acidity makes it 20% stronger than white vinegar.

The environmentally friendly cleaning vinegar is safe for grown people, pets and kids. This makes it the perfect choice for cleaning indoors, whereas white, also known as spirit vinegar, works better for cooking. Just to get it out of the way: apple cider vinegar can also be used for cleaning, but it’s brown colour is not recommended for laundry. Distilled vinegar is milder than white vinegar and will not be effective for cleaning.

Do not confuse cleaning vinegar with industrial vinegar. This product is mainly used to kill off weeds and contains up to 20% acetic acid. When it comes to cleaning, it’s usually used by professionals as it is really strong and requires protective gear.

You may also like:
Pest Issues
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Naturally

Is cleaning vinegar safe to consume?

Short answer: No.

Long answer: While it only has 1% more acidity, cleaning vinegar, well, it’s made for cleaning. Always read the instructions on the bottle. Depending on the brand, some may have scents included, but most have a regular white vinegar smell.

Still, the more acidic vinegar you consume, it may affect your health. Vinegar prepared for the sole purpose of cleaning isn’t tested for any impurities that can cause harm to the human body.

Store your jug with cleaning vinegar in your cleaning supplies. Along with any impurities, consuming vinegar with higher acidity could lead to stomach problems.

Where to buy cleaning vinegar?

Most local supermarkets sell cleaning vinegar. Like most products, there are brand names and generic bottles with cleaning vinegar.

There isn’t much of a difference if you’ll spend more money, as it’s just vinegar. There is nothing more special in a brand bottle than what’s located inside the generic brand one.

What can and can’t be cleaned with vinegar?

While vinegar is a great antiseptic and can help with cleaning mild stains, there are also things that you can’t clean.

You CAN clean with vinegar

  • Your Bathroom
    It’s safe to clean your toilet, sink, and tiles with vinegar. The antiseptic nature of vinegar will have a disinfectant effect in the bathroom.
  • Glass Surfaces
    Many glass detergents have vinegar in them. The reason is that vinegar is great for streak-free window cleaning.
  • Laundry
    Adding vinegar to your laundry is a very popular method to remove any set in odours.

You CAN’T clean

  • Hardwood floors
    Because of its acidity vinegar is known to damage hardwood floors. We advise you don’t use cleaning vinegar for cleaning hardwood.
  • Granite and Marble
    Cleaning marble or granite with vinegar will make the material lose its shine.
  • Metal
    The acidity of the vinegar will eat through the protective layer of the metal including knives, irons and metal surfaces.

See more information about the many cleaning services we offer in Australia.

5 3 Votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

14 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most voted
Inline feedbacks
View all comments
Issac PV
Issac PV
5 years ago

I wish to know that what should be added with De-ionised water to improve
the cleaning of glasswares and tiles

Evgeni Asenov
Evgeni Asenov
5 years ago
Reply to  Issac PV

It’s best if you go to the store and buy de-ionized water, instead of trying to make your own. Especially if you’re going to use it to shine glassware. You can’t add something and have de-ionized water, after all, its pure water without any minerals.

Daniela
Daniela
4 years ago

Hi, Thanks for this useful information. Today I bought some cleaning vineger and I mixed a very small amount with water to wash my vegetables. After doing this, I realized cleaning vinegar is not accepted for human consumption. Does this mean I should not consume the vegetables now?

Tom
Tom
4 years ago

You seem to contradict yourself. First as a caption to the picture, you state, \”Cleaning vinegar is commonly referred to as ‘white vinegar’.\” Then in the first paragraph, you state, \”Regular, white vinegar consists of about 5% acetic acid and 95% water. On the other hand, cleaning vinegar has an acidity of 6%. That 1% more acidity makes it 20% stronger than white vinegar.\”, which would indicate that Cleaning vinegar is more acidic than White vinegar, therefore NOT the same! this would also be a great place to advise never to mix vinegar (or any acidic product) with any product with bleach…due to the fact that it would create a toxic gas!

Martha Stewart
Martha Stewart
2 years ago
Reply to  Tom

There is no contradiction at all , sounds like you’re just confused. And if you are going to use bleach, why use vinegar, that’s the whole point….not to use bleach.

Joe Johnson
Joe Johnson
4 years ago

Is vinegar good for cleaning concrete floors?

Cheryl
Cheryl
3 years ago

We just had our hardwood floors redone. The floor guy said to clean it only with vinegar and water!

Olden
Olden
3 years ago

Is it good to clean tankless hot water heater

AndyB
AndyB
1 year ago
Reply to  Olden

Yes, any vinegar is good for removing mineral scale from water heaters, coffee makers, etc.

Dr.pervin..phd
Dr.pervin..phd
3 years ago

This is superb..it is an age-old cleaning tool..and is very helpful…. anything sour is very useful for cleaning..

Ellen
Ellen
3 years ago

I’m highly allergic to chemicals and my allergic responses have just gotten worse over the last 10 years. PHTHALATES are horrible. I’ve had 2nd degree burns just because I sat in a chair after someone else all because what they washed their clothes in. I’ve had anaphylaxis while outside and people using their clothes dryer or from walking by a laundrymatt. Not sure if it’s because I have in unspecified autoimmune disease or because I have Atopic Eczema.

I’m glad I found this website and will check back to see if there is anymore info. Thanks for being here.

Tabitha
Tabitha
1 year ago
Reply to  Ellen

Isn’t it strange how a lot of people don’t care about those of us who have allergies? And the effects just because it doesn’t have any effect on them they think it doesn’t affect anyone else?

Sharon
Sharon
2 years ago

love the tips, so glad i found your site. Just feedback on what you can and cant clean with vinegar – having ticks beside what you cant clean is visually confusing. Can you change them to crosses? Those of us with more visual memories will remember a tick beside granite floors etc 🙂 thanks!

AndyB
AndyB
1 year ago

Vinegar is safe for granite, but not for marble.

14
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x