Cleaning GuidesCleaning Vinegar vs White Vinegar – What’s the Difference?
Home-made bleach and alcohol solutions are more effective disinfectants than vinegar ones.
Vinegar is a must-have product at home, and its uses are endless, even outside of the kitchen. Besides being used in most salad dressings and cooking, it’s also a common ingredient in homemade cleaning and disinfecting products. It’s cheap, natural, and chemical-free, an excellent choice for nature lovers. And since keeping our Australian homes safe from viruses has been a hot topic lately, you might be wondering does vinegar kill bacteria? Is it really good for disinfecting?
Well, the answer is it depends. While vinegar can be an effective alternative cleaner, it’s not that powerful in disinfecting, as you will see further into the article. There are a lot of studies and tests around vinegar’s properties and its combination with other eco products.
So if you:
Read on to learn the facts from the pros. We’ve gathered everything you need to know about vinegar’s cleaning and disinfecting abilities.
Let’s first clarify the difference between cleaners and disinfectants. Cleaners’ primary purpose is to remove dirt, build-up grime and other impurities. They also eliminate bad smells from the surfaces. Cleaners can kill some germs or physically remove them, but not all of them.
On the other hand, disinfectants can’t dissolve and remove soils on surfaces, and most can’t remove odour. Their main purpose is to kill all the germs on the treated area. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approves detergents that kill 100% of the bacteria and viruses in up to 10 minutes as commercial household disinfectants.
|contain soap and other cleaning substances||contain quaternary ammonium chloride (QUATS), peroxide, isopropyl alcohol, or bleach|
|remove dirt, debris, and grime||can’t dissolve build-up grime|
|physically remove germs and kill some of them||kill germs like bacteria and viruses|
So, is vinegar a disinfectant? The answer is both yes and no. Vinegar is not classified as a disinfectant by EPA. That means even if it can kill some germs, it’ll not completely disinfect your surfaces. The acetic acid in the vinegar attacks the germs’ cell structure and changes it, but it cannot deal with all of them. And it’ll not help you against SARS-CoV-2.
However, US studies show that vinegar can kill some food-borne pathogenic bacteria as well as Escherichia coli bacteria and Salmonella on leafy vegetables. Moreover, higher temperatures and adding salt to the vinegar can increase its antibacterial activity.
While it’s not the best antibacterial option, vinegar can be a perfect eco-friendly multipurpose cleaner and a good part of your sustainable way of life. Household white one contains 5 – 7% acetic acid, which is powerful enough to dissolve stubborn dirt and remove unpleasant smells.
Homemade solutions with vinegar are great and easy way to perform your environmentally-safe cleaning session while at the same time freshening the surfaces at home.
With vinegar, you can effectively clean:
Here is how to use vinegar as an all-purpose cleaner:
Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Add some drops of essential oil if you want to reduce the sour smell. Shake it well, and you are ready to clean.
Spray the solution on the surface. Use it for stovetops, countertops, sink, the tiles in the kitchen and the bathroom, as well as windows.
Leave the mix for a few minutes to work. If you want to benefit from vinegar’s anti-germ properties, leave it for about 30 min. After that, wipe with a clean cloth.
Just as acetic acid reacts with the organic chemicals in dirt and stains, it can damage some surfaces in your home, especially the organic ones. Here is the list of things you must be careful with:
While this is an extensive list of items vinegar can damage, it’s always a good idea to test your solution on a not visible part before starting the cleaning process.
As you already know, vinegar is an excellent option if you want a solution that can clean, deodorise, and kill around 80% of the bacteria and viruses in your house. You better stick to EPA-approved products, if disinfection and sanitisation are what you need.
Relax and leave the task to a Fantastic professional cleaner!
We hope this article answers all the questions you have about vinegar. Please, leave a comment below and share your experience with eco cleaners.