While vinegar can be a great cleaning hack for many surfaces and items, it’s important to be mindful of the potential risks and not to use it on certain things as the acidity in vinegar can cause damage or discoloration.
- Hardwood floors: Vinegar can damage the finish on hardwood floors and cause discoloration. Instead, use a mild detergent or a specially formulated hardwood floor cleaner.
- Stone surfaces: Vinegar can be too acidic for natural stone surfaces like marble, granite, and limestone, and can cause etching or discoloration. It is recommended to use a PH neutral cleaner specifically designed for stone surfaces.
- Cast iron cookware: Vinegar can remove the seasoning on cast iron cookware and cause rust. Instead, use warm water and a mild detergent, and dry thoroughly to prevent rust.
- Colored grout: Vinegar can bleach or discolor colored grout, so it is not recommended to use it. Instead, use a grout-specific cleaner or a mixture of baking soda and water.
- Waxed furniture: Vinegar can remove the wax from waxed furniture, leaving it dull and unprotected. Instead, use a mild detergent or a furniture-specific cleaner.
- Aluminum cookware: Vinegar can react with aluminum cookware and cause discoloration or damage. Instead, use a mild detergent or a specialized aluminum cleaner.
- Pearl or opal jewelry: Vinegar can erode the surface of pearl and opal jewelry, so it is not recommended to use it. Instead, use a mild detergent or a jewelry-specific cleaner.
It is important to always test a small, inconspicuous area of the surface before using vinegar as a cleaner, and to rinse thoroughly and dry completely after cleaning to prevent any damage or discoloration.
It’s also important to keep in mind that vinegar can also be corrosive to some metals and can cause damage to certain types of plastics or rubber.