You've been using white vinegar wrong – why you should NEVER clean these household surfaces with homemade products

WHITE vinegar can be used to clean many household items and surfaces, but sometimes you're better off using an alternative.

While many homemade cleaning solutions are just as effective as a store-bought product, they can also ruin your surfaces and appliances if you're not careful.

White vinegar is a natural, non-toxic disinfectant, making it a go-to for safe cleaning within homes.

But due to its acidity, it can actually ruin some of your common household items.

In general, it's best to test a small part of the surface or item first when using any new cleaning solution.

This way, you can gauge whether it is safe to use on the entire surface and avoid damaging any of your belongings.

Below, we explain when to avoid using white vinegar while cleaning.

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Marble and stone countertops and floor tiles

The acidity of white vinegar can ruin these natural stone surfaces.

It can dull marble and whitestone, and even break sealers on other stones.

Avoid homemade cleaners and those containing lemon when cleaning these surfaces.

Phone screens

With the latest surge in Covid cases, you might be more inclined to reach for a hard-hitting cleaning solution when disinfecting high-touch surfaces.

However, white vinegar can have adverse effects on touch screen technology, and can even damage anti-glare screen protectors on your phone.

You're better off using a water and dish soap solution, applying it to a cloth or paper towel instead of directly to the surface itself.

Irons & dishwashers

Perhaps you've heard that using white vinegar to clean stains on an iron is effective.

The truth is that white vinegar can ruin the internal structure of the appliance.

You're better off using a cleaning solution geared specifically towards irons.

The same is true of dishwashers.

While white vinegar won't necessarily ruin the structure of a dishwasher, it's not the most effective for removing stains and grime within the appliance, as noted by Consumer Reports.

Other tips

In some cases, white vinegar is highly recommended for cleaning.

A white vinegar and water solution is effective for cleaning windows and carpet stains, among others.

If you have any greasy pots or pans, soaking them in a white vinegar and water solution can help, as the acid can cut through the grime.

Generally, you should aim for three parts water and one part white vinegar when mixing your own cleaning solution.

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