7 Items That Should Never Be Cleaned With Vinegar

Most google searching for things that you can use to clean your home, you will probably get results that recommend that the use of white vinegar that has been distilled. The dilution should be done to approximately five percent acidity, white vinegar that has been distilled is proclaimed as an organic, nontoxic marvel for cleaning, dissolving hard water deposits, killing of household bacteria and cutting through grime, all for a fraction of the cost of name brand products for cleaning. However, you should not believe all that hype, as there is a very common misperception that distilled vinegar is able to clean practically anything, however this is just not the kill all ingredient everyone thing it is. White vinegar that has been distilled if excellent at leaving windows streak free and descaling coffee makers, due to the fact that the organic chemicals in the stains react to the acid and are dissolved away. However, think about the same thing happening to the surfaces in your home. Below are instances that you should avoid the vinegar and clean with a completely different agent for cleaning.

Clothes Iron

You should never put vinegar in the tank of the iron; it might damage the interior of the appliance permanently. There is a protective coating in the inner compartment of many of the steam irons, however, acid could attack the lining and then go after the metal sections afterwards. Depending on the model of iron that you own, would determine the best way to clean it, the owner’s manual is your guide for this. Some models have self-cleaning features, if this is your model then in most cases all that is required is for you to fill the tank with water, turn the iron on until it is hot, unplug it and hold it over a sink with the soleplate facing down. Press the self-cleaning button, some models require you to hold it down, this will release hot water and steam from the soleplate, repelling any impurities found in the iron.


Do not clean your countertops with vinegar, if you want them to remain looking as beautiful as when you first installed them. The acid from the vinegar scrapes and dulls the natural stones like limestone and marble. It can cause their shine to disappear, which is liken to scarring. For other durable stones like granite, the acid from the vinegar could weaken the sealants that were applied to protect it. Rather, it is recommended that just wiping down with a damp dish towel or sponge that has been dipped in mild detergent is best. Stubborn spots can be handled with a plastic scrub pad.


It has been touted that allowing the dishwasher to run a cycle with a container of vinegar in it will assist in getting rid of the hard water stains and the persistent odor. There even some individuals that use vinegar as a rinse aid as well. Rather a dishwasher cleaner would be a better option as there are specifically formulated to remove hard water film. When it comes to water spots, vinegar is very ineffective and some dishwasher manufacturers will provide a warning about the acetic acid being able to cut away at any rubber parts in the appliance. There are some rubbers that are used that would react with the vinegar and then there are others that will not as the composition make up varies. If the manual does not say that you can use vinegar are does not disclose the type of rubber is in the makeup of the machine, then do not use it.

Electronic Screens

In the correct ration of water to vinegar, the solution can work wonders to the windows on your home to leave them streak free, however, it should never be used on the electronic screen that display Microsoft windows, for example, your laptop, smartphone, television or tablet. Vinegar has the capacity to damage screens’ antiglare feature and then make a touch screen less responsive. Instead you could use a soft cloth or sponge that has been dampened by plain water. If there are difficult stains to be removed that try dish soap that has been highly distilled using water, applied to the sponge or cloth and never directly to the screen.


Flooring manufacturers, such as Lumber Liquidators, have on their labels and warn against the use of vinegar on the hardwood floors for cleaning. There are even some manufacturers that has gone to the point of voiding warranties if they can determine that vinegar has been used on the floors. The finish that is there to protect the floor could be dissolved if diluted vinegar is used. Trying using cleaning that has been specifically designed for hard wood floors.


There are some grades of stainless steel that vinegar should not be use on. Those exposed edges on tools that are similar to kitchen knives are very susceptible. The edge can become pitted on the knives if vinegar is used. Copper and aluminum should also be metals that are to stay clear of vinegar, as the best cleaning products for these tools are warm water and dishwashing liquid.

Washing Machines

Often used as a fabric softener and for the removal of stains and odors in laundry, however as with dishwashers, the vinegar can destroy the rubber from the interior and the hoses of the washing machine to the point that leaks are caused. Hoses can actually begin to melt if used consistently and this can have additional damage to the home if caught in time. The front load washers are the more susceptible to vinegar related damages.