11 Things Not to Clean With Vinegar

Despite vinegar’s cleaning potential, it can damage certain surfaces. Let’s find out the list of – “things not to clean with vinegar” in this article below!

Things Not to Clean With Vinegar1

When it comes to cleaning, vinegar is a popular powerful workhorse, thanks to its acidity, eco-friendliness, and affordability. Still, vinegar is not always the right choice as it can ruin some surfaces and products too. Before adding vinegar to your cleaning arsenal, read this article to learn what things are not safe to clean with vinegar below.

Things Not to Clean With Vinegar

Countless websites touted vinegar as a cleaning powerhouse because of its acidity that removes the tough grease, grime, and mineral deposits with ease; indeed, it’s a miraculous fluid but not in every case. To save yourself from cleaning regret, we have collected a list of items you must never clean with vinegar.

1. Granite and Marble Countertops

Granite and Marble Countertops

If you use vinegar to clean or disinfect granite and marble kitchen countertops, stop this action right away. Vinegar has mild acidic content, it slowly fades the shiny appearance of these surfaces. To keep the countertops in top-notch condition, wipe them with a concoction of 3-5 drops of liquid dish soap and a cup of tepid water.

2. Cell Phone and Computer Screens

Cell Phone and Computer Screens

Never ever wipe the smudges or dirt present on the touchscreen with vinegar, as it can eat away the screen’s oleophobic protective film. To make your gadgets smudge-free, follow the suggestions of the manufacturer.

3. Certain Parts of the Dishwasher

Things Not to Clean With Vinegar2

A quick google search on how to clean stinky dishwashers will give you results hailing vinegar as a promising product. While vinegar does not damage the dishwasher itself but over time, its frequent use weakens the rubber seal and hoses of the dishwasher. That’s why always stick with the products suggested by the device manufacturer.

4. Washing Machine

Washing Machine

Vinegar is popular among ladies as a fabric softener, stain, and odor remover. Stop or at least limit these practices once or twice a month because they can do more harm than good. Just like the dishwasher, vinegar can ruin the rubber parts of your washer over time.

5. Hardwood & Natural Stone Flooring

Hardwood & Natural Stone Flooring

If you’re planning to clean waxed hardwood or natural stone flooring with vinegar, toss this idea as vinegar strips the outer finish of the hardwood floors and etches the stone flooring, thereby makes their look dull and cloudy. Rather than vinegar, go with hydrogen peroxide to clean and disinfect hardwood floors.

6. Knives

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Vinegar is a popular hack to get patina on knives to prevent further oxidation, however, while doing this process, don’t let the knives soaked in the vinegar solution longer than the said time to avoid irreversible damage. If you don’t want patina on your brand new knives, keep your knives far away from vinegar.

7. Egg-Based Messes

Egg-Based Messes

Everyone loves eggs but not the sloppy messes they create. If you accidentally dropped an egg or two on the floor or in the car, don’t go with vinegar as its acidity causes proteins in eggs to coagulate, making the┬áspill thick and hard to clean up.

8. Waxed Furniture

Waxed Furniture

Cleaning your waxed furniture with concentrated vinegar is a bad idea. Frequent use of vinegar on the furniture not only leaves streaks but also strips wax and other finishes as well. Avoid vinegar at all costs or at least highly dilute it with water.

9. Pearls

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Using vinegar to clean your pearls is not a good choice. Pearls are made up of calcium carbonate, which reacts with the vinegar, and eventually, pearls lose their luster. In fact, leaving pearls in vinegar for 24-36 hours can shrink their size considerably.

10. Grout


Over time, grout becomes dingy due to the accumulation of soap scum, dirt, and oils. Although vinegar is an excellent product to clean dirty grout, its frequent use can deteriorate it quickly.

11. Rubber Parts

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Nowadays, most of the appliances have some kind of rubber part installed in them. Wherever you find such an item, don’t clean it with vinegar, as its acidity shortens the lifespan of the rubber component over time.

Amazing Vinegar Uses

Besides vinegar’s damaging effects on certain surfaces and products, it has lots of other household and gardening uses as well that can make your day-to-day activities a lot easier. Some of the well-known vinegar uses are:

  • A facial toner
  • DIY fruit fly trap
  • Teeth Whitener
  • Makeup brush cleaner
  • Treats toenail fungus
  • Deter ants
  • Cleans garbage disposal
  • Wash fruits and vegetables
  • Get rid of bathtub mildew

Final Thoughts

No doubt vinegar is a versatile cleaner, but you can’t deny its damaging effects on specific surfaces and products. Reading this article must have helped you understand which surfaces are not vinegar-friendly. If you have any suggestions or queries, let us know in the comment section below.

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  1. The cleaning people cleaned My brass & marble light fixtures with vinegar. Also, the Fram around the fire place with marble.
    I have several small tables that where My Great Grandma’s, all wood (cherry) and 2 large cherry China cabinets. I was told by
    them the vinegar would cut the smoke and smell. Your help would be greatly appreciated.
    Kind Regards, JillE


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