The Best Vinegar for Cleaning and Why
Vinegar is a popular natural cleaning ingredient because it can cut through grease and grime without using toxic chemicals that are dangerous to your health. But there are several different types of vinegar on the market. So how do you know the best vinegar for cleaning your home?
In this helpful guide, we’ll take a look at the different types of vinegar available. Then we’ll discuss what type of vinegar is best for cleaning.
The Different Types of Vinegar
There are several types of vinegar out there that are made with different ingredients and have different acidity levels. Here are some of the most common vinegar types:
- White vinegar: White vinegar is by far the most common type of vinegar available, and probably the one you picture when you think about vinegar. It’s a clear liquid made from corn. While the acidity ranges from 3% to 45%, you typically find it with about 5% acetic acid.
- Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is another common type of vinegar. It’s made from apples and typically has a brown hue. People often use it for cooking, as a nutritional supplement, or in a detox drink. Its acidity level ranges between 6% and 8%.
- Balsamic vinegar: Balsamic vinegar is another popular vinegar for cooking. This thick, dark vinegar is made from grapes and typically has a 6% acidity level.
- Rice wine vinegar: As the name suggests, rice wine vinegar is made from rice. This clear vinegar contains around 5% acidity.
- White wine vinegar: White wine vinegar is fermented and oxidized white wine. Its acidity is typically somewhere between 5% and 7%.
- Malt vinegar: Malt vinegar is made from malted barley grains and has an acidity level of around 6%.
- Sherry vinegar: Sherry vinegar has one of the higher acidity levels, at around 8%. It’s produced from the alcoholic beverage sherry.
What Type of Vinegar Is Best for Cleaning?
Although there are plenty of different types of vinegar, white vinegar is the best for cleaning. White vinegar, also referred to as distilled white vinegar, is the top choice for green cleaners everywhere because it offers so many outstanding benefits.
White vinegar has a decently high acidic level, which helps it quickly and easily cut through dirt and grime. However, since it’s clear, you don’t have to worry about it staining.
It comes in a variety of sizes, and it’s incredibly affordable. Plus, it’s amazingly versatile since you can use it for cooking and cleaning.
While vinegar can have a strong smell, it dissipates rather quickly. It’s also not nearly as bad for your health as many conventional cleaners that use toxic synthetic fragrances to mask their odor. Plus, you can easily cover the scent by using essential oils or making this homemade citrus-infused vinegar.
On top of all that, vinegar is biodegradable. This means it’s safer for our planet and you don’t have to worry about it poisoning our waterways once it goes down the drain.
Are you fully convinced that it’s time to make the switch to vinegar and other natural cleaning products? Then you definitely need to check out these handy natural cleaning recipe cards!
This bundle includes 25 printable recipe cards and labels for DIY cleaning products that you can use to naturally clean every part of your house. It also includes a cheat sheet on natural cleaning ingredients you never want to mix together and a guide on my favorite essential oil cleaning blends.
You’ll have everything you need to safely, naturally, and effectively clean every part of your house without having to worry about the dangerous health and environmental effects of toxic cleaning products.
Related: Is Dawn Dish Soap Toxic and Bad for the Environment?
Does Vinegar Kill Germs?
Sure, vinegar is great for removing stuck-on grease and grime. But many people wonder, does vinegar kill germs?
In the bathroom, vinegar actually does a much better job of cleaning mold and mildew than bleach. Vinegar can kill or reduce some of the common bacteria you find in the kitchen, such as E. coli, salmonella, and listeria.
Also, vinegar with a high enough acidity level can kill Mycobacterium tuberculosis and non-M. tuberculosis mycobacteria and inactivate the influenza virus.
However, it’s important to note that vinegar is not an EPA-registered disinfectant, and it’s not effective at killing most viruses.
If you want something that can effectively kill germs around the house without turning to toxic chemicals, use rubbing alcohol. It’s the main ingredient in these homemade disinfecting wipes and this DIY disinfecting spray because it’s great at killing germs, bacteria, and viruses.
Just make sure you don’t make any of these rubbing alcohol mistakes when you use it!
Related: 11 Non-Toxic Ways to Clean and Disinfect Children’s Toys
White Vinegar vs. Cleaning Vinegar
When you’re shopping for vinegar, you might come across something labeled “cleaning vinegar.” Cleaning vinegar sounds like something that’s perfect for green cleaning your home, so should you use it?
Whether or not you buy cleaning vinegar depends on how much money you want to spend on vinegar and what you’re cleaning with the vinegar.
For example, consider this Aunt Fannie’s all-purpose white cleaning vinegar. It says it’s specially formulated at 6% acidity for cleaning.
However, keep in mind that white vinegar typically has 5% acidity. Therefore, you have to decide if it’s worth paying more money for just 1% more acidity.
It’s also important to remember that there’s a difference between cleaning vinegar and industrial vinegar. Keep reading to learn about this potent type of vinegar.
What Is Industrial Vinegar?
As previously mentioned, white vinegar usually has around 5% acidity, although that can go slightly up or down depending on its intended use. However, there is one type of vinegar that has an extraordinarily high acidity: industrial vinegar.
Industrial vinegar can have acidity that ranges anywhere from 30% all the way up to 45%. Yes, this is powerful stuff!
This is definitely not the kind of vinegar you use for cooking, so why in the world is it for sale?
While this type of vinegar can be used for heavy-duty cleaning, it’s most effective at killing unwanted weeds and grass.
Even though it’s a natural product, industrial vinegar is still an acid — and a very potent acid at that. If you decide to use industrial vinegar, proper safety is a MUST. This includes rubber gloves to protect your skin and a mask to protect your lungs.
Always use this vinegar in a well-ventilated area, and pour carefully to ensure it doesn’t splash onto your skin or into your eyes.
Can You Clean With Apple Cider Vinegar?
Yes, you can use apple cider vinegar to clean. However, since apple cider vinegar is brown in color, you should never use it on light-colored fabrics or furniture to prevent staining.
Also, keep in mind that while apple cider vinegar with the mother, such as Bragg’s apple cider vinegar, has beneficial bacteria and other great health benefits, it doesn’t do anything extra for cleaning. In fact, you’ll end up paying more for something that’s completely unnecessary for cleaning.
Can You Clean With Balsamic Vinegar?
Balsamic vinegar can have the same or slightly higher acidity of white vinegar. However, you don’t want to clean with balsamic vinegar.
Since balsamic vinegar is so dark, it will definitely stain anything you use it on. Additionally, since balsamic vinegar tends to be more of a gourmet grocery item, it’s more expensive than traditional white vinegar.
Related: Where to Buy Affordable Organic Food Online
Can You Clean With White Wine Vinegar?
Yes, you can clean with white wine vinegar. However, since white wine vinegar is a specialty vinegar, it costs a lot more than conventional white vinegar.
There’s no point in spending extra money on white wine vinegar when conventional white vinegar works just as well at a fraction of the price.
Things You Should Never Clean With Vinegar
Even though vinegar can clean a surprising number of things around the house, there are certain items you should never clean with vinegar.
That’s because the acidity in vinegar can strip protective finishes, leave some surfaces looking dull, and even make a bigger mess of certain items.
If you want to make sure you don’t accidentally damage or ruin things around your house, be sure to check out this guide on things you should never clean with vinegar.
Remove Tough Grease and Grime With the Best Vinegar for Cleaning
Vinegar is an outstanding cleaning product you can use to quickly and easily remove dirt, grease, and grime around your entire home. Now that you know more about the best vinegar for cleaning, you can safely start cleaning your home without toxic chemicals.
More Helpful Sustainable Living Tips
Did you enjoy learning more about the best vinegar for cleaning? Interested in even more tips that can help you live a sustainable life? Then please be sure to take a look at some of our other popular posts:
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