Most of us already know the amazing benefits of vinegar. This potent ingredient can be used for everything from unclogging drains to cleaning our windows and more. What you may not know is that there are some things that you should never clean with vinegar, including the following.
Your Computer Monitor or Cell Phone
If your computer monitor or cell phone is covered with fingerprints - don't reach for vinegar. If you do, it could end up wiping away the oleophobic coating on monitor and cell phone screens that provides some fingerprint smudge resistance. As an alternative, use a microfiber cloth to wipe smudges away.
Marble or Granite Countertops
You should never use vinegar on marble or granite countertops because it can end up etching the surface. This problem occurs when the acid in vinegar eats away at the surface area, leaving behind a discolored or dull appearance. Instead, use a damp microfiber towel to clean the countertops, followed by using a dry one.
If you have natural stone tile flooring in your home, not only should you avoid cleaning them with vinegar, you shouldn't use lemon either. The acidity in these substances will dull or etch the stone. Repairing stone floors can be very expensive, requiring a re-polishing process. The same rule applies to ceramic and concrete floors. Instead of using vinegar or lemon, use a microfiber mop and plain water or a combination of a few drops of natural liquid dish soap mixed with about a half a gallon of water.
Because eggs contain protein enzymes, using vinegar to remove egg stains on surfaces or clothing can cause them to coagulate. Play it safe and use dish soap and warm water instead. You'd be surprised by how effective plain soap and water can be when it comes to cleaning.
Vinegar will dissolve the wax surface on your furniture, leaving it looking dull. Instead, use a natural cleaner, the best way to maintain the surface.
Using vinegar on some hardwood flooring types can damage the finish. Your best bet is to use a microfiber mop and for deep cleaning a cleanser designed specifically formulated for finished hardwood floors. You could also use the simple cleaning solution mentioned above made with liquid dish soap and water.
You shouldn't use vinegar to clean grout that needs to be resealed or hasn't been sealed. With repeated use, vinegar can end up deteriorating the grout. The vinegar seeps into the spaces in the grout, weakening and eating away at it.
If you still use an iron, you know that you occasionally need to clean it to keep it working. While vinegar can remove mineral deposits from an iron's vent, its acidic properties will also eat away at its inner workings. Instead, make a paste using a combination of water and baking soda to remove hard water or mineral deposits, along with a cotton swab to clean the vents. Let the solution sit for a few minutes, and then wipe clean. NOTE: If you have hard water, use distilled water in your steam iron. Also, empty out the water when your iron isn't in use.
Guess what? Vinegar can dissolve those pearls you love so much because they consist of calcium carbonate. When calcium carbonate is combined with acids (like vinegar) a dissolving action takes place. Instead, wipe your pearls after you wear them with a microfiber cloth which will help prevent oil buildup. If you can see stains on the pearls, use a blend of mild dish soap and lukewarm water, lightly dampen the microfiber cloth and carefully wipe the pearls. Never submerge a pearl necklace in water because it will weaken the thread that holds it together.
While vinegar can be used to disinfect and clean a lot of household items and surfaces, it's not a universal cleaning agent. Besides using the tips listed here, it's always a good idea to adhere to the manufacturers cleaning recommendations and/or avoid using anything that has acidic properties, at least for the things listed here.