What Cleaning and Disinfecting Properties Does White Vinegar Have?


Quick Answer

White vinegar has excellent disinfectant properties due to its pH of 2.0. This allows it to kill bacteria and viruses. Vinegar's high acidity level also allows it to loosen mineral deposits, and this property is effective for cleaning, rust, lime and soap scum.

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Full Answer

Standard distilled white vinegar usually contains 5 percent acetic acid, making it ideal for regular household cleaning. For standard cleaning applications, it is customary to blend equal portions of white vinegar and water. For disinfectant purposes, heavy cleaning or for stubborn mildew, it may be necessary to use unaltered vinegar. Studies have shown that undiluted vinegar can be as effective as bleach for killing the E. coli virus. When used as a strawberry wash, vinegar is capable of removing 95 percent of viruses.

Vinegar can be used to remove coffee and tea stains from mugs or countertops, and it can also be used to strip wax from wood flooring. Vinegar can also deodorize kitchen and bathroom odors. Some people add vinegar to their laundry during the rinsing stage as a softener. White vinegar is an excellent choice for cleaning outdoors because it is biodegradable and does not have a negative effect on the environment.

White vinegar should not be used on marble surfaces, as it can cause etching.

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