The biggest benefit of cleaning your stainless steel with a homemade vinegar cleaner instead of a store-bought product is avoiding the use of potentially toxic chemicals in your home. The risk of using vinegar is that, like most cleaning products, it has the ability to corrode some materials.
Many people choose to clean with vinegar, such as white vinegar and apple cider vinegar, in order to avoid interacting with the potentially dangerous chemicals included in most of the cleaning agents sold in stores. Because vinegar is an edible, naturally-derived cleaner, it is perfectly safe for use in areas where food is prepared.
Vinegar is also an effective multipurpose cleaner. There are over 95 household uses for vinegar, such as polishing stainless steel, removing water rings from furniture and eliminating household stains and odors, according to Reader's Digest. Though vinegar has a noticeable odor of its own when wet, the scent quickly fades when the vinegar has dried.
Due to its corrosive nature, vinegar can damage some materials just as easily as it removes mineral deposits from stainless steel. For this reason, vinegar should be diluted for use on most surfaces. Before applying any new cleaning agent to a surface, you should always test the product on a small discreet area.