Stop! Never Clean These Things with Vinegar!

Updated byPenny
Stop! Never Clean These Things with Vinegar!

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Have you ever heard that vinegar is a miracle cleaning solution that can be used for almost anything? It seems like it is the answer to every clean task.

While vinegar can be a great natural alternative to harsh chemicals, there are some things in your home that should never be cleaned with vinegar.

In fact, vinegar can actually cause damage in some cases.

One of the most common mistakes people make is using vinegar to clean their electronics. While it may seem like a good idea to use a natural solution to clean your screens and keyboards, vinegar can actually strip away the protective coatings and damage the delicate components inside.

Another item to avoid using vinegar on is natural stone surfaces, such as marble or granite countertops. The acidity of vinegar can etch and dull the surface, leaving permanent damage.

So, before you reach for that bottle of vinegar to tackle your cleaning tasks, make sure you know which items to avoid using it on.

In this article, we’ll explore some things in your home that should never be cleaned with vinegar and offer alternative solutions to keep them clean and in good condition.

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Stone Surfaces

marble countertop

If you have stone surfaces in your home, such as granite countertops or marble floors, you may be tempted to use vinegar as a natural cleaner.

However, vinegar can actually damage these surfaces and should be avoided.

Granite Countertops

Granite is a popular choice for countertops because of its durability and natural beauty. However, it is also a porous material that can be easily stained or damaged.

Vinegar is acidic and can etch the surface of the granite, causing it to lose its shine and smoothness over time.

Instead, you can use a pH-neutral cleaner specifically designed for granite surfaces.

You can also clean your granite countertops with warm water and a mild dish soap. Avoid using abrasive sponges or scrubbers that can scratch the surface.

Marble Floors

Marble floors are elegant and timeless, but they require special care to keep them looking their best.

Vinegar is not recommended for cleaning marble because it can react with the calcium carbonate in the stone and cause etching or discoloration.

To clean your marble floors, use a pH-neutral cleaner that is safe for use on natural stone surfaces.

Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrubbers that can scratch the surface. You can also protect your marble floors by using mats or area rugs in high-traffic areas and wiping up spills immediately.

Electronic Devices

electronic devices

Smartphones and Tablets

The acidity in vinegar can damage the protective coating on smartphone and tablet screens causing discoloration and eventual damage.

Instead, use a microfiber cloth to gently wipe away any smudges or fingerprints. If you need a deeper clean, use a screen cleaner specifically designed for electronic devices.

Laptops and Computers

Just like with smartphones and tablets, vinegar should be avoided when cleaning your laptop or computer.

The acidity can damage the protective coating on the screens and cause discoloration. Additionally, vinegar can also damage the internal components of your device if it gets inside.

Instead, use a microfiber cloth to gently wipe away any dust or dirt. If you need to clean the keyboard or other areas, use a can of compressed air to blow away any debris.

TV Screens

Flat screen TV screens come into the same category as above. The protective coating can be damaged by vinegar and should be avoided.

Specialty Materials

leather couch

Hardwood Floors

While vinegar is a great all-purpose cleaner, it should not be used on your hardwood floors.

Vinegar can strip the protective finish and cause damage to the wood.

Instead, use a cleaner specifically designed for hardwood floors.

Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and avoid using too much water, as excess moisture can also damage the wood.


Leather is a beautiful and durable material, but it requires special care to maintain its appearance and longevity.

Vinegar can be too harsh for leather and can cause it to dry out and crack.

Instead, use a leather cleaner and conditioner specifically designed for your item.

Be sure to test it on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t cause any damage.

Household Appliances

When it comes to household appliances, it’s important to be cautious with the cleaning solutions you use.

While vinegar can be a great all-purpose cleaner, it’s not always the best choice for every situation.

Washing Machines

Distilled white vinegar can be great for removing odors and buildup in your washing machine, but it’s important to use it sparingly and with caution.

Overuse of vinegar can actually damage the rubber seals and hoses in your machine, leading to leaks and costly repairs.

Instead, try using a specialized washing machine cleaner or simply run an empty cycle with hot water and a cup of baking soda to keep your machine clean and fresh.

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Sparkling Penny

Penny | Sparkling Penny

Penny’s expert cleaning advice has been featured repeatedly by Homes and Gardens Magazine, and also at wikiHow, The Daily Express Newspaper, and Glam Magazine to name a few! was founded in 2019 and has since helped millions of people achieve a cleaner living space.

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Certain things in your home can get damaged when you use vinegar to clean them.