Vinegar has long been praised as a cheap and extremely effective cleaner. It’s something most of us have, in some variation or other, in the cupboard and can grab with ease. With a growing trend of using more natural and environmentally friendly cleaners, and a wealth of content online that shows everyone from influencers to individuals showcasing the many uses vinegar has, it’s worth bearing in mind that though it does have many uses, it isn’t suitable for everything.

First and foremost, vinegar is an effective cleaner because of its high acidic content. It helps to breakdown stubborn dirt and grim. However, this is also why its not suitable for some cleaning tasks. In fact, its best not to rely on it as a core cleaner. Here, we look at 5 things you should never clean with vinegar, and why.


Worktops are commonly made from natural materials, like natural stone – quartz, marble or granite, and even wood. These natural materials are great for kitchens because they’re hardy and tough materials that can withstand heavy appliances and work, as well as heat to a degree. However, they’re quite sensitive to cleaning materials. The high acidity content of vinegar will wear and dull these natural stones and cause fading and discoloration in wood. In time, worktops of these materials will absorb spills and stains, leaving horrible marks.

You should always use a product that is recommended to the surface.


Most appliances are made from metal and plastic – or a combination of the two, often with rubber seals and tubes. Vinegar will corrode metals in time, causing rusting, it dulls the face of your appliances and increase the risk of scratches too. Additionally, with increased use it can corrode the seals which will cause holes and leaks.

The only appliance that you can safely use vinegar in is your kettle. Vinegar is an effective limescale cleaner; the difference with this appliance is you flush the vinegar out with boiling water. It still should only be used every 3-6 months.


Your knives do a lot of hard work, and good ones are expensive. The sharp edges mean they’re exposed and soak up the acidity from vinegar, which will cause corrosion in the form of pitting and prematurely cause rust. It also affects their use, causing them to be dull too.

You can safely use vinegar on stainless steal cutlery to help remove staining, however, we’d recommend through rinsing with hot, soapy water to keep them bright.


Like your worktops, your flooring may be made from natural materials and will also be susceptible to the same kind of damage. However, it’s not just natural flooring that is at risk of damage in this instance. In time, vinegar will corrode through the finish on your flooring, whatever the material, which will expose the materials to scratches, faster wear and discoloration.


Vinegar is hailed as a way to get smear-free windows. Naturally, you’d assume the same would apply to mirrors. However, mirrors are made with a silver backing- that’s what gives it the reflection and shine, and vinegar can cause damage to this, making your mirror transparent. Again, mirrors are quite expensive so it would be frustrating and upsetting if this were to happen.

Does any of this surprise you? Have you seen other cleaning hacks and can’t believe its gained popularity? Let us know in the comments below!

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