Is Vinegar an All-Purpose Cleaner?

Posted on 11th March 2015 by Direct Cleaning Services

To many people who find themselves embroiled in the constant battle to keep commercial or office spaces clean, vinegar is a miraculous substance. A solution of diluted vinegar can aid in the cleaning of countless messes, but that isn’t to say that there is nothing that it can’t clean. Knowing when vinegar is an appropriate tool to use, and when it might damage what you’re trying to clean, is important.

Vinegar is, for example, great at removing many odours. Leaving an uncovered bowl of vinegar overnight in a room plagued with bad odours will help accelerate the dissipation of the smell. Similarly, pouring a cup of vinegar into a sink or garbage disposal (being sure to rinse with clean water after about an hour), will help remove the odours that tend to cling to those areas.

The effectiveness of vinegar as an odour cleaner, however, does not stretch to carpets. Many people suggest that vinegar be used on odorous carpet stains, but this does not work. In this case, vinegar will certainly mask the smell of the carpet, but it will not remove the underlying cause of the smell. An enzymatic carpet cleaner is still the best choice for removing carpet stains, odorous or not.

Though it does not work on carpet stains, there are similar areas that vinegar does work on. It can, for example, remove lime spots from faucets, as well as function as a cleaner for sinks and toilets. Further, a solution of half-water and half-vinegar can function, in a pinch, as an effective window cleaner.

When mixed with ammonia, baking soda and water, vinegar can also be used to clean stains from wooden walls or Venetian blinds without dulling the paint or leaving streaks.

There are those who tout vinegar as an effective floor cleaner as well, but in this case, one must be very careful: the acidity of vinegar will dull and damage the finish on hardwood flooring (whereas cleaners designed specifically for hardwood floors will enhance and protect the shine), lessen the sheen of no-wax flooring and potentially ruin the condition of grout in tiled floors. Stone surfaces are also frequently damaged by vinegar, so it is not a good idea to clean any stone flooring with vinegar.

As an all-purpose cleaner, vinegar is undoubtedly effective, and very cheap. But although it can be used to clean many things (and the internet suggests that it might be effective in even more areas), it’s never a good idea to attempt cleaning an area with vinegar, or any other do-it-yourself cleaners, if you’re not completely sure of the effects they will have.

Commercial cleaners are always the safer option in situations like these, as they are specially tested and developed to work safely in specific areas. If you require professional cleaning for your offices or commercial premises then contact Direct Cleaning today; we’ll be happy to discuss your requirements and can arrange a cleaning schedule to suit you.