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11 Ways You DO NOT Want to Use Vinegar When Cleaning Your Chicago Home


    Put…the vinegar…down. Slowly. And keep your hands where we can see them.

    We’ve all heard it before…vinegar is an inexpensive, all-natural, “miracle” cleaner. It’s like the duct tape of cleaning supplies! People are always claiming newly discovered ways to use it.

    Yes, vinegar is good for SOME things. It can lift stains, clean your windows, and freshen up your coffeemaker.

    However, vinegar is highly acidic. When used improperly, vinegar can cause more headaches than solutions…and can even become dangerous.

    ServiceMaster Cleaning By Simons has provided cleaning services for homes in the Chicago area for decades. We care about the quality of your space, and we take residential cleaning seriously. If you do choose to use vinegar as a cleaning staple in your home, be sure to avoid these mistakes.

    In your home, you DO NOT want to use vinegar…

    1. To clean your smartphone or laptop monitor.
      Most smartphones and computers come with a thin coating on their screens that helps limit fingerprints and smudges. When you use vinegar on these screens, you actually strip off that protective layer, making your device more vulnerable to icky smudges.
    1. For cleaning cookware.
      If you plan to use vinegar for cleaning your kitchen pots and pans, make sure you are ONLY using it on items made from stainless steel or enameled cast iron. Aluminum and cast iron, without the proper coating, will react to the vinegar, causing damage to the kitchen items.
    1. To remove grease.
      As strong as vinegar seems (or…smells), it has little to no effect on cleaning up grease. Regular soap is perfect for removing grease because of its alkaline (acid neutralizing) properties.
    1. On your granite or marble countertops.
      Using vinegar on your natural stone countertops can actually cause them to pit and corrode. Vinegar’s acidic properties are what cause the reaction. You’re better off using a mild soap and warm water on your countertops.
    1. On floor tiles made of stone.
      Both vinegar and lemon have acidic properties that wear away surfaces made from natural stone. Unless you were going for the “corroded look” in your bathroom, stick to dish detergent and water for your floor tiles.
    2. To clean your hardwood floors.
      There is disagreement among homeowners about whether or not to use vinegar on hardwood floors. Some have found it works just fine, while others have noted that vinegar has damaged the finish on their floors. Rather than testing it out and potentially damaging your floor, use a cleaner specifically formulated for finished wood floors.
    1. To remove some stubborn stains.
      Certain stains set into fabric very quickly. Stains such as ink, ice cream, grass stains, and blood need to be treated with a specialized pre-wash stain remover. Then, when you’re ready to toss them in the wash, make sure to use a detergent that uses enzymes that will help to break down and remove the stains.
    2. To clean up a cracked egg.
      Eggs that have coagulated–when the proteins stick together to create a gluey, gooey substance–are difficult to clean up. Vinegar causes egg coagulation. Unless you want to spread around egg goo, put the vinegar back.
    3. To freshen your iron.
      If you pour vinegar through your iron to clean it out (like how you do with your coffeemaker), you will actually end up damaging the iron. If you think your iron requires cleaning, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
    4. To clean your car.
      Unless you are trying to remove an old coat of wax before putting on a fresh layer, do not use vinegar to wash your car. Vinegar will remove the wax coating from your car, making the car’s appearance lack its usual shine.
    5. Mixed with bleach.
      Yes, it is true that both vinegar and bleach have powerful cleaning powers. However, strong agents mixed together can have terrible consequences. Mixing bleach with an acidic substance (e.g. vinegar) creates chlorine gas. To give you an idea of the potency of chlorine gas, it’s the same stuff that was used as a chemical weapon to clear trenches in World War I. NEVER mix vinegar and bleach.

    If you are in need of efficient and thorough house cleaning services, call on ServiceMaster Cleaning By Simons. Not only do we specialize in disaster restoration and commercial cleaning services, we also provide comprehensive house-wide cleaning packages (including kitchens and bathrooms). For the best certified house cleaning in Chicago, call ServiceMaster Cleaning By Simons today!



    • Nasutsa Mabwa

      Nasutsa Mabwa is President of ServiceMaster by Simons, a MBE/WBE City of Chicago and State of Illinois certified firm. She is a 2020 Daily Herald Business Ledger C-Suite awardee, a member of Crain’s Chicago Business 40 under 40 and a 2018 ServiceMaster(c) Achiever Award recipient. She is a Civic Federation Board Member, an Advisory Board Member for as President Elect on the Executive Committee for the Evanston Chamber of Commerce. She is IICRC certified for WRT & FSRT.

      About ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons
      Restoration By Simons is an MBE/WBE certified firm and family-run company serving both Cook and Lake County, Illinois. Recently, the company was awarded a variety of honors, including the SB100 Best of Small Business Award Winner 2021, Bronze Stevie® Award in the Female Entrepreneur of the Year category in the 18th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business, recipient of the 2020 Better Business Bureau's Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics, and the recipient of the 2020 Skokie Business of the Year Award, Honorable Mention Category. Restoration By Simons provides disaster restoration services including water and flood damage restoration, fire and smoke damage restoration, mold remediation, to residential and commercial customers in both Cook and Lake County IL.

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