Wall marks

Difference Between White Vinegar and Cleaning Vinegar

Mary Smith
By Mary Smith. September 23, 2021
Difference Between White Vinegar and Cleaning Vinegar

Vinegar comes in various forms, but we often most associate them with cooking. However, since it is an easily produced mild acid, it is also useful in many household and even industrial processes. This includes cleaning. There are many helpful household cleaning tasks which can be made easier and more effective by using vinegar, although white vinegar if often used specifically. Does this mean you can use the same vinegar on your fries as you can on your floor? At oneHOWTO, we explain the difference between white vinegar and cleaning vinegar so you can answer this question.

You may also be interested in: How to clean with vinegar
  1. What are the differences between white vinegar and cleaning vinegar?
  2. Uses of white vinegar
  3. Uses of cleaning vinegar

What are the differences between white vinegar and cleaning vinegar?

Both their appearance and names are very similar, but are white vinegar and cleaning vinegar the same? While their origins are the same, their applications and characteristics are not. All types of white vinegar are obtained through a double fermentation (alcoholic and acetic) of glucose from sugar cane, corn or malt.

At first, white vinegar was used in cuisine, serving as an acid dressing for salads and other dishes. Its many helpful properties in breaking down other substances has made it useful within the world of cleaning. Therefore, cleaning vinegar is a variation of white vinegar that is intended to disinfect and clean.

The main difference between white vinegar and cleaning vinegar is that one can be consumed and the other cannot. This is largely due to its degree of acidity. White vinegar has an acidity percentage of between 3% and 5%, while cleaning vinegar reaches levels of 8% acidity, making it more effective for cleaning tasks, but not suitable for consumption.

Another difference between culinary white vinegar and cleaning vinegar is the standard of quality. Vinegar suitable for consumption needs to go through different tests to cleaning vinegar. There may be more impurities or even additives to cleaning vinegar which make it effective in household cleaning, but which can be dangerous if consumed by humans.

Uses of white vinegar

Although we shouldn't cook with cleaning vinegar, it might be possible for us to use kitchen white vinegar for cleaning purposes. This is because its acidity is still suitable for disinfecting and removing some stains. It can even be useful in removing bad smells from certain fabrics.

Vinegar is used in many different cleaning home remedies which have been passed down for generations. While commercial hygiene products may also be effective, they are often not as natural as white vinegar which can be a great cleaner for the following:

  • Cleaning the oven: after cleaning the inside of the oven with water and bicarbonate, leaving it to work overnight, wipe it with a clean cloth with white vinegar. This way you will be able to remove all the dirt and burned-on stains from the interior of the oven and its door.
  • Cleaning the microwave: heat a container of water with a tablespoon of vinegar in the microwave to clean the interior and eliminate bad odors.
  • Window cleaner: vinegar is the perfect natural remedy for cleaning and removing encrusted dirt from window panes as it doesn't leave streaks. You just have to dilute it in water, rub with a toothbrush and rinse with water.
  • Screen cleaning: white vinegar can also be used as a glass cleaner, both on windows and on the screens of televisions, mobile phones or tablets.
  • Cleaning pots and pans: if you have pots or pans with burns or encrusted remains, heat them with water, vinegar and a tablespoon of baking soda. After a few minutes, you will be able to remove the dirt easily.
  • Tile cleaning: like cleaning screens and windows, white vinegar is used to polish and disinfect tiles in a an inexpensive and effective way. However, it is not suitable on all tiles as it can dissolve the decoration of some.

If you want to know more uses of white vinegar in the home, take a look at our article on how to clean the washing machine using vinegar.

Uses of cleaning vinegar

As we have already indicated, the main difference between white vinegar and cleaning vinegar is that the latter has a greater acidity level. While it won't be good on salads, this does increase its disinfectant capacity. Therefore, if you wonder what is the best vinegar to clean, the answer is that cleaning vinegar is more effective and its uses are more specific.

These are the uses for household cleaning vinegar:

  • Limescale cleaning: the high degree of acidity of cleaning vinegar means that, if you let it rest for a while on surfaces with limescale, it ends up eliminating it, either in showers, pipes or taps.
  • Kitchen and bathroom disinfectant: like many of the chemicals found in the supermarket, cleaning vinegar can be used as a product to disinfect bathroom and kitchen surfaces, removing dirt and bacteria without using harmful chemicals.
  • Gum removal: removing gum stuck to clothing or upholstery may seem like an impossible task, but you can use vinegar to remove it effectively. Add some vinegar to some hot water and dip a cloth into it (be careful not to burn yourself). Let it soak onto the gum and then use the cloth to lift off the dried on gum.
  • Steel cleaning: if you have a piece of jewelry or steel that has ended up with a rusty look, you can try to restore its shine thanks to cleaning vinegar. Don't worry, it is acidic enough to remove the rust, but it shouldn't damage the metal itself.
  • Cleaning the washing machine: if you want to eliminate the bad smells from your washing machine and clean, you just have to put on an empty cycle and add water with cleaning vinegar for the washing machine, leaving it clean inside.
  • Cleaning clothes: you can also add vinegar to the detergent compartment of the washing machine when you wash fabrics. This way, you can substitute the laundry detergent for cleaning vinegar. However, to reduce its acidity it is advisable to mix it with water and bicarbonate of soda, as indicated in the article on how to remove sweat stains from clothing.

If you want to read similar articles to Difference Between White Vinegar and Cleaning Vinegar, we recommend you visit our Home cleaning category.

Write a comment
What did you think of this article?
Difference Between White Vinegar and Cleaning Vinegar