There has been a significant increase in using vinegar for disinfecting the house and all that’s in it, from the furniture to the counters of the kitchen. And so far, it has proved to be doing a great job at it. But, is vinegar a disinfectant in the conventional sense?

Vinegar does help in cleaning the dirt and removing the odor from the objects, but there are a few drawbacks to it, especially when it comes to being a disinfectant.

How effective is vinegar as a disinfectant?

When vinegar is mixed with other products such as baking soda, it can make your cleaning work much easier. The combination of the two can easily substitute harsh cleaners. However, is a disinfectant and a cleaner the same? Let’s get that straight first.

Cleaners are used to get rid of germs, dirt, and dust particles. However, they are not useful when it comes to killing germs. On the other hand, when it comes to disinfectants, germs are instantly killed when they come in contact with it. They also help in de-activating harmful viruses and bacteria.

What are the disadvantages of vinegar as a disinfectant?

Vinegar cannot kill all types of pathogens except the germs which cause common foodborne diseases such as Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, and Escherichia coli (E.coli). This means that vinegar is not effective in killing the COVID-19 virus.

Not only that, but the Environmental Protection Agency has also not considered vinegar as a disinfectant. These are a few of the limitations of vinegar that might abstain from using it as a disinfectant.  

Which products can be called disinfectants?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a product can be called a disinfectant when it can kill approximately 99.9 percent of germs within an extremely ephemeral period.

In addition to this, disinfectants should also contain other ingredients such as hydrogen peroxide, quaternary ammonium, phenolic compounds, bleach, ethyl alcohol, and isopropyl alcohol.

Products that follow these criteria and are called disinfectants are Lysol Disinfectant Spray, Clorox Bleach, etc.

Ways to disinfect your home and keep it clean

Here are some of the tips you can keep in mind whenever you are disinfecting your home or your office:

  1. The first and foremost thing to keep in mind while disinfecting your home or your office to wear gloves and then do the process, because the disinfectant might damage your hands.
  2. Next, before using a disinfectant, first, clean the surface with soap and water.
  3. Make sure that there is enough circulation of air in the room
  4. Make sure that you are cleaning and disinfecting the frequently touched objects such as tables, light switches, doorknobs, etc.
  5. Do not forget to disinfect your phone, charger, laptop, computer, or any other technology products you are using frequently.

Can vinegar be an excellent cleaner, If not disinfectant?

The answer is yes. As vinegar is rich with acidic content, it helps in eradicating those stubborn marks on the surface which do not seem to rub off. You can use vinegar on your glass, windows, showerheads, coffee makers, sinks, etc.

However, make sure that you are not using vinegar on your cast iron, soapstone, granite, waxed wood, aluminum, marble, and other surfaces which can be easily damaged by vinegar’s acidic content. In addition to this, do not venture to combine vinegar with bleach as it can result in perilous fumes. 

Be that as it may, bleach cannot be categorized as a sanitizer nor as a disinfectant. However, it is extremely useful in killing germs and bacteria. Not only that, but it is also cost-effective and easy to use. But, you should handle it with care as using too much of it can harm your health and also pose damage to the environment.  

Vinegar as a cleaning agent

If you want to use vinegar as a cleaning agent, here are some of the ways to do it in your house or your office:

  1. Getting rid of the stains: As a cleaning agent, vinegar is used to remove all the stains especially from the utensils which do not seem to go off. To remove the stains successfully, you can add one or two tablespoons of baking soda to the utensil you want to wash and then add one tablespoon of vinegar to it. When you know the mixture is well settled, you can wash or rinse it with your scrub.
  1. Getting rid of the soap stains: More often than not, you might see the stains of soap on your bathing essentials, especially your bathtub, known as soap scum. To remove those, you need to soak a sponge in vinegar and then wipe the entire tub. Next, you can add baking soda, rub it and then rinse it with water.
  1. Getting rid of the unwanted leftovers of the food: Sometimes some food particles are stuck in the microwave oven and they do not seem to rub off by anything. Under such circumstances, you can use ¼ cup of vinegar which is heated, and mix it with one cup of water in the microwave. When it is heated enough, you can use it to rub off all the food particles from the microwave.

These are some of the ways you can use vinegar as a cleaning agent in your house or your office. The best and the most commonly used vinegar is white vinegar which has the highest acidic content.

To make it more effective, you can mix vinegar and water in equal proportion and clean the surfaces. However, as mentioned earlier, do not use anything which is made of aluminum, iron, or natural stone.

Now that you know the effects of vinegar, you also probably know the answer to the question: Is Vinegar a disinfectant? As mentioned earlier, for disinfectant sprays, you can confine yourself to Clorox, Lysol, Purell, etc. which can give you extraordinary results. 

Therefore, as mentioned earlier, if you want to get these extraordinary results you need to consider the list of disinfectant sprays listed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) apart from these and not consider making a homemade disinfectant spray vinegar as it will only waste your time.