Adding vinegar as a component to homemade floor cleaners is just as easy as it can be. That is why a lot of homeowners use vinegar to clean their floors from time to time. But, does vinegar disinfect floors? Distilled vinegar has been acknowledged for its ability to clean and kill germs on surfaces at home due to its high acidity. However, the use of vinegar has its own time and place and may not be a perfect all-purpose cleaner for your floors. So before you use it, consider where it excels and what precautions you need to remember.
For Linoleum and Porcelain
Does vinegar disinfect floors, you ask? Vinegar is great for hard tiles and solid surfaces. The acidic vinegar is, the more effective it can be as a disinfectant. It’s unnecessary to dilute the vinegar before you put it on these surfaces, although diluting it will have some benefits – it is more gentle on grout and does not smell that potent.
Others might suggest that diluting a dash of white vinegar into water will increase its potency and cleaning power, but don’t expect to achieve its full benefit. The more concentrated your solution is, the better it will perform when you’re mopping your porcelain and linoleum surface s— aim for 50/50 water and vinegar, or mix more vinegar and less water.
If it’s not realistic to have the whole bucket filled with undiluted white vinegar, consider this vinegar cleaning strategy instead:
In a small container with distilled white vinegar, soak a piece of cloth. Once the cloth has absorbed all the vinegar, attach it to the base of your dry mop or your “wet sweeper.”
If it does not pinch on or clip, strap it in place using a couple of rubber bands. This way, the soaked rag/cloth will serve as your wet mop, and it will effectively collect dirt on your floor while simultaneously spreading vinegar across your floor to disinfect. Overall, you will be using less vinegar than dipping the mop into a bucket, but it will still be effective in disinfecting. So if you’re still asking, does vinegar disinfect floors? Read on.
For Ceramics, Hardwoods, and Stone
It is best to use a more diluted vinegar concentration for wood floors, ceramic tiles, and natural stones (1 cup of vinegar with 1 gallon of water).
The pure distilled white vinegar’s acidic properties are likely to do more harm than good on these surfaces and may also dull the wax or polish finish of your surfaces.
You may not be able to disinfect these surfaces 100% with the vinegar’s diluted concentration. Rather, be persistent in dry mopping, vacuuming, and using surface-approved cleaners if you need spot treatment.
Things to Consider in Using Vinegar
If you ask, does vinegar disinfect floors, consider these reminders.
- Do not combine vinegar with bleach. Never. This will result in fumes and toxic that can be deadly. Water and vinegar are the safest combos to use for cleaning. If you are in a tough spot while mopping, you can sprinkle a bit of baking soda into the area and scrub it by hand. The undiluted vinegar may have reactions to the baking soda, but it’s not an issue.
- Never mix vinegar to your steam mop. The mechanism that processes the water and treats the steam is only intended for pure water and nothing more. If you add vinegar, it can break the internal components.
- Avoid using vinegar on laminated flooring, as its acidic properties can dull the floor’s finish over time. (Moreover, mopping laminated floors even with water may damage it. Dry mopping and spot cleaning may be the best method.)
What if You Don’t Like the Smell of Vinegar?
When you don’t like the idea that your house smells like salt and vinegar potato chips, you may find yourself looking for some alternatives aside from vinegar. Remember that you can always add a few drops of essential oils like lemon or lavender to your solution to minimize the intensity of the vinegar’s scent.
You can also treat your solution in advance by soaking some citrus peels like lemon, orange, and lime into the vinegar to infuse scents. Everyone’s tolerance differs when it comes to using vinegar to clean floors, especially in times when it’s hard to ventilate after cleaning your home. Find out more about floor disinfectants here.
Vinegar can be a great addition to your floor cleaners. So, does vinegar disinfect floors? The short answer is yes. The acidic properties of vinegar have been acknowledged to clean and kill germs on surfaces. However, vinegar may not all be applicable on all surfaces as some are sensitive and may react to vinegar’s acidic properties. So you have to consider where vinegar can excel and the precautions it entails.