Is Vinegar a Disinfectant 24 Hours a Day?

Vinegar is a pantry staple ideal for sprinkling on salads and marinating chicken, but it also works as an effective all-natural cleaning product. Compared to chemical cleaners, vinegar is super cheap (and something that many people already have in their home) and often contains less harsh chemicals. It’s no wonder so many people use it to clean their homes and get rid of odors.

The most common type of vinegar is white distilled vinegar, which contains about 5 percent acetic acid. As a cleaning agent, this makes it effective at dissolving grease and grime on surfaces due to its acidic properties. It can also be used to remove soap scum and mineral deposits from hard water, as well as to neutralize unpleasant odors on countertops and kitchen sinks.

Other types of vinegar, such as apple cider or wine vinegar, may have more or less acetic acid, which could affect how they work as cleaning agents. However, these other vinegars can still be helpful in cleaning and deodorizing. The vinegar’s high acid content means that it has a relatively long shelf-life, so you can easily keep a bottle of vinegar in the kitchen to use on a variety of cleaning tasks.

However, while vinegar is a great natural cleaner, it’s not a disinfectant. Disinfectants kill germs and are able to eradicate many harmful bacteria and viruses, such as the flu and coronavirus. Vinegar is not an EPA-registered disinfectant, so it’s ineffective against the majority of germs and won’t be effective against the flu or the coronavirus.

Instead, if you’re looking to disinfect a surface in your home or want to know how to make a flu-fighting vinegar spray, you should look for a commercial cleaner with a higher concentration of alcohol or bleach. These stronger solutions will be more effective at killing germs and should be used on surfaces that come into contact with potentially illness-causing bacteria or viruses, like cutting boards and refrigerator shelves.

If you are concerned about the coronavirus, you can also try to limit your exposure by staying away from contaminated objects and washing your hands frequently. In addition, it’s a good idea to wear a face mask when doing activities around the house. It’s also important to avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, as germs can spread quickly when they enter the body through these routes. Lastly, be sure to disinfect any clothing or bedding that you have been in close contact with an infected person. Washing these items in hot water and using a mild detergent should help to reduce the risk of infection.