Unlock the Natural Cleaning Power: Discover the Best Types of Vinegar to Clean With!

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Home » Blog » Natural & Non-Toxic » Unlock the Natural Cleaning Power: Discover the Best Types of Vinegar to Clean With!

Cleaning with vinegar is one of the most cost-efficient ways of cleaning your home. While vinegar does not have a lemony-fresh scent like other commercial products, this cleaning solution is versatile and effective. The biggest question, though, is what vinegar can you clean with?

Of all types of vinegar in the world, there are four normally used for cleaning. They are distilled white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, industrial vinegar, and cleaning vinegar. Any other kinds, however, are usually used for consumption.

This post will focus on the four main types of vinegar used for cleaning, their composition, and how to use them to clean surfaces and areas of your house.

What Vinegar Can You Clean With?

The market offers a plethora of vinegar, but not all are ideal for cleaning. As mentioned, the common types of vinegar used for cleaning are distilled white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, industrial vinegar, and cleaning vinegar.

What Vinegar Can You Clean With? – Distilled White Vinegar

Distilled white vinegar, also known as white vinegar, is made from sugar cane or grain alcohol. It is a versatile cleaning agent because of its effectiveness, affordability, and safety.

Like other types of vinegar used for cleaning, white vinegar is environmentally friendly and widely available in grocery stores.

White vinegar can clean toilets, glass, tile floors, concrete, and even jewelry. It can clean stains and kill bacteria and molds. Normally, when you clean with white vinegar, dilute it by mixing equal parts vinegar and water.

To learn how to clean your garage floor and sidewalk with white vinegar, read our article – Does White Vinegar Clean Concrete?

To learn how to clean jewelry with white vinegar, read our post – Does White Vinegar Clean Jewelry? How to Revive Your Jewelry’s Radiance

What Vinegar Can You Clean With? – Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is primarily for consumption but also works for cleaning and skin care. It is made from fermented apples and contains the same acid properties as white vinegar.

However, unlike other types of vinegar, this one has a more pleasant smell because of the apples.

When using apple cider vinegar to clean, dilute it with water. It can clean almost anything, like white vinegar.

Read our post – Can I Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Cleaning? to learn how to clean with apple cider vinegar.

What Vinegar Can You Clean With? – Industrial Vinegar

If you’re looking for vinegar with more acetic properties, go for industrial vinegar. It is the most potent vinegar available, with 20 to 30% acetic acid and around 70% water.

Due to its acetic content, it is not advisable to use it at home. This type of vinegar is usually for outdoor cleaning (i.e., commercial buildings).

If you use industrial vinegar, handle it with extreme care and wear gloves and eye protection. This type of vinegar should also only be used for intense cleaning projects.

What Vinegar Can You Clean With? – Cleaning Vinegar

Cleaning vinegar is a white vinegar distilled from full-strength vinegar. It contains around 6% to 7% acetic content and 93% to 94% water.

Due to its high acid properties, you should only use this solution for cleaning and killing mold, unlike white vinegar and apple cider vinegar which can also be consumed.

When mixed with baking soda, this cleaning agent can be a powerful sink, toilet, tub cleaner, and unclogger. It can also cut through grease and grime easily.

Warning: Don’t use this type of vinegar to clean finished wood surfaces, electronic gadgets, metal surfaces, and glass surfaces.

To learn how to kill mold with cleaning vinegar, read our article – Will Cleaning Vinegar Kill Mold?

What Type of Vinegar is the Best for Cleaning?

Among all types of vinegar used for cleaning, the winner is white vinegar. It is versatile, cheap, widely available, and doesn’t contain a coloring agent. Stains usually happen when one uses colored vinegar. 

White vinegar only contains 5% acid content, making it safe for consumption and cleaning. It has more power for cleaning soap scum, breaking down hard water minerals, and removing dirt and stains. Most of all, it has a less vinegary smell.

What Should I Use Industrial Vinegar For?


So why is there industrial vinegar in the market when it’s unsafe to use inside the house?

Industrial vinegar, otherwise known as agricultural vinegar, kills weeds or plants. This type of vinegar is helpful if you have a garden or patio at home.

Can You Use Balsamic Vinegar to Clean?

Yes, you can use balsamic vinegar to clean surfaces or any part of the house that needs cleaning. It has the same amount of acidic properties as white vinegar, so this solution is safe for cleaning and consumption.  

However, the reason why balsamic vinegar is not popular among cleaners is that it is very dark. After all, it comes from grapes.

So, even though it can clean dirt and grease, it is not recommended for cleaning because it can stain surfaces and fabrics.

Can You Use Wine Vinegar to Clean?

White wine can remove carpet spots and scrub away stains on the kitchen counters. Like the other kinds of vinegar, it is a natural cleaner and disinfectant, so it’s ideal for removing grime and killing bacteria.

But while wine vinegar is an effective cleaner, they are only sometimes used as such. This is because wine vinegar is a lot more expensive than white vinegar. Hence, cleaners would instead use the most inexpensive option as it cleans the same but without spending much money.

What is the Difference Between Cleaning Vinegar and White Vinegar?

Contrary to people’s belief, cleaning and white vinegar are not the same.

Cleaning vinegar may sound like the perfect cleaning agent because it is labeled as “cleaning” vinegar. While there’s truth to that, cleaning vinegar may contain impurities you can’t find in white vinegar.

Cleaning vinegar has more acetic properties than white vinegar and is strictly for cleaning alone.

White vinegar is more cost-efficient because you can use it for cooking and cleaning.

What Should You Not Clean Vinegar With?


Just because vinegar is natural does not mean you can use it on every cleaning project. Some types of vinegar, like industrial vinegar, will significantly damage most objects at home. Don’t use vinegar to clean the following:


Do not clean marble, granite, and limestone countertops with vinegar. The acid content of vinegar will damage the natural stones of these materials.

Vinegar will cause these types of countertops to lose their shine or break down their sealer. Instead, wipe down the countertops with a sponge or clean towel dipped in mild detergent.

Electronic Devices

Do not use vinegar to clean electronic devices such as cellphones, TVs, stereos, computer screens, etc.

This solution will damage the device’s anti-glare properties or touchscreen response. Clean these devices with a gentle cleaner that doesn’t contain acid instead.


If you have hardwood floors, don’t dare clean them with vinegar. Some manufacturers will void your warranty if there are signs of vinegar on the flooring.

Vinegar will dissolve the finish of the wood, and the flooring will look dull, cloudy, and scratched. Follow the manufacturer’s guide when cleaning hardwood floors.

Small Appliances

Vinegar is safe on the glass and plastic surfaces of coffee makers, blenders, and toasters. However, it can harm some small appliances’ rubber and metal parts. When in doubt, use mild dishwashing soap to clean these items.


Although vinegar wouldn’t necessarily damage ranges or cooktops, it will never solve a greasy mess. Acid solutions are lousy degreasers. Use baking soda, Borax, or any alkaline cleaner to clean ranges.

Where Can You Buy Vinegar for Cleaning?

Now that you know which type of vinegar is best for cleaning, it’s time to find out where you can buy them. Go to these places if you want to stock your home with a variety of vinegar for cleaning.

Grocery or Retail Stores

Most all types of vinegar are in grocery stores or retail stores. They are typically in the food or cleaning section area.

Garden Centers

Garden Centers sell industrial vinegar. After all, this type of vinegar is typically used on plants.


You can find vinegar with high acetic properties on Amazon. This is also the best place to buy any vinegar.

Take note, though, that vinegar comes in bottles or gallons, so they are heavy. This means that buying them online means extra shipping charges.


Overall, most vinegar can be used for cleaning. But not all of them are useful for some cleaning chores. This solution, however, is inexpensive, effective, and environmentally friendly.

Apple cider vinegar is almost the same as white vinegar, but because of its color, it is not suitable for cleaning white or light materials or surfaces. Meanwhile, industrial and cleaning vinegar is more potent and contains high acetic properties. Therefore, they are not for consumption.

When looking for the safest cleaner, go for white vinegar. You can find it at the grocery store, online, and on Amazon.

As we mentioned, not everything in your house can be cleaned with vinegar. Avoid using it on countertops, electronic devices, flooring, some small appliances, and ranges.

To learn more about cleaning with vinegar, read our article – Why Does Vinegar Clean?