Do kitchen ingredients like vinegar and baking soda work for cleaning?

Maoshing Ni, PhD, LAc
Geriatric Medicine
You can use baking soda (also called bicarbonate of soda) for more than just your morning muffins. It can help you scrub challenging areas, like baked-on grease on the stove and soap buildup on the tub. To neutralize odors in your refrigerator (or any space), put out an open box of baking soda.

Vinegar is another very effective cleaning agent. It is best to choose vinegar labeled as grain alcohol or neutral grain spirits, or choose one that lists the natural ingredients it is derived from. For an all-purpose disinfecting cleaner, mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Just avoid using vinegar on tile grout and marble.

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Homemade cleansers that use water plus baking soda, vinegar or lemon juice can be safe and effective, as long as you add some good old-fashioned elbow grease too. Cleaning with simple ingredients found in most kitchens (like Grandma did!) is becoming popular again as people look for ways to reduce exposure to toxic chemicals and save money.

An important caution: When combining ingredients, be sure you understand which ones are safe together and which combinations can cause harmful reactions. Never mix chlorine bleach with ammonia cleaners, vinegar or other acidic substances, or color-safe/oxygen bleaches.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.