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Natural cleaning formulas have been around for ages, but many people forget that they can make these concoctions at home with things they already have on hand. One of the most common ingredients in many natural cleaning recipes is vinegar. However, since vinegar is acidic there are actually a few places where this simple cleaning ingredient should never be used.

bottles of vinegar on store shelves
Via/ Flickr

6) Natural Stone Countertops

The acid in vinegar can etch granite and marble countertops, effectively marring the smooth, shiny, polished surface they are known for. Instead of vinegar you should either use a cleaner made especially for stone or milder solution of dish soap and water. The same goes for any kind of stone flooring.

marble countertops
Via/ Flickr

5) Waxed Furniture or Floors

We love the simple beauty of waxed wood, but when vinegar comes into contact with wax it most often dissolves it. If you clean a waxed surface with anything acidic you’re likely to be left with a splotchy mess which can be a real hassle to deal with. When in doubt if something is waxed it’s best to steer away from using vinegar – just in case.

waxed wood floor
Via/ Flickr

4) Dishwashers

The rubber seals on a dishwasher are what makes it watertight and acidic cleaners can damage the seals over time. We’ve all heard the advice that vinegar can make your dishes come out sparkling, but would it be worth having to replace the dishwasher?

dishwasher filled with dishes
Via/ Flickr

3) Clothes Irons

You should follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning your iron, but pouring vinegar water into the reservoir can damage the seals and create problems inside the iron. Best to avoid this if possible.

Electric iron on an ironing board with a stack of ironed clothes
Via/ Flickr

2) Coffee Makers

Like dishwashers and irons, coffee makers rely on their rubber gaskets and seals to properly make coffee and to not leak and vinegar can damage these integral parts of a drip coffee machine.

electric coffee maker
Via/ Unsplash

1) Cast Iron Cookware

Properly seasoned cast iron cookware is a marvel to cook with, offering nonstick properties that Telfon can only dream about. But, any kind of stripping agents, like soap or vinegar, can damage this finish. Once stripped, a cast iron pan would have to be completely cleaned and then re-seasoned as if it were new. That’s a long process that can be avoided by simply not using harsh cleaners. A wipe clean after each use is often all that is needed to maintain cast iron for decades.

pancake in cast iron skillet
Via/ Flickr

Vinegar as a cleaning agent can be a controversial topic since diehard fans insist on using it to clean all around the house. But, when it comes to saving old woodwork, cast iron pans, appliances, and marble countertops it would be such a shame to ruin them with vinegar by accident.