Does Vinegar Kill Germs and Mold?

Vinegar has long been known for its cleaning potential, but science is now saying why it works. It is a popular household cleaner. It can be used to kill germs and mold. However, vinegar should not be used on wood or other porous materials.


If you look at any DIY cleaning recipe, vinegar is almost always included as an ingredient. It’s marketed as a non-toxic disinfectant, but many people worry whether it actually works on contact surfaces in the bathroom and kitchen. Is it true that vinegar kills mold and bacteria, or is it a waste of time to use this household cleaner?

The founder of medicine, Hippocrates, utilized vinegar to treat infections and other health problems for a reason. Cleaning ulcers, curing wounds, and calming coughs using vinegar was done.

It is being used as a safer option for household disinfection, and research shows that it possesses antifungal and antibacterial properties.

Is Vinegar Effective in Killing Mold?

To address the topic of whether vinegar kills mold, you must first consider what is included inside vinegar. Acetic acid is the volatile organic acid found in vinegar. Antifungal and antibacterial activities are strong in this chemical molecule.

Mineral salts, vitamins, amino acids, polyphenolic compounds, and nonvolatile organic acids are among the additional ingredients in vinegar, in addition to acetic acid.

Vinegar has antimicrobial properties on fungi in diverse applications, according to research published in the American Society for Horticultural Science. For example, fruit decay fungi such as Penicillium expansum, Monilinia fructicola, Botrytis cinerea, and Colletotrichum coccodes have been shown to be resistant to germination vinegar vapor.

In addition, according to a research published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vinegar containing 4% acetic acid inhibited the development of P. chrysogenum, a fungus typically found in wet or water-damaged structures.

Is it true that vinegar kills mold? According to research and anecdotal evidence, it effectively combats fungal development and mold.

Is Vinegar Effective in Killing Germs (and the Flu)?

When considering whether white vinegar kills bacteria, the vinegar ingredient acetic acid comes into play once again.

Vinegar, which is sometimes used to kill germs on meat, fruits, and vegetables, has been shown to be helpful in killing microorganisms in meals in scientific research. For example, the development of all kinds of food-borne harmful bacteria was prevented when researchers in Japan investigated the efficiency of vinegar on them.

Furthermore, according to a 2014 research published in the American Society for Microbiology, acetic acid in vinegar is an excellent, non-toxic mycobactericidal disinfectant that should also work against most other bacteria. These results suggest that acetic acid may kill drug- and disinfectant-resistant microorganisms, which might be very dangerous.

Is it true that vinegar kills flu germs? According to a 2010 research published in PLoS One, diluted vinegar (with 4–8% acetic acid) was effective in disinfecting influenza A viral surfaces.

Best Uses

Vinegar is a multipurpose, low-cost, toxic-free, and eco-friendly household cleaning. To make a multi-surface household cleaner, just combine distilled vinegar with clean water. Cleaning with vinegar may be done in a variety of ways, including:

1. Make sure your laundry is clean.

Do you want to know whether vinegar kills bacteria in the laundry? On the other hand, distilled vinegar may genuinely eliminate residue from your clothing, as well as stains and bacteria. It also aids in the softening of clothing.

2. Get rid of bacteria in the kitchen

Distilled vinegar and warm water may be used to cut through filth and germs in the kitchen, from the microwave and sink to the countertops and flooring.

Clean your kitchen appliances with this homemade oven cleaner. You can even put vinegar in your dishwasher to make it sparkle or run distilled vinegar through your coffee maker to dissolve deposits and minerals.

3. Eliminate germs and accumulation in the bathroom

Try this Apple Cider Vinegar, Baking Soda, Liquid Castile Soap, and Antibacterial Essential Oils like Tea Tree, Lemon, and Orange Homemade Bathroom Cleaner.

This combination of germ-fighting chemicals produces a superb, all-natural cleaner that is free of the toxins found in traditional bathroom cleaners.

4. Floor cleaning made from natural ingredients

A toxic-free floor cleanser may be made by mixing 12 cups of white distilled vinegar with half a gallon of warm water. Use it to mop tile floors around your house, particularly in areas with many build-ups, such as the kitchen, bathroom, and entrance.

However, real-wood flooring should be avoided since vinegar is corrosive and might destroy the wood.

5. Deodorizer and stain remover for carpets

If you have a stinky or stained patch on your carpets, such as from pet urine, alcohol, meals, or water damage, soak the area with equal parts distilled vinegar and water. Then, using paper towels or a cloth, push down on the region to increase absorption. Finally, vacuum the area after it has dried.

Keep in mind that if the carpet is colored, blot a tiny part first to make sure the colors don’t run.

6. Mineral build-up remover

Many devices and cleaning instruments, such as steamers, sleep apnea machines, humidifiers, coffee makers, dishwashers, washing machines, and mops, may be cleaned with distilled vinegar to eliminate calcium or mineral build-up.

7. Spray antibacterial

Make this Melaleuca Lemon Household Cleaner using antibacterial essential oils at home. Yoga mats, worktops, toilet bowls, shower walls, and gym bags may all benefit from it.

Vinegar may also be used to clean computer and tablet displays. Add baking soda to the solution to make it even harsher on oil, grime, and bacteria.

What not to Mix

Many natural products may be used with vinegar safely, but a few should be avoided.

Vinegar and Bleach

Bleach should never be combined with vinegar. Bleach may emit chlorine gas when it comes into touch with acidic items such as vinegar, certain glass cleaners, dishwashing detergents, and even toilet bowl cleansers.

Even little levels of chlorine gas may trigger negative effects such as:

  • Eyes that are burning and watering
  • Irritation of the ears, nose, and throat
  • a stuffy nose
  • Coughing
  • Breathing problems
  • Blisters and pain (after contact with skin)

You may develop chest discomfort, severe breathing issues, vomiting, pneumonia, and even death if you are exposed to chlorine gas for an extended length of time.

Vinegar with Hydrogen Peroxide

Although vinegar and hydrogen peroxide are harmless when used alone, they may have negative consequences. The mixture of chemicals may irritate the eyes, nose, throat, and skin. Separate them since this combination might cause respiratory problems.

Vinegar with Baking Soda

Baking soda and vinegar may be safely combined in a cleaning solution that will be used straight away. However, do not keep a solution containing both chemicals since it may explode.

Dump what’s leftover after using a tile cleaner made with vinegar, water, and baking soda, for example.

Side Effects and Risks

Because vinegar is acidic, it may irritate when applied to the skin or to particular surfaces, such as genuine wood. This is why diluting distilled vinegar with clean water is usually suggested.

As previously stated, vinegar should not be used with bleach or hydrogen peroxide. If you combine it with baking soda, use it straight away and throw away the remainder. You don’t want to have a DIY spray with both chemicals on hand.

Last Thoughts

  • Vinegar is a common home cleaner that has been used for thousands of years as a disinfectant. However, many people still doubt whether vinegar kills bacteria and mold.
  • According to studies, vinegar has antifungal and antibacterial effects. This is because acetic acid is present.
  • When it comes to cleaning surfaces in your house, vinegar can be used on practically anything from kitchen countertops and appliances to shower walls, sinks, toilets, and tile floors.
  • Remember that vinegar and bleach or hydrogen peroxide should never be combined. Because of its acidic qualities, it may be too harsh for wood flooring.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should you not use vinegar to clean?

A: Vinegar is not a good choice to clean most surfaces as it can cause damage.

Does vinegar naturally disinfect?

A: Vinegar is a substance that has been used for centuries to clean and as an all-purpose disinfectant, but so far, there have not been any studies conducted on the effect vinegar would have in cleaning.

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