Can You Use Brown Vinegar for Cleaning?

White vinegar is a popular DIY cleaner but can you use brown vinegar for cleaning as well? Keep reading the article to find out all about it!

Vinegar is a common household item popular for culinary purposes, such as salad dressings, pickling vegetables, etc. There are numerous varieties of vinegar available, but white vinegar and brown vinegar are the most common types infamous worldwide. Different types of vinegar contain different proportions of acetic acid, generally ranging between 4-7%. It is common knowledge that white vinegar is an effective cleaner, which makes it a popular ingredient for many home-based DIY cleaners. It is made from the fermentation of grain alcohol. But can you use brown vinegar for cleaning instead of using white vinegar? Let’s find out!

What is Brown Vinegar?

There are different types of vinegar that come under the category of brown vinegar, as they are brown, though have different shades. These include malt vinegar, apple cider vinegar, brown rice vinegar, and balsamic vinegar. All of these vary in the source from which they are extracted. Malt vinegar is extracted from malted grains of barley, and balsamic vinegar is made from unfermented grapes. As the name suggests, apple cider vinegar and brown rice vinegar are extracted from apple cider vinegar and brown rice, respectively. Generally, brown vinegar refers to malt vinegar unless stated otherwise. But all these other vinegar are also types of brown vinegar.

Can You Use Brown Vinegar for Cleaning?

You can use brown vinegar for cleaning just like you would use white vinegar. However, there are a few limitations with using brown vinegar instead of purified white vinegar.

  1. Brown vinegar is milder than white vinegar and hence might not be as effective on extremely tough stains.
  2. Since it has a color, it may leave a stain on the product; hence avoid using it on fabrics or other materials that are susceptible to discoloration. You can prevent this from happening by diluting brown vinegar with white vinegar or water.
  3. Most brown vinegar has a strong scent associated with them and hence can be a little displeasing.

Brown Vinegar for Cleaning

1. Descaling Coffee Pots and Kettles

Brown vinegar can remove tough tea or coffee stains from kettles and pots due to its cleaning properties. Fill the kettle with equal parts of water and brown vinegar. Let the solution sit in the kettle for at least 30 minutes and then scrub it and wash with lukewarm water. This trick will most probably clean all the stains from your pots and kettle, however, if the pot isn’t shiny clean on the first try, you can redo the whole process. Similarly, this trick can be used to clean washing machines as well. This is a potent and cheap way to get rid of coffee and tea stain from utensils but it might leave a strong unpleasing scent.

2. Cleaning Windows

Spray a mix of brown vinegar and water on the windows and wipe it with a microfiber towel for squeaky clean windows. Not to mention, this trick will clean the windows but it might stink afterwards. Therefore, you can pour a few drops of your favorite essential oil in the mix of brown vinegar and water to regulate the smell of the vinegar.

3. For Laundry

Vinegar can be used to get rid of stains on the clothes and to remove any foul odors. You can add two tablespoons in 1 wash cycle along with the detergent to remove fresh stains from clothes. It can also help in keeping your towels and robes fluffy.

4. Kitchen Counters

Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and can help in getting rid of any bacteria. It also helps in removing tough food stains. Just mix two parts of vinegar with 1 part of water with some dishwasher soap for cleaning. Use this solution to wipe tough stains from your kitchen counters and cabinets. However, this hack is not suitable for granite and marble.

5. Faucets and Showerheads

Vinegar with some salt can be helpful in getting rid of the hard water stains on the bathroom and kitchen fixtures. You can also use it to clean bathtubs in the same way. Vinegar’s acidic and salt’s abrasive properties will help in eliminating tough build-ups from your faucets and showerheads. Mix a tablespoon of salt with a teaspoon of vinegar and scrub it all over the faucets. Let it sit for some time before wiping and scrubbing the faucet with a brush.

6. Toilets

Add 1-2 cups of vinegar into the towel bowl and let it sit for 3 hours at the minimum. Next, use a toilet brush to scrub the bowl and flush afterwards. This helps in getting rid of any stains as well as germs and bacteria.

7. Cleaning Microwaves

Microwaves can get quite dirty because of the food splattering inside them. To clean microwaves, take ¼ cup of vinegar and add a cup of water to the mixture. Heat in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. Once the microwave cools down, wipe the stains with a rag to get rid of any stains. Finish the task by wiping the microwave with a clean damp cloth.

Try to use brown vinegar with caution while cleaning because it can leave a mark. Either do a patch test or dilute the brown vinegar with water for it to not leave a stain. Be extra careful when using it on laundry.

Also, since vinegar is acidic, it is always important to remember what stones and materials can react with acetic acid. For example, do not use vinegar on marbles as it can leave etch marks. Here’s a list of all the items that you should avoid cleaning with vinegar.

Other Uses of Brown Vinegar

Brown vinegar has a powerful flavor and is used to enhance the taste. It may be used in a variety of ways, such as:

  1. To sprinkle over chips with salt for flavor.
  2. For making pickles it will help bring the savory taste.
  3. In salad dressing, sauces, and marinades.
  4. You can add it while cooking green vegetables for an unconventional taste.

Does brown vinegar go bad?

Vinegar generally does not go bad apart from a bit of change in taste and effects. It starts to lose its quality after about two years. It can still be used for cleaning but you must avoid consuming it once you notice any change in it to keep away any health complications.

Now that you know that you can use brown vinegar for cleaning, start using it in combination with white vinegar to keep your home squeaky clean always! If you have any questions or suggestions, you can communicate it to us via the comments section.


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