Ahhh vinegar, the Superyacht stewardesses go to cleaning solution. I remember years ago my mother using a vinegar solution to clean our polished wooden floors, and I really didn’t give it much thought. That is, until I became a Superyacht stewardess and was handed a bottle of vinegar solution to clean the interior with.
Which brings me to my next question… Have you ever wonder why cleaning with vinegar is so popular?
Vinegar is like the super cleaning product of the yachting world, and it can be used for all kinds of things. In this article, we will explore some do’s and don’ts of cleaning with vinegar.
What is Vinegar: You may think that vinegar is just some stinky acidic liquid and you would be right. Basically, vinegar is a sour liquid (between a pH of 2 and 3.5). According to chemicalformula.org, the major cleaning component is acetic acid. This is a “weak acid, produced by the oxidation of alcohol (ethanol).
Vinegar is an incredibly versatile liquid, but do not go confusing your delectable apple cider, rose vinegar or balsamic vinegar for the distilled white cleaning vinegar.
The Differences Between Vinegar: Not all vinegars were created equally 😊. The difference between vinegars vary greatly due to the fermenting process and what ingredients have been used.
Apple cider, rose vinegar and balsamic vinegar are fantastic as health and cooking vinegar, as they are rich in bioactive components like acetic acid, gallic acid, catechin, epicatechin, caffeic acid, giving it potent antioxidant and, antimicrobial. They also make delicious vinaigrette dressings.
However, please do not use anything to clean the interior with other than distilled white cleaning vinegar, (preferably not made with GMOs). You do not want to risk staining fine materials a lovely balsamic colour.
Cleaning with Vinegar: Having used vinegar to clean superyachts and my own home for years, I would like to point out that I don’t think vinegar is that great for cleaning…
I know, I know, before you tell me that I have just contradicted myself, please read on.
Vinegar is an inexpensive, non-toxic, biodegradable substance which can kill some pathogens around the yacht. However, it will not kill the dangerous bacteria’s such as staphylococcus, streptococcus, E. Coli and salmonella.
God knows that as a Superyacht stewardess you do more than your fair share of cleaning and I’m sure you would like to know that you are cleaning surfaces rather than just moving the dirt around.
So, let’s clear a few things up, starting with the following:
“Know the difference between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing”
According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention
Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects. “Cleaning works by using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.
Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection.”
Things you SHOULD clean with vinegar:
As a general rule, to make up a vinegar cleaning solution, simply add ½ cup vinegar to 2 cups of water. Place it in a spray bottle and you are good to go.
- Removes tea and coffee stains on porcelain
- Removes water marks on glass
- Removes grime and sticky stuff off scissors
- Restores rug fibres
- Freshens most fabrics
- Removes waxy residue of wooden furniture
- Removes candle wax
- Mixed with ½ cup of baking soda, unclogs, and deodorizes drains
- Shines chrome and stainless steal
- Place a bowl of water and vinegar into the microwave for a steam clean
- Mixed with baking soda, deodorises the refrigerator
- Shines ceramic tiles
- Removes calcium and mineral deposits from shower heads
- Helps to fight mould and mildew
- Add 1 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle of the washing machine for soft fabric
- Mixed with baking soda, removes sweat stains from around collars and underarms
- Freshens up musty cupboards
- Kills some bacteria and germs
- Wash your fruits and vegetables to kill pesticides
Things you SHOULD NOT clean with vinegar:
- The most glaringly obvious things that you should not clean with vinegar is granite and marble tops. This material is a very durable and resistant material which is commonly used in bathrooms, pantries, and floors on board superyachts. The stone would normally have a sealed finish on it, however, due to the porous nature of these natural stones, you want to stay away from citrus and vinegar based cleaning solutions because it can etch away at and put the stone. Instead, use warm soapy water and a microfibre cloth to clean the beautiful stonework.
- Smart screens: By cleaning your smart phone, tablet, or Crestron multimedia screen with vinegar, you can actually remove the oleophobic coating. Instead, keep the touchscreen free of dirt and dust. You can clean the screen by using a non-abrasive cloth with any non-ammonia cleaning solution applied directly to the cloth (do not spray the screen directly).
- The Steam Iron: I know you would love to pour some vinegar directly into your steam iron, but in fact, this can damage the inner workings of your iron, and it may lead to more black stuff being spat out. Instead READ the manual and use the self-cleaning function. Further, many modern steam irons will come with an anti-scale cartridge to remove the scale deposits inside the iron. These tablets will prolong the life your steam iron.
- The same applies to the coffee machine. I know there is a lot of recommendations all over the internet about cleaning your coffee machine with a vinegar solution. However, depending on the machine, the boilers are typically made from steal or aluminium, which vinegar can corrode.
- Any waxed surface. As mentioned above, vinegar is a mild acid, so it makes sense that it would strip away any waxy residue, leaving the surface dull.
- Lastly, does not mix bleach and vinegar. Both of these substances are powerful cleaning agents in their own rights, however, mixing the 2 can create a dangerous gas.