It’s no secret that vinegar is a simple and affordable all-purpose cleaner.
After all, it’s the most common ingredient (alongside baking soda) listed in many homemade cleaning solutions.
But does it really kill germs?
According to science, the answer is a definitive ‘yes’.
ABC Online reports that vinegar is about 5 per cent acetic acid, which kills bacteria and viruses by “chemically changing the proteins and fats that make up these nasties and destroying their cell structures.”
US studies have found that vinegar destroys a host of household pathogens, including the flu virus as well as Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria which causes tuberculosis.
Professor Peter Collignon, an infectious diseases physician at Australian National University told ABC Online: "TB is a hard-to-kill bacteria, so the fact that it works against them means most other bacteria will likely be killed by vinegar as well.”
It seems that the best approach to cleaning is to keep it simple.
Professor Collignon suggests that hot soapy water usually does the trick.
"You've got to clean the surface first and that's usually enough. Then you have to ask yourself whether you need to disinfect at all," he says.
According to Professor Collignon, vigorous elbow grease is the most effective method of cleaning, because you are "physically decreasing the number of bacteria present and washing them down the sink".
After some tips on how to clean with vinegar? You might like to read:
- Homemade natural weed killer
- 10 ways to use vinegar in your garden
- How to clean a shower
- 16 surprising new uses for apple cider vinegar
- Easy toilet cleaning hack
- 10 ways to clean your house while you sleep
Wondering if there’s anything that vinegar can't clean? You might like to read: