Can Vinegar Damage Your Stainless Steel?




Stainless steel, using Vinegar to clean stainless steel, cleaning spoons with vinegar, can vinegar clean spoons

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

I have read so much about cleaning and removing stains from my home and life. If you are like me, you must be doing the same. My passion is to live a stain-free life. One of the things I always come across in my learning is how useful vinegar is in cleaning or removing stains from surfaces. 

While I have been thinking about whether it is effective in cleaning stainless steel, I usually think of the possible damage it may cause.

In this article, we will look at whether vinegar is safe for stainless steel. But before we go, vinegar is absolutely safe for cleaning and maintaining your stainless-steel equipment at home if used appropriately. Now, let us look at why I said so in the sections below. 

Features of Vinegar

towels with white vinegar, washing towels using vinegar, washing white towels with vinegar, can vinegar clean your towels, benefits of washing your towels with vinegar

You may be wondering why we should be looking at the characteristics of vinegar when talking about whether it is safe for stainless steel.

But knowing that will help us understand whether, by its nature, when applied to stainless steel, it will damage it or not. The following are some characteristics of vinegar:

  1. It contains water.
  2. It contains at least 4% of acetic acid (5-8%) by volume.
  3. It is an aqueous solution.

Features of Stainless Steel

photo 1619367300924 485907ff690d

Stainless steel is made up of a group of ferrous alloys. It contains 11% chromium. There are different types of stainless steel. They contain different elements consisting of carbon, copper, nickel, selenium, and others.

Chromium is present in its composition and helps stainless steel resist rusting. The nitrogen in stainless steel also increases its ability to resist rust. It is considered appropriate for making kitchen tools and appliances. This is because of its ability to resist corrosion, staining, and rusting.

Why is Vinegar Safe for Cleaning Stainless Steel?

photo 1633613286848 e6f43bbafb8d

From the discussion above, you would realize that vinegar has a great chemical composition, including water and acetic acid.

These chemicals, especially the acid, can cause damage to the surfaces of stainless steel if not handled with care. For example, there has been numerous shreds of evidence to prove that vinegar can damage surfaces of stainless steel if it is exposed to it for a long period of time.

Even though the chemical composition of stainless steel makes it withstand various forms of damage such as corrosion and rusting, you still have to be careful when cleaning them with vinegar.

Therefore, vinegar is powerful and safe to use in cleaning stainless steel. But you have to clean the stains carefully and quickly with diluted vinegar. Also, make sure not to leave any deposits of even diluted vinegar repeatedly for an extended period of time.

A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Clean Stainless Steel with Vinegar

photo 1600492515568 8868f609511e

From our discussion, we have noticed that vinegar does not harm stainless steel if care is taken.

That is, what can harm your stainless steel is how you clean it with vinegar. The following steps will prove useful if you want to clean stainless steel equipment with vinegar:

  • Find a clean cloth or sponge that is not rough.
  • Get your vinegar. Remember, any type of vinegar can be used. But I prefer white vinegar.
  • Remember, vinegar contains at least 5% acetic acid. That seems to be small but can cause damage to your stainless steel in the long run. That is possible if you soak or expose the steel to the vinegar and leave it for too long. Due to that, I recommend you dilute the vinegar with water to avoid the long-term side effects of the vinegar.
  • The diluted vinegar can be kept in a bottle like a spray. Make sure the bottle is clean.
  • Spray the mixture onto the stain on the surface of the stainless steel.
  • Gently rub or clean the stains. Make sure to wipe it in the direction of the grain of the stainless-steel coating. If you do the opposite, you may get scratches on the surface of it.
  • To give it a nice shiny look, you can add olive oil to a clean soft cloth and wipe the steel with it. Make sure to wipe it in the direction of the grain of the coating.

Final Thoughts

Based on the discussion in this article, you need to handle your stainless-steel tools and appliances with care when cleaning them with vinegar. This is because vinegar can harm it due to the acids in it.

That is, if you continuously leave the vinegar on the surface of your stainless steel for too long, it will damage it in the long run. Due to that, I recommend you follow the guide provided in this article when cleaning your stainless steel with vinegar. Thank you for following through with us. Thanks For Reading!

Recommended Articles:

About the author