Home bathroom and sanitaryDoes vinegar attack rubber, silicone, the washing machine & co?

Does vinegar attack rubber, silicone, the washing machine & co?

  • Vinegar harmful "> For gum
  • For metal
  • For stones
  • For devices

Vinegar is one of the classic home remedies and has been useful in a variety of applications. Nevertheless, the acidic food is not harmless because it is aggressive to many materials and can sometimes do more damage than desired. For this reason, many people wonder if vinegar attacks silicone, natural stone, metal or the washing machine and co.

Vinegar harmful?

Home remedies are still among the products that can be used effectively in your own household. They are cheap, quickly available and easy to use. Vinegar has proven to be one of the most versatile, which is used as the basis for a variety of different means. The reason for this is the high of acid that is used for the applications.

At the same time, the question arises as to whether the actual preservative is harmful to materials such as silicone, rubber, stone or appliances such as the washing machine and co. Therefore, it is important to take a closer look at this topic as the home remedy will otherwise have a negative impact.

For rubber

For many people, the use of vinegar essence in the home is commonplace. Since vinegar essence and other acid products are quite aggressive, many people wonder if gum is being attacked by it. Especially with the term "rubber" this question can only be answered with a "yes". The reason ">

natural rubber

Natural rubber is a natural rubber that is resistant to acetic acid. Old rubber made of natural rubber even needs vinegar to become supple again. At the same time, the rubber loses its strength after treatment with 38% acetic acid, which is never available in the home. The typical dosage that you're likely to have at home is between 1.5 and 3.5 percent, which is not nearly enough to damage the rubber. Therefore, you can apply vinegar to natural rubber objects and components without hesitation.


In general, plastics should not come into contact with excessive quantities of vinegar as they may be dissolved or damaged over a longer period due to the plasticizers they contain. This depends on the plasticizer contained, because they react differently to acetic acid . For this reason, not only plastic rubber but plastic itself is susceptible to the liquid. Even rubber boots are now made of plastic, which should not be cleaned with vinegar products for this reason.


Silicone is even more sensitive to acetic acid and is dissolved in a short time. For this reason, you should never use vinegar on rubber that has been made from silicone. Even small amounts can dissolve the substance and lead to breakage of the rubber. It does not matter how old or how used the silicone is, the acetic acid acts intensively on the fabric.

Of course, you do not have to worry about your plastic cups dissolving before your eyes, for example, when you eat a dressing salad. The concentration of edible vinegar is simply too low to sustainably attack the plastic along with oil and other ingredients. However, you should not try to put food in vinegar if you only have plastic or silicone containers . These materials dissipate over the period of conservation and should not be chosen for this reason. Natural rubber, on the other hand, is easy to use.

Tip: Plasticizer-free plastics exist on the market, but are not yet used for the production of household-standard components. These are mainly offered for products such as water bottles, food packaging or electronics such as laptops or smartphones.

For metal

For surfaces or objects made of metal, you can easily apply vinegar products . Home remedies from the acid can easily be used to remove rust. But this does not apply to all metals, because there are also some that can be eaten away for a long time. The metals that are completely immune to acetic acid include all precious metals such as gold, silver or platinum. Others, such as copper or brass, should not be treated with the acidic products.

Exceptions are the following types, which are typical for the household:

  • stainless steel
  • aluminum
  • chrome

Although these are also sensitive to the action of vinegar, but this shows only after a long time in misuse. For example, if you want to remove lime in your sink, you can use the home remedy calmly. It is the same with the front of your fridge . However, you should wipe the agent back as quickly as possible and never leave it too long, otherwise it will lead to faster corrosion of the metal. In most cases, this shows up on the surface, which becomes more and more dull over time.

For stones

For stones, the use of vinegar products is problematic because many types are sensitive to the corrosive action . But this is only the case if they contain lime, because the acid dissolves the lime and should therefore not reach a variety of stones. These acid-sensitive stones dissolve gradually, which many homeowners only notice when it is too late. Often this is the case with natural tiles, as they are often made of the corresponding stones.

The following stone types can be mentioned here:

  • marble
  • limestone
  • gneisses
  • slate

Yes, gneiss and slate do not really contain any appreciable amounts of lime, but their structure is also prone to acidity. In contrast to the previously mentioned stones, some people think that extremely hard rock like granite or basalt would not react to vinegar. That is wrong. Sufficient enough of the acid on the stones, they also decompose and become unsightly.

Especially in the garden, the bathroom or the kitchen, you should therefore pay attention to where acetic acid comes, as it begins to act on contact. You should pay particular attention to this if you have a natural stone worktop. These tend to cause damage if too much vinegar products reach them.

Tip: In addition to stones wood should also not be treated with vinegar, as this herb to the surface. The result is dull wood, which can only be restored to its original state through intensive care measures, even if the natural raw material itself does not directly suffer damage and can be reused.

For devices

In addition to the individual materials, there are devices such as washing machine and Co., which regularly come into contact with acetic acid and therefore need to be considered in more detail. Household appliances are at first glance quite well protected against the acid due to their processing. There are many components inside the devices that are made of sensitive materials and can be damaged.

  • seals
  • Plastic sieves
  • Filters (for example in coffee machines)

That's just a small selection of the individual components. In any case, you must make sure that acetic acid works in the same way for all the above materials. Especially with washing machine and Co. that is to be considered, since these in most cases dispose of such.

For example, in a washing machine or dishwasher, rubber seals are not made of natural rubber but are made of silicone or soft plastic, which makes them susceptible to acetic acid. Even the low concentration of common household and consumable products is sufficient. For this reason, you should refrain from the use of vinegar in washing machine and Co. and use alternatives.

Tip: A good and sweet-smelling alternative to vinegar essence in cleaning household appliances is citric acid. This dissolves limescale and dirt, but does not attack seals or materials, making the use much more recommendable.

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