Vinegar vs bleach: what is better?

Everybody wants to keep one’s house clean and healthy, investing as less efforts and money as possible and obtaining the best results. Today we’ll focus on two most widely used products for housekeeping, bleach vs vinegar, and try to find out which one is better for your household.

Bleach vs vinegar for cleaning

Bleach vs vinegar have been used for cleaning households for years, alongside with other cleaning materials, like soap, detergents, antibacterial soap, and so on. By the way, in general, antibacterial soap is no more effective in killing germs and bacteria than a normal soap. It is especially important to remember this during flu and cold epidemics. To kill germs, virus and bacteria is still better to use vinegar and bleach cleaner.

Mopping with vinegar

As a matter of fact, vinegar has been used for thousands of years for disinfection, since its antimicrobial and antifungal qualities have been discovered long time ago. Though it does not kill all the gems, virus and bacteria, it kills a lot of them and about 83% of fungi. So, if the purpose of your cleaning is not to kill specific type of germs or bacteria, but rather a general, routine house cleaning, you can easily use vinegar for it. So,what kind of vinegar should be used for cleaning and mopping? Actually, all its types are suitable for cleaning, since they all contain the active ingredient acetic acid, which has antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial action.

Cleaning bath with vinegar as a usual routine procedure is effective enough, unless you have to disinfect your bathroom after somebody felt sick there. Also, in case you have a seriously ill or wounded person at home, when a more thorough disinfection is necessary, it is preferable to use bleach, which kills up to 99,9% of virus, germs and bacteria.

Natural cleaning with vinegar

Cleaning a household with vinegar is more natural and ecologically friendly than using various chemicals.
ATTENTION: take care not to use it on marble and stone floors, as acetic acid ruins these materials.

How to make vinegar cleaner?

In order to make vinegar water solution cleaner, wash the mop under the running water or in a separate bucket every time after passing it on the floor. In this way, you can prevent the dirt from getting into your cleaning solution.

How much vinegar should you add to water to clean?

People often ask about correct vinegar cleaning ratio. To prepare your cleaning solution with vinegar, add 1/4 cup of white vinegar to 1 quart of water.

Why is bleach a good cleaning agent

The effectiveness of bleach has been tested in numerous experiments, which demonstrated that bleach kills 99.9% of gems, bacteria, as well as virus and fungi spores, etc. If is important to notice that it destroys many dangerous bacteria, such as staphylococcus, salmonella, streptococcus, E. coli. It also kills flu viruses and the common cold. No other cleaning agent gives such results, that is why bleach solution for cleaning is the best option when it comes to thorough disinfection.

Bleach to water ratio for cleaning any surface in your household: add 1 tablespoon of bleach to 1 gallon of water (3.7 lt).

IMPORTANT: lukewarm water is better, since too cold or too hot water undermines the effectiveness of bleach.

NOTE: do not use the same solution several times, as it looses its effectiveness quickly.

In fact, for the same reason the bleach is often decomposed when it reaches sewage waters.

Washing floors with bleach

NOTE: Do not use this bleach method on the same day, as any other cleaning product.

Bleach concentration for cleaning

The floors usually collect a lot of dirt, germs, bacteria, which comes from shoes, pets, food spills, etc. To clean the floors effectively, you should first clean it with soap or detergent dissolved in water. Then apply bleach solution for final disinfection. A usual bleach to water ratio for cleaning floors is 1 cup to every 5 gallons of water, or 1/2 cup to every 2-1/2 gallons of water.

How much bleach to use to clean toys

Actually, keeping toys clean is a very important task, since it helps your baby to be happy and healthy. There are three stages in keeping toys clean: cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting. First of all, read the producer instructions carefully. If you can put the toy into the dishwasher, do that with a normal detergent, which will also sanitize the toys. Otherwise, wash the toys with soap and water, rinse it with clean water, dry with disposable paper towels and apply bleach solution with a sponge to disinfect toys. The concentration of the disinfecting solution is given below.

How much bleach is it necessary to add per gallon of water for cleaning? Use 1 tbsp. of household bleach for every one gallon of water.

Vinegar vs bleach for laundry & washing machine

Vinegar can be used as an alternative to fabric softeners.

ATTENTION: do not use commercial fabric softeners to wash kids clothes. They interfere with the fire retardant qualities of children’s clothing, specially pajamas. White distilled vinegar, on the other hand, is safe and hypoallergenic for all kids garments, you can use it instead of commercial softeners.

So, can you mix vinegar and bleach in the washing machine?

The answer is no. When you mix bleach with acids like acetic acid, for example, or anything else, poisonous chlorine gas is created, a toxic chemical that can be deadly.

DANGER: never mix bleach with anything else, except water.

How to disinfect clothes without bleach

Disinfecting clothes is an important element of washing. Normally, the combination of hot water and detergents is enough to kill many germs. However, sometimes more radical disinfection is necessary, especially when someone is sick in your household. Actually, the best means of disinfection is the bleach. However, it is not suitable for all types of clothes and fabrics. So, you may use vinegar as an alternative. For this purpose, add one cup of white, distilled vinegar to your laundry in the rinse cycle.

Vinegar in laundry & vinegar in washing machine

Can you use vinegar in the washing machine? Actually, yes. Adding vinegar to wash can bring several benefits. Does vinegar bleach clothes? Using vinegar to wash clothes can solve several problems at once, since it can whiten, freshen, and soften fabrics. Add 1/2 to 1 cup of distilled white vinegar along with your regular laundry detergent. Don’t worry about the acetic acid scent- it will dissipate after drying. Vinegar may also be sprayed on spot stains and collar and underarm stains.

Where to put vinegar in washing machine

Simply add half a cup to the “fabric softener” compartment, if you have one. In this way vinegar is released during the rinse cycle and it is used to rinse off any residual soap. If you don’t have this compartment, wait until you hear your washing machine make the water draining sound and add the vinegar as it refills.

Note that apple cider vinegar is not very suitable for laundry, hence, use only white distilled vinegar for laundry purposes. Another advice: you can use distilled vinegar for cleaning your washing machine, as it will keep the seals and hoses in the washer scum free

Bleach for laundry & washing dishes

Bleach can be used not only for disinfecting and bleaching your clothes, but for other purposes as well.
Does hot water kill bleach? It seems that hot water diminishes its effectiveness.

If necessary, you may also use bleach for washing dishes, for sanitizing them, to be exact. You need to first wash and rinse dishes, glassware, and utensils. After washing, soak for at least 2 minutes in a solution of 2 teaspoons of bleach per 1 gallon of water, drain and air dry.

Attention: do not use on non-stainless steel, aluminum, silver, or chipped enamel.

Is it safe to wash dishes with bleach? Yes, it is, if you observe several rules. Rinse well the dishes after using bleach and air dry them.

Attention: do not use on non-stainless steel, aluminum, silver, or chipped enamel.

Vinegar versus bleach for disinfect

Vinegar for disinfect

Vinegar can be used as a disinfectant, in fact vinegar has been known for centuries for its antibacterial qualities.

Does white vinegar disinfect? Yes, it does. However, disinfecting with vinegar doesn’t guarantee a hundred percent destruction of ever kind of germs, virus and bacteria.

Hence, disinfecting with vinegar has its limitations. It is important to know what illnesses, viruses and bacteria you fight with, when using vinegar to disinfect.

Does vinegar kill viruses? It kills some but not all of them. To be sure that you kill all of them, use bleach.

Bleach for disinfect

How to disinfect washing machine with bleach? Run a washing cycle, using deluted bleach without putting in any clothes.

Using bleach will help you disinfect things effectively.

Usual bleach to water ratio for sanitizing is one part of bleach to ten parts of water.

Use stronger solution for bleach sterilization.

Does bleach kill germs and viruses? Actually, it kills up to 99.9% of them.

Sanitizing dishwasher with bleach will help you to keep it clean and safe and prevent mold formation and foul odour.

If you are wandering how to disinfect clothes, then using bleach will be the best solution. However, if your clothes is not bleach safe, beware that there exist also laundry sanitizers without bleach. Does oxygen bleach disinfect? Any types of bleach possess antiseptic qualities.

Fighting some highly contagious deseases, like dermaphytosis or ringworn, is unthinkable without profound disinfection, which is only possible with few strong products, one of them being bleach. Will bleach kill ringworm on surfaces? . Bleach diluted 1:10 will kill 80% of fungal spores with one application and any surface that can be bleached, should be bleached.

So, what is better to use in your household: vinegar or bleach?


It is not possible to give a general answer, vinegar or bleach. A decision should be made in every specific case, depending on your final targets. A general rule is that bleach is very effective for disinfection, it kills about 99.9% of germs, viruses, bacteria. For this very reason vinegar cannot be always used instead of bleach. In cases when the use of bleach is not desirable or possible,vinegar is one of the best alternatives to bleach. However, it is not a hundred percent bleach substitute.

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