Why The Baking Soda And Vinegar Hack Might Not Be Ideal For Cleaning

Keeping your home clean can be a challenge if you're someone who leads a busy lifestyle. That's why using TikTok-approved cleaning hacks can be so wonderful — they can save you both time and money in the long run.

One of the most popular cleaning hacks right now on TikTok is the baking soda and vinegar hack. The best cleaning hacks are ones involving common household goods because they can usually be found at your local supermarket for cheap. Baking soda and vinegar fall under this category because they are both inexpensive yet extremely effective. Per Tom's Guide, baking soda's abrasive texture and deodorizing ability makes it perfect for cleaning, and acidic vinegar is a wonderful surface cleaner. It would make sense that combining them together only amplifies their cleaning strength.

While these two products may work miracles on their own, combining them together might not be the ideal "cleaning hack" some are hyping it up to be. In fact, you may be better off using baking soda and vinegar as standalone products.

The chemicals in baking soda and vinegar cancel each other out

For the sake of everyone's wallet, it would be amazing if baking soda and vinegar played well together. The two products are inexpensive and are most likely already tucked away somewhere in your kitchen cabinets. Unfortunately, combining baking soda and vinegar isn't the cleaning hack we'd all like for it to be.

Leave it to the chemistry experts to clear up any confusion surrounding these two cleaning agents. Amanda Morris, the associate chair of the chemistry department at Virginia Tech, told Kitchn that the only real benefit to combining baking soda and vinegar are the bubbles it makes.

Get ready for a quick science lesson: Morris explains that combining baking soda, which is a base, to vinegar, which is an acid, leads to the formation of carbonic acid, the same chemical found in your favorite fizzy soda (via Live Science). The bubbles can aid you in cleaning out a sink drain that's been clogged by grease or grime but aren't particularly useful for much else. Once the short-lived bubbles die away, the only thing left is a flat, watery substance that isn't anything special when it comes to cleaning.

Alternative baking soda and vinegar cleaning hacks you should try

You may be disappointed to learn that the baking soda and vinegar hack isn't the miraculous cleaning solution to end all your problems. However, that doesn't mean that they are completely useless when working together. Baking soda and vinegar can play well together, but they do their best work when used separately.

One example of this is the great work they can do in a dishwasher. If you have a dishwasher that's beginning to smell a little funny or isn't working like it should be, Arm & Hammer suggests using vinegar and baking soda to clean it. First, run the dishwasher on hot with a container filled with white vinegar on the top rack. After removing the container, follow it up with another hot cycle, this time sprinkling baking soda along the bottom of your dishwasher. This will clean out any scum or old food that may be stopping your dishwasher from running properly.

One of the many ways to use baking soda around the house is as a fridge deodorizer. But you could also be using vinegar while cleaning your fridge to really make things smell good in there. According to Reader's Digest, wiping down your fridge with white vinegar prevents mildew growth and will aid your baking soda in fighting off unpleasant smells.