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Home Uncategorised Are vintage cleaning remedies a good idea?

There’s something very wholesome and comforting about advice handed down, generation to generation. And what’s not to love about using a fresh, zingy lemon to clean a surface, or a slug of white vinegar. Surely, it’s got to be better than a harsh, shop-bought detergent full of toxins?

The problem is that when it comes to natural surfaces, neither is a good idea. And whilst the vintage cleaning hacks are better for us, they’ll wreak havoc on materials like stone and marble.

Vinegar is renowned for its degreasing properties, so it’s often mistakenly used as a universal solution. It’s actually very acidic and on acid-sensitive surfaces, like limestone and marble, it will erode the surface and any sealant that’s been applied to protect it. It will also dull a polished finish. To avoid this happening, always use a pH-neutral cleaner, which will clean and care for the surface.

Just like vinegar, lemon is also very acidic in nature and will cause the same type of damage. Once again, reach for a neutral detergent instead, to avoid a ruined surface and costly repair job.

Surprisingly, some eco products can also cause damage to natural surfaces. It’s always worth reading the small print on bottles. For example, sometimes trusted brands ‘improve’ their cleaners to boost limescale and soap scrum removal. As a result, they may no longer be suitable for acid sensitive materials. These products do offer great eco-benefits but universal products won’t necessarily be suitable for a natural surface, even if they’re eco-friendly.

Another common misconception is that an extra dose of the right product will do an even better job. But this can actually create problems. For example, using a lower dilution may mean that a surface needs to be rinsed; if it isn’t, the residue may form a film on the surface, which could make future cleaning more difficult.

It’s always best to stick to the recommended doses, and to use recommended pH-neutral products on natural surfaces. And, when it comes to cleaning stone floors and marble counter tops, the vinegar and lemons really are best kept for chips and G&T’s.

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