Bleach and vinegar are used as cleaning agents in the home. Both of these solutions can get rid of dirt, stains, mold, and bad odors. But which one is better?
Bleach is the stronger solution. Made out of chlorine, bleach is thoroughly effective at getting rid of a range of bacteria.
However, bleach may cause unwanted side effects on one’s health. Some studies report that cancer, developmental problems, and disruptions in a person’s hormones and the immune system may arise from exposure to dioxin, a toxic substance found in bleach. Additionally, bleach emits strong fumes that may lead to headaches and allergies.
Using too much bleach can also damage material such as cloth and wood. The process of producing bleach in itself is damaging to the environment.
A staple in every kitchen, vinegar is made up of 5% acetic acid. Like bleach, it can kill common household germs, especially if you mix it with hydrogen peroxide or table salt. And, unlike bleach, vinegar has no harmful ingredients or side effects. It is, after all, a condiment that people have mixed with their food since 1200 BC.
However, not much has been studied about how thorough it is as a germ-killer. To date, there’s no conclusive study that details whether vinegar can completely eradicate bacteria, especially the stronger strains among them.
Vinegar appears to be the better choice because of its milder composition and greater range of applicability, making it the safe option for households with children and pets. Stick to vinegar for common household tasks, such as disinfecting surfaces or getting rid of mold. Use bleach only sparingly, and only in cases that require a stronger antibacterial or cleaning solution.