3 Issues to Know Earlier than Mixing Baking Soda With White Vinegar.


Our readers often ask us the question whether this mixture is really effective.

If you have ever mixed these 2 natural products, then you know that it produces an effervescent reactionvisible to the naked eye.

Impressive, isn’t it? But above all, don’t panic! Because this chemical reaction is completely harmless.

The main interest of the vinegar-bicarbonate mixture is precisely this famous frothy reaction. Why ? Because it removes the dirt !

Indeed, the chemical reaction between vinegar and baking soda is known for its degreasing and cleaning power.

This multitude of small bubbles has mechanical properties on dirt.

But after this scrubbing, what remains?

Yes, once these little bubbles have disappeared, know that you are left with only… of the water salty.

I say « salt water » because in chemistry, salt is not just a kitchen product! In fact, it isacetate sodium.

This « salt » is moreover the very one that gives salt and vinegar crisps their particularly delicious taste.

This mixture also helps to dissolve limescale in hard water.

Scientifically speaking, the vinegar-bicarbonate mixture works.

Indeed, it suspends the limescale deposits of hard water.

But it’s really useful only if you have hard water…

And if you use it with another cleaning product.

The Simple Explanation

The 3 things to know before mixing baking soda and white vinegar.

In short, vinegar has an acid pH and baking soda has a basic pH.

Thus, the mixture of the two makes the solution… neutral.

But it is not because we obtain a neutral solution that the mixture is ineffective!

Why ? The explanation is simple: the baking soda + white vinegar mixture produces a chemical reaction.

This effervescent reaction has mechanical properties, which are very useful for:

scrubbing (for example, to deodorize, sanitize or unclog pipes)

descaling (e.g. for toilet descaling)

– and cleaning very greasy surfaces (for example to clean the inside of the dishwasher)

After this chemical reaction, the mixture essentially becomes salt water (sodium acetate).

Add baking soda to white vinegar neutralizes its cleaning power.

Conversely, adding white vinegar to a soda-based cleaner (i.e., baking soda or soda crystals) is helpful. only if your water is hard.

Thus, the baking soda/white vinegar mixture is practical for doing laundry.

Because he puts the lime particles in suspension.

And now, for the curious, we will go into the detail of the explanations. Here are 3 things to know before mixing baking soda and white vinegar :

1. Bicarbonate neutralizes the effectiveness of white vinegar

White vinegar is a cleanser at acidic pH which has the power to dissolve the particles of limestone.

But white vinegar doesn’t need baking soda to be effective!

Indeed, to put the limestone particles in suspension, white vinegar alone is more effective than the salt obtained with the bicarbonate-vinegar mixture.

This means that the baking soda lowers the acidity of the white vinegar, and therefore its effectiveness.

So, no need to add baking soda to your bottle of white vinegar to make it more effective!

On the contrary, it will neutralize its cleaning power… and you will therefore have to scrub harder!

So, if you want to clean with an acidic solution (like white vinegar), use it pure and without adding baking soda.

2. White vinegar increases the effectiveness of baking soda

Baking soda, soda crystals and other soda-based cleaners have a basic pH.

But unlike white vinegar, used alone, they do not have the power to dissolve limescale particles in hard water.

Thus, by adding a little white vinegar, you keep the cleaning power of soda as well as the suspending power of sodium acetate.

It’s all a question of proportion!

It’s logic. If the water in your home is hard (or hard), it is important that the lime particles are suspended during cleaning.

To remove limescale, you can therefore use the power of the vinegar-bicarbonate mixture.

Simply add the vinegar-bicarbonate mixture to a spray bottle.

You can also use it in your washing machine or dishwasher.

But if your water is not calcareous, adding white vinegar is of little interest!

Why ? Because the vinegar-bicarbonate mixture has no cleaning power. But beware, that does not mean that it is ineffective!

Indeed, its main advantage is that it prevents limescale from depositing again.

If your water is not too hard, know that rinsing with pure white vinegar after your cleaning is even more effective.

But in some homes, the water is so hard that a white vinegar rinse isn’t enough to remove limescale deposits.

For this scenario, adding white vinegar to the baking soda is necessary.

It allows particles to be suspended during cleaning.

And don’t forget that this mixture has a limited « duration »! Indeed, the vinegar-bicarbonate mixture loses its effectiveness over time.

3. A mixture that does not necessarily work in the washing machine

Normally, baking soda and white vinegar don’t belong together in your washing machine.

Indeed, washing with soda crystals will be much more powerful and effective.

However, the chemical reaction of the vinegar-bicarbonate mixture is similar.

As we have already mentioned, cleaners with a basic pH gain in effectiveness if a solution with an acidic pH is added.

However, detergent is precisely a cleaner with a strongly basic pH.

Thus, adding white vinegar to the washing machine helps to put the limescale particles in suspension during the wash.

To keep the particles in suspension from the wash water in your washing machine, you need about 500 ml of white vinegar for 10 ppm of calcium carbonate.

That is 10 mg/L, which corresponds to water hardness index

For example, at home, the water hardness index is 17.9 ppm.

In principle, this means that I have to add 1 liter of vinegar for each machine.

Even if it’s still a cheap product, that’s a lot of white vinegar!

For comparison, the exact same effect can be achieved with just 1 teaspoon of citric acid powder.

This is why I prefer to use citric acid in my machine. And yes, mine I pay for it €12.57 for a 1 kg box.

It’s up to you to see which of these two products is the most profitable.

Note : do not forget ! If you use white vinegar or citric acid in your washing machine, you must also adapt the quantity of soda crystals.

Otherwise, the mixture of the two pHs will be neutralized. And it will no longer have any cleaning effect on your dirty laundry. Admittedly, the mixture will put the limestone particles in suspension.

But it will be too neutral to loosen the dirt.

Here is the formula to adjust the amount of soda crystals:

250 ml of white vinegar (or 1/4 teaspoon of citric acid) in the detergent drawer = 1 additional teaspoon of soda crystals.

Does your machine allow you to add white vinegar during the rinse cycle? This avoids a mixture between the basic pH of soda and the acid pH of vinegar.

So no need to adjust the amount of soda crystals.


– Mixing white vinegar and baking soda produces a sparkling foam. It loosens dirt and is very useful in certain cases such as unclogging a pipe, for example.

– If you want to clean with white vinegar (which has an acidic pH), there is no need to add baking soda.

– If you want to clean with baking soda (which has a basic pH), rinsing with white vinegar helps remove limescale deposits.

– You want to clean with baking soda, soda crystals or another soda-based product (which have a basic pH). If you have super hard water, add white vinegar or citric acid (which also has an acidic pH) during the wash cycle. But remember to also increase the amount of soda crystals.

Bonus: the recipe for limescale cleaner

– 250 ml of white vinegar with 5% acidity (the percentage indicates the level of acetic acid and not the degree of alcohol)

– 1 tablespoon baking soda

– 250ml hot water

Put the white vinegar and baking soda in a spray bottle and let it foam.

Once the mixture stops foaming, you’ll see a layer of baking soda at the bottom of the container that hasn’t chemically reacted yet.

Add hot water to the spray and shake.

Spray this product on the surfaces to fight against limescale.

Remember that you can’t keep this mixture for very long, as it loses potency quickly.

Your turn…

And you, do you usually use the white vinegar and baking soda mixture? Let us know in the comments if it works for you. We can’t wait to read you!

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Also to discover:

White Vinegar + Bicarbonate: 10 Uses Of This Magical Blend.

Bicarbonate + White Vinegar: Dangerous Reaction Or Useful Mixture?

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