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Cleaning Property of Baking Soda+ Vinegar

  1. May 1, 2012 #1


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    Science Advisor

    Hi, All: I'm a chemistry ignorant. Please bear a bit.

    Just curious as to the chemical explanation for why the mixture of bakind soda and
    (kitchen/cooking) vinegar is an effective disinfectant.

    Is this a neutralization reaction, with vinegar as the acid and bakind soda as the base?

    If so, why/how does is reaction conducive to killing bacteria; is it just the change in PH that kills bacteria? If not, what is going on?

  2. jcsd
  3. May 1, 2012 #2
    Hi. Yeah, vinegar and baking soda neutralize to produce water, carbon dioxide and sodium acetate. None of these products seem to have any antimicrobial properties, so just baking soda or vinegar by themselves act as the disinfectant. Most common microbes can only survive in a narrow pH range.
  4. May 2, 2012 #3


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    Thanks, qalomel. Maybe this is too broad of an issue, maybe better for some other forum, but, isn't it , in an evolutionary sense, a bad idea for organisms (including homo sapiens) to be able to function in just such a limited PH (and temperature) range?
  5. May 3, 2012 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    It depends on the stability of the environment. And judging from the fact life thrives on Earth, no, it is not a bad idea. Note that existence of every additional mechanism built into the cell is costly, so if the conditions are stable it becomes a hindrance.
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