What is the Effect of Boiling Vinegar on its pH and Cleaning Properties?

  • Thread starter Barfolumu
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In summary, While boiling vinegar in a saucepan with something to catch the vapor may increase the pH, it's not necessary. Vinegar is also a good all-purpose cleaner.
  • #1
Barfolumu
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This was just a curiosity thing, but...

I assumed "5% acidity" to mean 5 percent of the soln was acetic acid, by volume (though, doing the calculations for "By mass", I got roughly the same pH). Also, I couldn't find the density of acetic acid in my textbook, so I assumed it was close enough for my calcs to water to use water's density. The pH I figured was ~ 2. Anyone know if this is correct?

Also, I'm using vinegar to clean my apartment before I leave... and some of my oven stains aren't coming off using it right out of the bottle. I saw that the boiling point for acetic acid was about 20 degrees C higher than water, so I'm wondering if boiling vinegar in a sauce pan w/o something to catch the vapor will increase the pH enough to make it a stronger cleaning agent. Anyone else ever try this?
 
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  • #2
Regardles of wether it is w/w or v/v density is around 1.006, so assumption that it is that of water is OK. Calculated pH should be around 2.42.
 
  • #3
Barfolumu said:
This was just a curiosity thing, but...

I assumed "5% acidity" to mean 5 percent of the soln was acetic acid, by volume (though, doing the calculations for "By mass", I got roughly the same pH). Also, I couldn't find the density of acetic acid in my textbook, so I assumed it was close enough for my calcs to water to use water's density. The pH I figured was ~ 2. Anyone know if this is correct?

Also, I'm using vinegar to clean my apartment before I leave... and some of my oven stains aren't coming off using it right out of the bottle. I saw that the boiling point for acetic acid was about 20 degrees C higher than water, so I'm wondering if boiling vinegar in a sauce pan w/o something to catch the vapor will increase the pH enough to make it a stronger cleaning agent. Anyone else ever try this?

How about bleach - would that corrode the oven surface? Why aren't you using store brand oven cleaners?
 
  • #4
GCT said:
How about bleach - would that corrode the oven surface? Why aren't you using store brand oven cleaners?

Price :D. Plus, all you have to do to vinegar is dilute it, and it's environmentally friendly.

EDIT: Price meaning, my 3 liters of vinegar cost about 3 bucks, and it's really good as an all-purpose cleaning solvent -- so you don't have to buy a lot of different kinds of cleaners. It works for mopping, kitchen counters, grease, and bathroom cleaning. With a little dish-soap, and maybe some window cleaner (haven't tried it for windows), you're pretty much covered.
 
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  • #5
Barfolumu said:
Price :D. Plus, all you have to do to vinegar is dilute it, and it's environmentally friendly.
You won't ever say that again if you hang around a boiling pot of vinegar! Can you imagine what your apartment will smell like after you wipe every surface whithin with this vile-smelling stuff?

I've found that dishwasher detergent (solid or goopy gel) makes a good oven cleaner. Got any of that around?
 
  • #6
chemisttree said:
You won't ever say that again if you hang around a boiling pot of vinegar! Can you imagine what your apartment will smell like after you wipe every surface whithin with this vile-smelling stuff?

It wasn't bad right out of the bottle -- just opened the windows, and it blew out. I've never tried to concentrate the stuff... which is why I thought I'd post here and see some kind of response first.

I've found that dishwasher detergent (solid or goopy gel) makes a good oven cleaner. Got any of that around?

I do my dishes by hand, so just have standard dish soap :-/. Thanks for the suggestion, though.
 
  • #7
chemisttree said:
You won't ever say that again if you hang around a boiling pot of vinegar! Can you imagine what your apartment will smell like after you wipe every surface whithin with this vile-smelling stuff?

Good lord, I hear that. My Staedtler highlighters smell like acetic acid. I'm about this close to throwing them out and getting new ones. Makes me lose motivation to study when I get a whiff of these.


I wonder if throwing some baking soda on the vinegar would neutralize the smell. But I suppose that'd cause some bubbling on your countertops.
 

Related to What is the Effect of Boiling Vinegar on its pH and Cleaning Properties?

1. What is the normal pH level of store bought vinegar?

The normal pH level of store bought vinegar is typically between 2.4 and 3.4. This means that it is an acidic solution.

2. Can the pH level of store bought vinegar vary between brands?

Yes, the pH level of store bought vinegar can vary between brands. Factors such as type of vinegar (apple cider, white, balsamic, etc.), production methods, and added ingredients can affect the pH level.

3. What causes the low pH level in store bought vinegar?

The low pH level in store bought vinegar is due to the presence of acetic acid, which is produced during the fermentation process of converting sugars into vinegar. Acetic acid is a weak acid that gives vinegar its sour taste and low pH level.

4. Is store bought vinegar safe to consume with its low pH level?

Yes, store bought vinegar is safe to consume with its low pH level. In fact, many acidic foods and beverages have low pH levels. However, consuming excessive amounts of vinegar can lead to dental erosion, so it is important to consume it in moderation.

5. How can I test the pH level of store bought vinegar at home?

You can test the pH level of store bought vinegar at home using pH strips or a digital pH meter. Simply dip the pH strip into the vinegar or use the meter to measure the pH level. Keep in mind that the accuracy of these methods may vary.

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