A chemist explains why you shouldn't clean your oven with baking soda and vinegar

Bylim Olena

A chemist explains why you shouldn't clean your oven with baking soda and vinegar
Cleaning the oven

Baking soda and vinegar are considered effective cleaning agents. These eco-friendly ingredients can descale, degrease and disinfect surfaces.

However, in some cases, their use can be harmful. Chemist Rafael Homont, who specialises in molecular cuisine, says that these ingredients have antagonistic properties and cancel each other out when used simultaneously.

He explained that vinegar has a pH of 4, while sodium bicarbonate has a pH of 8. Thus, by mixing baking soda and vinegar, we get a natural product whose pH is neutral (pH 6.6).

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According to the expert, the closer the pH approaches the unit of 7, the more ineffective the mixture becomes.

He advises avoiding using this mixture for cleaning, as it "would be wasted products".

Rafael Homont says it is much wiser to use a corrosive product such as concentrated soda or very concentrated pure acid: "When you mix vinegar and baking soda, you get 'water that would be completely ineffective for cleaning surfaces'."

He also said that when you mix baking soda and vinegar, a chemical reaction occurs and a kind of foam is formed. Some people use the resulting liquid to clean the oven. According to Raphael Homont, this solution can remove dirt from certain surfaces. However, it will be less effective.

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"The resulting foam can help clean the toilet bowl, remove limescale, or disinfect contaminated surfaces. In summary, the combination of vinegar and baking soda can help loosen dirt and treat certain surfaces, but it is not the powerful cleaning agent we are looking for," he said.

The expert added that for optimal effectiveness, it is better to use each ingredient separately to take full advantage of its properties.

As a reminder, we have already written how to clean a stove without chemicals.

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