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Subject: White vinegar

White vinegar

From: Phil Geis <>
Date: Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Barbara Appelbaum <aandh [at] pop__mindspring__com> writes

>In the context of advising museums on going green(er):  The classic
>non-toxic, sustainable, no-residue, household-type cleaning material
>is white vinegar in water.  But the idea of using it in a museum
>environment seems like a bad one.  Has anyone thought this one
>through--how much acidity would really be involved?  What are
>conservators recommending as a cleaning solution?  It often seems
>easier to tell people what not to use than to recommend something!

Very good question and comment.

Household-type cleaning proposal of vinegar is a green panacea is
more hype than fact.  Rarely if ever are such proposals accompanied
by data showing adequate efficacy in context or, as suggested here,
compatibility with materials being treated. In fact, the "green"
status is typically accepted at face value without any thinking as
to life-cycle analysis of the material, its supply, use and
packaging etc.

Acidity--during cleaning, remnant on the
materials/surfaces/implements exposed as well as fugitive of
volatile acetic acid condenses should be consider.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 21:23
                Distributed: Sunday, September 23, 2007
                       Message Id: cdl-21-23-003
Received on Tuesday, 11 September, 2007

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