We’ve all heard that baking soda is a miracle when it comes to cleaning the house. This is because baking soda is abrasive and can break down dirt and grime molecules easily.
But baking soda can’t be used in everything. Its properties mean that it can actually damage certain items! Here are 8 items you should never clean with baking soda.
1. Marble surfaces
You may have heard from many people, including so-called cleaning experts, that marble should be cleaned with baking soda. Whatever you do, don’t believe it! Most stone makers would strongly recommend against doing such a thing.
Although the abrasion caused by baking soda is very slight, using baking soda as a regular cleaning product will slowly damage the top layers that seal and protect the stone. Over time, this will result in scratches on any marble or quartz surface.
Instead of using baking soda, consider the following tips for cleaning marble surfaces:
Marble is very porous and requires regular maintenance if you want to avoid scratches and stains. Every few months, use a sealer to reseal the marble, making it more resistant to stains. Also, try to keep acidic liquids off the surface.
Just use warm soapy water to clean up dirt and spills. Clean the upper part, rinse with clean water and then dry thoroughly. You can also use a specific cleaning product for marble.
Cleans up spills and stains quickly
Liquid cleaners with acetone, household detergents, or mineral spirits work wonders for removing stains if they have just begun to set.
Buff scratches gently
You can try removing scratches at the surface level with dry # 0000 steel wool. However, deeper engravings will require professional attention.
2. Wooden furniture and floors
Wood surfaces use sealers to stay strong and pristine, and using baking soda will eventually cause the sealer to wear away, just like marble. However, for wood, that sealant is necessary to avoid major and obvious damage, so the abrasiveness of baking soda is even worse.
To clean wooden furniture, you must:
- Dust regularly with a soft, dry cloth or a feather duster of some kind
- Avoid using all-purpose cleaners as much as possible unless the wood has a plastic coating
- Use cleaning products that contain silicone oil, which will add harsh protection to the surface
- Mild soap, water, and a clean cloth can be used to remove sticky stains or stains on wooden furniture.
- Clean up mold with a vacuum cleaner, followed by mild soap, water, and a clean cloth.
- Older wood furniture can be cleaned with # 0000 steel wool and should be treated with a wax conditioner or orange oil
To clean hardwood floors, specifically hardwood floors, you must:
- Clean regularly with a broom or microfiber mop, or use a vacuum with a floor brush attachment
- Mop rarely with a properly diluted wood floor cleaner and wood floor mop; use only wet mopping methods
- You can try mixing a half cup of vinegar in a gallon of water for a natural homemade wood cleaner, but be sure to do a spot test first, as a little vinegar can cause discoloration.
- Remove stains with # 0000 floor polish and steel wool
Glass is brittle and scratches easily, so it goes without saying that the abrasiveness of baking soda is detrimental to it. You are better off with:
- Commercial window cleaner
- Soap and water
- White vinegar and water, mixed in a ratio of 1: 4 respectively.
Of course, different types of glass may require different types of care. In general, the usual standard cleaning methods are sufficient, but you may want to consider the following tips anyway:
Use glass cleaner or soap and water, gently scrub or scrape stubborn parts with a razor blade, remove soap and water, and dry with a microfiber cloth.
Use an ammonia-free glass cleaner and wipe very gently, then dry with a microfiber cloth.
· Tempered glass
Use a glass cleaner and wipe it very gently, then dry with a microfiber cloth.
Remove stains from products with isopropyl alcohol and a cotton ball, spray with glass cleaner and dry with a microfiber cloth.
4. Items with grooves and cracks
When baking soda dries, it leaves a residue that can get lost in cracks and crevices. It’s quite tempting, especially since baking soda has positive effect as a disinfectant and can easily ensure that these slotted items are free from threatening bacteria and pathogens.
Unfortunately, the powdery, whitish leftovers from the baking soda aren’t worth it. A mini vacuum would work well to get into crevices, or you can simply use a microfiber cloth to collect dust and dirt.
Metal surfaces are usually a free set for baking soda scrubs, but aluminum cookware should be treated with caution. Technically, you can use the material for a quick cleanup, but you need to rinse it thoroughly right away. If you don’t, it will rust, turning the aluminum to a brown color.
Instead of taking a chance on nothing but positive thoughts, try cleaning your aluminum cookware in the following ways:
· Do you want to do a regular cleaning?
Use a specialized commercial cleaner for this type of cookware. It’s simple, easy, and to the point.
· Do you want to give back some shine?
Mix equal parts vinegar and water, then use a soft cloth to wipe this mixture on kitchen utensils. Buff until shiny, then rinse and let dry.
· Do you want to remove stains?
Fill your cookware with water, sprinkle in apple peels, and then bring to a boil. Once it boils, bring it down to a simmer and let it steep for half an hour. Then pour in the water, let it dry and cool, and clean it with soap and water.
· Want to get rid of discoloration?
Fill your cookware with water. For every liter, add half a cup of vinegar or lemon juice and two tablespoons of cream of tartar, then bring to a boil. Let it boil for 10 minutes. Then pour in the water, let it cool and wash it with hot soapy water.
· Want to get rid of stubborn stains?
Rub a little with a steel wool sponge.
6. Hair and skin
Both hair and skin need natural oils and a well balanced pH. Baking soda neutralizes the natural and necessary acidity in these parts of your body while removing moisture and oil. You’ll end up with dry, chapped skin and dry, brittle hair!
Does this mean that you cannot use baking soda anywhere on your body for hygiene purposes? Not necessarily. With baking soda, you can:
Use it as a deodorant
Sweat doesn’t take on an odor until bacteria begin to break it down, which is what leads to the sour smell. Baking soda applied to the armpits can reduce heartburn, resulting in less odor, according to some research.
Use as a mouthwash
Baking soda has positive effects on breath and kills microbes and bacteria. To use this, simply mix half a teaspoon of the substance in a glass of water.
Use it to whiten teeth
Toothpaste that contains baking soda generally works better when it comes to whitening teeth than toothpaste that does not, according to studies. The mild abrasiveness of baking soda can remove stains from your teeth.
7. Antique silverware
You’ve probably heard over and over again that baking soda should be used to clean silverware. There is some truth to this; Baking soda is great for quickly removing tarnish. Again, though, you’ll want to be careful not to shoot forward with simple positive thinking.
While most regular silverware can be cleaned with baking soda, vintage silverware is not the same. The abrasion of the baking soda can affect the finish, especially if they are not pure sterling silver. Baking soda can also damage decorative silverware inserts. Here are some tips to clean them safely:
· Do you want to store to avoid tarnishing?
Store your cutlery in a cool, dry place.
· Do you want to do a regular wash?
Use mild dish soap and warm water to wash silver gently and quickly. Rinse then use a soft cloth to dry.
· Do you want to polish?
Use tomato sauce to add shine. Do a spot test first.
· Want to get rid of water stains?
Use concentrated lemon juice and a clean microfiber cloth and buff with it. Do a spot test first.
· Do you want to recover some shine?
Dilute some toothpaste in water and use a soft cloth to polish your silverware. Rinse after. Do a spot test first.
· Do you want to ensure absolutely no damage to your old cutlery?
Talk to a professional. They are better equipped to ensure that your silver receives the best care.
8. Gold plated tableware and cutlery
Gold-plated serving items and pieces are rarely truly 24k gold plated, but if they are, you will need to be very careful with them. True gold will corrode and scratch easily when exposed to baking soda due to how smooth it is, and the coating will come off as well. Instead, it explains how to clean these items:
Begin by soaking the gold-plated serving pieces in a mixture of ammonia, water, and soap for 20 minutes. Dry completely. Then use turpentine or rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball to clean up dirt and grime. Finally, clean with a dry chamois cloth.
Remove tarnish with ethanol
The ethanol helps to restore the shine to the gold bath and at the same time removes tarnish. A damp soft sponge and ethanol are sufficient and can also be used preventively.
Remove tarnish with egg whites
Mix a tablespoon of bleach into egg whites, soak a cotton ball in the mixture, and use to gently clean. Make sure to wear gloves.
Remove tarnish with beer
Soak your golden plates and silverware in dark beer for a minimum of thirty minutes. Use plain water to rinse them afterward, then dry thoroughly with a chamois cloth.
Baking soda works wonders in most situations, but not in these 8 items. When in doubt, always seek proper care for certain materials and products before using anything that is not specifically made for them.