11 Things You Shouldn’t Clean with Baking Soda

It seems like baking soda can get any job done, but it can actually cause damage when used to clean some surfaces.

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Baking soda in jar

It’s still a great cleaner

There are few things baking soda can’t do. It’s a great multipurpose cleaner and you can use it when you cook, to heal ailments, clean the house and even to make crafts for your kids. But there are some instances where baking soda causes more harm than good. While it can help you with most of your chores around the house, make sure avoid using it when cleaning these products. By the way, this is the difference between baking soda and baking powder.

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Wiping down glass
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You’re going to want to stick with Windex when cleaning glass surfaces in your house. “Baking soda is an abrasive cleaner, so there is a chance that it will scratch your glass or mirror,” says Marcos Franco, an employee of Mighty Clean Home. If you’re looking for an all-natural cleaning substance, he suggests using vinegar on your glass surfaces instead.

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Aluminum pots
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It’s OK to use baking soda to clean your aluminum pots and pans, but it’s just important to remember to rinse them right after. “Baking soda can cause aluminum to oxidize,” says Jack Prenter, founder of Chore Bliss. “Extensive contact will cause oxidization which will turn the surface brown.” Here’s the best way to clean a grimy baking sheet.

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Ceramic stove top

Ceramic stove top

Baking soda is great to use when cleaning cooktops but avoid using it if you have a smooth top made of ceramic glass. “It can easily scratch the cooktop and leaves a white film that is hard to remove,” says Franco. If you accidentally use baking soda, vinegar will remove the white film. Try these natural cleaners for cleaning your oven’s glass door.

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Cleaning supplies on marble countertop
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You should never use baking soda to clean any marble or quartz surfaces. Over time, baking soda will cause damage to the upper protective layer and eventually leave scratches on the marble or quartz. “Some websites recommend using baking soda on these surfaces, but stone manufacturers warn against it because they realize the potential damage that can be caused in the long run,” says Prenter.

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Detail of a wooden glued joint of a chairs leg.

Wood furniture

Baking soda can be too hard on some finishes or sealants on wood furniture. Cameron says that using it for cleaning can wear away the sealant, ruining the furniture. She suggests using a diluted dish soap mixture instead. Check out these cleaning secrets from the pros.

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Antique silver

Antique silver

“Although submerging your silverware in water and baking soda can quickly remove tarnish from it, the mixture is too abrasive and can cause it to lose its patina and tarnish more quickly afterward,” says Lily Cameron, cleaning supervisor at Fantastic Services. Instead, try one of these 13 tricks that really polish your silver.

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Keyboard and mouse
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Anything with deep grooves or cracks

Baking soda leaves behind a white, dusty residue after it dries. Therefore, you shouldn’t use it to clean surfaces with deep grooves or cracks because the residue will get left behind and can build up.

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Close up of arms

Your skin

Baking soda has a basic pH, while your skin is slightly acidic. Using baking soda on your skin on a regular basis will neutralize your skin’s natural acid levels, says Franco. It will leave your skin feeling dry and cracked. Try coconut oil to soften your skin instead.

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Combing hair

Your hair

Similar to your skin, using baking soda on a regular basis in your hair will strip it of its natural oils, leaving your hair feeling dry and brittle. You’ll want to steal this avocado hair mask recipe.

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Gold plated dish and utensils
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Gold plated dishes or utensils

Never clean your gold lined dishes or gold utensils with baking soda. Gold is an extremely soft metal and baking soda is an abrasive cleaner, says Franco. It will scratch ruin the finish and cause the plating to wear off.

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Wooden floors
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Wooden floors

Similar to wood furniture, baking soda can wear away at the sealant used on wood floors. It’s best to stick to cleaners made specifically for wood floors. Next, read about these things you shouldn’t clean with vinegar.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest