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10+ Things You Should Never 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 is still a great cleaner

Baking soda is a great multipurpose cleaner and a key ingredient in a number of home remedies, to boot. 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 to avoid using it when cleaning these products.

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You’re going to want to stick with an ammonia-based cleaner like Windex when cleaning glass surfaces in your house. (Find out more uses for ammonia around the 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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Metal saucepan on electric stove in kitchenPhoto: Africa Studio/Shutterstock


It’s okay 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.”

Find out the genius trick that will make your pots and pans look brand new.

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Ceramic stove top

Baking soda is great to use when cleaning most 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 may help remove the white film.

Find out how dishwasher tablets can help clean your oven.

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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.

Here’s how to clean absolutely everything in your kitchen, according to Charles the Butler of CTV’s The Marilyn Denis Show.

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Antique wood tablePhoto: Alaettin YILDIRIM /

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.

Try these tricks to remove water stains from wood.

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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. Here are 13 silver cleaning tricks you can use instead.

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F keys on keyboardPhoto: StepanPopov /

Anything with deep grooves or cracks

Baking soda leaves behind a white, dusty residue after it dries. Therefore, you should never use it to clean surfaces with deep grooves or cracks because the residue will get left behind and can build up.

Find out how to save your laptop after a spill.

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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.

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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.

Check out six healthy hair secrets you’ll wish you’d known sooner.

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Empty white plate, fork and spoon on tablePhoto: panchanok premsrirut/Shutterstock

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.

Find out what professional cleaners do every day to keep their own homes spotless.

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Wood flooring - woman reading bookPhoto: Gorodenkoff /

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, find out the things you should be cleaning with baking soda!

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest