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11 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, lemon with sponge and objects for effective and safe house cleaningJPC-PROD/Shutterstock

It’s Still a Great Cleaner

Baking soda is a great multi-purpose cleaner with all kinds of clever uses. It can be handy when you cook, to heal ailments, even to make crafts for your kids. But there are a few instances where baking soda causes more harm than good. While it can help with most of your chores around the house, make sure avoid using it when cleaning these products.

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Hand of young man cleaning window in office


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, who works for Mighty Clean Home. If you’re looking for an all-natural cleaning substance, he suggests using vinegar on your glass surfaces instead. Try these cleaning tips to make your whole home shine.

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Metal saucepan on electric stove in kitchen


It’s OK to use baking soda to clean your aluminum pots and pans, but it’s just as 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.” Be aware of these cleaning myths you need to stop believing.

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Boiling water at pan on Induction stove top panel, closeup

Ceramic Stove Top

Baking soda is great to use when cleaning cooktops, but not 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. You also don’t need baking soda to clean your oven. Here is the easiest way to clean your oven without harsh chemicals.

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Flat lay composition with cleaning supplies for dish washing and space for text on marble backgroundNew Africa/Shutterstock


You should never use baking soda to clean marble or quartz surfaces. Over time, baking soda will damage 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. If what you’re cleaning isn’t on this list, here are the best baking soda and vinegar cleaning solutions.

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Detail of a wooden glued joint of a chairs leg. Material used for the stool is cherry wood untreated with a sanded finish

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, likely one of the secrets of people who always have a clean kitchen.

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ancient flatwares

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. Cameron suggests bringing your antique silver to a professional for cleaning instead. Here are 8 surprising ways to clean with ketchup that you can use instead.

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Keyboard mouse from computer on white wooden background isolation

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 stay there and can build up. Most things that fall into this category can be put firmly on the list of things you should be cleaning with a microfiber cloth.

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Your Skin

Baking soda has a basic pH, while your skin is slightly acidic. Using baking soda on your skin regularly will neutralize your skin’s natural acid levels and leave it feeling dry and cracked, Franco says. Just be sure you also note all the things you should never clean with vinegar.

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Man makes a haircut

Your Hair

Similar to your skin, using baking soda on a regular basis in your hair will strip it of its natural oils, leaving it feeling dry and brittle. You’ll want to steal these genius cleaning hacks from professional house cleaners.

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Empty white plate, fork and spoon on tablepanchanok 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 the finish and cause the plating to wear off.

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perspective texture wood

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 should never clean with Windex.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest