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Baking soda should ‘never’ be used to clean common areas – kitchen staples to use instead

Cleaning supervisor Petya Holevich from Fantastic Services understands that baking soda “is one of the most popular and often-used cleaning hacks that make domestic cleaning a lot easier”.

However, “there are things you should avoid cleaning with it because it can cause more damage than good”.

Petya explained there are certain surfaces that she would “highly recommend to never clean with baking soda”.

Examples include marble and granite surfaces, waxed furniture, glass items, aluminium and copper items, as well as hardwood flooring.

Petya elaborated: “Baking soda will cause damage to the upper protective layer of any marble and granite items over time and eventually leave scratches on them.

“These natural stone surfaces are expensive and that’s why it’s best to be careful when cleaning them.”

As for waxed furniture, baking soda can be too harsh as it wears away sealants, which is exactly why the kitchen staple is not recommended for hardwood floors.

“Glass items and surfaces. Baking soda is an abrasive cleaner and there’s a risk that it will scratch any glass surface or an item, such as a window or a mirror,” Petya added.

And while you may have heard of using baking soda to clean gold or silver, Petya recommended against it.

She explained: “It’s a common cleaning method to submerge gold or silverware in water and baking soda to remove the tarnish from them, but the mixture’s abrasive nature can cause such items to lose their patina and tarnish even quicker.”

Baking soda can also harm aluminium and copper surfaces as it can make them turn brown.

“Having said that, it’s generally safe to clean pots and pans from these materials with baking soda, but it’ll be very important to rinse them thoroughly right afterwards,” Petya added.

Instead of baking soda, Petya said: “There are many kitchen staple ingredients that can perform just as effective a cleaning job as baking soda but will be much safer to use.”

These kitchen staple ingredients include white vinegar, lemons and lemon juice, toothpaste, cornstarch and vanilla extract.

While white vinegar and lemons have acidic properties, making them great for removing stains and deodorising, they shouldn’t be used on marble, granite and wood.

Toothpaste, however, is a great scrub for “whitening and removing stains”, and cornstarch can absorb liquids.

“One cooking ingredient that also has cleaning properties but many people don’t know about is vanilla extract,” said Petya.

“Even though it’s not as versatile as baking soda, it does an excellent job at deodorising.”


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