Baking soda is a great non-toxic, natural household cleaner for cleaning a variety of items, from toilet bowls to teeth. This handy substance can dissolve away grease and grime and act as a mild abrasive to scrub surfaces clean. While the ever-versatile baking soda is helpful for cleaning many household items, it can be damaging to some objects and surfaces. Be aware of which surfaces are better cleaned with items other than baking soda. In addition, know which items require cleaning with professional products and which items can be safely cleaned with homemade cleaners.
9. Aluminum Pots and Pans
Baking soda can be useful for scrubbing food residue from kitchen pots and pans. However, baking soda can react with the metal in aluminum pans, causing an oxidation process that discolors the metal. Avoid scrubbing your aluminum pans with abrasives that can damage the finish. Soak dirty pots or pans with warm water to loosen food before cleaning. American Kitchen Cookware recommends cleaning their cast aluminum cookware in warm, soapy water with a plastic scrubber to avoid scratching the surfaces. This company also advise treating spots or stains with vinegar or lemon juice before giving the pan a good rinse and drying with a towel.
8. Antique Silver
There are many online tips promoting the use of baking soda for removing tarnish from silver. However, baking soda can be abrasive to these heirlooms and corrode the metal, damaging the finish. Jeffrey Herman of Jeffrey Herman Silver Restoration and Conservation offers great information on how to properly care for your silver. After all, the goal is to keep your silver pieces beautiful for many years to come. He recommends avoiding quick fixes like toothpaste, chemical dips, baking soda or tin foil. These methods can destroy the finish on your silver or cause etching in the metal. Instead, use a high-quality professional silver polish to preserve your pieces.