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These 7 Cleaning Products Can Ruin Your House if You Use Them Wrong

Beware: These cleaning products can ruin your house if you use them wrong!

When it comes to cleaning, as long as you’re doing it regularly, you’re all set, right? That’s far from the truth. Even if you’re cleaning everything in your house often enough, you might not be doing it correctly. Chances are, you have a cleaning routine in place—with a supply of your favorite cleaners.

But some of your go-tos might have an opposite result from what you seek to bring about. Sometimes using a cleaning product for a purpose that it wasn’t intended for has a visible and negative impact. In other cases, it takes longer to notice the damage, and because it occurs so slowly, you may not even connect the product to the issue.

We asked the experts to identify which cleaning products can ruin your house if you use them incorrectly and what you should do instead. Here’s what they had to say!

cleaning products can ruin your house
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1. Glass and window cleaner

The more of a product you use, the better the results will be, right? Not when it comes to glass and window cleaners. According to experts, these cleaning products can ruin your house if you’re going overboard with them. They point out that using too much glass and window cleaner can actually make your job harder.

Glass surfaces—mirrors included—can be one of the most gratifying items to clean. However, it can be annoying to chase streaks around. Sometimes, this may happen because the cloth or towel being used is dirty. But often, it’s due to spraying too much liquid cleaner. It’s easy to think “more product, more clean,” but for mirrors and glass, less is more.

The other good part? Your bottle of Windex will last even longer!

Experts also say that these cleaning products can ruin your house if you use them on other types of surfaces. Some people claim that glass cleaner is a universal cleaner or even a deodorizer. Wrong. Most of them contain ammonia, which can peel many surfaces, including paint.

Electronic screens can also be damaged if you clean them with glass cleaner.

2. Baking soda

When it comes to cleaning, baking soda is a wallet-friendly all-star. It’s no wonder that so many people choose to have it on hand. But this doesn’t mean that this kitchen staple is friendly to all fabrics.

While baking soda is a must-have in people’s cleaning toolkit as it’s effective in removing stains and also so cheap, it can wind up causing more harm than good if used incorrectly. As already mentioned, some cleaning products can ruin your house, and baking soda is one of them.

It has a higher pH level than a lemon—around 8.3 compared to a lemon’s 3. This makes it so powerful at removing stains, but it can also destroy wool, cashmere, and silk, which are fabrics frequently found in bedding, garments, and throws.

That’s why it’s best to test those materials to avoid the tears you’ll experience if you destroy expensive clothes or cushions. Even better, you should dilute baking soda with a lot of water.

3. Oven cleaner

It’s essential to clean your oven regularly, but it’s equally important to be extra cautious when using an oven cleaner. These cleaning products can ruin your house if used incorrectly.

Yes, they can turn filthy, gunked-up ovens into shining temples of gastronomy, but the chemicals that zap grease and food can also wreak havoc around the home.

Oven cleaners are among the most acidic cleaning products of any, and they are extremely corrosive. According to experts, avoiding the oven light and heating element is imperative, as it can cause irreversible damage to them. In fact, this unfortunate situation is the perfect example of how cleaning products can ruin your house.

Besides exercising care with certain parts of your oven, you should also be careful not to get any of this product on your skin, or you could risk getting a painful chemical burn.

drain cleaner
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4. Liquid drain cleaner

Drain cleaners can blast through hair, sludge, grease, and more. But it can also zap unintended targets. According to cleaning experts, liquid drain cleaners contain harsh chemicals that can dissolve solidified fat, food, and other organic materials.

Sharon Dylan, career coach and co-founder of Management Help in Austin, TX, told us a story of how cleaning products can ruin your house. It’s a real story that, unfortunately for Sharon, didn’t have a happy end.

When her kitchen sink got clogged due to oil and food being dumped in it, she bought a drain cleaner. She wanted to get rid of the clog fast, so she poured the entire bottle into the sink. Several hours later, she heard a crashing hound. It turned out that the pipes under the sink had cracked and shattered.

She looked at the instructions written on the bottle, and it said to first pour half of the content down the sink. In other words, she learned the hard way that cleaning products can ruin your house if you use too much.

Read on to find out how other cleaning products can ruin your house!

5. Laundry detergent

Laundry is a never-ending household project, but it has big rewards. After all, who wants to walk around in dirty clothes? This being said, you may wind up doing just that if you add too much laundry detergent into the washing machine compartment.

Everyone loves the smell of fresh clothes, so it’s tempting to go town on the detergent. While the intention is good, it’s actually counterproductive. Using more laundry detergent won’t make your clothes cleaner, nor will it help remove stains.

Excessive detergent builds up in the clothes and the interior of the washing machine. This reduces the effectiveness of wash cycles and causes odor over time.

An easy way to avoid this issue is to switch to detergent pods, since the correct amount is already measured for you. This will prevent you from accidentally shortening the life of your washer.

multi-purpose cleaner
Photo by jadimages from Shutterstock

6. All-purpose cleaners

Another example of how cleaning products can ruin your house is when you use all-purpose cleaners to clean every surface in your home. We’re all for efficiency, but turning to a single product for all of your cleaning needs can result in big problems.

While the bottle may read “all-purpose,” cleaning experts point out there’s no such thing. Some areas of your house need specific cleaning products, such as your appliances, wood furniture, and granite countertops.

Using an unsuitable chemical can permanently damage them, and it’s important to read the back of the bottle to see what surfaces the product is recommended for. Otherwise, you may wind up ruining expensive things like your stainless steel fridge.

7. Vinegar

Cleaning experts have mixed feelings about vinegar. That’s because most people don’t know how to put its cleaning properties into practice properly.

Vinegar is a good cleaning agent, especially when it comes to removing burnt-on grime and bad odors, but using it incorrectly can turn into another unfortunate situation where cleaning products can ruin your house.

This being said, be careful when using vineger to clean surfaces such as marble and granite. Because vinegar is a strong acid, it can leave permanent marks on natural stones. You shouldn’t mix it with bleach.

In fact, before combining vinegar with any cleaning agent, do a little research to ensure it’s safe for the surfaces you want to clean. For those who’ve got natural stone, cleaning experts recommend stepping away from vinegar and switching to a product specially formulated for this kind of surface, like these wipes that come with a microfiber cloth.

If you liked our article on how cleaning products can ruin your house, you may also want to read 8 Household Items NOT to Clean With Baking Soda.

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