Commonly Misused Cleaning Products

Commonly Misused Cleaning Products

Cleaning products play an important role in our everyday lives at home and in the workplace. By safely removing germs, grease, and other contaminants they help you stay healthy. Chemicals in cleaning products make it easy to clean different kinds of things in your home and office.

Different types of cleaning products are used to clean various surfaces. Cleaning starts with choosing the right cleaning product for the surface (floors, countertops) you wish to clean.

One of the important things to remember is that not all cleaning products are ideal for cleaning for all kinds of surfaces. If a wrong product is used to clean a surface, it can cause permanent damage and this can be expensive to fix.


Vinegar is a natural choice for cleaning many things. It is acidic and this helps it to cut through and clean tough grime, grease and mineral deposits.

The natural acidity of vinegar can damage some surfaces. Porous surfaces like grout, stone, and wood are susceptible to damage when you use cleaning products like vinegar. Before you start cleaning you should know which surfaces to avoid.

  • Natural Stones

    Avoid cleaning natural stones like marble, granite, and soapstone with vinegar. This is because acids don’t mix with natural stones. It results in pitting and the natural stones lose their shine.

  • Solid Wood Furniture

    Undiluted vinegar can leave watermarks on furniture. The acid can also affect certain types of finishes.

  • Kitchen Knives

    Avoid acids if you want your kitchen knives looking new.

Glass Cleaner

Glass cleaners are often a good choice to use to maintain the glossy finish of countertops. They help in removing fingerprints and ensure a shiny surface.

  • Granite

    Regular use of glass cleaners can dull the finish of the granite. They can dull the surface in uneven and patchy ways and these areas will become noticeable in the future.


Bleach is a great disinfectant and is often used to clean stone surfaces.

  • Granite

    Bleach can dull the finish of the granite and even change its color. Avoid bleach and any products that contain it when cleaning the expensive granite floors and countertops.



The pine-sol is an all-purpose cleaner. The concentrated cleaner is good on floors but can damage marble floors. It can damage finishes and is not for all surfaces. Avoid cleaning brass with pine-sol.

Corrosive Cleaning Products

The corrosive cleaning products contain bases or acids. The common bases include ammonium hydroxide, sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) and potassium hydroxide (caustic potash).

The common acids include acetic acid, chromic acid, hydrochloric acid, hydrofluoric acid, nitric acid, and sulfuric acid. Cleaning products made from corrosives can damage metals.

  • Baking Soda – Use of baking soda on aluminum will spoil the metal.
  • Harsh Chemicals – If harsh chemicals are used to clean copper, it can tarnish quickly.

Why Avoid Certain Cleaning Products?

Different cleaning products are used to clean floors, furniture and other items in the house. We are not aware of the damage we are doing to the marble and granite floors and countertops with these cleaning products, as we don’t always notice the damage.

You will be surprised to know that even a single application of the acidic or alkaline cleaning substance can do irreparable damage to the granite and marble surfaces. This is because alkaline and acid damage the weaker particles of the stone up to the top surface. This is known as etching. When the weaker particles of the stone get damaged, the spot becomes dull and loses its glossy shine.

It is advisable to gain awareness about the properties of each cleaning product and their effect on certain surfaces. When you use the right cleaners for different types of surfaces, you will be able to ensure the finish and shine of the floors and countertops for a long time.

When buying cleaning products always read the labels. All cleaners come with disclaimers and warnings. Read the labels to know what you are buying and whether they can damage the household items you intend to clean.