Damaging Household Cleaners You Should Never Clean With

Below is a list of items you should never use on specific household items, which they can damage if you do so, as well as alternative cleaners that will not damage the household items!



Do not use vinegar to clean hardwood floors, natural stone tile, or granite countertops

Using vinegar on hardwood floors, natural stone tiles, and granite countertops can damage the finish causing them to appear dull.

Hardwood, Natural Stone Tile, Granite Countertop

We recommend using a cleaner by Bona for your hardwood, natural stone tile, and countertops.

Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner

Bona’s Hardwood Floor Cleaners are specially formulated for effective cleaning. The residue-free formula protects your hardwood floor investment and is safe for your family, pets, and the environment. Click the picture to the left for more information about Bona hardwood cleaners!



Bona Natural Stone Tile CleanerBona’s Natural Stone Tile Cleaners are an easy, safe, and effective cleaner for sealed hard surface floors including: linoleum, stone, terrazzo, vinyl, sealed porous marble, laminate, and non-wax sealed tile (ceramic, Mexican Saltillo, quarry). Waterborne, non-toxic, and leaves no dulling residue. Click the picture to the left for more information about natural stone tiles cleaners by Bona.



Bona Countertop Cleaner

Bona’s Countertop Cleaner is specifically designed to address the most stubborn cleaning needs in a non-toxic, biodegradable and streak-free formula. Effective and safe for sealed countertops, your family and the environment. Click the picture to the left for more information about Bona’s countertop cleaner. 






Straw Broom

Do not use a straw broom to sweep tile

A household staple, this type of broom could be causing more damage than good. A straw broom should never be used when sweeping tile—the straw will cause tiny scratches

Tile Floor

We recommend using a vacuum or dustmop, like the Bona Floor Mop below.

Bona Tile Floor Mop for cleaning Tile

Combines Bona’s premium, no-residue cleaner with a durable, high quality microfiber mop for the ultimate cleaning tool. It is safe for stone, tile, and laminate floors and leaves no dulling residue. Click the image to the left for more information about Bona’s tile floor microfiber dust mop.








Do not use soaps or detergents on rugs or leather

Using soaps and detergents can be harsh and damage leather— it can also leave behind a residue.

Leather Sofa

We recommend using a a clean damp cloth to clean lightly soiled areas, and a cleaner specifically for leather, such as a natural leather cleaner that contains natural beeswax and not too many petroleum products or solvents.



Bleach & Steel Wool

Do not use bleach or steel wool to clean stainless steel

The chlorine in bleach is aggressive‑perfect for cleaning the bathroom but extremely damaging to stainless steel appliances and cookware. But beware—mixing bleach with other bathroom cleaners can create a toxic gas! Also, because of its strength, steel wool is great for getting off dried-on gunk and grime, but it’s equally as damaging when used on surfaces softer than it, like stainless steel appliances and cast iron cookware.

Stainless Steel Appliances and Pans

We recommend using water, and a mild detergent (dish soap) to clean stainless steel pans, and a glass cleaner (like Windex) to clean stainless steel appliances. If you have had staining or scratching, or need to polish your stainless steel, a stainless steel cleaner may be a good option. Some of these cleaners and polishes can help minimize scratching and remove stains. They also can polish surfaces nicely. Read the directions on the stainless steel cleaner and test in an inconspicuous spot.




Do not clean Upholstered Furniture with Amonia

A common go-to for its stain fighting power, ammonia can be quite damaging and should never be used to clean upholstery—it can leave upholstered furniture discolored.


Upholstered Furniture

We recommend that the first thing to do when any spill occurs is to blot (not scrub or rub) the spill up with a white cloth as quickly as possible to lessen the spread of the stain, and to keep it from setting in a larger area. If your upholstery starts to look dingy, or has developed lots of stains and spots, before you do anything else it is important to vacuum it. This will remove the dirt and dust which, when wet, can further dirty your couch if it is not removed first. Next, you need to know what types of upholstery cleaner should be used on your upholstery. This is dependent on two things: (1) the type of fabric the upholstery is made of; and (2) the type of spill or stain on the upholstery. If you don’t know what upholstery cleaner can be used on your upholstery the first step is to look at the tag, as the furniture industry has created a code for its care tags so you can quickly know how to clean upholstery when a spill occurs. Below are the common care codes found on upholstered furniture, and what they mean in regards to how to clean them.

  • W: Clean the upholstery fabric with a water based detergent.
  • S: Clean the upholstery fabric with a water free product, such as dry cleaning solvent.
  • WS: You may clean the upholstery fabric with either a water based cleaner or a water free cleaner, depending on the type of stain. (This is the best type of upholstered furniture to purchase if you plan to remove your own stains.)
  • X: This upholstery fabric must be professionally cleaned. You should only vacuum and brush it — never use any type of upholstery cleaner on it yourself. (Unless you are extraordinarily rich, you really want to steer clear of buying furniture with this on the tag in the future.)