Baking soda is one of those things that most of us usually always have in the house. Whether it’s keeping our refrigerator fresh or tucked away in the pantry for baking season, it’s something that most people own for one reason or another. Plus, it lasts awhile, so it just always seems to be around.

However, though multipurpose, one of the most common uses for baking soda is cleaning. When mixed with vinegar, baking soda works wonders to clean your dirty oven or even unclog a drain.

Baking soda is an abrasive substance, so it’s a powerhouse when removing particles and stains from tons of different surfaces.

That said, you shouldn’t throw this mixture onto anything. Because of its abrasiveness, certain items should stay far, far away from baking soda, unless you want to ruin the item completely. It can also leave streaky marks on some surfaces as well.

To avoid any cleaning mishaps, stop using baking soda on these 4 things:

  1. Aluminum pots and pans

    You know that fancy All Clad cookware you use to make everything from spaghetti to fish? We don’t recommend using baking soda to clean these. While baking soda is safe for most metal surfaces, when we clean pots and pans, we usually let it sit and soak for a bit to get all the residue off. This is a huge no-no when it comes to baking soda and aluminum, as it could oxidize and cause the color to change. Just stick with soap and water for these to be safe!

  2. Gold-accented pieces

    While you probably don’t have a gold statue hanging around, we’re more so talking about serving pieces with gold accents in them. You know, the china you got from your wedding or the set of gold silverware your mom handed down to you. You definitely want to use a more gentle soap on these to get them clean. Otherwise, the gold can flake off or become tarnished.

  3. Tarnished silverware

    While baking soda will certainly work on cleaning up tarnished silverware, experts advise against it as it could ruin the finish, especially when it comes to antique silver. The same goes for any decorative insets like turquoise or pearls—the last thing you want to do is ruin a piece that’s so old and meaningful you can never get back. If something like this needs to be cleaned, take it to a professional who works with stuff like this.

  4. Marble countertops

    Using baking soda with vinegar can cause the marble to corrode. Try using a gentle, light soap and water to scrub the countertops clean. “There’s nothing on a countertop that you can’t get off with soap and water,” says Stephanie Laney, the lead designer for Surfaces USA. The same goes for marble tile—baking soda might catch etching on these surfaces.

Did you know that baking soda could be such a harmful cleaner to some of the items you clean every day? Have you ever found baking soda damaged something of yours, or do you use it as your go-to cleaner? What kinds of things do you use baking soda to clean with?