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Avoid Getting These Items Wet When You’re Cleaning Them

Water is the safest and cheapest cleaning product for many surfaces in your home. But not all. Some materials and finishes will appear newer and serve you longer if you’re cleaning them without water. For example, certain fabrics can become stained or ruined by water, and porous materials like brick and marble can become damaged over time when you wet them. If you’ve ever cleaned your jewelry, gas stovetop, leather shoes, or contact lenses with water, you need to read this article.

1. Gas burners

items you shouldn't clean with water Gas stove
The igniters on the burners of your gas stovetop are very vulnerable to water. If you use a wet sponge to clean the burners or pour water directly onto the stovetop, the igniters will get wet and stop working. If you try to use the stove immediately after washing it, the igniters will make a repetitive clicking sound, but they will produce no sparks.
Sometimes, the igniters dry out in a few hours, and the issue will be gone, but the damage may also be permanent. Use a dedicated cleaning product very sparingly to remove food stains from gas burners. Instead of spraying the product directly onto the burners, apply a small amount onto a cloth and carefully wipe down the burners.

2. Leather

items you shouldn't clean with water Leather bag
Leather shoes, jackets, bags, and upholstery require regular upkeep to preserve their color and texture for years, but water shouldn’t be part of that maintenance procedure. In fact, the only time you should use water to clean leather is when the leather item is covered in visible dirt and mud, and wiping it down with a damp cloth doesn’t help.
Wetting leather surfaces can leave spots and streaks. Water also promotes leather cracking, so make sure to use a specific leather cleaner to keep your items as good as new.

3. Contact lenses

items you shouldn't clean with water Contact lenses
It’s never OK to rinse or let your contact lenses soak in water overnight. Even though contact lens cleaning solutions seem like they’re just plain water, all of them actually have antimicrobial agents that keep germs away from your eyes. Storing your contacts in water will promote the growth of microbes on the surface of the contacts, or may even introduce them to your eyes.
“When the patient inserts the lens again the following day, that colony of bacteria is given the opportunity to move onto the cornea and cause ulceration,” states optometrist Jonathan Wolfe. If you prefer wearing contacts to eyeglasses, using a special contact lens solution is a must.

4. Electronic devices

items you shouldn't clean with water Electronics
It's common sense that electricity and water don’t mix. Using a wet cloth to clean any type of electronic device, be it a laptop, TV, keyboard, or phone is both risky and dangerous. The same goes for electric cables, light fixtures, electric outlet covers, etc.
Since water conducts electricity, this could lead to electrocution, electrical fires, or just break the device itself. If cleaning an item with a dry cloth doesn’t work well enough, there are special wipes designed to work for electronics you could use. As for electrical outlets and light switches, it’s best to just use a dry cloth for your own safety.

5. Wood

items you shouldn't clean with water Wooden floors
It doesn’t matter if you’re working with wooden furniture, musical instruments, or hardwood floors - using as little water as possible to clean them is always the best course of action. Even if your wooden item has a water-resistant coating, be mindful of the fact that it too will wear off over the years time, so you’ll need to be gentle when cleaning wooden items.
Otherwise, you’ll be left with dark stains, much like the water ring that appears on wood when you leave a wet glass on it. Regular water damage may also lead to cracking, splitting, and a warped surface over time. Using dedicated wood cleaners or just a dry microfiber cloth is the best way to preserve wooden surfaces. When you must use water to clean hardwood floors, make sure to wring out the mop really well, leaving it damp and not wet.

6. Silver and brass

items you shouldn't clean with water silverware
Tarnished silverware or brass light fixtures will only look worse if you decide to use water to clean it off. Instead, we recommend that you rub cornstarch, toothpaste, or even ketchup onto the silverware to remove the tarnish. Once the tarnish is off, you can then proceed to rinse the item with water.
Brass or silver polish also works well, as it will help restore the protective coating of brass and silver items, protecting them from water damage and tarnish.
Related Article: 8 Silver Polishing Tricks

7. Stucco, marble, and brick

items you shouldn't clean with water marble
Most of us think that stone materials are impossible to damage with chemicals, let alone plain water. Alas, popular materials for interior decoration like brick, stucco, and marble are all porous and vulnerable to water damage. Most of these surfaces have a special sealant that protects them from damage, but water and chemical cleaners tend to wear it away over time.
Try to use as little water and chemicals on marble and brick surfaces as you can. Using a soft broom or a barely damp microfiber cloth is usually enough to clean up these surfaces without damaging them.

8. Certain fabrics

items you shouldn't clean with water silk
Soft and fluffy fabrics like velvet, suede, and velour are very sensitive. When they get wet, their fibers stick together and become fixed in one position, which may ruin their finish. Water can also leave stains, streaks, or make the harden, pill, or change shape. Silk can also develop stains or discoloration when exposed to water.
To keep suede and velvet fabrics clean, you can either vacuum them or use a soft cloth or brush to remove dust or dirt. The safest way to deep clean these items is either by using specialized cleaning solutions or by taking these items to the dry cleaners.
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