Some items may actually become damaged by water, while others will see their lifespan greatly reduced. So, shut off the faucet before cleaning the following 7 items.
Hardwood Floors and Wooden Furniture
Wood is used throughout the home for anything from cabinets and tables, to flooring and shelves. While you can use a damp cloth to wipe down veneered surfaces, deep cleaning hardwood and unprotected manufactured wooden items with water can cause irreparable damage. Wooden furniture is particularly susceptible, and can soon become stained by water — think of those cup rings that are impossible to remove. Instead, dust off wooden furniture and use a quality wood polisher or lemon oil to retain the finish and keep it shiny and new.
Hardwood floors are the same, and while they do have a protective layer, this can wear down over the years, allowing water to soak into the wood, causing it to swell and split. Don’t mop hardwood floors with water, instead use a special hardwood floor cleaner.
Leather and Suede Upholstery
Regularly washing leather and suede furniture with water can cause damage and staining to the surface, while vastly reducing its lifespan. If you wash leather with water, it can start to leave discolored spots and streaks on the surface, before beginning to crack. Like leather shoes and boots, it’s best to use a proper leather furniture polish to prolong the lifespan and keep it looking fantastic.
Velvet and Silk Drapes and Covers
Velvet and silk look and feel fantastic, and the materials are used around the house to cover cushions and pillows, as well as upholstered furniture and drapes. Keeping these materials clean, however, can be difficult, and using water will often result in streaking, discolored spots, and even shrinkage. Instead, use a soft brush to remove dirt, and dry-clean using a foaming upholstery or drapery cleaner.
Silver and Brass Ware
Sparkling silver cutlery really adds a wow factor to your dinner parties, but the effect is somewhat spoilt if your spoons and forks are dulled, spotty, or tarnished. Constant washing with water will actually wear down the protective layer, leading to increased tarnishing over time. The same is true for brass ware, which will also begin to lose its shine after regular washing with water. Instead, you can clean both with vinegar or specially formulated metal polish.
From wooden violins to electric keyboards and brass trumpets, the vast majority of musical instruments should be kept away from water at all costs. Brass instruments should be polished with brass polish to prevent tarnishing or streaking, while wooden instruments should typically only need dusting off with a microfiber cloth, or the occasional wipe over with oil.
Electronics and Light Fixtures
It’s safe to say that water and electricity don’t get on. Forgetting this could result in damage to the items, but more importantly present a major safety risk. Things such as your computer keyboard should be cleaned with a small vacuum cleaner fitted with a soft brush and wet wipes to remove the grease. Light fittings should never be washed with water, rather the power should be switched off, and the fittings wiped down with a dry cloth to remove the dust.
Brickwork, Stucco, and Marble Surfaces
These rock hard surfaces are certainly tough, but you’d be surprised how a little water can cause damage. The main issue is that all of them are porous, allowing water to soak in. In the case of brickwork, too much water can remain inside the brick, and eventually cause mold. With all of these surfaces, any protective layers that have been applied can wear down after being washed with water. Instead, use a soft brush or cloth to remove any dust, and wipe marble counters down with a marble cleaning solution.