Water is more than something you rely on for your very survival and sanitation. Water washes away dirt, dissolves grime, and can make a variety of objects sparkle. Yet it’s not ideal for everything. In fact, some household objects can be permanently damaged by water.

So, before you fill up that cleaning bucket, read on to find out which furnishings, fixtures, and electronics should never be cleaned with water.

Wood Furnishings – In general, wood and water don’t mix. Water can cause white rings and discoloration on tables, and cause wood to split, swell, and crack. Dust wood furnishings regularly and protect with lemon oil as needed. Clean hardwood floors with a damp mop or use a specially formulated hardwood floor cleaner.

Leather – Whether it’s shoes, boots, jackets, or sofas, keep water away. It can leave unattractive spots and streaks and can even cause the leather to crack over time. Instead, care for your leather with a specially formulated cleanser and always follow the cleaning instructions.

Silver and Brass – Household silver and brass is often treated with a protective sealant that water can gradually strip away. To remove tarnish and keep your silver and brass looking like new, treat it to a high-quality polish.

Musical Instruments – To keep those sweet sounds coming from your musical instruments, keep water away. It can discolor and damage wood instruments like pianos and violins and cause metal instruments to tarnish and even rust. Use only those cleansers specifically formulated for instruments.

Silk – This delicate fabric needs a little extra care than most. Even those labeled as washable can shrink and be left with unsightly spots if washed with water. Always check the care instructions; to play it safe, however, have silk garments dry-cleaned.

Electronics – Use a microfiber cloth to dust electronics as water can damage sensitive components. For tough grime or greasy fingerprints, use rubbing alcohol on a clean cloth. Remove dust, dirt, and crumbs from your PC or laptop keyboard with a soft microfiber cloth, an old (but clean) toothbrush, or a keyboard vacuum.

Suede, Velvet, and Velour – Whether it’s clothing, furniture, or décor, clean these fabrics with a soft brush to remove pill and surface oil. For tougher stains, try an at-home dry cleaning cloth or specialized cleaners.

Lighting and Electrical Outlets – We all know that water and electricity do not mix. Yet lamps, chandeliers, and outlets still need to be cleaned regularly. For best results, unplug or turn off the power to the fixture before wiping it with a soft cloth to remove dust and dirt.

As for your household water, is it up to par? Or are you noticing reddish or brown tints or “funny” odors? If so, you may be drinking chemically-tainted water. Not a great idea. So, to solve known or suspected water problems, contact Anthony’s for a water quality test and advice on proven-effective water treatment systems.