Here's Why You Shouldn't Try TikTok's Steel Wool Hack On Silverware

If you love anything home-related, you've probably seen steel wool blowing up on TikTok. There are heaps of useful ways you can use this versatile household item, from using it to polish brass to mixing it with vinegar to stain wood. However, there's one material you should never use it on, and that's stainless steel. A lot — though not all — of silverware is made from stainless steel, meaning you could be causing irreversible damage when washing your crockery and cutlery.

The abrasive surface of steel wool will scratch the surface of stainless steel silverware, causing issues over time. Once stainless steel is scratched, it's open to corrosion, which is both unsightly and ruins one of its main benefits. While it's great for removing tough stains and getting a pot back to looking brand new, steel wool isn't a good option to use on all materials. Rather than potentially damaging your pots and pans, here's what to use to clean your silverware made from stainless steel instead.

While great for rust, steel wool can be too harsh for some surfaces

The easiest way to clean silverware made from stainless steel is to use warm water, a little bit of dish soap, and a microfiber cloth. Unlike a scrubber, a microfiber cloth is soft and won't cause scratches that could lead to corrosion. You may need to rub at any marks and stains for quite a while, but the above products are gentle enough to use on silverware regularly. Keep in mind that you don't need heaps of soap — one or two drops is ideal, though you can add more as you go if needed.

This isn't to say that you can't use steel wool for other purposes. In fact, it can sometimes be the only way to get deep-set rust stains off. However, once the rust has been removed, use the above method for general cleaning to preserve your stainless steel utensils and keep them in good shape. In general, steel wool can be an extremely useful item to have lying around, but always research whether it's okay to use on a specific material if you're unsure.