If you’re wary of using a steel wool pad in your cleaning routine, you’re not alone. Though it has its place in heavy-duty jobs, the truth is that standard steel wool is too rough for most tasks. In fact, it can strip and damage some surfaces. But lesser known superfine steel wool, or grade 0000 steel wool, has many useful applications. Here are some of our favorites.
When glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth alone won’t cut it, rid your windows, mirrors, vases and more of stubborn sticky residues like tree sap with a superfine steel wool pad. Prime the surface with a spritz of cleaner and gently rub away the gunk.
Breathe new life into old metal patio furniture or gardening tools. Avoiding painted surfaces, simply scrub off any rust or dirt with a damp 0000 steel wool pad. You can actually use this same method to season rusted iron cookware; just use the appropriate cooking oil of your choice in place of water.
Kids’ drawings: Cute hung up on the fridge, not so cute all over your wallpaper. If your wee Van Gogh has let his or her crayons loose on a wallpapered surface, dampen a superfine steel wool pad and gingerly buff away the marks. Work carefully, applying minimal pressure, to avoid stripping or over-wetting the finish. Always test in an inconspicuous spot first.
Beep-beep-beep—there goes the fire alarm, and with it, your beloved steel pan. Have no fear! Soak the affected cookware overnight and pull out the 0000 steel wool. With enough elbow grease, the burnt-on grime will lift off.
Make light-colored rubber soles look new again with 0000 steel wool. Dilute a few squirts of dish soap in warm water; dip superfine steel wool in the solution and get scrubbing! Your sneakers will be spiffy in no time. Just be sure to steer clear of any leather or fabric portions.
And speaking of footwear… Whether it’s from shoes in the front foyer or from chairs in the dining room, scuffs happen. No worries—you’ve got a super friend in superfine steel wool: Dampen with warm water and buff those scuffs away.
Have you used this secret cleaning weapon before? Is there another handy application for 0000 steel wool we didn’t mention? Leave a comment below.