People are focused on keeping their homes clean more than ever before. That’s great news, but if you’re following one of these cleaning myths, your home may not be as clean as you think.
One of the most common cleaning myths circulating for years is the idea that vinegar is a cure-all solution for all types of cleaning problems. While vinegar can be a helpful cleaning agent for specific tasks, it is not always the best choice and can cause damage to metal, glass, some ceramics, and stones, as well as damage to grout. In addition, using vinegar as a disinfectant is ineffective against certain types of bacteria or viruses. It’s important to research and understand the limitations of using vinegar as a cleaning solution to ensure you’re using the right tools for the job.
2. Baking Soda on Carpets
This one is popular. Baking soda will absorb odors; we all know that. But if the source of the odor is beneath the carpet or remains in the carpet, it’s only a temporary solution. For example, pet urine soaks into carpet fibers and the pad. It may penetrate the carpet pad and subfloor if the pet continues to eliminate there. Neutralizing each contaminated layer removes the odor. The carpet, backing, pad, and possibly subfloor must be decontaminated to eliminate odors. Simply sprinkling baking soda on the carpet will only absorb moisture from the fibers and will not neutralize the urine contaminants or the other layers of contamination beneath the fibers. Instead, clean spots immediately and have your carpets cleaned once a year.
3. Newspaper as Glass Cleaner
In the past, newspaper was thicker and worked okay. Now, it will break down quickly and leave newsprint spots on your glass and woodwork. Try a standard glass cleaner, a squeegee, and a microfiber cloth instead, or try this homemade glass cleaner.
4. Spraying Disinfectant Removes All Viruses and Bacteria
Disinfectant sprays can only reach the surfaces they are sprayed on and may not effectively remove viruses and bacteria from hidden or hard-to-reach areas. It is essential to follow proper cleaning and disinfecting procedures, including using the appropriate disinfectant for the specific type of microorganism you are trying to remove and allowing sufficient contact time for the disinfectant to work effectively.
5. Self-Cleaning Ovens Do It All Themselves
A self-cleaning oven uses high heat to reduce small food particles to ash. If the oven hasn’t been cleaned regularly, the self-cleaning cycle may not be enough to remove all the grime and dirt, and some manual cleaning may still be required, and you still need to wipe it down afterward to remove the ash and soot.
6. Ketchup as Silver Polish
While it’s true that ketchup can help to remove tarnish from silver, it’s not the best or most effective method for cleaning your silverware. The vinegar in ketchup is “supposedly” doing the polishing, and its concentration in ketchup is far too low to be effective. Good silver polish is very inexpensive. Wright’s Silver Cream is a great product. I would also recommend using a cellulose sponge rather than the sponge provided with the silver cream, as a cellulose sponge will be more gentle on silver.
7. Green Cleaning Products are All Safe
A green label doesn’t mean a product is safer than others. The words “natural,” “plant-based,” “non-toxic,” “free of,” and “eco-friendly” are examples of greenwashing. These terms are frequently used to give a product a healthy appearance. For instance, a product labeled “natural” or “plant-based” doesn’t mean it’s safe and may still contain dangerous ingredients. Furthermore, just because a product is labeled as “eco-friendly” by using less plastic in its packaging does not necessarily mean it is not potentially toxic. For example, a cleaner can be designated green if it uses less water than other cleaners. Always read labels before using cleaning solutions.
8. Mouthwash Cleans Washing Machines
In theory, this could work, but you’d need a much more concentrated solution in much higher amounts to be effective. Instead, use elbow grease and occasionally run an empty load with bleach, as most manufacturers recommend. If bleach isn’t something you like to use, you can buy washing machine cleaners that are quite good.
9. Car Wax for Cleaning Cooktop Stoves
This is extremely dangerous. The wax burns when you cook, polishing your cooktop undoubtedly, but it also poses a fire risk and produces hazardous fumes. Nothing you want to put in your food. Your best bet is to wipe up spills quickly and use specialized cooktop cleaners regularly.
10. More Detergent Means Cleaner Clothes
More detergent means more suds, but that doesn’t mean cleaner clothes. Excess suds can redeposit soil on your clothes. They also damage the machine’s pump and drain. Over time, the buildup of leftover detergent can create mold. Too much detergent also makes your machine use more water, which is bad for the environment and your wallet if you pay for water.
More laundry questions? Take a look at Laundry Love and Patric Richardson, The Laundry Evangelist -Amazing!
11. Ice Cubes Sharpen Garbage Disposals
Believe it or not, your garbage disposal doesn’t have blades. Instead, it has blunt metal “teeth,” called impellers, that grind solids into liquids. Putting ice cubes through alone doesn’t do much. You can keep your disposal clean by pouring half a cup of baking soda, a cup of vinegar, and a pot of hot water through it. Then add two cups of ice to the mix. On top of that, pour in a cup of salt, run cold water, and turn on the garbage disposal. The salt and ice combine to create a powerful scrub. Lastly, place the peel of one lemon in the disposal and run with cold water.
12. Cleaning Solutions Work Immediately
Most people spray and wipe almost in one motion. If that’s you, your house isn’t as clean as it appears. Cleaning solutions need time to settle in and go to work. Read the instructions on your favorite cleaning products label to see how long it takes, as some can take up to 10 minutes or more to work if disinfecting.
Will understanding these myths change how you clean? Let us know in the comments below!