We’ve probably all heard various house cleaning remedies. Some of them are tried and true. Most aren’t, however. Do your research before you go trying just any old thing to clean with, or it could have disastrous consequences. Here is a list of a few of the cleaning myths I’ve found from Vacuum Companion and a few other sites, along with my own tips on how to avoid disaster.

DISINFECTANTS AND SPRAY CLEANERS:

1. Vinegar as a super cleanser

This is probably the most popular of all cleaning myths. It really would be a super household cleaner, if it actually removed dirt. Vinegar is not a cleanser. It is a disinfectant and antimicrobial agent. It kills germs, molds and mildews and prevents them. Think of it like spraying Lysol disinfectant on a freshly cleaned surface.

Here is how I use vinegar to clean: I first clean the surface to remove dirt and debris, dry it, then spray vinegar on it. I also spray the inside and the outside of the toilet with it, after I clean it. I even use it in the shower to prevent mildew build up.

2. Bleach to clean with

This is also a very common misconception. Much like vinegar, bleach does not actually clean. It does, however, disinfect and kill mold and mildew. If you want to clean something, use a cleanser first. You can always go back over it with bleach later.

3. It’s okay to wipe up spray cleaners quickly

Spray cleaners, all of them, need time to work. It takes a couple of minutes for an antibacterial spray to kill all the germs. It takes some time for other sprays to cut grease, remove mildew and zap grime. That stuff doesn’t just come off by itself easily, or the rational person wouldn’t be using a spray cleaner on it in the first place.

CARPET

4. Getting carpet professionally cleaned will shrink it

Most modern carpets are made from synthetics now, so they won’t shrink. If your carpet happens to be made from natural fibers, the professionals should know how to deal with it. Any time you have a professional come to do work in your home, if you have questions or concerns, ask them or tell them about them upfront. Shop around for companies with trusted names. If you need help finding one, Angie’s List is a good place to start.

5. Vacuuming too much will ruin the carpet

The truth is that leaving dirt sit in your carpet while you walk over it every day will ruin your carpet before your vacuum will. If you vacuum your carpet once a week, it will be fine and look good, as well. Also, vacuuming has other benefits, like removing dust, dirt and allergens.

GENERAL CLEANING

6. Using furniture polish every cleaning session

I won’t deny the inescapable fact that furniture polishes are an important part of your cleaning regiment that helps restore and preserve wood’s luster and shine. But, if you use furniture polish on wood every day, it creates a build up of residue that can be hard to remove and can even damage furniture in some instances. I don’t use it more than twice a month. I use a soft cloth when I’m not using the polish.

7. Newspaper is an effective, streak- free cleaner for glass

Have you noticed that glass cleaning wipes are sturdy and they don’t have ink on them? There’s good reason for this. Newspaper tears easily when it gets wet, which can cause your fingers to tear through it and leave fingerprints on the glass. The ink itself can cause streaks, film and stains and most of the things you’re trying to remove from the window when you clean it. It’s best to either use paper towels or get glass cleaning wipes.

8. Putting coffee grounds in the garbage disposal to deodorize

This actually does deodorize. The problem is that it can also damage the disposal, cause clogs and even cause septic system problems.
Solution? Use lemons instead. They naturally deodorize without damaging plumbing or appliances and they kill the bacteria that caused the odors.

LAUNDRY

9. Wash laundry in cold water

This may seem like a good idea because it saves on the electric bill. However, germs and bacteria are killed with hot water. So, don’t wash all your laundry in cold water. Wash anything that accumulates skin cells or germs in hot water, instead.

10. You can’t use too much soap

Almost any and all soaps can and will leave residue. When you’re trying to clean dirt off of something, it’s not helpful to leave films and residues in which the dirt can hide. This goes for everything, dishes, laundry, even mop water.

Hopefully you learned a thing or two and have some new things to try the next time that you clean. Spring cleaning is just around the corner, so don’t forget to share this page with your friends so they’ll be informed, too!

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