10 Top Cleaning Myths Busted

 

Keeping your spick and span takes a lot of effort, and, there’s nothing worse than all this hard work going in vain. Some of these cleaning myths came from the past when the cleaning supplies were not as advanced as they are today. In today’s world, where most of the people are active on social media platforms, myths about cleaning have a way of propagating themselves.

 

Let’s take a look at myths that are causing more harm than good while you clean your home.

Myth 1: Bleach can clean everything

One of the most prevalent cleaning myths is that bleach can clean everything. The truth is that bleach isn’t a cleaner. It kills germs, disinfects and lightens stains – making things appear cleaner – but it doesn’t clean dirt and grime from the surfaces. So, if used on its own, it works well for laundry stains, bathroom mildew, and disinfecting. But if you need to clean dirty and greasy stovetops, counter etc., it should be used with other cleaning agents. If you need to remove dust and dirt, the best way is to use something with a rough texture, like baking soda, which can loosen dust particles.

 

Myth 2: Feather dusters are good for dusting

Contrary to their name, most of the feather dusters are not good at dusting – they just spread the dust around. Genuine ostrich feather dusters do attract dust, but they are expensive. Household dust majorly comprises of tiny flakes of skin and nearly invisible fabric fibre which settles on every surface of the home. It is better to use a microfiber cloth as a duster as it picks up and holds on to the dust. Using a vacuum cleaner or a wet cloth are also efficient ways of dusting.

Contrary to their name, most of the feather dusters are not good at dusting – they just spread the dust around. Genuine ostrich feather dusters do attract dust, but they are expensive. Household dust majorly comprises of tiny flakes of skin and nearly invisible fabric fibre which settles on every surface of the home. It is better to use a microfiber cloth as a duster as it picks up and holds on to the dust. Using a vacuum cleaner or a wet cloth are also efficient ways of dusting.

Myth 3: The best way to clean glass is to use newspapers

This one is another one of the most common cleaning myths. Many households use newspapers to clean glass. This method of cleaning has been passed on by our grandparents. This myth used to be true when the newspapers were made of paper and ink that cleaned the glass well. But nowadays, the newspapers are made of different materials that make your hands messy and leave streak marks on your glass surfaces. Using rubbing alcohol or a glass cleaner with a microfiber cloth is best for streak-free cleaning.

 

Myth 4: Vinegar is an all-purpose cleaner

Just like bleach, vinegar cannot clean everything. Being an acid, vinegar can cut through dust and grease and also kill bacteria. It works well for cleaning windows, removing hard water stains on fixtures and as a fabric softener. But the acidic properties of vinegar can cause damage to natural stone and wood surfaces. So, it should not be used to clean hardwood, marble, stone finishes or wax floorings, as it may cause dulling.

Myth 5: Air-fresheners can clean air

Anything that smells fresh and clean doesn’t mean that it is clean. Though spraying air fresheners make your room smell fresh, you are just perfuming the space and not making it cleaner. The air fresheners don’t even freshen up the room – they just make the room fragrant for some time.

Myth 6: Hairsprays are good for removing ink stains

This myth, like the newspaper one, was true until the formulation of hairsprays changed. Earlier, the hairsprays contained alcohol in them which cut through the ink and helped lift it off the clothing. It was later found out that alcohol dries the hair. Since then most of the hairsprays are alcohol-free and contain a lot of stiffeners and hardeners which would leave residue and stiffen the fabric. Instead of hairsprays, you could use vinegar, rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide as stain remover.

This myth, like the newspaper one, was true until the formulation of hairsprays changed. Earlier, the hairsprays contained alcohol in them which cut through the ink and helped lift it off the clothing. It was later found out that alcohol dries the hair. Since then most of the hairsprays are alcohol-free and contain a lot of stiffeners and hardeners which would leave residue and stiffen the fabric. Instead of hairsprays, you could use vinegar, rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide as stain remover.

Myth 7: Wood should be polished often

Wooden furniture and fixtures should be polished from time to time but too much maintenance might wear them down. Some polishes build up over time and darken the wood while others make the wood appear dull and attract dust. Polishing protects the finish of your furniture and not the wood. Polish your wooden furniture and fixtures, sparingly, to protect them from sun, heat and other damage. If you notice dust, you can use a microfiber cloth to clean it.

Myth 8: Wash all clothes in cold water 

 Most people wash all their clothes in cold water as it is hard to determine which clothes to wash in cold water and which ones in hot water. Hot water can damage and shrink certain clothing items, whereas cold water saves energy and preserves the color of your clothes. But things like white clothes, towel, man-made fibers, knits and jeans are better washed with hot/warm water because hot water is more effective in killing germs and removing stains. This cleaning myth does not cause much harm; it’s just a good practice to follow.

 

Myth 9: Cleaning solutions act instantly

Cleaning solutions don’t act instantly – you need to allow the solution to sit on the surface for at least 2-3 minutes. Some solutions, like disinfectants, need 10 minutes to be able to kill the bacteria. Before using any cleaning solution, check the instructions on the product’s label and accordingly decide the waiting time. Wiping off the product too early will result in the dirt and germs remaining on the surface.

Myth 10: Strings mops are best for cleaning

Strings mops, being very absorbent, are great for absorbing big spills, but they are not suitable for cleaning all surfaces. Old cotton string mops tend to be dirty, messy, and hard to wring out the water, but some newer cotton string mops and wringing buckets make it easier. Research has shown that the effectiveness of microfiber mops in removing dirt and bacteria is more than that of string mops by about 20%.

Strings mops, being very absorbent, are great for absorbing big spills, but they are not suitable for cleaning all surfaces. Old cotton string mops tend to be dirty, messy, and hard to wring out the water, but some newer cotton string mops and wringing buckets make it easier. Research has shown that the effectiveness of microfiber mops in removing dirt and bacteria is more than that of string mops by about 20%.

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