It’s time to trash some cleaning “solutions” that have been passed down for generations yet produce iffy results or, worse, create more work. Here are the top ten cleaning myths and what to do instead!
Myth: Newspaper does windows well
Fact: Wet newspaper tears easily and the ink can transfer to window trim, leaving more to clean. For streak-free windows, use a microfiber cloth! Pick some up here.
Myth: Coca-cola belongs in the toilet
Fact: Coke isn’t really the end all cleaning product it is made out to be. It is acidic, so it could be effective at removing hard water stains. But, even the Coca-Cola website recommends using other options. Use traditional cleaners instead. The soda could actually darken some of those stains and the sugar could encourage bacteria,.
Myth: Handwashing dishes is better than using a dishwasher
Fact: If your dishwasher is a decade old, this may be true, but today’s models beat handwashing by a mile. According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star website, using a dishwasher that bears the Energy Star label can save some 5,000 gallons of water, more than $40 dollars in energy costs, and 230 hours in personal time over the course of a year, versus handwashing. And, because dishwashers heat the water to 140°F, they’ll sanitize the dishes, too.
Myth: Coffee freshens garbage disposers
Fact: Coffee can act as a mild abrasive, removing gunk from disposer blades. But baking soda works better, because it’s a base and will counteract all the smelly acids we put down the drain.
Myth: Vinegar cleans everything
Fact: Only if you use it at full, or nearly full strength. Vinegar is an acid, so it can cut through dirt and kill bacteria. However, most people put a capful in a bucket of water, and that doesn’t do much. Please note that the acids in vinegar can damage natural stone and wood surfaces
Myth: Hairspray removes ballpoint ink
Fact: This may have been true back in the day, when hairspray contained a lot of alcohol, but not anymore. In fact, it could just make things worse. Use rubbing alcohol instead, seeing as it is much cheaper.
Myth: Bleach cleans everything
Fact: Bleach can act better as a sanitizer since it kills bacteria, but it won’t clean anything because it doesn’t remove soil.
Myth: Feathers make great dusters
Fact: Genuine ostrich-feather dusters do attract dust, but they’re expensive and are generally not as effective as lambswool or microfiber options. Regular old feather dusters just move and kick-up more dust. Plus, they are known to drop feathers as they clean, leaving more to pick up.
Myth: Cleaning solutions work instantly
Fact: Allow cleaning solutions to sit on the surface for a couple of minutes. Always follow the product’s label. Some solutions, like disinfectants, need a full ten minutes to truly kill bacteria
Myth: String makes the best mops
Fact: Industrial-style string mops may look impressive, but studies have shown that microfiber mops are about 20 percent more effective at removing dirt and bacteria.