Whenever you mention that you’re planning to do some cleaning, doesn’t it seem like suddenly everyone becomes an expert?
“Don’t do that!”
While most of this advice definitely comes from a good place, a lot of common cleaning “hacks” you’ll hear about don’t really work as well as you’d think. Plenty are just urban legends, and others may actually do more harm than good for your home!
So, which so-called cleaning tips, tricks, and hacks should you avoid? Here are seven myths worth hacking up, for the sake of your stuff:
1.) Pour water on a carpet stain
After spilling food or a drink onto a carpet, plenty of people go into “panic” mode, and dump water and stain remover all over the problem area. But this might just cause more issues than it solves!
For one thing, using too much water could actually damage or discolor your carpet just as badly as the spill. For another, all of that liquid might seep down and get trapped, causing stinky, gross mildew to build up underneath your carpet pad!
Instead of splashing on the water, be conservative and use the blotting method. Lightly add just a little bit of water and/or cleaning solution to the stain, then blot the area with a clean towel, repeating gently until you’ve handled the mess. We’d like to recommend the use of Grandma’s Secret Spot Remover for stains. Be sure to read the directions first!
2.) Use vinegar to clean stone
Vinegar is an amazingly useful product to have around the house. You can use it to clean all sorts of things – but your stone surfaces definitely aren’t one of them! You see, vinegar is very acidic, which can cause ugly marks, scratches, and stains on marble and tile surfaces. Instead of dousing on the vinegar, stick with a mixture of soap and water to deep clean your stone finishes. Dawn Dish Liquid is also worth a try!
3.) Sanitize your sponges in the microwave
Heat kills bacteria, right? So popping your sponge in the microwave should be just the thing to kill that nasty bacteria and get it ready to go again.
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Studies show that microwaved sponges still hold 40% of their bacteria, including the nasty kinds which cause disease. Even worse? If you were to microwave your sponge for long enough to kill all of the bacteria and germs hanging out… well, you’d probably set your sponge on fire, leaving you with a whole new set of problems.
4.) Buff your wood furniture with hot tea
Tea is absolutely amazing. It can make you feel healthier, help aid with weight loss, and give you an all-natural energy boost when you need a pick-me-up.
One thing tea isn’t? A furniture polish! Many people will tell you that the secret to cleaning wooden furniture and furnishings is to wipe them down with freshly-made tea.
While this may work in tiny doses, it’s usually a good idea to keep water away from wood surfaces. Those two don’t play together too nicely. At the same time, ask yourself how much you really know about what’s in your tea bag – before you accidentally dye or discolor your favorite wood accent by mistake.
5.) Add salt the first time you wash new clothes
Have you ever heard that you should use salt to help “set the dye,” locking in the color on a fresh piece of fabric? While this is an old wives’ tale with some legs, most evidence shows that it really doesn’t work that well.
Unfortunately, by the time you buy a garment, the dye has already been set, and there’s not much you can do to stop the color from bleeding except to follow the instructions printed on the care label. If you’re worried about contaminating other clothes, you may also want to consider washing that new piece all by itself before mixing it into your regular laundry rotation.
6.) Polish your silver with toothpaste all the time
In a pinch, you can maybe use a little bit of toothpaste to polish silver utensils. But you shouldn’t add toothpaste into your regular cleaning regimen! Toothpaste is much more abrasive than traditional polishes, so it could actually damage your favorite silver pieces over time. Instead, we’d recommend Cape Cod Polishing Cloths.
7.) Clean rust with bleach
A little bit of bleach can go a long way toward making stains disappear. But there are definitely a few cases where you should skip the bleach and choose a different cleaning solution instead.
For example, while it may be tempting to use chlorine bleach to tackle rust spots, evidence suggests that bleach may actually hurt more than it helps. Bleach is full of powerful chemicals, including oxidizing substances which may actually help rust spread even faster.
Instead of pouring on the rust, consider an all-natural solution, such as vinegar, or a handy scrub of salt and lemon juice.
What are the worst pieces of so-called cleaning “advice” you’ve ever heard? Feel free to share some of your favorite hacks, good or bad, over on our Facebook page!
And remember – in a lot of cases, the fastest and easiest way to get your home or office looking spotless is to bring on a professional! That’s where Sweeping Dimensions can help!
We always make a sweeping effort to make life less stressful. With a professionally trained staff, all of our cleanings are fully customizable to meet your needs. We bring all of the cleaning supplies and equipment needed to clean your home, with a focus on green, environmentally sound cleaning products. Whether you need light housekeeping, heavy duty cleaning, or one-time service for a special occasion, drop us a line when you’re ready to get the job done!