Cleaning your house is unavoidable, whether you enjoy it or despise it. Home remedies, hacks, and myths have been passed down from generation to generation to make this chore less of a chore. But, when all is said and done, did you do more harm than good to your humble abode? Perhaps it's time to clear the air about some commonly held cleaning beliefs.
Myth #1 - Feather dusters remove dust.
Traditional feather dusters have long been promoted as the best option for removing daily dust buildup in the home. Do you remember the ratan feather duster? Hopefully, it was only used for dusting. Otherwise, it's about as useful as politely asking the dust to leave. Most dusters, feather or otherwise, merely move dust around rather than absorb it. Unless you use a wet cloth (which may be more work), make sure your duster is made of microfiber or lambswool (like the Swiffer® 360° Extender Duster Comparable Starter Kit by Lola®), as these materials pick up and hold dust.
Myth #2 - Bleach can be used for everything.
When cleaning your bathroom, you may instinctively reach for bleach, believing it to be the most powerful, all-purpose cleaner. However, bleach is a disinfectant and stain remover rather than a cleaner. While bleach is useful for removing tough stains or whitening your clothes, it can make removing stains from certain surfaces more difficult. The chemical is not suitable for degreasing, and you'll be better off using a proper cleaning product or even baking soda.
Myth #3 - Newspapers give windows a streak-free finish
Many of us are used to wiping down our windows with newspapers. This hack is supposed to leave no streaks on the glass. But this is old news now! With today's newspapers, it is no longer possible. Newspapers are now printed on thinner paper, which disintegrates easily when wet with glass cleaner. It may not only stain your hands with ink, but it may also leave a nasty paper residue on your windows. Instead, dilute some dishwashing liquid with water and spray it on your windows before wiping them down with a Lola® Jumbo Microfiber Cleaning Cloth! For the second round of cleaning, use a glass cleaner to give it an extra shine.
Myth #4 - Washing machines clean themselves
It is not clean simply because it washes things! Lint and wash cycles that require cold water are two examples of factors that contribute to bacteria remaining in the washing machine. Soiled sheets, after all, pass through your machine on a weekly basis. This, combined with the humidity levels, would make things prone to mold. So, clean your washing machine on a regular basis to keep it running smoothly and to prevent bacteria buildup. Fill your detergent dispenser with a 4:1 mixture of vinegar and baking soda. Then, on the hottest water setting, run an empty load. When you're finished, leave your washing machine door open to dry!
Myth #5 - More detergent = Better cleaning
It would appear logical to believe that the more laundry detergent you use, the cleaner your clothes will be. However, more is not always better, and this 'hack' may be doing the opposite. When you use too much detergent, soap residue may be left on your clothes and irritate your skin. Excessive soap residue will accumulate in your washing machine over time, resulting in mould and mildew. Not to mention that you will have to buy new detergent more frequently, wasting your money!
Myth #6 - Cleaning products work instantly
A common misconception is that cleaning products work instantly; all you have to do is spray and wipe! However, if you use this cleaning method, you may be disappointed with its ineffectiveness and wonder why your stains are not fading. Germs and grime cannot be broken down so quickly, no matter how powerful your product is. Wiping off your cleaning products too quickly leaves grime on your surfaces and is a huge waste of product.
While these household cleaning hacks have been passed down through the generations, they are not the most effective. With your newfound cleaning knowledge, you are now prepared to tackle even the most difficult cleaning days! You'll know what to do the next time you see someone grabbing a wad of newspaper to wipe the windows or unintentionally pouring a large amount of laundry detergent into their washer!