Belief is a funny thing. When we hear something that sounds plausible it’s rare that we’ll go looking for further evidence to validate it.
And this is particularly true when it comes to cleaning tips. There are dozens of old wives tales that keep being perpetuated. Many of which are completely false.
Below I’ve outlined seven of the most commonly held cleaning myths. Have a read and you may find some of your long-held beliefs aren’t true after all.
Myth one: Kills 99 per cent of germs
Nearly every cleaning product touts some version of this in their advertising. The truth? It’s no more than a great sounding marketing gimmick.
It only means the product killed 99 per cent of germs it was tested on. This doesn’t mean 99 per cent of all germs or even dangerous germs. On top of that, studies have shown that water and soap does just as good a job of eradicating germs.
Myth two: Vinegar will clean everything
I’m a huge fan of cleaning with vinegar and use it nearly every day. That being said, vinegar won’t actually do the best job on all surfaces.
Specifically, vinegar is great for tiles, walls and bathrooms but not as beneficial on stone, granite or wooden finishes.
Myth three: Vacuuming too often ruins carpets
I first heard this as a kid growing up in the 1980s and, like all the myths in this list, the truth isn’t so simple.
You should avoid vacuuming wool or non-synthetic rugs too often. However, it’s perfectly fine to clean more modern carpets multiple times a week if you like. Modern synthetic rugs are made of strong stuff and no amount of vacuuming will wear them down to a noticeable level.
Myth four: Natural cleaning products are safe
The term “natural” is used so often in marketing that it almost means nothing anymore. Just because a product is labelled “natural” doesn’t mean it’s safe.
Case in point; ammonia is completely natural and consists of the elements nitrogen and hydrogen. It’s also completely hazardous to your health if used in anything higher than a trace amount.
Myth five: Bleach is the ultimate cleaner
Contrary to popular belief, bleach is a disinfectant and not a cleaner. It does a great job of killing everything in its path, but a terrible job of cleaning stains while doing it.
Most people flat out refuse to believe this. Citing evidence of how clean their bathroom is after using bleach. In reality, it’s the bleach combined with soap scum that’s doing the cleaning. So minimise the amount of bleach you’re using. It isn’t helping your health or your cleanliness.
Myth six: Newspaper cleans glass
Sure, if you wipe glass for long enough with newspaper it’ll get clean. But that would be the case if you used Christmas paper as well.
You’re better off using an abrasive or absorbent cloth. Both will do a better job than newspaper, and in less time.
Myth seven: Febreze helps to clean
This couldn’t be more wrong! Febreze doesn’t clean or sanitise much of anything. All it does is reward your brain after cleaning with a nice smell. That way, you think things are cleaner than they actually are. The marketing geniuses behind this deserve a raise.
Keeping all this in mind, if you really love to clean windows with newspaper then, by all means, keep doing it. However, if I’ve created a bit of scepticism then take a moment to challenge your own beliefs. It may just make your life easier.
Written by Michael Brooke. Republished with permission of Domain.com.au.