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Debunked: The Common Cleaning Myths We Thought Were True

 

Much like stories that are passed on from generation to generation, there are also a lot of cleaning habits that we adopted from our parents, which they got from our grandparents.  These habits were ingrained in our minds as cleaning myths or legends that have worked for centuries.  We hold on to them as truth and have been spreading the word and practice to our family, friends and acquaintances that are also conscious about cleaning.

 

However, there is a big probability that the cleaning myths that we believed as true can turn out to be false.  Here are the more common ones which you may have also taken as true:

  • Feather dusters can eliminate dust

  • Feather dusters were handed down to us by our ancestors like the Excalibur sword.  We entrust all dusting, whether deep-dusting or the daily routine, to our handy dandy feather dusters.  But did you know that they just actually transfer dust from one spot to another?  That will just leave you more work to do.  It’s better to use a cloth that locks and traps the dust in.

  • Hot water can remove stains from fibres

  • There is this notion that hot water can melt the stains away.  This is not always true.  There are stains that can be set when hot water is introduced.  Protein-based stains such as blood, vomit, faeces, eggs, among others, can set into fibres.  To stay on the safe side, use cold water.

  • Bleach is the all-around cleaning solution

  • When we talk about wiping-out germs, viruses and bacteria and whitening stains, then bleach is the go-to solution.  But when cleaning dirt, mud, slime and grime, it can only do so much.  Yes, it disinfects but it doesn’t thoroughly clean.  You still need a cleaning solution to take away the dirt and grime.  Then, you can follow through with a bleach solution for disinfection.

  • Washer can clean itself

  • You may think that since a washer deals with soap and water, it has an inherent ability to wash itself.  The machine is constantly being used with a soapy solution and therefore, any bacteria will just be drained and cannot live for long.  Wrong.  There will be soap residues that can be trapped inside your washer.  A thin layer of film can be created and become a bacteria’s breeding ground.

     

  • A fragrant smell means clean

  • A fragrance brings a certain level of guarantee that wherever you smell it, that place is clean.  This is another myth that really needs debunking.  True, air fresheners can make a place or area smells good but it does for only a period of time.  It does less in removing dirt or disinfecting an area.  You really have to exert an effort in cleaning and the air freshener can be the icing on top – to seal your cleaning with a whiff of fresh scent.

  • Vinegar is an all-around cleaner

  • It is common knowledge that vinegar is very effective as a cleaning agent.  It is its being too acidic that makes it a good cleaner.  It dissolves residues and other stubborn build ups.  But since it is an acid, too much of it can cause permanent damage to other surfaces.  Surfaces such as wood and stone cannot withstand too much vinegar concentration.  It is still advisable to dilute it with much water.

  • Fridge cleaning can eliminate odor

  • Your fridge smells bad because of the different types of food you store in it.  There are vegetables, leftovers, meat and others.  Each has a strong and distinct smell that when stored together can create a chaotic odor that can stick for a long time.  Cleaning the fridge alone cannot eliminate odor instantly – even if you scrubbed every inch of your fridge.  You can put a bowl of baking soda inside preferably in the top shelf.  The baking soda will absorb the odors.

  • Laundry detergent can only be used for clothes

  • Clothes are not the only things that a laundry detergent can be used for.  You can use detergent to clean your dulling sinks and tubs along with hot water.  It can also dissolve burnt food from pots and pans that an ordinary dishwashing soap may not be able to.

  • Laundry detergent can only be used for clothes

  • Clothes are not the only things that a laundry detergent can be used for.  You can use detergent to clean your dulling sinks and tubs along with hot water.  It can also dissolve burnt food from pots and pans that an ordinary dishwashing soap may not be able to.

  • You don’t need to change your sheets very often

  • You only get to use your bed when you sleep on it.  And, if you are a clean freak, you wouldn’t even dare lie down on your bed without cleaning yourself up first.  This gives us to think that our bed sheets can go on for weeks, even months without changing them.  However, you must remember that our body may excrete fluids that can build-up on our sheets.  Dead skin and hair can also develop dust making our sheets a home for dust mites to breed.  Most people recommend weekly washings or change.

  • You can use fabric softener in lieu of laundry detergent

  • Yes, the fabric softener does to our clothes or fabrics what a hair conditioner does to our hair.  It softens it.  But, it can also leave a layer of film that makes the fabric soft and silky.  This traps the dirt, germs and oil that a laundry detergent removes during washing.  If you did not use detergent to maybe save some time in washing, you can end up with soft and sweet smelling clothes yet unclean.  The fabric softener can only follow after a detergent.

     

    Always aim for the truth

    It might be said that there can be no harm done if we follow some fallacies in cleaning especially if these were practices from the old days.  However, we are given learning resources in this time and age to find out for ourselves those that can really uphold what clean means.