After months of internal struggle, I finally gave in. I succumbed to my caffeine addiction and bought a new coffee maker. And the first thing I read in the instructions was: “Don’t clean your new coffee maker with vinegar. That’s a cleaning myth. You will ruin it and the warranty won’t cover the repairs.”
Which got me thinking – what other cleaning myths might actually be harmful or damaging?
In this article:
As far as cleaning myths go, believing you can remove dust with a feather duster makes sense. It’s literally in the name – duster. And you can also see the dust physically disappear so why is this a myth?
Feather dusters are the street magicians of the cleaning world. They seem impressive at first, but upon closer inspection, you see it’s all smoke and mirrors.
Feather dusters don’t remove dust. All they do is shuffle it around. You should avoid them, especially if you’re cleaning with asthma.
If you want to get the job done, use a microfibre duster (they’re designed to trap the dust between the fibres) or even a slightly damp cloth.
As an intersection between a cleaning myth and a pest control disaster, I’m not sure how this notion came to be. It probably comes from pest control companies who want to make your ant infestation worse so you can call them.
According to the myth, cucumber peels are bitter so they act as insect repellents. Other bitter substances, such as caffeine, are natural pesticides so it makes sense, right? False.
Cucumber bitterness comes from a substance called cucurbitacin. There are currently no studies that demonstrate cucurbitacin’s effectiveness as an insect repellent.
However, you can be sure that leaving food scraps around is both unhygienic and it can attract pests. Aside from ants, you may also need to find yourself dealing with roaches, aphids, and other six-legged pests.
If you have an ant problem, you can use an insecticide spray. There are also effective ant baits that can wreak havoc on the entire colony. Finally, borax is a cheap and effective way to deal with this problem.
Bleach is possibly the most popular cleaning product in existence. Most people believe you can clean pretty much anything with bleach. Most people are wrong.
As far as cleaning goes, bleach is not very effective. Even though you can find it in many cleaning products, it’s added for its disinfection properties.
There are far better cleaners out there. Even baking soda or white vinegar are far more effective at cleaning than bleach. Though you can hardly find a better disinfectant.
I debated with myself whether to include this cleaning myth or not. On the one hand, it is a myth. You can end up scratching or staining your windows trying to clean them with a newspaper.
On the other hand, it used to be true. In the end, I decided it’s an important piece of information so here we are.
Why is it that people used to clean their windows with newspapers in the past but now it’s no longer viable? It’s simple – things change. Even something as simple as a newspaper in not the same as it was 50 years ago. Both the ink and paper were different from what they are now.
Instead of reaching for a newspaper, do the sensible thing and clean your windows with a microfibre cloth.
White vinegar is a great cleaner, so like the newspaper thing, this cleaning myth is based on reality. However, white vinegar is far from a universal cleaner. You can use it in some instances, but it’s terrible in others.
For example, running white vinegar through your coffee maker can ruin it. The same goes for your dishwasher or washing machine. You can also ruin your granite or marble surfaces, as well as your computer screen or smartphone.
All in all, white vinegar is great… If you know what you’re doing.
These cleaning myths can rake up serious costs for your household if you’re not careful. And some can negatively affect your health. As always, don’t believe everything you read on the Internet.
Hi, I’m Atanas - brand consultant and writer. I’m helping Samyx Cleaning create the best cleaning company blog on the Internet. Join us on our journey and learn how to live a cleaner, healthier, happier life in the process.
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