Even the tidiest or most well-meaning housekeeper can fall victim to these cleaning myths. And they can damage your appliances, drain your wallets, waste your time — and even kill you. Read on to discover some of the most pervasive myths about cleaning.
1. Myth: If One Product is Good, Two Must be Better.
Mixing cleaning products without at least a little basic chemistry knowledge can actually have deadly consequences. Here are a few major no-nos:
- Vinegar and Bleach
- Ammonia and Bleach
- Detergents and Disenfectints that Contain Quaternary Ammonia
In short, acidic products, like vinegar, should never be mixed with alkali products, like bleach. Even combining one brand of bleach with another can be dangerous. When it doubt, stick to one product.
2. Myth: DIY Cleaning Products are Always Better.
Now, to be clear, we’re not knockin’ on nautral or DIY cleaning products. Nor are we throwing our support behind harsh, commercial cleaners. The problem, though, is that DIY cleaners can be ineffective at best, or toxic at worst. The big problem here is that many people automatically think DIY = safe, and store-bought = unsafe. As with most things, life just isn’t that simple. Do your research. Spot check with certain cleaners to see if they’re effective. And if it sounds too good to be true, it just might be. (Here are 8 ways to NOT use vinegar.)
3. Myth: Bleach (or Vinegar, or Whatever Else) is the Only Product You Really Need.
There are plenty of multi-purpose cleaners out there that will do just as well on your counters as they will on your floor. But that doesn’t mean that bleach, for instance, should be used to clean dirt — it doesn’t — or vinegar should be used on your hardwood floors — it’ll dull the finish. There is no single product out there that will work for all of your needs.
4. Myth: The More Product You Use, the Better.
More is not always better! More soap on your counters will just lead to buildup. Too much detergent use is one of the most common reasons dishwashers need to be repaired. Too much carpet cleaner will only make your carpet get dirtier faster. There are directions for a reason — follow them!
5. Myth: The Amount of Detergent You Use Doesn’t Really Matter.
Washing machines and laundry detergent have gotten much more efficient in the past few decades — so why are we using the same amount of soap? It might not seem like a big deal, but using the appropriate amount of laundry detergent for your load will extend the life of your washer and your clothes.