5 Cleaning Myths Debunked!

5 Cleaning Myths Debunked!We all know that the internet is a prime source of information. Simply pull up Google, ask your question, and BAM! Thousands (or even millions!) of answers.

But what we tend to forget is that the internet is also full of misinformation. This means not everything you read is completely accurate or true.

And when it comes to cleaning, following the wrong advice can be damaging.

So let’s take a look at five common myths we’ve heard our clients ask us when it comes to cleaning their homes and workspaces.

1.     Cleaning and Disinfecting Are the Same Thing

This is false! A cleaner has surfactants that raise dirt from a surface and make it easy to remove. A disinfectant actually has ingredients that disinfect the surface by killing bacteria.

So even if you give your kitchen counters a good clean, they’re not disinfected. To clean the counter, you just spray, wipe with a clean cloth, and it’s clean. However, unless specifically stated on the packaging, most all purpose cleaners don’t contain a disinfectant.

To disinfect your counters, you would need a disinfectant spray (or all purpose cleaner that contains disinfectant). Then you spray, wait 5-10 minutes (whatever it says on the packaging), then wipe away with a clean cloth.

This wait time is called “dwell time” and it’s what the disinfectant needs to successfully kill the bacteria lurking on your countertops.

2.     More Cleaning Product Means a Better Clean

We generally call these folks trigger happy. Using more product does not necessarily equate to a better clean. Aside from wasting money, using too much product can actually have the opposite of your desired effect. Overuse often means there is product that gets left behind on the surface. As it dries, it forms a slightly sticky or tacky residue that will actually attract dirt, which means you’ll be cleaning more often than if you followed the directions. (Directions are there for a reason, even if you don’t know what the reason is!)

3.     More Laundry Detergent is Better

The same thing applies to detergent as cleaners. Too much detergent makes it difficult for your rinse cycle to get the soap out of your clothes. This also wastes money and ultimately makes your clothes less clean. It can also cause problems for your washing machine – especially if you use a high efficiency model. Again, the instructions are there for a reason. So make sure you follow them and use the line in the cap as a guide!

4.     Newspaper is the Best Way to Clean Windows

If you’ve tried this already, you may wonder why people would ever suggest it as you stand there with a sloppy looking window and wad of scummy newspaper. The fact is that in the past, newspaper ink was made using carbon black, or lamp black, and that’s what was responsible for making newspaper so effective at giving windows a nice polish. Now, however, latex is used in the ink, which means the soap will just smear on your glass and make a mess. Microfiber cloths and squeegees are now your best option for a clean, streak-free shine!

5.     Vinegar is the Best All-Purpose Cleaner

With the advent of Pinterest and the popularity of home-made cleaning solutions, vinegar has been lauded as a miracle cleaner – which it can be, but only if it’s diluted and used on the right surfaces. It should never be used to clean:

  • Hardwood floors because the acidity will actually dull and damage your finish. Opt for a cleaner specifically made for hardwood.
  • Wax floors because the acidity will remove the shine and sheen.
  • Carpet odors because it’s only masking the odor, not eliminating the cause. Choose an enzymatic carpet cleaner instead.
  • Unsealed grout (or grout that needs to be resealed) because vinegar can actually cause it to deteriorate.
  • Stone surfaces because vinegar can actually etch and damage the surface. Find a cleaner specially made for your natural stone or speak to a stone supplier about the best products to use if you’re unsure. Often, you’ll just need water and a soft cloth to keep these surfaces looking great.

Consider this case closed!

Are there other common cleaning traditions that you think are suspect? Let us know in the comments!

And if you don’t care to sort this all out for yourself, do yourself a favor and hire a professional cleaning service. It may just be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make!

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