Debunking time-wasting cleaning myths

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Clean It Right: Debunking DIY cleaning myths
Helping you achieve a spotless home without wasting your time or effort – Apr 8, 2024

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As our lives become more fast-paced, we’re often drawn to cleaning hacks that promise quick and easy results. However, not all of these hacks are effective and can in fact, waste our time and money.

I’m going to help you separate cleaning fact from fiction by debunking some of the most popular cleaning myths on the internet. By providing expert advice on the right products, tools, and techniques, I’ll help you achieve a spotless home without wasting your time or effort.


MYTH: Mixing vinegar and baking soda creates a powerful cleaner

Vinegar and baking soda are indeed powerful cleaners on their own, and when mixed together, they can be very exciting for children to watch. However, that’s where the fun stops. From a chemistry perspective, they neutralize one another once they react, essentially turning into water, which makes the mixture essentially useless for cleaning purposes.

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What to use instead


Baking soda is an incredible cleaning product that you can find in your cupboard at home. It’s famous for whitening and brightening, providing mild abrasion and deodorizing. Mix it with dish soap to create a cleaning paste, as a scouring powder for sinks, tubs, tiles, pots and pans, and so much more.


This is the gold standard dish soap; it’s job is to gently lift grease off a surface without being harsh on your hands. The concentrated version allows you to get more cleaning done with less water, too! Use dish soap diluted with water for an all-purpose cleaner, as a laundry pre-treater, and, of course, to clean greasy and grimy pots, pans, and dishes.

MYTH: Dryer sheets work as a dusting cloth

Used dryer sheets are floppy cloths that may seem useful, but are they really? No, they aren’t. They can’t grip and hold onto dust. If you compare the weave and texture of a used dryer sheet to that of a microfiber cloth, you’ll notice that the cloth has a thick, terry-style texture that’s electrostatically charged, whereas the used dryer sheet looks like a crumpled tissue. So, just toss these and don’t bother finding a second use for them.

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What to use instead

Microfiber cloths are non-linting cleaning clothes that don’t leave streaks behind and can be machine-washed hundreds of times. Use different colors in different spaces to avoid cross-contamination.


MYTH: Bleach is a great cure-all cleaning product

I hear this all the time—people telling me they use bleach to clean with. They dilute it in water and use it in a spray bottle to clean their toilets, etc. But here’s the thing: bleach does not actually clean anything, and it’s unsafe to use on many surfaces. Bleach whitens and disinfects, but when it comes to lifting dirt, grease, and grime from a surface, bleach won’t do that. Personally, I avoid using bleach at home because it can stain surfaces and garments, and it can cause harm if I’m exposed to it.


What to use instead

Vinegar with a higher percentage of acetic acid is more concentrated and, therefore, more powerful. What we typically use in food and what most of us have in the pantry is 5% acetic acid. However, you can find vinegar ranging from 10% onward and use it for cleaning purposes. It’s important to take precautions when using it, including wearing eye and hand protection. This vinegar can be diluted with water or used straight. It works as a powerful acid to remove calcium, lime, and rust build-up.
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MYTH: Use cola to clean toilets

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The internet loves silly cleaning hacks, and this one always makes me chuckle. The idea behind it is that if you want to clean your toilet and remove hard water stains, you put an acidic product (like cola) in the toilet, let it sit overnight, then scrub and rinse. However, in my experience, this is just a waste of time and cola.


What to use instead


This product is designed to remove stubborn build-up that looks unsightly around the house. Follow package instructions and impress yourself! This product is great at rejuvenating those areas that look dirty and worn.


Not all toilet brushes are created equal. This one’s terrific because it’s got powerful bristles, a sturdy handle and an open-air back that allows the brush to dry without having toilet water pool at the bottom of the brush holder.
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MYTH: Baby wipes are cure-all cleaning cloths

Baby wipes are indeed handy, especially for cleaning up a baby’s tush. However, most baby wipes— for obvious reasons—do not contain cleaning agents. In fact, they’re not much more than a damp paper towel in terms of their cleaning prowess. They can’t effectively remove stains, grease, or grime.


What to use instead


What’s cool about this product is that it not only knocks out germs, but it protects the surface from germs coming back, too!

Melissa Maker is a cleaning expert, author, and host of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube with over 2.1 million subscribers. Her tips and videos are seen worldwide and she helps people like her find faster, easier and better ways to clean in the least amount of time.

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