Myths are everywhere and housekeeping has a few of its own. While some housekeeping myths result in wasted time, some can cause damage to your furniture or belongings. Read on to see which of these cleaning missteps you’ve done.

Use furniture polish on your wood every time you clean.

Furniture polish has changed a lot since your grandmother used it. Polishes today often contain silicone. While silicone does make your furniture nice and shiny, it can also trap humidity between layers causing a sticky buildup. Sticky furniture equals more dust! Limit your use of furniture polish and instead use a clean microfiber towel for regular dusting.

Use lemons and coffee grounds to freshen up your garbage disposal.

The idea here is that coffee grounds are mildly abrasive and therefore remove gunk and buildup from your disposal blades. While this may seem like a good idea, coffee grounds don’t breakdown in water. Instead the grounds clump together putting you at risk for a clogged drain. For a better option, choose baking soda. It’s also mildly abrasive but won’t clog your drain. Plus, because it’s a base, it will counteract smelly acids that end up down the drain.

Hairspray removes ink from clothing.

This is a myth that actually used to be true. Years ago, most hairsprays contained alcohol. It was actually the alcohol that did the job of removing pesky ink from your shirt. However, most hairsprays today use much less alcohol than in the past and some don’t contain any making them pretty much useless at removing ink stains from clothing. Nowadays, it’s best to go straight to the source. Just spray a little alcohol on the stain and wave goodbye.

Use newspapers instead of paper towels to clean your windows.

First, where do you get a newspaper? Just kidding. The thought here is that newspapers won’t leave lint on your windows. BUT newspapers today are much thinner and thus more likely to tear while cleaning. This can create quite a mess. Additionally, newspapers can leave ink smears on your window trim and who wants something else to clean? Your best bet? A clean microfiber towel.

Vinegar cleans everything.

While it certainly does a great job at cleaning a lot of things, don’t let the fact that it’s safe fool you. Vinegar is an acid and can damage natural stone and wood surfaces. To learn more about what to clean and what not to clean with vinegar, click here.

Bleach cleans anything.

Actually bleach doesn’t really “clean” anything. It disinfects. In other words, bleach won’t remove soil but it will disinfect it. Additionally, bleach carries health and environmental hazards so it’s best to know when and where to use it. To remove dirt and grime from your home, you can clean it with soap and water. Save bleach for disinfecting bathrooms and kitchens where nasty germs lie.

Hand washing dishes cleans them better than the dishwasher.

Today’s dishwashers are highly effective at cleaning. They not only clean better than hand washing, modern dishwashers also use A LOT less water than hand washing – some save up to 5,000 gallons over the course of a year. Many machines today also sanitize dishes in addition to cleaning by heating the water to 140 degrees.

Vacuuming too much is bad for your carpet.

This may have been true “back in the day” but today’s vacuums are not only perfectly ok to use regularly but SHOULD be used regularly. Carpets should be vacuumed at least once week to keep dirt and pet hair from staining or damaging your carpet. High traffic areas should be vacuumed even more frequently to avoid permanent stains.

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