Ten common cleaning misconceptions

If you’re going to do something, do it properly. Don’t let these common misconceptions derail your spring-cleaning efforts!

1. If it smells clean, it must be clean

A clean bathroom shouldn’t smell like lemons or potpourri. The ultimate test is if it doesn’t smell like anything at all. Treating odours with perfumes and the occasional squirt of disinfectant doesn’t mean it’s clean. It means you’re hiding bacteria, and possibly other harmful pathogens, with deodoriser. You need to scrub at it with hot soapy water and good old-fashioned elbow grease.

2. Dusting isn’t necessary

Not dusting thoroughly can lead to poor air quality, allergies and asthma. Even if you don’t have allergies, dust is packed with dead skin cells, pet germs, dust mites, dirt, debris and even excrement!

3. Extra detergent makes clothes cleaner 

Excess suds can hold dirt and bacteria, getting caught up in areas that won’t always rinse clean, such as the collar, and creating a residue.

Will extra detergent make clothes cleaner? Photo: Stocksy

4. Vinegar is the best disinfectant

As far as vintage cleaning tips go, vinegar always gets a mention, touted as a cheap and green alternative to commercial products on the supermarket shelves. Don’t believe everything your grandmother told you! Vinegar contains 5 per cent acetic acid, so it may not be suitable for every surface. Also, it kills some bacteria, but does nothing against salmonella and other household pathogens. Yes, not as great as you think, even when mixed with its best mate baking soda!

5. Bleach can be used on any surface

Chlorine bleach may kill germs quickly, preventing mould and mildew, but it’s highly toxic and less effective at getting rid of stubborn build-up. It’s also heavily corrosive and shouldn’t be used on porous materials or metal. Also, mixing with hot water can actually stain white surfaces, causing them to turn yellow. For a gentler alternative, try diluted hydrogen peroxide, which can be bought from supermarkets at a 3 per cent concentration.

6. Professional cleaners are overrated

Even the most pristine house would benefit from a professional clean once or twice a year. Allergens, germs and soil can accumulate on carpets, curtains and windows and are difficult to remove without a bit of professional help.

7. Antibacterial products are the best way to clean

Antibacterial agents don’t necessarily work better than regular soaps. In fact, they can actually promote infections. Their widespread use may lead to bacterial resistance, even aiding the development of superbacteria. Triclosan, one of the most common chemicals found in antibacterial products, has even been pinpointed in a recent study as promoting staph. Of course, antibacterial products do have their place, but be wary of overuse.

What happens after you get your carpet professionally cleaned? Photo: Stocksy

8. Steam cleaning can cause mouldy carpet

When you have your carpet professionally cleaned, it usually stays damp for a day or two after. This does not cause mould, despite the musty smell. Dirt promotes mould growth much more than humidity. As well as containing spores, soil is a hygroscopic material, readily soaking up any nearby moisture. If you want to curb the risk of mould, a regular steam clean is a good idea.

9. All green products are completely safe 

A growing number of Australians are buying eco-friendly cleaning products – made from natural, non-toxic, biodegradable ingredients instead of synthetic agents. Yet just because the ingredients are plant-based or natural doesn’t necessarily mean they’re safe. The market goes largely unregulated – so be wary of what’s in the bottle. Many contain some fraction of synthetic chemicals, such as the cancer-causing compound called 1,4-dioxane – and natural ingredients such as coconut diethanolamide and limonene can cause allergies. Green or not, always check the cleaning product’s safety information before using them.

10. Cleaning takes all day

Sure, spring cleaning sounds incredibly arduous and stressful, but deep cleaning needn’t be seen as a twice-yearly, all-day marathon event. If you take care of your house periodically, setting aside time for upkeep, you won’t become overwhelmed.

Cleaning doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Photo: Stocksy


Author: Kathleen Lee-Joe

Source : http://www.domain.com.au/

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