A couple of these too-good-to-be-true cleaning myths work surprisingly well.
The internet is the Wild West when it comes to cleaning tips, that’s why it’s important to look to sources you trust when you have a tricky cleaning question. When in doubt, always start with the least damaging cleaning method and work from there. But just in case, here are some common cleaning myths that need to be debunked once and for all—along with two that really work.
False: Freezing your jeans kills bacteria.
We’re sorry to report that putting your favorite pair of jeans in the freezer won’t kill bacteria. Unfortunately, the temperature in the freezer (about 0 degrees Fahrenheit) isn’t low enough to kill bacteria (-80 degrees Fahrenheit).
Dirt, dead skin cells, and oil all accumulate on your jeans when you wear them. The only way to clean them is to wash them.
False: Hand washing your dishes is more water-efficient.
While it might seem more eco-friendly to not use your dishwasher, you actually use more water when you’re rinsing and washing your dishes by hand. The average full-size dishwasher only uses about five gallons of water.
False: More detergent = cleaner clothes.
Too much detergent increases the amount of suds, creating so many suds that they won’t rinse away, leading to an increase in bacteria. Yuck! Americans tend to use too much detergent in general; a good rule of thumb is to start with half the amount you normally use and increase it if you feel like your clothes aren’t getting clean enough.
False: Silver polish is needed to remove tarnish.
You don’t need to polish silver one piece at a time. Do it in bulk instead. Try this: line a deep glass container with a layer or two of aluminum foil. Place the silverware on the foil and cover it with baking soda. Pour boiling water on top of it and watch the tarnish disappear.
False: Vinegar can clean anything.
Vinegar is an acid, which means it’s not meant for every surface in your home. While it’s handy as a multipurpose cleaner, it’s not great for porous surfaces, tech devices, and more.
False: Furniture polish is the best way to keep furniture looking new.
Most pieces of wood furniture don’t need to be polished; they just need to be kept clean and safe from sitting moisture. If you use furniture polish often, it can build up, forming a sticky residue over time.
True: Vodka removes odors from clothes.
According to laundry experts, you can use your cheap vodka to remove musty odors from your clothes. Pour it into a spray bottle and spritz a fine mist over a hanging piece of clothing, then let it dry.
True: Microfiber cloths wipe away germs.
Microfiber’s physical structure allows the cloth to pick up dirt, grease, and bacteria, which makes them great to clean with. They are also super gentle on surfaces and can be used and reused in every room of your home.