The Internet is filled with cleaning tips, tricks and hacks that are said to “help you remove stains” or “revolutionise the way you clean”. Sadly many of these “cleaning hacks” are indeed myths and can double your cleaning workload or worse, ruin your clothes, worktops and carpets.
We decided to investigate 8 common myths and misconceptions and get to the bottom of whether these actually work!
1. Hairspray removes ink stains
Oh em gee! It’s totally working! Using aquanet hairspray to get the pigment ink out of the carpet… http://t.co/3R0zrPEfDE
— Wendy Coffman (@stampingrules) January 28, 2014
Back in the day this trick used to be much more reliable. Hairsprays used to contain much more alcohol, which was the key ingredient in getting ink stains out of carpets. Nowadays many hairsprays have lower levels of alcohol and can even be alcohol free, meaning that it won’t get rid of anything – it will just make a sticky mess. If you have an ink accident, be it on clothing or carpets, the best thing you can do is act fast and look for rubbing alcohol.
For more solutions on removing ink stains click here.
2. White wine removes red wine
White wine removes red wine. Mind blown. — Brooklyne (@Brooklyne) March 11, 2015
What could possibly go wrong?
The video below will clear this one right up. Basically, white wine will help to remove some of the colour however you will still be left with quite a substantial stain and down a bottle of wine.
Salt is actually the better option for cleaning up freshly spilled red wine. Sprinkling salt will help to absorb the wine and give you some more time to think of an actual solution.
3. Carpet takes days to dry after cleaning
This myth is half true, the reason being because carpets can in fact take days to dry but only if they haven’t been cleaned properly.
NOTE: The more stained your carpet, the more moisture it will require and longer it will take to try. Patience is key.
4. Professional carpet cleaning can shrink my carpets and damage the fabric
A lot of people are worried about carpets shrinking after cleaning; this is more of a concern for those who have woollen carpets. In reality, a skilled carpet cleaner will be able to clean all carpets without any change in size. If a carpet does shrink after being cleaned, it has only done so because of the water and will return back to normal once it’s dried.
It is important to remember that carpets are designed to endure cleaning. The only time you will run into trouble is if you use the wrong chemicals or over scrub. With proper tools and techniques there is absolutely no risk of damaging your carpets through cleaning methods.
5. Bleach will get rid of anything
Here’s the thing, bleach does a great job at acting like the best all-purpose cleaner BUT in reality it isn’t all that effective. Cleaning properties help to loosen and suspend soil in the solution so that they can be removed, bleach has no such properties. It’s simply a solution for killing bacteria. Bleach will help to kill microorganisms but it is not capable of removing excess soil and deceased bacteria.
6. Shaving Cream
According to Lifehacker shaving foams can be useful outside of the bathroom. The trick is to dab a little bit of foam on the stain, leave it to settle and then blot it until the stain is removed.
— BuzzFeed Partner (@buzzfeedpartner) May 22, 2014
7. Vinegar is great for cleaning and removing stains, right?
Wrong, there are many things you can do with vinegar but it’s not a great natural cleaner. This article goes explains that vinegar – even when combined with baking soda isn’t all that its cracked up to be.
Vinegar is also known to etch natural stone and can damage the finish on hardwood floors. We would recommend you steer clear of vinegar as a cleaning product.
I tried cleaning the microwave w/ vinegar. Not only did it not work like the Internet said it would, it also made our apt stink. #fail
— Kim Esquivel (@Kim_Esquivel) January 19, 2013
8. Newspapers are great for cleaning glass
This is quite an old myth that has been floating around for some time now. The fact of the matter is, things are digital now, when was the last time you had extra newspaper lying around the house to go on and clean your windows with?
This is a myth, if you use newspaper to clean your windows you will likely just end up with lots of ink all over your hands. Also, newspaper is thin and likely to tear if you use too much or too little. The better alternative would be a squeegee or the good old-fashioned paper towel.