Myths About Cleaning, Debunked


No matter where you live or what kind of home you own, using the proper cleaning techniques is very important. In addition to keeping you happier and healthier, proper cleaning can extend the life of your carpets, your stone and tile, and your furniture – and save you money in the process.

Unfortunately, there are lots of cleaning myths out there. Falling for one of them might keep you from enjoying the clean you deserve or, even worse, cause expensive problems. Here are a few of the most common myths about cleaning your home – and the truths behind them.

Myth: Steam Cleaning Can Damage Your Carpet

No matter how careful you are or how proactive your approach to keeping a clean home, eventually your carpets will get stained and dirty. When that happens, arranging for a professional carpet cleaning seems the logical thing to do. An experienced technician with specialized equipment can pull the deep-set dirt out of the carpet fibers and leave your rugs looking like new.

Unfortunately, there is a persistent myth that professional carpet cleaning can shrink carpet and shorten its life span. This is simply not the case.

While it’s true that letting water sit on your carpet is a bad idea, modern carpet cleaning equipment is effective at removing moisture. In fact, carpets cleaned by my go-to professional cleaner, Rainier Chem-Dry, will be dry in two hours or less. A reputable professional will leave your carpets clean and fresh without risk of shrinkage or damage. So feel free to call your local carpet cleaner to remove those stains once and for all.

Myth: Bleach is the Ultimate Stain Remover

Just about everyone has heard that bleach is a great stain remover, but the chemical actually does nothing to remove dirt and grime. On the contrary, bleach only lightens stains (and fabrics) to makes household surfaces like porcelain, stone, or tile appear clean. Bleach is effective at targeting mold and bacteria, so it does have a place in your home; just be careful when using bleach around carpets, furniture, or upholstery.

When it comes to removing dirt or stains, however, stick to cleaners that are designed for the task.

Myth: Washing Your Dishes by Hand Uses Less Energy

If you have a dishwasher that’s 20 years old, this myth may have a hint of truth in it. But if your dishwasher is a more modern unit, it will actually use far less energy and water than washing dishes by hand. If you need an excuse to load up the dishwasher and put away your hand soap, rest assured that the automatic cleaning method can lower your electricity and water bills.

Myth: Newspaper is a Great Window Cleaner

If you’re looking for something to do with those old newspapers, you may be eyeing your windows and wondering the old wives’ tale is true. Well, you can put those papers back in the recycling bin and pick up a microfiber cloth instead. The print on newspapers can actually rub off as you clean, leaving telltale marks on the trim and making your cleaning job even harder.

Instead, use microfiber. Cloth made with microfiber cleans much better than newspaper and leaves no residue.

Myth: You Should Pour Soda in the Toilet

Many swear by the cleaning power of sodas like Coca-Cola and Pepsi, believing they can remove hard water stains and freshen the toilet bowl. In reality, these substances belong in the kitchen – not the bathroom. While it’s true that soda’s acid may remove some hard water stains, the dark caramel coloring is much more likely to make stains more noticeable. That’s not all: The sugar in the soda could promote the unwanted growth of harmful bacteria.

There are a lot of myths about keeping your home clean and tidy, so it is important to educate yourself and learn the truth. Leaving these common myths behind can help you keep your home sparkling clean and avoid potential problems down the line.