Seven cleaning myths: busted

From cleaning glass with newspaper to vacuuming your carpet too much, we’re clearing up some common, yet questionable cleaning myths… and sweeping away any Nagging Doubts.

Myth one: Too much vacuuming can damage your carpet

Modern vacuums have replaced the beater bar (which used to wreak havoc on old carpets) with softer, rotating brushes. It means you can vacuum away to your heart’s content! In fact, the best advice is to vacuum at least once a week.

Dirt and dust are abrasive and if left to accumulate on your carpet, they can eventually wear down the padding and destroy the glue that holds the carpet fibers in place. Dirt can also become chemically bonded to your carpet, leading to unsightly permanent stains. So, don’t be afraid to vacuum too often – it keeps your carpet healthy.

Myth two: If it smells good, it’s clean

A nice fragrant scent equals nice and clean, right? Not necessarily. It’s possible that the fragrance could just be masking a real problem. To test if a surface is truly clean, you’ve really got to get your hands dirty – and do a touch test. If the surface feels clean, it’s likely you have removed all the grime and dirt away. And don’t forget, un-fragranced cleaning products work just as well as scented ones.

Myth 3: Cleaning solutions act immediately

Wiping cleaning product off immediately after you have sprayed isn’t a good idea. In order for the product to work its magic, you have to let it penetrate the grime, even if just for a few minutes*. So be patient. This, plus a little bit of elbow grease will give you the perfectly clean, spotless surface you’re after.

*Always read the label to get the best use from your product.

Myth four: Bleach is the ultimate cleaner

If bleach is your go-to product for cleaning everything and anything, you may need to re-think things. Yes, bleach can kill bacteria and get your whites looking whiter again, but it doesn’t actually lift soil or dissolve grease. Think of bleach as more of a sanitizer. Use your degreaser to shift the stubborn stuff and use bleach for a hygienic finish. 

Myth five: Newspaper works best for cleaning glass

Most modern newspapers are now printed on much thinner paper and if used for cleaning, you’ll find they get damp very easily. This can cause tears and leave behind little bits of paper that could make a mess of your windows. A micro-fibre cloth is a better (and reasonably cheap) option for sparkly, streak-free windows. They pick up dirt and residue on glass best when wet, but will also double up as a duster if you need to polish. 

Myth six: Ballpoint-pen ink can be removed with hairspray

Years ago, hairspray had a high alcohol content. That made it quite useful for lifting ink blots out of school shirts. These days, it’s got all sorts of stiffeners and hardening agents in it that can actually make ink stains worse – and your shirts sticky. A better bet is a bottle of rubbing alcohol.

Myth seven: A professional clean will shrink your carpet

When your carpet gets stained or dirty, you may need to call in the professionals to clean it. There is a misconception that a professional clean will do your carpet more harm than good. But there's no need to worry. Professionals will know how to handle your carpet with care, so it looks in pristine condition and will save you from making further stains trying to clean it yourself.

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