Published on June 18th, 2019
The Internet is one of mankind’s greatest inventions and a great research tool for discovering all kinds of fascinating facts. And watching cat videos, too.
People love sharing their cleaning hacks with the world wide web but there’s a big problem with that. Many of these hacks don’t actually work or worse – damage what you were trying to clean in the first place!
As home service specialists, we’re here to shed a little light on six of the dodgiest cleaning tips we’ve found on the Internet.
Saturate Fresh Carpet Stains with Water or Cleaning Products
Makes sense, right? While the Internet (and our mothers) have always told us to soak that stain as soon as it occurs, excess moisture on the carpet can get trapped in carpet fibres, backing and underlay, causing water marks and leading to long term mould and bacteria growth in the future.
You also need to avoid over-treating the stain with stain removal products. Less is usually best when it come to the application of stain removal products as overuse can unset dyes and cause bleaching, which is either noticeable immediately or next time you have your carpet cleaned.
Blotting is the key here. If a solid spill has just occurred, use a spatula or similar to remove any large chunks or solid excess from the carpet. If the stain is a result of a liquid spill then sponge liberally with water and dry the area by placing a thick towel on the stain and standing on the towel. You need to remove as much moisture as possible. Next up, spray lightly with your product of choice and blot at it with a paper towel or cloth until the stain starts to transfer to the cloth or towel. Continue this process until the stain disappears or you’re no longer achieving colour transfer from the carpet to the cloth. You can always call in the professionals if it’s a difficult stain you want treated by the best in the business.
Cleaning Wood Floors with Vinegar
Vinegar is great at many things. Cleaning wood floors is not one of them. I cringe every time I see a cleaning site recommend this horrible hack, mostly because I know how frustrating it can be to watch wood floors dull over time and not know why!
Washing wood floors with vinegar is a bad idea because your floor is covered with a polish and acidic vinegar is doing very little other than wearing down your floor’s protective coating. Use a cleaner made specifically for wood floors and use a spray mop so that your floors dry quickly.
Using Vinegar to Scrub Your Natural Stone
Another cleaning with vinegar no-no is using it on your natural stone, such as tiles or stone benchtops. The acidity in the vinegar can cause etching on surfaces made of marble or granite. Dishwashing detergent and warm water or castile soap will do the trick here!
Window Cleaner on Your Computer, Tablet or Smartphone
This is one lie I discovered recently. Window cleaners can wear down the anti-glare coating on your screen, fogging up and even potentially cracking the screen. Just use plain water (or a 1:1 mix of water and vinegar for stubborn grime) and a clean microfiber cloth. Turn the screen off for safety reasons and to make the dirt easier to see on the black screen. Spray a little of the water or water/vinegar mixture onto the cloth, not directly onto the screen to avoid damaging any electrical parts, and wipe in small circles.
White Wine will get rid of Red Wine Stains
The expert carpet cleaners here at Electrodry got a good laugh when I told them about this one. Other than wasting a perfectly good sauvignon blanc, adding white wine to a red wine stain will add more sugar to the existing stain, creating further stickiness and adding more tannins to your carpet fibres. Red wine stains can be removed using products you should have readily available in the kitchen.
Combine Vinegar and Bleach for Cleaning
A resounding NO from me on this one. This is because adding acidic substances to bleach releases toxic chlorine gases that can cause respiratory issues and a burning sensation in your eyes. Eek! There’s no shortage of alternative cleaning options on our blog for you to check out.
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