There are hundreds of tips out there, as well as a few misconceptions. Believing the myths can make your cleaning jobs a great deal harder. So whether you’re a professional or someone who just wants to keep your home looking its best at all times, it’s time to unlearn these common cleaning myths.

  1. Salt removes wine stains
    Salt does not remove wine stains in carpet, but it does absorb excess moisture. So if you’re dealing with a dried stain, it’s best to use tonic water to attempt its removal.
  2. Cleaning a fridge removes bad smells
    Some odours have a habit of sticking around — particularly those caused by things such as onions and garlic. However, no amount of scrubbing will completely remove these smells. Once you’re certain your fridge is clean, put a bowl of baking soda on the top shelf — which will gradually absorb the odours.
  3. Always use fabric softener on towels
    Using fabric softener every time you clean your towels could reduce their absorbency. Instead, use a quality softener once every three washes. This should keep them fluffy and fully absorbent.
  4. White clothes go grey when washed with darks
    Have you ever pulled out your white linen, only to find it has turned grey in the wash? This isn’t a result of putting darks in too. The chances are your whites are turning grey because you’re overloading your washing machine. To reverse the colouring, use the maximum amount of detergent for your next wash, and select the highest water temperature allowed by the manufacturer washing guidelines.
  5. Laundry detergent is just for fabric
    Believe it or not, there are several uses for laundry detergent in the home. If you notice your bathtub is starting to turn a shade of grey, for instance, filling it with hot water and detergent should restore it to its former glory. Laundry detergent is also effective at removing burnt food from saucepans.
  6. You should remove stains with hot water
    It often seems logical to attack a carpet or upholstery stain with hot water. However, hot water can actually help certain types of stain to set — particularly protein-based stains caused by substances such as blood. To avoid any mistakes, always use cold water when trying to remove stubborn stains.
  7. You should wash cheap man-made fibres on the hottest setting
    Yes, cheap fibres such as polyester are often a magnet for stains. However, washing clothes made with these fibres at excessive temperatures can cause excessive creasing. In some cases, the creases caused simply can’t be ironed out.
  8. Vinegar can be used to clean everything
    While vinegar is an effective cleaning agent, it’s important to remember that it’s an acid. In excessive quantities, even white cooking vinegar can cause permanent damage to wood, stone and other household surfaces. Wherever you decide to use vinegar, always dilute it with at least as much water.
  9. Feather dusters are the best option for removing dust
    Only ostrich-feather dusters attract dust effectively. But even then, using them can actually transfer dust from one place to another. A much more effective way to remove dust is to use a micro-fibre cloth. Alternatively, wool can also attract dust relatively easily.
  10. Hairspray can remove ink
    Modern hairsprays do not contain alcohol, so they aren’t effective at removing ink stains. In fact, modern hairsprays contain hardening agents, which can make stains worse. The next time you need to remove an ink stain, use a small amount of vodka and try to blot it away with a micro-fibre cloth.

Haus Maids are domestic house cleaners with offices in  Farnham, Alton, Winchester, Guildford and Godalming.