These Common Cleaning Myths Were Just Busted

When something is repeated over and over again, people tend to start assuming it's true. This phenomenon applies to everything: politics, sports, celebrity gossip... even cleaning products! Although most myths are harmless, others can result in damage or injury. At the very least, it's always interesting to find out that a particular nugget of supposed "wisdom" is actually false! To help bust some of the most popular cleaning myths, asked a series of experts whether or not they are actually as effective as people claim. Keep reading to learn whether lemon peels, baking soda, and vinegar are really the ultimate cleaning products!

Myth #1: Steam cleans wood floors best

Apparently, some people think that the best way to clean a wood floor is with a steam mop, since it eliminates the liquid water of a normal mop. Of course, steam is still water, and Brett Miller, vice president of education and certification for the National Wood Flooring Association, warns that it can cause even more damage than the liquid water from a normal mop! Instead, clean the floor with a dry or nearly dry microfiber mop.

Myth #2: Baking soda cleans carpets

Yes, baking soda is good at absorbing odors, but it doesn't actually treat the cause of the unpleasant smell. If your carpet has a nagging odor, it likely means that the original stain got down into the padding. Having the carpet professionally deep-cleaned is often the only way to eliminate the smell.

Myth #3: Lemon peel cures a smelly garbage disposal

Much like the above, lemon peel is only helping to cover up the odor rather than treating the cause. When a garbage disposal develops a foul smell, it's because bacteria are growing on food residue inside the unit. One good way to scrub out the gunk is by running cold water and several trays worth of ice cubes down the disposal. As the ice is ground up, it will scour away the residue; plus, the cold will help to kill some of the bacteria.

Myth #4: Vinegar cleans anything and everything

Perhaps no other cleaning hack has become as mainstream as using vinegar in place of store-bought cleaning products. Yes, vinegar does work as a simple and cheap option for some surfaces, but it is by no means a universal cleaner. For instance, cast-iron, natural stone, unfinished wood, tile, and grout can all be damaged by the acidity of vinegar. In addition, you should be careful to never mix vinegar and bleach, as the resulting chemical reaction creates toxic fumes.

These are just a few of the biggest myths that investigated. For more information about these and other cleaning myths, check out their article.