Don’t try this at home! The cleaning tips you should never follow

Over your life you’ve probably heard hundreds of cleaning tips – whether it’s from your mum or a great new

Over your life you’ve probably heard hundreds of cleaning tips – whether it’s from your mum or a great new trick from a friend.

If you’ve ever doubted their effectiveness, you could be on to something!

Here are some cleaning tricks you definitely shouldn’t follow:

1. Pouring water onto carpet stains

It can be very alarming when you spill something on your carpet, however your first move should not be to douse it with water. Over-saturating the stain can damage the fibres, and can trap the stain instead of releasing it. Instead, use the blot method for lifting stains. Lightly spritz with water to rinse and then blot with a dry cloth.

2. Cleaning a coffeemaker with bleach

When you say it out-loud, it doesn’t sound right, and that’s because it isn’t. It’s not a good idea to run this harsh chemical through the machine, and also you wouldn’t want any residue to end up in your morning mug. Vinegar is a better alternative for descaling your coffeemaker, or if you’re using a more traditional plunger, a bit of rice swirled around will get out hard to reach stains.

3. Polishing silver with toothpaste

This trick does work but it can make your jewellery tarnish over time – toothpaste is abrasive. Instead, use either commercially made polish or a mixture of 1L hot water, 1 tbsp bicarb, 1 sheet of foil and a bowl. Simply line the bowl with foil then mix the bicarb into the water. Soak and buff.

4. Wiping your windows with newspaper

You may have heard using newspaper to clean your windows really works but in fact it does not. The paper’s ink could rub off onto the windows trims and sills. Instead, use a microfibre cloth or a spray solution and paper towel.

5. Spraying window cleaner on your computer screen or phone

If your computer or phone is getting a bit grubby, it can be tempting to just spray it with cleaner, however liquid does not mix well with electronics. Instead, use a microfibre cloth or even an alcohol wipe to clean instead.

6. Get rid of water rings on wood with a vinegar-olive oil mixture

If you forgot to use a coaster, you may have spotted cup marks on your wooden furniture. Some people swear by this trick however it doesn’t always worked. The acid in vinegar could harm the varnish on the wood.

7. Secure wine glasses in the dishwasher with rubber bands

Have you see the image of the wine glasses in the dishwasher with rubber bands? It says it protects your good glasses from damage by placing them on the rack, stems up, and wrapping bands around the cup and drawer, however it could end up breaking your glasses if the rubber band breaks.

8. Clean your oven with just bicarb soda, vinegar, and a few drops of dish liquid

The dish liquid is doing most of the work here because the truth is, when you mix bicarb soda and vinegar, you end up with a little bit of sodium bicarbonate and a lot of water. Instead, use a sponge and dish liquid to create suds on the glass. Then, add a few drops of water to a couple tablespoons of bicarb soda in a bowl (enough to get a thick paste). Use this to scrub away at the soapy glass. Then clean off the soap and scrub with some hot water, until you get all of the cleaning product off.

9. Soak your knives in vinegar to remove rust spots

This doesn’t actually work, and either does lemon juice. But what does work is a potato, sliced in half with the sliced side rubbed in bicarb soda. Scrub your knife with the potato then wash, and rub with a little bit of vegetable oil to help prevent more rust.

10. Make a homemade fruit fly trap with ACV and dishwashing liquid

This trap kind of works however it doesn’t always attract every fruit fly. The most effective way to get rid of fruit flies is to throw out your rubbish, do your dishes, rinse out your sink and drain, and toss fruit and veggies when they go bad.

11. Wash sponges in the dishwasher

This might help get rid of those food particles, but it doesn’t take care of all of the bacteria. Instead, microwave your sponge for two minutes when it’s damp, or simply throw it out.

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