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14 Cleaning Myths Everyone Believed for Way Too Long

Turns out, you’re doing it all wrong! Or maybe you know better than to believe these common home cleaning myths.

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Myth: You Should Wash Everything in Cold Water

It’s true that washing laundry in cold water can save on energy bills, but sometimes hot water is better. Use hot water on bedding and towels to kill bacteria and mold; keep the cold water for clothing. Here are some other laundry mistakes you didn’t know you were making.

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Cleaning guttersIndy Edge/Shutterstock

Myth: Gutters Only Need Cleaning in the Fall

No matter what the season, clogged gutters can lead to damage since they cannot drain properly. This summer, continue to clean out all those leaves and other debris that build up in a short amount of time and don’t forget to clean them again in the fall.

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Pouring bleachCassiohabib/Shutterstock

Myth: Bleach is a Great Cleaner

Bleach will certainly kill bacteria and remove some stains, but it should be used as a disinfectant, not a cleaner. To get rid of dirt and residue, you’ll need a product designed specifically for cleaning. Take a look at these common household cleaners you should never mix with bleach.

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Scrubbing groutTanyaRozhnovskaya/Shutterstock

Myth: Use a Specialized Grout Cleaner

Harsh chemicals may make grout even more difficult to clean. Instead, try mixing equal parts white vinegar with water in a spray bottle. Spray the area generously and let it sit for five minutes. Then make a paste with baking soda and water and use a grout brush or toothbrush to clean the grout. Get the step-by-step instructions here.

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Cleaning cabinetsMita Stock Images/Shutterstock

Myth: If it Smells Clean, it is Clean

Sometimes a fragrance can mask a problem. When you’re cleaning, if it feels clean and smells clean, it’s likely clean. If it still feels dirty or has residue, it may need more cleaning. Here’s how to tackle the top 10 toughest cleaning jobs.

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Exhaust fanMumemories/Shutterstock

Myth: The Exhaust Fan is Maintenance-Free

It may not look dirty, but it’s a good idea to regularly clean out the bathroom exhaust fan. (Here’s how to do it on our own.) The fan can get dusty, which may prevent it from effectively preventing mold and mildew.

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Cleaning windowsAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

Myth: Use Newspaper for Spring Cleaning Windows

It’s true that newspapers won’t leave any lint when it comes to washing windows, but they can leave smeared ink. Instead, use a squeegee and microfiber cloth when cleaning windows.

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Natural cleanersM. Show/Shutterstock

Myth: Natural Cleaners Aren’t as Good as Store-Bought

Many natural cleaners—such as those that use vinegar, baking soda and lemon—are just as effective as store-bought versions. If you do go the natural cleaner route, you may need to let the cleaner sit a little longer for best results. Here are 15 amazing natural cleaners you should try.

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Washing cararrakasta/Shutterstock

Myth: Rain Will Wash Your Car

Not true! Raindrops aren’t enough to get the job done. Be sure to get both the inside and outside, along with the undercarriage to remove all that buildup of dirt and debris. Check out these cleaning and detailing tips that will save you some money.

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Cleaning air conditionerFamily Handyman

Myth: Your Air Conditioner Unit is Ready for Summer

This summer make sure your air conditioner is ready to get to work. You may need to clear out dirt and debris, check the coolant level and replace the fan filter. This is how you can clean an AC condenser unit and how you can clean a room AC unit.

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DishwasherAlena PI/Shutterstock

Myth: Your Dishwasher Cleans Itself

Your dishwasher works hard to clean all your dishes, and it likely needs a good cleaning as well. Start by removing all the debris from the tub and make sure it’s draining properly. (Here’s what to do if it isn’t.) Then run a cycle using a dishwasher cleaner. Follow these 5 easy steps for a crystal-clean dishwasher.

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Furniture polishStokkete/Shutterstock

Myth: You Need to Use Furniture Polish

Save the furniture polish for when you really need it because polish can attract dust and leave a residue when used too often. Instead, just use a microfiber cloth to wipe down those wood tables, shelves and chairs. If you’re in need of some microfiber cloths, we suggest this pack of 12 from Amazon.

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Cleaning ceiling fanMindy w.m. Chung/Shutterstock

Myth: Your Ceiling Fan Doesn’t Need Cleaning

Even if you have it running nearly 24/7, it’s still a good idea to make sure that your ceiling fan is good and clean. For quick cleaning, grab an old pillowcase and put it around each blade then wipe clean. Take a look at these before and after cleaning photos you have to see to believe.

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Cleaning blindsThe Family Handyman

Myth: When Blinds are Closed They Don’t Get Dirty

Now’s the time to clean those blinds. Washing blinds doesn’t mean you have to remove them. Instead, try using tongs with an attached rag or even a pair of socks to remove dust. Next, check out the most popular cleaning products of the year.

Originally Published on The Family Handyman

Rachel Brougham
Writer and editor with a background in news writing, editorial and column writing and content marketing.

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