5 myths about cleaning that get in the way of keeping things really clean

Not only do these misconceptions prevent you from fighting dirt properly, they can even harm people and things in the house.

Cleaning makes the house sterile

Many people confuse cleaning proper with disinfecting. When we treat surfaces with cleaners and detergents, we are wiping dust and various types of dirt from them.

Dirt is an excellent breeding ground for germs, including pathogens. Especially if it is of biological origin: grease, pieces of food, human body secretions. So after cleaning there are really fewer microorganisms – we just remove them together with the dirt.

But some of this fauna still remains alive and quite unharmed. Therefore, if you want to get rid of bacteria, viral particles, fungus, helminth eggs and other crap, it is better to connect disinfection as well. For example, to treat surfaces with steam, sterilize by boiling things that do not suffer, and, of course, use disinfectants, that is, agents with antimicrobial properties.

Fighting germs is especially important when it comes to cleaning the bathroom, as well as objects and surfaces that we often touch: faucet valves, doorknobs, phone, computer keyboards. And of course, if there is a person with an infectious disease at home, treating places and objects of common use with a disinfectant solution will help not infect healthy family members.

However, smearing antiseptic on a dirty or dusty surface is ineffective from all points of view. Therefore, you should first wash everything with soap or cleaning agents – and only then disinfect.

Chlorine is an all-purpose cleaner

Experts note that chlorine-containing solutions work as disinfectants, but not all of them have good cleaning power and cope with dirt.

In addition, they are not suitable for all surfaces. They can leave light stains on stainless steel, wood, or painted furniture. Especially if you overdo it with bleach, keep it for a long time or rinse it badly.

Finally, chlorine-containing solutions are not safe for health: they can irritate the eyes, skin and respiratory tract, causing breathing difficulties. Particular caution should be exercised if there are small children in the family who might touch the floor washed with such a cleaner, and then stick their hands in their mouths or rub their eyes.

Therefore, it’s better to handle chlorine in any form on bathroom fixtures and tiles, and to use less toxic products for floors and other surfaces in the house.

Vinegar can clean anything

Vinegar is sometimes recommended for cleaning just about everything in the house, including floors, plumbing, countertops and leather furniture.

Vinegar is really great for cleaning windows or removing limescale from faucets and sinks. But keep in mind that it is an acid that can damage some surfaces, such as wood and granite.

Dishwashers and washing machines wash themselves

And so there is no need to wipe them additionally – they are already clean. Nevertheless, in the dishwasher there are particles of food and grease, and in the washing machine – all sorts of substances, including biological origin. Therefore, both find a fairly wide range of microorganisms, including salmonella, E. coli and fungi of the genus Candida.

Therefore, it is better to wipe the drum of the washing machine with antiseptic after every wash. And once a month, run a cycle without clothes at high temperature with the addition of a chlorine-containing agent.

The dishwasher should be thoroughly cleaned from the inside every time you take out clean plates and cups, as well as shake out food debris from the drain filter and wash the mesh. The walls can be periodically treated with antiseptic, but only without chlorine.

In addition, both the dishwasher and the washing machine should be regularly cleaned of limescale with special compounds.

All detergents should be rinsed out immediately.

This is most often the case. Moreover, if you do not rinse the product properly, stains and streaks may remain. But some disinfectants, as well as compositions for removing scale, rust and solidified grease need to be applied to the surface and leave for at least a few minutes, so they have time to act. Therefore, it is worth carefully reading the instructions for each product and strictly follow them.