5 Scientifically Weird Cleaning Myths

By: Deshaun Schroeder


While every profession may boast of at least one myth, the number of myths in the process of cleaning is arguably the highest. Some of them are common yet weird for the person even remotely associated with science. I'll list five of them here.

The Cleaning Power is Proportional to the Amount of Detergent Used: The reason why detergent and soap is effective in removing dirt from a surface is that they attract dirt, and can be eventually cleansed. But when all the dirt on the surface has been cleaned, the excess detergent tends to stick to it, which in turn attracts dirt from the outside. While the cleaning power most certainly cannot be determined by the amount of detergent used, we may safely say that the amount of dirt is proportional to the latter. But then again, it's better to read the instructions detailed on the packet before estimating the amount.

Vinegar is the King of Cleaning Products: I do agree that vinegar may be more effective than regular cleaners on most surfaces, but there are some surfaces that despise the taste of vinegar. Hardwood floors and no-wax ones prove vinegar to be too acidic for them, and they may eventually lose their beauty with regular use. Avoid vinegar on stone surfaces too since they get damaged. Vinegar isn't even as effective as an enzymatic cleaner to get rid of carpet odor. Suddenly vinegar seems to have lost its magic touch.

Bleach is the Indisputable Emperor: This might be the most common myth doing the rounds all over the world, that's indisputably false. Bleach is a disinfectant, not a cleaner. It kills germs really well from the surface, but it may not clean dirt. In very rare cases, it does clean stains, but you normally have to scrub it off the surface after bleaching.

The Shrinking Carpet: The carpet getting shrunk after cleaning used to be a fact decades ago; this has stayed on as a myth till today. Previously, carpets were made of many natural fibers which naturally shrunk after cleaning, but today, they are made of synthetic materials, reducing the risk of shrinking. And professional carpet cleaners know the process well enough to avoid shrinkage.

Newspapers are Most Effective at Cleaning Glass and Mirrors: While newspapers may be effective in cleaning glass, they are certainly not overly convincing. There are many more competent ways of cleaning mirrors and glass out there than a newspaper. Newspaper can smear on the glass, especially on the frame of mirrors and windows. Apart from this, it also doesn't hold well when it's wet. As to newspaper cleaning being an eco-friendly way towards reflective surface cleaning, there are many other ways to recycle a newspaper than using it as an ineffective glass cleaner.

Don't simply trust the age-old rumors; use your logic while cleaning your house or workplace. The materials used back then were pretty low-grade compared to those used today, for cleaning purposes as well for making the surface itself. Seek professional help if you're bombarded with advice from various sources.

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