Cleaning Fairy Tales & Fancies
Posted on 24th January 2023
It’s time to take a light-hearted look at some old-fashioned cleaning myths and legends. Let’s see whether they really belong with Old Mother Hubbard or could save you time, effort and money.
Let’s start with some of the strangest ones:
Toilet cleaning with Coca-Cola
Well, not being a fan of this particular beverage, I would say it’s the best thing to do with it. Is there any truth in it though?
You might be surprised or even shocked by the answer.
The acid in this fizzy drink (other cola brands are also available) can actually remove dirt and stains. However, it would need to be there for a while – probably overnight.
Vodka removes odours
If you favourite tipple is vodka and coke, then you’ll have this in stock too. In fact, it does seem to work although I’m not sure why. It could be the high alcohol content. So, if you want to freshen up your soft furnishings, this could be one to try.
Freezing fabrics kills bacteria
Apart from the fact that putting your grubby fabrics next to your burgers isn’t too appealing, this doesn’t work. Your home freezer won’t make things cold enough.
How about some of the more traditional tales we’ve been told?
Newspaper is good for cleaning glass
If you’re fed up with streaky windows and mirrors, have you ever been tempted to try newspaper with vinegar and water?
The paper is dense, and the ink is often a stain-free soya-based product, so you can use it instead of paper towels. It’s less likely to leave lint and streaks. However, the smell of vinegar isn’t for everyone. And, since many of us find our news online these days, you might not have a ready supply anyway.
To cut back on chemicals and reduce streaks there’s an alternative. Use a damp microfibre cloth for cleaning, along with a dry one to shine.
Vinegar is a cleaner’s secret weapon
The acid in vinegar can cut through dirt and kill bacteria. You will need distilled white vinegar (available from most supermarkets) and you’ll need to use it almost neat. If you dilute vinegar in a bucket of water, for example, it won’t have a lot of impact. Vinegar can also damage natural stone and wood surfaces.
Feather duster busters
Ostrich-feather dusters do attract dust, but generally only move it around. Lambswool and microfibre options are more effective and cost much less. They come with a range of handles and frames for all those tricky and hard-to-reach places. Dry disposable electrostatic cloths are also useful for computers and television screens.
Bleach cleans anything
Bleach kills bacteria and reduces the appearance of stains, but it doesn’t ‘clean’ things. Bleach on the skin and its fumes can be irritants. It can also create a toxic gas if mixed with ammonia.
You can use oxygen bleach as an alternative. Its active ingredient is hydrogen peroxide which is odour free and less toxic.
Here’s another question - do you have some cleaning products close to hand that you might not have considered?
Coffee to freshen your kitchen disposal unit
Coffee grounds are abrasive and can help to remove food that has built-up on the blades in a disposal unit. Baking soda is an alternative that can also help to reduce smells.
Hairspray to remove ballpoint-pen ink
Hair sprays once included alcohol, which could remove ink. However, few modern hairsprays use it. Instead, they have stiffeners and hardeners that could even make a stain worse. Surgical spirit is cheaper and should do the job or you could use that secret bottle of vodka.
Let’s finish on a controversial subject – dusting.
Which school do you belong to? Do you dust or vacuum first?
Dust is likely to end up on your floors, so it’s better to dust first and then vacuum.
Furniture polish adds a nice smell and shines furniture. However, it’s best used occasionally rather than as part of your regular dusting routine. In between, use your trusty microfibre cloth or lambswool duster. It’s also worth considering that most aerosol polishes include silicone and solvents that can damage varnish.
Liquid oil and emulsion polishes give a sheen to your shiny surfaces but the residue can discolour and collect dust. For your family heirlooms semi-solid polishes that include wax in a solvent or emulsion base are a good choice. They are better for the wood but will take more effort to use.
These are just a few of the things we have learnt over the years. If you have a question about the best way to clean something, just give us a call.
Tagged as: Cleaning Tips
Share this post: