Mythbusters: 10 Cleaning Tips You Need To Ignore

The internets are littered with “top tips” and “hacks” on cleaning, tidiness, and efficiency. Many people claim that these are cheap miracles when in reality, they are myths. If you’re not getting ALL of your cleaning advice from Maid Sailors ( we can’t imagine why you’d do such a blasphemous thing, but alas, people can be foolish), make sure to ignore any rogue advice if it shows up on this list.

1. Using car wax to protect the homes of your kitchen oils.

This one is a doozy. A real sadistic, maniacal and likely five-times-divorced Judas must’ve conjured this one. Don’t do this (unless Car Wax compliments your taste buds) The car wax is quite toxic and flammable in some cases.  Plus, apparently there’s been an evolution in the realm of Car Wax – newer products have a potent, dangerous chemical that allows for removal of stains more easily ( which is great for your car, but not your esophagus).

2. Place a lemon slice in the dishwasher in order to have shiny dishes.

No. When life gives you lemons, do not put them in the dishwasher. Matter-of-fact, even a whole lemon won’t do diddly squat for your non-shiny dishes. Do you know what happens inside a dishwasher when you tap that soft rubber button and move on to your laundry? It’s basically a watery earthquake; there’s a mini hurricane in there and all your dishes, spoons and beer mugs are basically white water rafting without a raft or paddle. The lemon is no match for this imprisoned monsoon. If you want shiny dishes, you’ll have to shine them yourself. Save the lemons for, uh, lemonade?

3. Use lemon and salt to clean the cutting board.

Unless you desperately need your food to taste like someone was trying to season your lemonade, please keep these two unnecessary (as far as cleaning cutting boards go) far away (unless you’re cutting lemons, of course). To remove stubborn stains, use your hands, your dishwasher or a toothpick. Afterwards, when your friends arrive, whip out the lemon and salt before serving Tequila shots.

4. Use corn flour and iron to remove stains from clothes.

I was saddened when I read this but downright heartbroken when I realized people have actually tried this. You also have to wonder if this was the go-to strategy or a last-ditch-effort, because if someone has tried EVERYTHING to remove stains, how could they possibly believe this would work? Whatever. Long story short, save the flour for your birthday and use the iron after you’ve WASHED your clothes. If you have stains that are lingering like high school memories, try using a stronger detergent. If nothing works, accept the fact that your shirt is now “hip” and “vintage”.

5. Use the hairspray hair to remove stains from clothes.

If hairspray was potent enough to destroy things (like stains), what in the world do you think would happen to your hair? Does the hairspray magically recognize that it’s dealing with a stain sometimes and morph, incredible hulk style, into an all-powerful stain remover? Not on this planet. Leave the hairspray in the bathroom (same goes for hair gel, pomade, wax, or any other overrated hair product you use).

6. Use vinegar and baking soda to clean everything.

Vinegar and baking soda are very effecting cleaning agents WHEN USED SEPARATELY. Do NOT combine them. The baking soda is alkaline, while the vinegar is acidic. Mixing will neutralize both agents. It’s like bringing your homework on vacation or having a garden salad with your Big Mac. Choose one or the other and get on with your cleaning.

7. Put mouthwash in the washing machine to clean.

Jesus, please take the wheel. Just because mouthwash has the same artificial coloring as your dishwashing liquid, does not mean it does the same thing. If you do want your clothes to look alien blue and smell like peppermint, however, go for it!

8. Take Coca-Cola in your toilet to clean.

Jesus, continue to take the wheel. I understand if you’re a Pepsi person and you’re looking for ways to use any mistakenly acquired bottles of Coke, but really? Leave the toilet out of this. There are plenty of appropriate toilet cleaning liquids that can be purchased at Duane Reade, CVS, or wherever else you shop for Coca-Cola. Use the coke to water down your rum.

9. Use a white sponge to clean the walls of your toilet.

Personally, I would never actually clean my toilet. Would much rather hit flush until the problem goes away or hire Maid Sailors, but let’s just say for giggles that I actually  was going to clean the “walls of my toilet”, using a plain white sponge is likely the LAST thing I would do. You need a proper cleaning product that can obliterate bacteria the way the a 10-ton truck would obliterate a bike. Keep the sponge (and your hands in general) away from your toilet.

10. Use a solution of salt to keep the color of your clothes.

Sorry. Many of the tips floating around online assume salt is some magic dust that can revive a lackluster dinner, relinquish embarrassing stains and, of course, rejuvenate the yellows and reds in your wardrobe. If you bought salt specifically for this purpose, I hope you kept the receipt. Unfortunately, if your colors are fading, your options are limited to none. Maybe it’s time to donate the shirt and travel to Bloomingdales. Either way, don’t let a couple of shabby colors get you salty.

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