By Sarah Aguirre, About.com Guide
I remember growing up thinking that bleach was the ultimate cleaner. After all, anything that can take the color out of any surface has got to be a great cleaner. It took me awhile to realize that the real power of bleach isn't actually in its ability to clean. Actually bleach doesn't clean much. Find out what it's really for and what it's not so great at.
Carpet is a huge investment. We want it to last. But no matter how careful we are, carpets get stained and dirty. And when they do, we often call in professional help. But what if the carpet cleaning could actually damage your carpet. It's a scary thought. You hire someone to clean your carpet, and as it dries, it shrinks. Is it really possible? If not...how did this idea get started?
I love vinegar. It can clean nearly everything. In fact, it is such a versatile cleaner and so green friendly that it has earned a reputation it may not always deserve. There are some surfaces that shouldn't come into contact with vinegar. Contrary to popular belief, using vinegar on these surface only leads to a lot of damage and very little clean.
It's a common misconception that the more dirty something is, the more soap it needs. It seems to make sense, more dirt needs more soap. In reality, while soaps and detergents are great and necessary for cleaning too much of a good thing can create its own problems. So if more soap doesn't equal more cleaning power, what does it equal?
It's all the rage to be dye free and preservative free. And while that may make a lot of sense for the things we put into our body, there may actually be a reason for some cleaners to have dyes or preservatives. It's easy to label dye-free and preservative-free cleaners as better than their counterparts. Is it really possible that cleaners with dyes and preservatives might serve some purpose?
It's one of the most popular green cleaning suggestions out there. Hey, even I've suggested newspapers as a shortcut alternative, but I have a little more to say about using newspapers to clean glass and mirrors. Although they are widely recommended as an alternative to paper towels or cleaning cloths, they aren't always the best option.
I'm a sucker for a good lemon furniture polish. It reminds me of my grandma's house every time. It's easy to think of furniture polish as spa treatment for our fine wood pieces. Is furniture polish really good for our furniture? Should we be using it each time we dust? Or is there a possibility that the furniture police we know and love could actually end up harming our furniture?
There was a time, I'm not so proud of, when hair spray was a big part of my life. One of the most common tips I hear from people when they hear that I write about cleaning is that hair spray is a sure fire way to remove ink stains. It sounds great. It may even work. We hear a lot about the virtue of hair spray on ink stains, but let's find out if it really works?!
Vacuuming carpets is how we keep them neat and clean. We depend on our vacuum cleaners to keep our rugs and carpets in shape. So why do some people say that vacuuming a carpet can actually damage it? Is that possible?
Ammonia is a busy little cleaner if it's off cleaning everything it's supposed to be cleaning. It's a miracle cleaner to many. Find out how I really feel about ammonia and what it's not so great at doing.
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