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Ditch these cleaning hacks

Ditch these cleaning hacks
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Cleaning experts are calling out these popular cleaning “hacks” that are obsolete or never did the job in the first place!

Wash grime off a car with dishwashing detergent

Wash grime off a car with dishwashing detergent
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While it’s true that you should clean your car with soap that fights off grease, dishwashing detergent is not the answer. This cleaning product is made to remove everything — including the polymers in your car’s paint, which speeds up its oxidation process.

What to do instead: A proper car wash cleaner is specifically designed to be used on automotive paint, so it will be much gentler on your vehicle.

Learn 15 cleaning secrets only car detailers know.

Hairspray removes ink and marker stains

Hairspray removes ink and marker stains
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This trick worked back in the day when hairspray contained alcohol, the ingredient needed to remove pesky stains. But these days, you’re better off applying rubbing alcohol to the offending spot, according to Leslie Reichert, author of The Joy of Green Cleaning.

What to do instead: Dab the fabric with a stain remover and give it a spin in the washing machine to make sure the stain is gone for good.

Here are 13 dumb cleaning habits to avoid.

Applying white wine removes red wine stains

Applying white wine removes red wine stains
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The next time you spill red wine all over your shirt, don’t pop open a bottle of the white stuff. First of all, why waste another good glass of wine? And truth be told, this hack just doesn’t work.

What to do instead: Reichert recommends spraying a bit of hydrogen peroxide on the stain instead.

Bleach is best

Bleach is best
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Sorry to burst your cleaning bubble. Though most people associate the smell of bleach with clean, this cleaning myth just isn’t the case. In fact, bleach doesn’t really even clean at all. It disinfects, kills germs and whitens stains, but it doesn’t clean dirt and grime from surfaces.

If you’re looking to whiten your shirt or rinse bacteria from that raw chicken in your sink, then bleach is your way to go.

What to do instead: If you’re trying to remove the grit from your bathtub, you’ll need an actual cleaning product, preferably something with some texture like baking soda.

On the other hand, here are 11 things you should never clean with baking soda.

Removing gum with peanut butter

Removing gum with peanut butter
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Save the PB for your sandwiches and skip putting it on gum-matted hair or upholstery, says Melissa Maker, a cleaning expert and host of the YouTube channel Clean My Space. Not only does this hack waste food, but it will also create a bigger mess to clean up afterward.

What to do instead: Maker recommends applying coconut or olive oil to the sticky area instead.

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Feather dusters dust

Feather dusters dust
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Sure, they’re soft and fluffy. But contrary to their name, feather dusters don’t really do much of dusting. More often than not, they just spread the dust around.

What to do instead: Reach for a vacuum with a nozzle attachment or a soft damped cloth. More than 90 percent of household dust comes from tiny flakes of skin and barely visible fabric fibres that float on the slightest air current and settle on every surface in your house.

Here are 9 smart strategies for getting rid of dust.

Mixing baking soda and vinegar makes a super cleaner

Mixing baking soda and vinegar makes a super cleaner
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Don’t get us wrong – baking soda and vinegar are great cleaning products on their own. But mix them together, and you’re left with nothing but water. What gives? Because vinegar is an acid and baking soda is a base, together they will fizz up and neutralise each other.

“People may think that the fizz helps to remove dirt or grime,” Maker says, “but all it will do is create a big mess.”

What to do instead: Stick to either vinegar or baking soda alone.

Soaking clothes in salt prevents fading

Soaking clothes in salt prevents fading
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Experts at Goodhousekeeping.com tested this trick and found that it’s bogus. Turns out, whether or not the dye bleeds actually depends on how the material was made. “If a fabric runs, it’s just not properly finished,” says Carolyn Forte, the director of the Good Housekeeping Institute’s Cleaning Lab.

What to do instead: So if the colours of your clothes are running in the washer, you should blame your wardrobe, not the water you wash it in.

Here are more expert laundry tips you’ll wish you knew sooner.

Rubbing wax paper on skirting boards prevents dust build-up

Rubbing wax paper on skirting boards prevents dust build-up
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Wrong again! Wax paper leaves behind a sticky, chemical-loaded coating on your skirting boards that is almost guaranteed to need a second clean. Even worse, it may attract more dust and dirt in the process.

What to do instead: Maker suggests wiping your baseboards with a dry microfibre cloth, which you can attach to a flat-head mop or long pole for any hard-to-reach spots.

These cleaning mistakes are making your home dirtier, too.

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