Using wood polish spiffs up furniture
Polishing furniture made of raw wood is a no-brainer. But most wood furniture sold today is coated in a finish, so polishing it can actually make your furniture appear duller.
What to do instead: Polyurethane, urethane, shellac or varnish finishes are all made of plastic, which should be cleaned rather than polished, according to Jan M. Dougherty, author of The Lost Art of House Cleaning. She cleans her wood furniture with white vinegar and a microfibre rag.
Mixing vinegar and dish soap removes pet stains
Vinegar is a stain remover superhero, but it’s not strong enough to remove odours and discoloration caused by pet urine or vomit. Same goes for dish soap.
What to do instead: An enzyme cleaner, on the other hand, breaks down the proteins in the stain and makes your carpet or upholstery look spotless.
Wash all clothes in cold water
Doing your laundry is a tad more complicated than just pressing a button on the washer machine. Many find it frustrating trying to decode which colour is washed for how long and in what temperature, which is probably why most people wash everything on cold. (It’s also a money-saver.)
What to do instead: Most pieces can be washed in cold water, especially dark and bright colours or delicate fabrics, as the colder temperature works wonders in removing stains and ensuring clothes don’t shrink. But some things, like whites, should be washed on hot. And man-made fibres, knits and jeans should be washed on warm.