From school and work, to kids and grandkids, our lives are continuously getting busier and busier. It’s no wonder cleaning hacks are so popular in our social media feeds. But will these truly help save time on household chores? Surely some are worth their weight in lemons, but others will leave you with a Pinterest worthy ‘Cleaning Fail.’ These are some of the hacks we suggest avoiding:
Don’t use vinegar as your go-to cleaning solution:
|Yes, it is very effective for certain applications, but did you know it could actually cause damage to everyday surfaces? Due to the acidity vinegar can damage the finish on granite, marble, and certain hardwood and tile floors. Since vinegar needs to be used at full strength to be a good disinfectant you could also be missing bacteria if you’re diluting it.|
|Instead invest in a high quality environmentally friendly all-purpose cleaner, like the Honest Company Multi Surface Cleaner.|
Don’t clean windows with newspapers:
|Yes, this might have been the most effective method decades ago but with the advancement of microfiber cloths it’s slowly getting surpassed. Newspaper can easily tear when wet, and can transfer ink to window frames and sills.|
|Instead use water and a microfiber cloth specific for this type of cleaning, like the eCloth Glass and Polishing cloth. The small hooks of the fiber collect and remove the debris instead of pushing it around.|
Don’t use wax-based cleaners on hard floor surfaces:
|The wax acts as a magnet for dirt and allows debris to get trapped in the surface. The area starts to look dull, so another application of wax cleaner is used, and the cycle is repeated.|
|Instead clean the floors more frequently with a floor cleaner like the Bona spray mop, or Braava floor-mopping robot. Keeping the floors clean will help prolong the look and life span of the surface.|
Don’t use your everyday vacuum for not so everyday accidents:
|Household vacuums do not have filtration required to pick up ultra fine particles like dry wall dust. Dry wall dust will work its way into the motor and cause it to seize, resulting in a costly motor replacement. Additionally, vacuums cannot handle the large volume of prickly pine needles that shed from Christmas trees. The length is usually slightly larger than the opening of the hose and can cause the pointy part to lodge into the side of the soft plastic hose. Pine needles are relatively rigid and hard to pass through the bends so once one is stuck it creates the perfect point for others to join the blockage.|
|Instead opt for a commercial grade vacuum with appropriate filtration levels for dry wall removal, or a broom for pine tree needles.|
Don’t use baking soda as a carpet shake:
|And don’t put cinnamon inside your vacuum bag! Just like dry wall dust baking soda is too fine for most vacuums and can inadvertently cause damage.|
|Instead use a granular powder like Fresh Wave Carpet shake.|
What’s the worst DIY cleaning hack we’ve seen? By far it’s ‘The Garden Hose Technique’ for removing clogs in vacuum hoses. The thought process is you flush the water through the hose to remove the blockage. However, you usually can’t build up enough pressure to blow the clog out with a standard garden hose.
Additionally the water will mix with all the dirt and dust buildup inside the hose, which will add mud to the clog. Once dried it will be even harder to remove. The most recent one we’ve seen was on a central vacuum hose – due to the length the hose couldn’t thoroughly dry after the homeowner initially tried this. They ended up having to replace the hose due to an odour that developed.
What to do if you have a clog in your vacuum hose:
- If you have another vacuum try to suck the clog out of the hose. This is our go-to method in the shop as our central vacuums are strong enough to remove most blockages.
- Use pliers, plumbing snake, or a broom to push or pull the clog out. However, you need to be careful, as you can puncture the hose when trying to remove clog at home
- Worst case? Bring it into a vacuum store for assistance.
So what’s our favourite new cleaning tip?
The Swish and Dry! After using the toilet brush close it sideways between the lid and bowl. Brush side in of course! The brush will drip dry leaving it looking cleaner, and preventing that questionable and unsettling water build up in the brush holder.