5 Cleaning Myths You Probably Believe Are True


Disinfecting & Cleaning are the same

Although bleach and vinegar are seen as ‘super cleaners’, they have led to many misconceptions about disinfecting and cleaning.

Cleaning and disinfecting are NOT the same thing. Cleaning is a way to remove dirt and grime at a surface level to prevent the spreading of bacteria and diseases. The more debris that is removed at the cleaning stage, the better your disinfectant will be able to do its job. Disinfecting makes a surface free and clear of all microscopic organisms by killing things like bacteria, viruses and fungi which can lead to infections or disease.

Two common household solutions that get mixed up are bleach and vinegar. Bleach is a disinfectant. This means that it helps to kill bacteria and other viruses on a surface but does not clean it. If you are looking to disinfect an area, it is best to clean the surface with a cleanser to clean before disinfecting. On the other hand, vinegar can act as a great cleaning and deodorizing agent on a variety of surfaces. It can damage porous surfaces like stone and unsealed grout and dull the finish of hardwood floors so be mindful of what areas in your home it’s being used on. Unlike bleach, it does not kill microorganisms that can lead to infections.

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Vacuum first

Unless your floors are so dirty that the thought of walking over them sends chills down your spine, always vacuum last.

It’s always best to follow the top down cleaning rule for every room in your home. While you’re dusting and wiping down furniture, dust, hair and other particles will collect and fall to the floor. If floors are not vacuumed after you are finished dusting, it can resettle on areas you have already cleaned. Although it’s appealing to get what can be seen as the most time consuming task done first, vacuuming first will require you to do it a second time after you’re done cleaning the rest of the room. So much for a time saver!

Did you know… Regular vacuuming helps your carpet last longer. Dirt and grit are abrasive and when they get ground into the carpet, they can ruin carpet fibers.

Use furniture polish every time you dust

Furniture polish is great for keeping your wood furniture healthy and new looking. For regular cleaning, it is best to use a microfiber cloth to remove dust. Polishes tend to contain oils that can create a sticky film that attracts dust. You should either skip it or use it once in a blue moon to get that ‘polished’ look. Our best advice is to use what is recommended by the furniture manufacturer and use it sparingly.

If it smells good, it’s clean

It’s been proven that scented and unscented versions of the same product clean equally well. So why do we assume a surface is clean because it smells good? The sweet smell of pine or lavender comes from the chemicals or natural oils in the product you’re using, not the cleanliness of the surface. The best way to know a surface is clean is to do the touch test. If it feels clean and looks clean, chances are you have sufficiently removed dirt and grime from the surface.

More is better


Use the proper amount of soap or cleaner specified. We know how tempting it can be to add more ‘cleaning power’ for a bigger job. But when you can’t rinse all that excess soap away, it’s going to leave a sticky film that attracts more dirt and grime. Follow the directions and you’ll get better results. Extra isn’t always better. Just remember the only thing you need more of is a little elbow grease. So roll up those sleeves, get your trusty rubber gloves and get to work!


  1. I believe oil-finished and unsealed woods (not painted), occasionally, needs to be “fed” with something like lemon oil or it can dry out and crack. I have several antiques that just “drink” up lemon oil. One thing to remember when useing lemon oil is to go sparingly with the oil and don’t put items back on top too soon or you may have something like water spots. Let the oil penetrate into the wood (I wait a day…but that’s just me). I use Guardsman Furniture Lemon Oil on my fine wood pieces.


  2. Great article Amanda.
    ~The info on disinfecting/cleaning is bang on!
    ~I always vacuum last….I figure that some dust & dirt fall when I’m cleaning, so why would I vacuum first. 🙂
    ~I damp dust with a microfibre cloth…haven’t used polish in years.
    ~Clean doesn’t have a smell! 🙂
    ~Don’t really use a lot of chemicals…so the more is better rule doesn’t really apply to me.

    Thanks for the info

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