These Common Cleaning Myths Have Had Us Fooled For Years

I can’t be the only one who has gone over to a friend’s house and been shocked by how they put their dishes in the dishwasher. My mother taught me from the age of 8 how to load a dishwasher and I have never changed a thing from that lesson. 

I was taught from an early age some pretty specific ways to clean. It wasn’t until recently that I learned that the ways my mom taught me to clean weren’t always the best ways. Thankfully, we have platforms like TikTok and YouTube (and this article) to help right our cleaning mistakes and maybe make life a bit easier. So settle in and let’s debunk some cleaning myths!


Myth: Using soap on cast iron will destroy it
Fact: You can use some dish soap

The reasoning behind the no-soap rule is because many people think it will remove the seasoning on the surface. But if your pan is properly seasoned, it will be fine. I always scrubbed my mom’s cast iron pots and pans with salt because it removes the gunk and grime. You still can, but don’t be afraid to rinse it all off with some soap. 

Myth: Deep clean your dishes before you put them in the dishwasher
Fact: Just rinse them

There’s no need to wash your dishes twice! I make the rule that if my sponge and soap is out, the dish shouldn’t need to go into the dishwasher after. I’m not saying to just throw them in if they’re covered in food, but just do a quick rinse instead of a deep clean. The fact is, modern dishwashers are built with “soil sensors” that determine how dirty the dishes are and set the program accordingly. If you’ve pre-washed, the dishwasher can’t effectively do it’s job. We would suggest that if you don’t wash your dishes before you put them in the dishwasher that you run a load regularly so the food doesn’t stink it up. 

Myth: You should hand wash your dishes to get them cleaner and save water
Fact: You have a dishwasher for a reason

I personally like hand washing my dishes because I believed this myth. While some dishes do need to be hand washed, the dishwasher does a better job of both cleaning and  saving water on average than washing your dishes by hand. If the dish water is not too hot for your hands, then it probably isn’t hot enough to kill all the bacteria.

Myth: Microwave your sponge
Fact: Go buy a new one

I don’t know if I’m alone in this, but I microwave my sponge every morning. My mom told me to do this to kill the bacteria on it. Sadly the thirty seconds in the microwave isn’t doing anything. So if your sponge is gross, either go to the dollar store and replace it or invest in a dish brush or a pan scrubber to eliminate waste and weird smells.

Myth: Use a feather duster to clean the shelves
Fact: Feather dusters don’t work

If you want to get a genuine ostrich-feather duster then yes, that will naturally attract dust, but most of us have gravitated to the dollar section dusters. The cheap feather dusters most people use are actually just spreading the dust around instead of picking it up. Not to mention that lambswool and microfiber are more effective in gathering dust.

Myth: Vinegar is the best cleaning solution
Fact: It’s good for some things, but it’s not our savior

Vinegar is a good grease cutter and does a wonderful job of removing hard water stains on fixtures, cleaning windows, and coffeemakers. But it will actually damage surfaces like granite countertops and wood floors if you use it on these so be careful!

Myth: Wash your sheets every two weeks
Fact: Wash them once a week

We did an article on how often you should wash everything a bit ago, but this one still blows my mind. Two weeks needs to be the longest you go between washing or changing your sheets.

Myth: Your dishwasher and washing machine clean themselves
Fact: Clean them, please

While it may seem silly to clean the machines that are supposed to do the cleaning, understand that nowhere in their descriptions do they promote self cleaning. The residue of food and hard water minerals are often found throughout dishwashers and most washing machines have ‘clean’ cycles on them as well.

Myth: Use more detergent if your clothes are dirty
Fact: Use less detergent than you usually use

Americans actually tend to use too much detergent. Detergent increases the amount of suds and the suds don’t allow anything to get washed and rinsed away. This sud overload increased the bacteria in your clothes. Real Simple suggests that people actually use half the amount of detergent that they usually use and gradually increase it.

Myth: Hairspray removes ink stains
Fact: Alcohol removes ink stains

I hadn’t heard of this hack before, but a lot of people have. Many people think that hairspray removes ink stains and you should just spray it on the stain to get the ink out. This was really effective a while ago because older hairsprays contained alcohol. Alcohol does remove stains however. Modern hairsprays actually just add stains.

Myth: Baking soda removes odors from carpets
Fact: Baking soda masks your carpet’s odors

If you sprinkle baking soda onto your carpet, it will absorb some unwanted odors but not completely remove them. It is a quick fix rather than a permanent one. If you want to remove your carpet odor for good, look into getting your carpets professionally cleaned.

Myth: Put lemons in your garbage disposal to clean it and make it smell nice
Fact: Put lemons in your garbage and put soap in your disposal

A lot of people have been putting lemons down their garbage disposal for years now. Please don’t do this. If you want to disinfect your disposal just put soap down there and run warm water while you turn it on. Lemons won’t actually help clean anything and will just wear the disposal out.


So, my mind is blown and I’m going to have a very long conversation with my mother about some things she needs to do differently in her house. Did any of these myths vs. facts surprise you? What are some cleaning myths you believed? Comment below!

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