1. If you have small children, you have to be sure that you kill every single germ in the house so your children don’t get sick or pick up infections. Myth or fact?
Half true, half myth. While it is important to teach our children about basic hygiene and to make sure that they don’t go playing in the cat litter (which you probably shouldn’t have lying around if you have small children, as they will play in it if they get half a chance), but you don’t need to get absolutely everything they come in contact with 100% sterile. In fact, if you try to do this, you will be putting your children at a higher risk of developing asthma, etc. as their developing immune systems need something to go to work on. Your best bet is to clean things as normal and to teach them about washing hands before meals and after going to the toilet.
2. You need a separate cleaner for every different type of job in your house – e.g. a glass cleaner, a wood cleaner, a floor cleaner, a bathroom cleaner, etc. Myth or fact?
Myth. Having all these different “specialised” labels on the bottles you see on the supermarket shelves is just a way for manufacturers to put more things on the shelves and increase their exposure. In reality, a box of baking soda, a bottle of vinegar, plenty of rags, a scrubbing brush and water is all you need for the majority of jobs.
3. All natural cleaners are 100% safe and non-toxic. Myth or fact?
Myth. Natural cleaners often contain essential oils, which should not be taken internally. Nor should isopropyl alcohol, which often is used as a disinfectant, a glass cleaner and as a stain remover for grass stains (whether you take vodka or other strong spirits internally is up to you). Boiling water is another natural cleaner that is a superb germ-killer that does not contain any harsh chemicals but can hardly be called “safe” – it can give you a nasty burn. The same goes for steam. Some people are also allergic to some essential oils (e.g. citrus). But natural cleaners will not give off toxic fumes. And many of them are edible: baking soda, lemon juice, vinegar, water and salt.
4. Coca-cola can be used as a cleaning product. Myth or fact?
Fact – I think. While this writer has not put the idea to the test with much success, it is said that pouring a whole big bottle of Coke down the lav and leaving it overnight will get rid of stains inside the pan. The reason why this may not have worked for me is because (a) I hardly ever buy Coke, and when I do, it’s the diet version, which may not work as well; (b) someone always uses the toilet overnight and flushes the lot down, (c) the toilet that I was trying to clean had been horribly neglected and the stains were next to impossible to shift. Perhaps you’ll have better luck, but I’ll stick to my trusty loo-brush wielded weekly.
5. It’s best to leave the cleaning for one big session where you deep clean. Myth or fact?
Definitely a myth. Little and often is much better and much easier, and may even prevent the need to deep clean much at all.