6 Cleaning Myths That Don't Actually Work

Here are some common cleaning myths that need to be debunked once and for all—along with two that really work.


False: Freezing your jeans kills bacteria.

We're sorry to report that placing your preferred pair of pants in the cooler won't eliminate microscopic organisms. Tragically, the temperature in the cooler (around 0 degrees Fahrenheit) isn't sufficiently low to eliminate microorganisms (- 80 degrees Fahrenheit).

Earth, dead skin cells and oil all collect on your pants when you wear them. The best way to clean them is to wash them.


False: Hand washing your dishes is more water-efficient.

While it might seem more eco-friendly to not use your dishwasher, you actually use more water when you’re rinsing and washing your dishes by hand. The average full-size dishwasher only uses about five gallons of water.


False: More detergent = cleaner clothes.

Too much detergent increases the amount of suds, creating so many suds that they won’t rinse away, leading to an increase in bacteria. Yuck! Most people tend to use too much detergent in general; a good rule of thumb is to start with half the amount you normally use and increase it if you feel like your clothes aren’t getting clean enough.


You don’t need to polish silver one piece at a time. Do it in bulk instead. Try this: line a deep glass container with a layer or two of aluminum foil. Place the silverware on the foil and cover it with baking soda. Pour boiling water on top of it and watch the tarnish disappear.


Vinegar is an acid, which means it’s not meant for every surface in your home. While it’s handy as a multipurpose cleaner, it’s not great for porous surfaces, tech devices, and more. Check out the full list of things you shouldn’t clean with vinegar here.


Most pieces of wood furniture don’t need to be polished; they just need to be kept clean and safe from sitting moisture. If you use furniture polish often, it can build up, forming a sticky residue over time.