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Cleaning Industry| 2020 | Old Maids Tales & Other Cleaning Myths Part I: Vinegar

It never stops to amaze me how much misinformation and old, dead, useless advice you can find in the cleaning industry.  It seems like every bored housewife that, in between arguing the earth is flat on Facebook, posts or re-posts the same article about how (NOT) to clean your oven better or remove that stubborn stain Fido left on the carpet… etc.

In this series we will pick apart myth by myth propagated by consumers, bad blogs, and even maid services – explaining why they don’t work and alternatives.

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Vinegar For .. Everything?

What Is It?

In relation to cleaning vinegar is a weak acid that is mostly harmless (unless mixed with chlorine bleach) and can help with hard water residue and even coffee stains providing they are both mild cases.

The Myth(s)

There are too many to list in detail but I’ll take a crack at it:

  • Mix vinegar with baking soda to clean a greasy oven… –
  • Mix vinegar with baking soda to clean carpet stains
  • Mix vinegar with baking soda … period for a lot of stuff
  • Use vinegar to clean windows…
  • Use vinegar to remove pet stains and odor
  • Vinegar is great for cleaning hardwood floors

Science

  • For everything but windows: Vinegar is a mild acid while baking soda is an alkaline (both on the opposite sides of the pH scale).  Mixing them actually is counterproductive and just not very smart
  • It does ok on windows but I’ll stick to Windex
  • Pet stains as in urine with odor…?  No.  It’s a mild acid which, while chemically correct for removing urine (acid removes an alkaline such as urine) it’s just too weak unless you have all day
  • Keep vinegar as far away from your hardwood floors as possible.  Overtime it will wear down floor finish unevenly resulting in permanently streaky floors (until they are refinished)

You’ll even find some cleaning products claiming to have added the “power of vinegar” but it’s usually marketing and, just like a bad health supplement, the manufacturer put in trace amounts of vinegar that wouldn’t do anything even if vinegar worked for that purpose.

Stick to vinegar for windows and remember there are many safe alternatives to vinegar that have a little science behind them.

But I Saw It Work...

While I’m making statements on how combining a mild acid (or any acid) and an alkaline (vinegar + baking soda for example) is counterproductive it doesn’t mean it won’t clean.  If you scrub hard enough spit will clean your oven as well.  Here’s how my article could go:

The Power Of Spit

Find out how spitting on your oven and a little elbow grease (as in a massive amount) can remove that stubborn buildup while allowing you to clear your throat during allergy season!

Seriously can you see how this can easily be misconstrued as effective if even modest results where seen?  The energy of friction combined with flushing with water at the end of the cleaning application can clean as well but doesn’t mean that the advice – on vinegar for example – you received from Two Maids and the other one that didn’t show up.

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Summary
Old Maids Tales & Other Cleaning Myths
Article Name
Old Maids Tales & Other Cleaning Myths
Description
Ever wonder if ginger-ale is magic on carpet or vinegar can be used for any type of cleaning especially when combined with baking soda? We expose the usual suspects of bad advice in the cleaning industry in our latest BLOG.
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Publisher Name
Maids In America East
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