As Seen on The Today Show: Common Household Cleaning Myths
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As Seen on The Today Show: Common Household Cleaning Myths

Spring cleaning season is upon us! And if you’re thinking about doing a full house (hehe!) cleaning session, you might be interested in trying a few natural home remedies before picking up chemical-infused products from the store. But don’t believe everything you hear — there are a lot of urban legends that have been handed down by the generations.

This morning, I paid a visit to the folks at TODAY to start the cleaning season off right with a segment dedicated to popular home cleaning myths and facts. Check out the  photos below (and stay tuned for the video segment) to see what’s true and what’s false! (Spoiler alert: Freezing jeans does NOT clean them!)

1. Clean Hard Water Stains with Lemons: TRUE

Lemons are great for removing water stains on glass and metal. The acid helps break them down, plus they leave a yummy deodorized scent. (Sources: Mother Nature Network and Broccoli Cupcake)

2. Unclog Drains with Soda: FALSE

While some argue you can actually use soda to clean a toilet because of how much acid it has in it, it can not unclog your drain. Instead, try using a combination of baking soda and vinegar. The two will create a chemical reaction that should clear your drain right up. (Source: Discovery Channel Mythbusters)

3. Use Vinegar to Clean Hardwood Floors: FALSE

The acid in vinegar will dull the finish UNLESS it is mixed with a gallon of water and applied very damply. However, depending on how your wood is treated (sealed or not), it can still dull the finish. A safer bet would be to use water and a pH-neutral soap like dish soap. (Sources: The TODAY Show and Lowe’s)

4. Use Toothpaste to Remove Tarnish and Polish Silverware: TRUE

Toothpaste (preferably the kind with extra tartar control) and a paper towel will quickly remove tarnish from silverware, jewelry, and other types of metal. (Sources: Snapguide and SFGate)

5. Use Clear Nail Polish on Buttons to Keep Thread From Breaking: TRUE

Clear nail polish can help strengthen the threads woven through your buttons, making them more difficult to fall off. Remember that clear nail polish is also used to stop panty hose runs. (Sources: Life Hackaday and Real Simple)

6. Clean Windows with Newspaper: FALSE

Even though your grandma might swear by it, don’t do this! Newspaper is not as durable as a regular paper towel and can leave ink stains. (Sources: PR Web and MSN Living)

7. Window Squeegee to Remove Pet Fur From Carpets: TRUE

It seems counterintuitive, but squeegees actually work great for collecting fur on carpets, especially in all of those nooks and crannies that vacuums can’t get to. (Sources: Huffington Post and Lifehacker)

8. Freezing Your Jeans is a More Eco-Friendly Way of Washing Them: FALSE

First advised by Levi’s, the idea behind this was that bacteria could get so cold that it would die, in which case, freezing your jeans would actually conserve more water than washing them. But in fact, many bacteria can survive low temperatures, so though some may die, they will likely re-populate just as quickly once you put the jeans back on. (Source: Smithsonian)

9. Remove Wooden Furniture Scratches with Walnuts: TRUE

Gently rub the meat of the walnut into a light scratch and watch as it fades away. (Sources: Apartment Therapy and Huffington Post)

10. Use a Dryer Sheet to Prevent Ant Invasions: FALSE

Instead, using baking soda and powdered sugar. Sprinkle along your window sills or floor boards. Ants will be lured in by the sugar, but upon eating baking soda, will die. (Sources: Snopes and Apartment Therapy)

11. Untangle Jewelry Chains with Baby Oil: TRUE

Rub baby oil onto tangled jewelry chains and marvel at the loosening effect. Pro tip: WD40 also works! (Sources: Real Simple and Good Housekeeping)

Do you have any home remedies we should try out? Myths we should bust? Talk to us on Twitter (@britandco) and let us know!