10 Cleaning Hacks You Should Avoid

Cleaning is not the first thing most think of when the word “fun” comes up in a conversation. We are all busy with our daily lives, and cleaning can sometimes be exhausting. Naturally, we tend to look for ways to make our cleaning efforts more efficient and easier. The internet is an excellent source of advice on many things, including cleaning. For this reason, many look for so-called “hacks” to help themselves out. Cleaning “hacks” are cleaning shortcuts and often involve repurposing items or chemicals for cleaning uses. Unfortunately, some of these are just too good to be true. Thus, we will tell you about ten cleaning hacks you should avoid to save you time and effort.

Internet as a source of information

If you do most of the cleaning around the house, you’re probably constantly on the lookout for advice on keeping your home clean. Since the internet is available to everyone, content can come from anyone with an active internet connection and a keyboard. Sometimes, this advice is not the most useful. However, you may only find that out after you’ve invested time and energy. This feels utterly frustrating. Imagine setting aside a limited amount of time in your busy schedule, only to find out you’ve wasted it on something useless. For this specific reason, let’s look at our list of cleaning hacks you should avoid.

1. Baking soda and vinegar

The holy grail of cleaning hacks! If you’ve heard of one cleaning hack in your life, it has to be the baking soda and vinegar hack. So if it’s so popular, why does it top our list of cleaning hacks that are to be avoided? The simple answer is that it’s ineffective. Baking soda and vinegar are potent cleaners on their own. For example, vinegar is a wonder weapon if you want to prepare kitchen appliances for storage. The kitchen appliances we use easily get stained. These can be pretty tough to remove, as the dust settles on them over time, especially if they are not in regular use. Thus, when packing kitchen appliances for storage, you will need them to be clean before you pack them.

While baking soda and vinegar by themselves are powerful cleaners, when they are combined, they lose that punch. This happens for the simple reason that vinegar is acidic and baking soda is basic. Chemically, they will cancel each other out, which creates that bubbly effect we believe is “eating away” at the dirt. This is simply not true.

2. Soaking clothes in a salt solution to preserve colours

Nobody likes their clothes fading. Having a favourite black shirt turn grey can be disappointing. People have tried a lot of things to stop this from happening. One of the tricks was soaking clothes in a salt solution. This hack was tested and showed ineffective, to our great regret. This is how it made its way to our list of cleaning hacks you should avoid.

3. Hairspray on ink stains

Ink stains can be a nightmare, especially on colours that create an intense contrast. Hairspray on ink stains used to be a good trick – back when hairspray contained alcohol. Nowadays, most no longer have alcohol and therefore render hairspray useless for ink-stain removal. Alternatively, you may use regular alcohol to help the cleaning process along slightly.

4. Magic eraser in the toilet bowl

Magic erasers are one of the most versatile tools in the homestead. They have multiple and alternative uses. However, the idea that dropping a magic eraser in the toilet bowl would clean your toilet bowl comes from a fundamental misunderstanding. The misunderstanding is regarding how the “magic” in magic erasers happens. See, magic erasers lift stains off surfaces with tiny micro scrubbers. Dropping one in the toilet is a waste of an otherwise good cleaning tool.

5. Soda in the toilet bowl

The idea behind this is that the acidity in the soda will eat away at stains. This is entirely wrong, as a soft drink is not as potent as a conventional cleaning product. Putting soda in the toilet bowl is one of the cleaning hacks that you will want to avoid. Additionally, purchasing soda to clean is financially less preferable than opting for regular cleaning solutions. After all, cleaning is done regularly, and it could become a considerable expense if you follow a piece of advice so costly. There are many healthy, inexpensive, and efficient ways of cleaning a home.

6. Mouthwash in the washing machine

Putting mouthwash in the washing machine is a classic case of wrong logic. The premise is that the mouthwash will kill germs in the machine the same way it does in our mouths. This bright idea doesn’t consider the amount of water that goes through a machine during a cycle. With so much more water than what we hold in our mouths, the disinfecting power of mouthwash is greatly diminished. Do not waste your mouthwash and your precious time.

7. Car wax on stovetops

Sometimes, online hacks for housekeeping can be helpful. Other times, they come up short. However, sometimes, online advice can be flat-out dangerous and irresponsible. Hacks that involve mixing hazardous chemicals or allergens could be harmful to people with allergies. If you’ve come across a sketchy cleaning hack that could put you at risk of a reaction, have a look at some cleaning tips for people with allergies.


Putting car wax on stovetops is one of these potentially dangerous pieces of advice. Car wax and similar products can be combustible, and putting them on stovetops can potentially be disastrous. When it comes to cleaning hacks you should avoid, this one is definitely on the list.

8. Cleaning crusty pans with a dryer sheet

This useless hack claims that if you pour water into a burnt-out, crusty pan and let a dryer sheet soak in it, it will make cleaning easy. This simply doesn’t work. Cleaning should be done with cleaning products. Alternatively, some water and baking soda (no vinegar!) will do the job.

9. Lemons in the dishwasher

Perhaps it is making cleaning detergents smell lemon-like and putting lemons on the packaging that is to blame. The idea is that putting one or several wedges of lemons in the dishwasher will make it cleaner. This is because lemons are considered mild disinfectants, but with the sheer volume of water that goes through the machine, it just doesn’t work.


10. Ironing scorch marks and corn starch

Scorch marks are burnt fibres on your clothing. Nobody likes them, and you’ve probably lost a special clothing item or two to ironing scorch marks. The internet “experts” believe using corn starch on the stain will create some effect. This is nowhere near as effective as people believe it to be. If you have an ironing accident, use white vinegar or some liquid laundry detergent right away. As for corn starch? It stays on the list of cleaning hacks you want to stay away from.


Cleaning is a chore, and most of us don’t like to spend all of our free time doing it. With our list of cleaning hacks you should avoid, you will be saving time, money, and energy. Hopefully, you won’t be trying out any useless and potentially dangerous hacks the next time you clean.  Alternatively, you trust the professionals and have your home or office sparkle clean. Get in touch today with Mega Cleaning experts!