Putting old wives’ tales to the test can be a gen­er­a­tion game

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY - Sharon Dale

PASSED down through the gen­er­a­tions, you’ve prob­a­bly heard them all be­fore, old fash­ioned hints and tips that prom­ise to have your house sparkling in next to no time, for less than the price of half a pound of brisket; but do they work? Merry Maids asked their clean­ing ex­pert Ian McCor­mack which of th­ese well known tips are great golden oldies and which are sadly, noth­ing more than old wives tales.

Top His­tor­i­cal Clean­ing Fact 1 – Use vine­gar and news­pa­per to clean your win­dows. “THE only rea­son I can think of to clean your win­dows with vine­gar is that it’s acidic so you’re less likely to get smears and it is less likely to at­tract dirt but other than that sadly, this is a pure old wives’ tale. The best thing to use on your win­dows is wash­ing up liq­uid which is an al­ka­line so­lu­tion, which is nec­es­sary to re­move the dirt on your win­dows. Then rinse it off for a sparkling long-last­ing re­sult.”

His­tor­i­cal Clean­ing Fact 2 – Use lemon juice to re­move smells and stains from chop­ping boards. “LEMON juice is mildly acidic and has a bleach­ing and de­odor­is­ing ef­fect so is per­fect for re­mov­ing smells and stains from chop­ping boards. It can also be used to clean many other house­hold items, from stain­less steel cut­lery to the kitchen sink! Com­bined with salt it can shift a whole host of stains from fab­rics (but be care­ful of me­tal parts like zips and but­tons) and rubbed straight into your hands will help you get rid of any stains from berry juices.”

Top His­tor­i­cal Clean­ing Fact 3 – You should never wash a wool car­pet. “LE­GEND had it that you should never wash a wool car­pet for fear of strip­ping the ‘nat­u­ral oils’ out of it. Th­ese not-so del­i­cate ‘nat­u­ral oils’ are in fact closer to ear wax in con­sis­tency and have al­ready been stripped out dur­ing the man­u­fac­ture of the car­pet. Sorry. Wool car­pets can and should be cleaned reg­u­larly, just as man-made fi­bre car­pets should al­though it’s al­ways best to use a pro­fes­sional clean­ing com­pany.”

Top His­tor­i­cal Clean­ing Fact 4 – Use am­mo­nia to get stains out of car­pets “HOUSE­HOLD Am­mo­nia is a great cleaner, but if you don’t re­move it, it acts like a mag­net for acid soil and as most things in na­ture are acid, you’re car­pet re-soils more quickly.

“Some car­pet clean­ing so­lu­tions avail­able in mar­kets across the UK to­day do the same thing, so be care­ful to al­ways choose a non-am­mo­nia based prod­uct or bet­ter still, call in the ex­perts.”

Top His­tor­i­cal Clean­ing Fact 5 – Bak­ing Soda - a house­wife’s best friend. “BAK­ING Soda is a fan­tas­tic prod­uct and can be used to clean many ar­eas of your home,. A sim­ple mix­ture of (4tbs) Bak­ing Soda to (1 litre) warm wa­ter will make a good gen­eral cleaner. Also, mix­ing bak­ing soda with just a small amount of wa­ter (to form a paste) will cre­ate a great stain re­mover or an abra­sive for mov­ing dif­fi­cult to move marks on hard sur­faces. Bak­ing soda is also an in­cred­i­ble de­odoriser. Ev­ery fridge should have a tub of bi­carb in the back some­where with a few holes punched in the lid. Sprin­kling it on to car­pets ten min­utes be­fore vac­u­um­ing will also help with any gen­eral un­pleas­ant lin­ger­ing smells in the room, es­pe­cially pet odours.”

Merry Maids is part of Ser­viceMaster Ltd.


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