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