Having UN World Environment Day only a few days away, we thought to seize the chance to rethink the usage of chemicals in our daily lives. With so much information on the internet, it’s quite difficult to know the truth about using natural ingredients for cleaning purposes? So we resorted to the cleaning experts at Helpling.ae, the leading online platform for home services in MENA region, to reveal the myths about cleaning without chemicals (i.e. with home ingredients) and put them to proof! And here are their conclusions…
1- Toothpaste cleans silver jewelry and silverware – CORRECT
If your silver jewelry or cutlery are turning slightly gray and don’t shine anymore, rub them with some toothpaste (not gel) and use a toothbrush to get into the smallest corners. After that, dip the jewelry or the cutlery in warm water. Together with the paste, the oxidized silver particles will be washed away leaving your silvers shiny again.
2- Plants help to get rid of dust – CORRECT
Dust is particularly annoying and ugly but plants can help you out! They don’t only fill the room with style and aesthetics, but also filter the pollutants from our air and provide us with fresh oxygen. Especially effective are the ferns and orchids, which catch the swirling dust in the air. The leaves would only need to be wiped with a damp cloth and you get to take a fresh, deep breath again in your home!
3- Wearing gloves is hygienic – FALSE
We slip into our cleaning gloves to protect ourselves from bacteria and germs but the scrunched surface and the humidity inside provide a perfect habitat for bacteria. The best solution is to keep your gloves flawless and dry! Place them after each use in hot water with two teaspoons of vinegar and a little detergent for 10-15 minutes. Then dry them thoroughly in a cool place.
4- Lemon juice makes your extractor fan shine again – CORRECT
Our extractor fan – not only a magnet for odors, but also for fat stains! In order to get rid of the sticky spots, half of a lemon does the trick: Simply cut it and rub it over the metal. The acid easily removes fats and oils. If the spots are especially stubborn – pour a few drops of detergent on a cloth and rub gently above the stains. Do not use a stainless steel sponge, this only scratches your hood and misses the real target.
5- Vinegar is an all-round cleaning material – FALSE
Vinegar works on almost everything, especially when it comes to decalcifying appliances or making surfaces hygienic. However, it should not be over glorified, especially, when it comes to using it on natural stone surfaces such as granite and marble, as well as pipes or rubber seals, for which vinegar is unsuitable, even dangerous! The acid contained in vinegar reacts aggressively onto those materials and destroys the surfaces and thereby their function.
6- Sparkling water removes stains – CORRECT
Another stain on the carpet? Fast action: grab your bottle of sparkling water, because the contained carbon dioxide dissolves color and tannins from the fibers (this doesn’t work for fat or oil). Important: once you have drowned the spot in the mineral water, you have to use a dry and absorbent cloth in a circular motion to take the stain away – always dapple, never rub! But of course, the effect always depends on the type of the stain.
7- Coffee for cleaning and unclogging pipes – FALSE
Coffee grounds are not sandpaper – it won’t rub the tube free from leftovers, rather, the grounds mix with the remains, clog it even more and swell into a proper plug! A better solution is to place four teaspoons of baking soda in the sink, then add a cup of vinegar. If it fizzes and bubbles arise, rinse hot water onto it and your pipe will be free again! If not, repeat the process once more.
8. Oil removes sticky residues on doors – CORRECT
Stay away from chemical label solvents, the fatty acids in butter and oil dissolve sticky patches most effectively. Simply mix olive oil with a pinch of salt in a bowl and apply the mixture with a cloth onto the affected area. Rub and the glue disappears like magic! Afterwards, wipe the area clean with a bit water and a little detergent.