Getting the Hang of Hacks: 15 Home Maintenance Myths |Amplify CU
 
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15 Home Maintenance Myths

Financial Advice

FINANCING HOME RENOVATIONS

Articles and research about improving your home

15 Home Maintenance Myths

Financial Advice

FINANCING HOME RENOVATIONS

Articles and research about improving your home

Getting the Hang of Hacks: 15 Home Maintenance Myths, Rebutted

Published December 26, 2017

The internet is abuzz with myriad cleaning and home maintenance hacks, some of which are great time-and-energy savers and others that are questionable at best.

In the worst-case scenarios, some of the prevailing knowledge could actually cost you money in the long term. Be aware of how these common myths backfire by creating more problems than they solve when you’re trying to care for your home.

  1. Myth: All home improvements add market value to your property.
  2. Fact: That may seem logical but it’s not at all true, partly because value is so subjective. Certain improvements, such as refinishing a hardwood floor, may recoup up to 100 percent of your investment when you go to sell, while others (such as an in-ground pool) may recoup nothing and could even be detrimental to marketability.

  3. Myth: Newspaper is the best material for window washing.
  4. Fact: The inexpensive ink used on newsprint can easily transfer to glass and trim, creating black smudges that necessitate further cleaning. Instead, use a squeegee and/or microfiber cloths to get the job done.

  5. Myth: You should switch out your HVAC filter monthly.
  6. Fact: It’s true you should check it for buildup each month, but if it’s not dirty you can save money by only replacing it on the schedule recommended by the manufacturer.

  7. Myth: Diluted vinegar is the best all-purpose cleaning solution.
  8. Fact: The acid in vinegar could actually damage your wood or natural stone surfaces, and vinegar is really only effective in attacking dirt and bacteria if it’s used at near-full strength.

  9. Myth: Straight bleach can take care of any mold problem.
  10. Fact: It does kill bacteria and fungi, but only on nonporous surfaces. It frequently misses mold on grout, caulk, drywall, insulation, carpet, etc., instead just bleaching it white so it’s less visible. Either use a commercial antifungal product while you’re wearing protective gear, or call in a mold remediation specialist.

  11. Myth: The best tool for removing dust from your home is a regular feather duster.
  12. Fact: Feather dusters can be fun, but the reality is they do little more than swish dust (and sometimes loose feathers) into the air; the exception may be pricey ostrich-feather models, which do attract dust. A better alternative may be the microfiber rags that are statically charged so as to attract dirt, pet hairs, dust balls and microparticles and trap them in their grooves. Bonus: Unless they’re really grimy, you can clean them by merely shaking them outside.

  13. Myth: Product warranties often pay off by helping you avoid costly repairs.
  14. Fact: Most manufacturers automatically offer a 90-day warranty, which is often extended by your credit card company if you pay by credit. Maintain your purchase as recommended and sock the money you save on a warranty in a repair fund that may or may not be needed.

  15. Myth: Tucking dryer sheets into your HVAC vents makes for inexpensive aromatherapy.
  16. Fact: Blocking air to and from your vents could create higher energy costs and/or be a fire hazard.

  17. Myth: Industrial-style string mops get floors the cleanest.
  18. Fact: While they’re highly absorbent and great for mopping spills, they tend to just spread around dirt and bacteria. A microfiber mop is more apt to pick up germs and grime.

  19. Myth: For toilets, you should use Coca-Cola as a stain remover.
  20. Fact: The rationale makes sense, since the acid in the product may target hard water marks. But other stains could be darkened by the soda’s coloring.

  21. Myth: Hand-washing dishes is more thorough than running them through a dishwasher.
  22. Fact: Crusted-on food may come off easier with hand washing, but you sacrifice the sanitation that results from being washed in temps of 140 F.

  23. Myth: Hair spray will remove ink stains from upholstery or laundry.
  24. Fact: That used to be true, but many of today’s hair sprays contain stiffening agents that will make such stains worse. Try straight rubbing alcohol instead.

  25. Myth: Fresh lemon slices should be put down your garbage disposal to clean out gunk.
  26. Fact: No, the citric acid may corrode your pipes while a tough peel could be too hard on the components or clog up the works. Ice cubes poured in while you’re running water may work better.

  27. Myth: Duct tape can seal any leaks or openings on your HVAC ductwork.
  28. Fact: Hot air flowing through your system can easily dissolve the glue. Experts advise using a caulk-like product called duct mastic and fiberglass mesh to cover gaps.

  29. Myth: You need to add a rinse aid to your dishwasher to avoid spots.
  30. Fact: Try filling the dispenser with white vinegar instead, then unload your dishwasher’s bottom rack first to avoid drips from the top rack.

On the often-unfiltered internet, sorting out helpful information from useless suggestions can sometimes be tricky. Do your homework to determine what will truly save you time and money.

Consider a Home Equity Loan from Amplify Credit Union for your next home improvement project.


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