23 October 2016Last updated

Features | People

Home remedies that work; and some that don’t

Is wearing gloves hygienic? Can you remove stains with sparkling water?

31 May 2016 | 03:43 pm
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Ever since the internet became everybody’s go-to guide for everything under the sun, fix-it-yourself solutions have spread faster than the common cold. And now that ‘green’ is the new blue, anything that says environment-friendly is embraced without reservation. Especially in cleaning materials. But how much of this is correct, and how many are old wives’ tales?

Take a look:


Cleaning and unclogging pipes with coffee  False

Coffee grounds are not sandpaper – it won’t rub the tube free of leftovers. Rather, the grounds mix with the remains and clog it even more. A better solution is to place four teaspoons baking soda in the sink, then add a cup of vinegar. If it fizzes and bubbles arise, flush with hot water and the pipe will be free again. If not, repeat the process.


Plants help to get rid of dust  Correct

Dust is particularly annoying and you can’t keep it out, but plants can help you contain it! Plants not only beautify the room, but also filter the pollutants from air and provide us with fresh oxygen. Especially effective are ferns and orchids, which catch the swirling dust in the air. The leaves can be wiped with a damp cloth. Now take a deep breath!


Wearing gloves is hygienic  False

We slip on our cleaning gloves to protect ourselves from bacteria and germs, but the scrunched surface and the humidity inside provide a perfect habitat for bacteria. So, keep your gloves flawless and dry. After each use place them in hot water with two teaspoons of vinegar and a little detergent for 10 to15 minutes. Afterwards, just dry them thoroughly and store them in a cool place.


Toothpaste to clean silver silverware  Correct

If your silver chain has accumulated dirt and doesn’t shine anymore, just apply some toothpaste (not gel) on it with a toothbrush very thoroughly. Then dip the chain or the cutlery in warm water. Together with the paste, the oxidized silver particles will be washed away and your jewelry will be shiny again.


Vinegar as an all-round cleaning material  False

Vinegar works on almost everything, especially when it comes to decalcifying appliances or making surfaces hygienic. However, do not use it on natural stone surfaces such as granite and marble, as well as pipes or rubber seals, where it could even be dangerous. The acid contained in vinegar reacts aggressively on those materials and will destroy the surface.


Remove stains with sparkling water  Correct

A stain on the carpet? Quick,: grab that bottle of sparkling water and spray on it. The carbon dioxide in the sparkling water will dissolve colour and tannins from the fibers. However, 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.


Lemon juice to clean the extractor  Correct

The extractor fan is not only a magnet for odours, but also for stains. In order to get rid of the sticky spots, half of a lemon will do the trick: Simply rub it over the metal. The acid will easily remove 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 which will just leave scratches.


Oil removes sticky residues on doors – Correct

The fatty acids in butter and oil dissolve sticky patches most effectively, so chemical solvents are not required. Simply mix olive oil with a pinch of salt in a bowl and apply the mixture with a cloth onto the area. Just rub and the glue will disappear like magic! Afterwards, wipe the area clean with some water and detergent.

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