Homeownership comes with its fair share of responsibilities, and there’s no shortage of advice on how to maintain your home and its appliances. However, not all the tips and tricks passed down through generations hold water. In this article, we’ll explore and debunk five common home maintenance myths, separating fact from fiction.

Myth 1: Pouring Salt Down the Drain Clears Clogs

Verdict: True, but with limitations.

The myth suggests that pouring salt down your drain can effectively clear clogs and keep pipes clean. According to Snopes, salt can be a helpful addition to your drain-cleaning routine, but it’s not a cure-all solution. While salt may prevent minor clogs and provide some cleaning benefits, it won’t address severe blockages. Regular professional plumbing maintenance is still crucial to ensure a healthy plumbing system.

Myth 2: Lemons Clean Your Garbage Disposal

Verdict: True, with limitations.

Many believe that tossing lemon peels into the garbage disposal will naturally clean and freshen it. While lemons do have natural cleaning properties and can help eliminate odors, relying solely on them is not enough. To maintain a healthy garbage disposal, it’s essential to regularly flush it with cold water, use ice cubes to sharpen the blades, and avoid putting certain items like grease and fibrous foods down the disposal.

Myth 3: Closing Vents Saves Energy

Verdict: False.

Some homeowners think that closing vents in unused rooms will save energy by directing it to other areas of the house. In reality, modern HVAC systems are designed to maintain a balanced airflow throughout the entire home. Closing vents can disrupt this balance, causing the system to work harder and potentially increasing energy consumption. It’s best to keep all vents open and ensure proper insulation and sealing for optimal energy efficiency.

Myth 4: Bleach Cleans Everything

Verdict: Somewhere in between.

While bleach is an effective disinfectant and stain remover, it’s not a universal cleaning solution. Using bleach on certain surfaces like granite or stainless steel can damage them. Additionally, mixing bleach with other cleaning products can produce harmful fumes. It’s crucial to follow manufacturer recommendations and use bleach judiciously for specific cleaning tasks.

Myth 5: Cleaning Windows with Newspaper for Streak-Free Shine

Verdict: Somewhere in between.

The myth suggests that cleaning windows with newspaper can achieve a streak-free shine better than traditional paper towels or cleaning cloths. While newspaper can be effective due to its mildly abrasive texture, it’s not a foolproof solution. The ink may transfer onto the glass, leaving behind streaks. Modern microfiber cloths designed for glass cleaning often provide better results. To achieve streak-free windows, use a professional glass cleaner and a lint-free cloth specifically designed for this purpose. Additionally, clean windows on a cloudy day to prevent cleaning solutions from drying too quickly, minimizing streaking.

In conclusion, separating home maintenance fact from fiction is crucial for ensuring the longevity of your home and its components. While some myths may contain elements of truth, it’s essential to approach them with a discerning eye and rely on expert advice when needed. Regular professional maintenance, adherence to manufacturer guidelines, and a dose of common sense are the keys to keeping your home in tip-top shape. Need help keeping track of your home maintenance tasks? Download a copy of our Year-Long Home Maintenance Checklist.