A Few Common Household Myths That Turned Out To Be False

There are lots of myths that we believe to be true and that we’ve heard from our parents or from someone else and passed onto our friends and children. But while doing so, we didn’t bother to check if those are actually true. As it turns out, some of the most common household myths were just innocent mistakes past from one person to another.

1. The sun doesn’t harm wet plants.

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A lot of people seem to think that wet plants absorb sun better and that the water droplets magnify its power thus burning the plants. That’s actually not true at all. As it seems logical, the water helps the plants as opposed to harming them. This is just a myth that was exacerbated for all the wrong reasons. In reality, the reason why you shouldn’t water your plants when the sun is strong is that the water evaporates too quickly and you’ll just end up wasting water. It’s why it’s best to irrigate in the morning.

2. Opening a window in a storm is dangerous.

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Even though sometimes a storm seems like a blessing and all you want is to feel the fresh, wet air and let the wind enter your home, it’s not ok to open the windows or doors during a storm. The reason is that when you open a window you bring in high-pressure air. This air must then escape and that’s usually out other windows or doors or through the ceiling or roof. If you want your house to be protected then it would be better to cover all the openings with reinforced plywood or with something else. This way the air will flow over your house and not into it.

3. Bleach doesn’t eliminate the mold spores.

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Lots of people use bleach to kill mold spores. But even if the bleach does kill them, what they don’t know is that it’s not enough. The mold spores don’t need to just be killed. They need to be removed and completely eliminated. If not, even when they’re dead they can still cause an allergic reaction. It’s why you need to remove mold completely and you can do that with detergent and water or with a scrub brush and a special vacuum. Then make sure you fix the problem so that mold doesn’t regrow.

4. Certain DIY projects require permits.

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When remodeling or renovating, there are certain projects that don’t require permits but there are also certain projects that do. Just because a certain project is a DIY type doesn’t mean it’s completely safe or that it doesn’t require a permit. Among the changes that you can make without authorization we can mention painting, staining, sanding floors, installing moldings, replacing cabinets and other such activities. Others, such as replacing the windows, adding outlets, changing a stove from electric to gas, moving a doorway, require permits and it’s best to put everything in order before you get to work.

5. Start-up power is irrelevant.

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When you turn on the lights, they draw a spike of current in order to heat up the cold filament or the bases inside the fluorescent light bulbs. But, as opposed to what some people may think, the start-up power lasts only for an instant and this makes the effect negligible compared to the lamp’s ongoing usage. So don’t worry about that when you turn on the lights. It’s better to turn off the lamp for even a half hour than to worry about the costs of turning it on. Even though frequent on-off cycles cut down the number of hours the lamp can light, it will still last longer since you use it less.

6. New Energy Star-rated washers are superior.

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This is actually more of a fact than a myth. As you might have guessed, the new Energy-Star-rated washers are superior to the old ones. That’s because they use an average of 40% less energy than standard models. The reason is that they use less than half the water. Since heating the water accounts for 90% of the washer’s total energy use, this results in a great advantage. But if you really want to cut down the costs you can wash and rinse on cold. Most modern detergents work great with cold water so your clothes will be just as clean as those washed with hot water.

7. Vinyl traps moisture.

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Even though in some cases vinyl wallpaper works great as a moisture barrier, in hot, humid climates it’s not a very good idea to use this type of wallpaper. That’s because vinyl wallpaper traps moisture and puts the barriers on the wrong side of the wall. This causes mildew to grow on the back of the wallpaper and the effects of that are not pleasant. So in such cases it’s best to use paper-based wallpaper or, why not, paint. It’s best to avoid problems than to have to deal with them. In this case, the material makes all the difference.

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Posted in How To, Tips, and Advice on January 3, 2013

About the author

Simona Ganea
She may not be very fond of people, finding them annoying most of the time, but she still enjoys helping them from the shadows. Her attention to detail drives others crazy yet remains her most appreciated characteristic.