Many housecleaning myths have flourished over the ages. While these are intended to help homemakers save time, money and energy, they have an adverse effect: many housecleaning myths can wear down surfaces, make things dirtier or cause people to flush their money down the drain. Before you devote another day to scrubbing and sanitizing your home, be aware of these ten housecleaning myths.

1) Newspaper is the best option for cleaning glass
While it is true that newspaper is good for cleaning glass without streaks, it’s not without a crucial caveat: the ink can easily transfer to window trim when wet. While you can use newspaper—carefully!—to clean without leaving a mess behind, it’s better to use a microfiber cloth instead.

2) Vacuuming too often will ruin a carpet
Vacuuming isn’t what wears out a carpet; foot traffic and stains do. In fact, vacuuming will help your carpet last longer by keeping it free from dirt and dust that contributes to wear and tear. To keep your carpet in shape, pay special attention to the parts that get the most use (like pathways from one room to another) when you vacuum.

3) Bleach is the best cleaner
Bleach is a powerful tool, but not for cleaning. Essentially, bleach removes colour rather than soil. While this certainly makes things look cleaner, it doesn’t actually clean surfaces—and can pose as a serious safety hazard if not used correctly. Use bleach as a last-ditch effort, not your first choice for cleaning.

4) Cleaners act instantly
If you’re rinsing as soon as you lay down a cleaner, you aren’t giving it a chance to do its magic! Generally, surface cleaners require two or three minutes to work, but some can take up to ten minutes. When in doubt, follow the directions on the label of whatever cleaners you use.

5) Cleaning by hand is more effective than dishwashing
Not only are modern dishwashers better at cleaning than by hand, they save money by using less water as well. In addition to effortlessly removing grime, dishwashers also sanitize dishes by using water at 60° Celsius. That said, it’s true that you shouldn’t wash knives in the dishwasher, as this can make them dull faster.

6) Vinegar is a great all-purpose cleaner
Vinegar is certainly powerful when it comes to dissolving hard water deposits with ease, but that’s about all it’s good for. Vinegar has no ability to remove dirt and oils because it’s not actually a detergent or cleaner.

7) Multi-surface cleaners make life easier
It certainly seems that way, but not always. You’re better off using a cleaner designed for a specific purpose than use a multi-surface cleaner. While multi-surface cleaners should work on any surface in a pinch, you’ll likely have to scrub heavier and for longer.

8) More soap means more cleaning power
Using too much soap can be disastrous: you’ll end up with build-up that will need to be cleaned. Rather than dump an excessive amount of soap on an especially dirty surface, start with a little and add more as needed.

9) Washing machines don’t need cleaning
Considering washing machines slosh soap around on a regular basis, it seems like there’s no need to clean them. But it is a good idea to give it a cleaning every so often. Don’t worry, because this is easy: just run a hot wash cycle with detergent every so often to keep it clean and functional.

10) You should frequently polish wood
While polishing up a wooden surface does make it look great, polishing too often will wear it down quickly. It’s best to polish it once in a blue moon, then dust frequently to keep it looking fresh.