Home Myths You Probably Thought Were True

published Sep 14, 2017
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(Image credit: Melanie Rieders)

You’ve probably heard a lot of home misconceptions over the years—anywhere from the weird (do toilets really flush in different directions based on the hemisphere you’re in?) to the concerning (is standing near your microwave actually bad for you?)—but what are the facts? Not everything you’ve heard or even long-believed is necessarily true.

An infographic from Your Best Digs broke down 15 different common home misconceptions—some of which you likely already know, but others that will probably surprise you—and what the real story behind them is. So, what’s the truth?

Let’s start with your microwave…

According to the infographic, microwaves do emit radiation, but it’s very limited (5 milliwatts per square centimeter approximately 1 inch from the surface). You’re safe so long as your microwave passes this easy test: close the microwave door on a piece of paper inserted halfway in the microwave. You shouldn’t be able to move the piece of paper past the seal easily. If you can, your microwave might not be safe to use.

As far as flushing your toilets go?

It’s not about the hemisphere you’re in—toilets just flush in different directions based on the design of the bowl and the drain.

Worried about robberies?

While most people believe home robberies take place at night, they’re actually more likely to take place between 6 am and 6 pm, when people are at work.

(Image credit: Melanie Rieders)

Your appliances are vampires…

If you think simply turning off your appliances is enough to stop them from using energy, unfortunately that’s not the case—many devices still use energy just because they’re plugged in and on stand-by mode, but power strips can help.

Oh, and smoke detectors?

Pressing the test button really just checks if the alarm sound works, but doesn’t necessarily tell you if the device itself actually works properly. The infographic suggests blowing out a candle or lighting a match right below it to test it in addition.

Finally: on bedbugs…

I hate to break this to you (but also it’s better that you know and can be prepared), but bedbugs aren’t just confined to beds. According to the infographic, they can also be found in linens, carpeting and your furniture, too. They can also (ugh…) live without food for up to a year.

Some other—and more fun—misconceptions that you might not have known before:

(Image credit: Your Best Digs)

You can see the full infographic with the rest of the misconceptions at Your Best Digs.