Many people see product labels as an afterthought, if they see them at all. You have used this product before, so why should you bother brushing up on the specs and directions? Well, as it turns out, there are quite a few products you might have been using wrong without ever knowing. On top of that, there might be some dire consequences. Here are a few examples.
1. Aluminum Foil
On either end of a box of aluminum foil, you will see perforation marks that are labeled ‘push to lock in place’, or some similar statement. This solves the problem of the foil or plastic wrap roll from shifting inside the box. In turn, this means you won’t need to fumble around to find the end of the foil. Though it might seem like a mild inconvenience at the time, the boxes for these products have sharp metal teeth that cut the wrapping material. Once you cut your finger on these, you’ll know how frustrating they can be.
2. Storing Flammable Cleaning Supplies
A logo with flames followed by a number from 0-4 indicates a product’s flammability. When a product is given a three or higher on this scale, the product in question is capable of ignition. Make sure to take the proper precautions when storing your cleaning supplies and never keep them close to open flames or heating devices that could spark.
The common red suction cup plunger is supposed to be used for your sink. Instead, flange plungers are used for your toilet. This is because they have a flexible head that an accommodate drains which do not have a flat surface surrounding them. There’s also a third type of plunger called an accordion plunger. It is made from hard plastic and is notoriously difficult to use, but for drains that are extra stuck, this plunger can provide a huge amount of force if used properly.
Advertising strikes again. Do yourself a favor when you brush your teeth tonight. Read the label on your toothpaste. Somewhere on the tube it will say that the recommended amount to use is only the size of a pea. Meanwhile, the beautiful lady in the commercial with the pearliest whites is globbing on gallons of the stuff. Conserve your toothpaste, it won’t hurt.
5. Vents and Air Ducts
Most homeowners should get their air ducts cleaned every three to five years. If you have pets, live close to trees and other sources of pollen, or if you have had a recent pest infestation, it is in your best interest to get your vents cleaned. Also, check the lint trap of your dryer regularly. The lint collected there is highly flammable and is part of your dryer, a massive source of heat. Not cleaning your lint trap is a recipe for disaster.
6. Food Expiration Dates
This is a mistake people rarely make more than once. After you have had a bout of food poisoning, you will be eternally cautious when checking expiration dates. This might not be the most dangerous label to ignore, but the consequences are definitively uncomfortable.
7. Nutritional Labels
The daily values listed on nutritional labels refer to the percent of your nutritional needs based on a 2,000 calorie diet. You might have different dietary needs, so always be sure you read how many calories and what type of nutrients are in a food before making it a regular part of your diet. Instead of focusing on the percentages, keep track of vital nutrients like fats, calories, protein, and carbohydrate levels in the food you eat.
8. Spaghett-about It!
Sometimes measuring portion size in order to count calories is tough. You know those pasta ladles that have a hole in the middle? For almost all of these stirring spoons, that hole can tell you how much spaghetti to eat. If you put the dried spaghetti noodles inside the hole, filling it up, you will have the exact serving size for one person.
9. What’s a Warming Drawer?
On the bottom of your oven, you might have another drawer that pulls out. While most people store extra pots or baking trays down there, that drawer is actually supposed to be used to keep food warm while you are preparing the remainder of the meal. Who knew?
There are a few mistakes people make when doing laundry. First, and perhaps most common, is using too much detergent. This could cause your laundry room to become a big bubble bath in just one cycle. The next mistake regularly made is using the wrong cleaning supplies on the wrong fabric. Chlorine bleach is a common culprit of washing out the colors from certain clothes. The only way to know for sure if you can use it is by reading the label on the tag of your clothes.
There are all sorts of funny ways we use things wrong around the home. Still, not heeding warning labels, or neglecting to read them altogether is a disaster waiting to happen. Imagine if a fire broke out in your home. If you have a fire extinguisher, but don’t know how to use it, is it of any use amidst a conflagration?
What if you were doing dishes with bleach, but when you reached under the cabinet to get more soap, you grabbed ammonia? If you didn’t read the label first and combined these two chemicals, you would have created a poisonous gas.
It’s not always the end of the world if you forget to read a label or research how to best use a product, but it can still be dangerous. That’s why it is best to proceed with caution. Whether it’s your health, clothing, home, or even your electricity bill, it pays to take the time to research the products you are using.