9 lies your mother told you about cooking, laundry and dishes

"Because I say so."

Sorry, mom, your answer to our childhood questions won't work anymore. From fridge care to cooking, dishes and laundry, the experts at Reviewed.com get into the Mother's Day spirit and debunk all the lies you've been following for years.

Here are some true facts that will change your domestic life:

On cooking:

1. Alcohol loses its potency during cooking.

Lie. A study by the University of Idaho and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Nutrient Data Laboratory has revealed that up to 85% of original alcohol content can linger after cooking. To remove all traces of alcohol, food must be cooked for more than 3 hours.

2. You should only eat well-done pork.

Wrong! Though it was a real rule until very recently, the USDA now recommends that pork be cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F, which is low enough for a nice medium doneness.

3. Adding oil to pasta prevents sticking.

Yes, fine, true. But you don't necessarily want that. Oil makes the pasta so slippery that all of the delicious sauce can't adhere to it. Omit the oil and just stir your pasta. Then, once it's done, ladle in a little sauce to avoid clumps.

On laundry:

1. More detergent is better.

Sorry, people who have been wasting precious money on extra-large detergent dumps. Most modern washing machines use a mechanism called "load sense" that weighs your load of clothes and estimates its volume to calculate how much water to dispense. Pour too much detergent? Get ready for soapy residue.

2. Hair spray is good at removing ink from clothes.

Yes, but there's a better way. Alcohol removes stains. Hair spray is full of alcohol. So, technically, this does work, but you'd have much better luck with just pouring vodka on ink stains directly.

3. Dry cleaning is dry.

This is so intuitive! It's in the name! It's also wrong. The process uses no water, but it actually uses quite a bit of fluids—usually tetrachloroethene or perchloroethylene (aka PERC).

On doing dishes:

1. You should pre-wash everything.

Lie. Current dishwasher detergents use enzymes that react with food particles, literally eating them away. Reviewed.com neither scrapes the plates beforehand nor prewashes them in its lab tests, and most dishwashers easily remove meat, egg, and milk stains that we've baked on and left there for 24 hours. So there. Laziness: 1. Mom: 0.

2. You shouldn't wash plastics.

Half-true. If your tupperware or plastic silverware says "dishwasher-safe," then you're good. And make sure you're loading them on the top rack, as far from the machine's heating element as possible.

3. You can put knives in the dishwasher.

If you want your knives to actually do their job, don't put them in the dishwasher. It exposes knives to high heat, detergent, and contact with other utensils, which can all dull the blade. To keep the edge keen, make sure you're washing it by hand, then immediately drying with a towel.

Contributing: Lindsay Deutsch, USA TODAY Network


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