3 Rules for Internet cures and fixes.
A few days ago, sitting in a coffee shop, I overheard two women talking about getting stains out of a dress. One woman mentioned that she had gone on-line and found out how to concoct a homemade stain remover, which she then used on the dress. Instead of removing the stain, the stain remover actually made it worse and she had to throw out the dress. She went on to tell her friend that she always checked the internet for everything, and often used the tips and tricks she found on line so she couldn’t understand what went wrong this time.
Listening to them chat, I started to think about how often we get phone calls here in the office from people asking for a little advice. They have a small problem, a stain or a mess on their carpets or upholstery, and they want to fix it themselves. It’s usually a small problem and they don’t want to pay for us to come out and clean it for them, they just want a suggestion or a tip or two to make the problem go away. Most times we know exactly what the problem is, know the best product for fixing the problem and send them on their way armed with enough information to alleviate the problem. Sometime however, we can’t help and then I will often refer people to the internet to look for a solution. When I tell people to look on the internet for a solution, I caution them not to accept everything they read as gospel. They should follow these simple rules to make sure that they actually find the right solution to their problem, rather than make that problem even worse.
YouTube is the best medium for addressing your problems, whether it’s a cleaning problem, a computer problem, or anything else, someone has posted a solution to your problem on YouTube. It is very easy to find a video showing you step by step how to do whatever you need to do. I always recommend YouTube as the first step in finding a solution.
2. Find more than one solution.
If you are using YouTube, always try and find two or more video’s that show how to fix the same problem. The video you find may have been made in Europe or Asia, or even in parts of the US where the products they are using cannot be found or have a different name than we use here. Watching more than one video will help you decide on what way to go.
3. Don’t trust the recipe.
When you get the ingredients and start using the recipe for making that stain remover or odor remover, don’t automatically assume that it will work in your situation. The woman in the coffee shop should have tried her homemade stain remover on a piece of fabric identical to her dress. If it worked on that then she could try it on the dress. Use the corner of a closet, or under the bottom of a chair to test your new cleaning concoction. That way if it doesn’t work you haven’t wrecked anything out in the open where everyone can see it.
There are a million tips and techniques you can find on the internet. Most of them work, and are often easy to make, easy to use, green, and safe. Just be sure that you use the information cautiously. Once you find the right formula, go for it.
Thanks for listening.