10 Common Mistakes You Make While Cleaning Your House
We all have to speed clean from time-to-time, but next time you’re rapidly checking chores off your list, take pause and consider if you can adapt your routine to be more thorough, effective and safe.
Photo By: Emily Fazio
Photo By: Emily Fazio
Photo By: Wake and Loom
Photo By: Tomas Espinoza
Have multiple rags handy when you’re cleaning your home and avoid reusing the same cloth to wipe down different surfaces. Using a fresh rag will help to contain bacteria and dirt, and help to avoid the spread of germs.
Choosing a Sunny Day for Washing the Windows
The warmth of the sunshine quickly evaporates window cleansers, and when the cleanser dries on the window, it can result in streaks. Save window duty for a dreary, overcast day.
GET THE HOW-TO: How to Clean Windows
Overworking the Dishwasher
Homeowners frequently ask too much of their dishwashers, which directly affects its ability to do a five-star job. Avoid overloading, alternate the direction of your silverware to help with water flow, put plastics on the top rack to avoid damage, and remember that this appliance is absolutely responsible for the of dulling of sharp knives, and damaged wooden cutting boards and wooden utensils (wash those items by hand).
Using Harsh Cleaners
Take the time to learn the best solution for cleaning every surface in your home, so that your "all-purpose" routine doesn’t accidentally cause damage. Some important tips: don’t use vinegar-based cleansers to clean a granite countertop, use gentle cleaners on wood floors to avoid weakening the polish, and don’t overuse disinfectants, like bleach.
Forgetting to Empty the Vacuum
Remember to clean out the bag or canister of your vacuum after every use to fully rid your home of the dust - and perhaps bugs - you picked up during your chore session.
read more: HGTV Editors Swear By These Vacuum Cleaners
Sweeping and Dusting Too Infrequently
Dirt left on the floors is the leading cause of scratches on the finish, so if you sweep more often, there’ll be less opportunity for those granules to dig in. Similarly with dusting, if you fail to collect dust on polished wood shelves, the dust can begin to interact with the finish and discolor it over time.
read more: 10 Things People With Clean Houses Always Do
Ignoring the Drains and Disposal
Remember to clean kitchen and bathroom sink drains regularly, and run and refresh the kitchen disposal, too. Maintaining both will prevent smells from forming.
GET THE HOW-TO: DIY Garbage Disposal Cleaners
Using Steam Mops on the Wrong Surfaces
Steam mops are worth their weight in gold on ceramic tile and porcelain floors, but they’re much too intense to use on laminates or engineered hardwoods. The intensity of the steam can affect the glues used in flooring assembly, causing irreparable damage.
read more: Is Your Steam Mop Damaging Your Floor?
Failing to Ventilate Cleanser Fumes
If you’re using harsh chemicals during your cleaning routine, be sure to open a window to improve airflow - it’s for your own health. Also, be sure to wear gloves to prevent chemical burns if you’re cleaning with bleach.
read more: Say No to Fumes in Your House
Forgetting to Clean Your Appliances
Detergent itself isn’t going to keep the inside of your washing machine or your dishwasher clean, but those are just two of the appliances frequently overlooked when it comes to routine housekeeping. Make it a goal to clean these appliances at least twice a year, so that they do their respective jobs well.
GET THE HOW-TO: How to Clean a Washing Machine