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.

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May 10, 2019

Photo By: Emily Fazio

Photo By: Emily Fazio

Photo By: Wake and Loom

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza

Reusing Rags

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.

read more: Toss It: 25 Household Items That Love to Harbor Bacteria

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).

read more: 10 Bad Habits Around the House That Cost You Money

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.

read more: 8 Cleaning Mistakes That Are Damaging Delicate Surfaces in Your Home

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

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