10 Cleaning Mistakes
You're Probably Making
Everyone has an idea of how to clean, but our way might not be the right way. Here are 10 cleaning mistakes you're making and how to correct them.
Overdoing It With Cleansers
We're all guilty of ignoring directions from time to time, thinking the more cleanser we use, the better it will work. This is not true. You may be doing damage in many ways: wearing out clothes in the laundry, spraying fumes into the air to toxic levels, building on layers of residue that will be more difficult to clean later, wasting money. Follow the recommended amounts from the cleanser label to get everything clean safely.
Mixing and Matching Cleansers
Most homeowners are not chemists and don't know how to safely mix chemicals. The home chemistry should end with picking which cleanser to use. Combining different cleansers can have toxic effects. Those mixtures can create fumes our bodies can't handle and do damage to our eyes, skin, and lungs. Use one cleaning agent at a time and always read labels to avoid accidental cleaning disasters.
Working With The Wrong Materials
Sponges, steel wool, and abrasive cleansers; they all work for cleaning, but only on certain items. While steel wool can scrub your casserole dish clean, it might tear up your bathtub or your linoleum floor. Make sure to read the labels for your cleaning tools and stick to the recommended uses, or you cause bigger problems than you started with.
Wasting Your Free Time
Work and family take a lot out of us during the week and the last thing we want to do after dinner is clean. But waiting until the weekend to clean the whole house is a lot less fun than spending the day outdoors with the family. Take back your Saturday by spreading the cleaning duties out over the course of the week. On Monday, clean the kitchen. Tuesday, tackle the living room and dining room. Reserve Wednesday for bathrooms and Thursday for laundry and you'll have the entire weekend to enjoy yourself.
Mismanaging Your Sponges
Sponges work great for scrubbing away soap scum in the bathtub and making the kitchen sink sparkle, but after one use they're loaded with germs and filth. It's expensive to buy sponges for one cleaning, but rinsing them out doesn't get them clean. After you've used a sponge, throw it into the laundry. Wash it in hot water and dry it to kill the germs. The next time you clean, it'll be like using a brand new sponge.
Rushing The Job
Germs are tough microorganisms, and they need something even tougher to scrub them away. While we want to wipe window cleaner off before it dries and leaves streaks, the same method does not work on a bathroom sink. If you spray and wipe surfaces too quickly, you may not be doing the best cleaning job. Germs can be left behind if spray cleansers don't have enough time to take action. For germ hot zones, leave the disinfectant on the surfaces for a few seconds before you wipe it away. Those few seconds could be the difference between getting sick and staying healthy during cold and flu season.
Skipping The Gloves
Slipping your hands into rubber or latex gloves that leave an unpleasant odor on your hands may be an easy step to skip when you're doing a quick wipe down of the kitchen sink and counters, but it may do damage. While our skin is very resilient, the harsh chemicals we use to clean our homes can be irritating and cause rashes. But the damage can go beyond the surface. When our skin absorbs some chemicals, they get into our bloodstream and organs. Arm yourself no matter how small the cleaning job. It will keep your skin looking nice and reduce the risk of health problems.
Ignoring Germ Hot Zones
Doorknobs, drawer handles, light switches, keyboards, phones, and TV gadgets are spots we forget to clean because they look clean. In reality those are germ hot zones because we touch them constantly with our hands. Hands carry thousands of germs, and every time you touch something, you're leaving behind some of your germs and picking up more. Make sure you wipe down all the frequently touched spots in your house when you're cleaning. Not only will your home look clean, but you'll also reduce the risk of illness in your household.
Skipping Nooks, Crannies And Out-of-Reach Spots
There are dozens of spots around your home that we don't clean because we don't think anyone sees them. That may be true, but it doesn't mean they shouldn't be cleaned. Places like the top of kitchen cabinets, ceiling vents and behind couches can accumulate dust and allergens. Dust is composed of different particles in each home, and it can be harmful to your health. To reduce those health risks, dust every nook and cranny that you're avoiding and remember to give them attention with a damp cloth every few months.
Skipping Your Bed Linens
The dusts that can cause health problems and aggravate allergies are also lurking in our linens. Microscopic particles hide out in the fibers in pillows, comforters and curtains (the items we can't run a cloth over to pick up dust). Though they're not easy to clean, it may be worth the extra effort to refresh your mattress or take bedding and curtains in to be cleaned and get rid of dust.