Many of us make a handful of mistakes that make cleaning harder and our homes way dirtier than they need to be. Follow the tips below to break those habits and start cleaning smarter.
- Spraying a cleaning product directly on the surface.
Spraying your cleaning product directly on the surface you are cleaning may be fine for some surfaces but can be harmful to others. This works great for countertops and windows, but not for furniture and electronics. For wood furniture, television or computer screens it is recommended to spray on a microfiber cloth first then wipe it clean.
- Not cleaning your sponge.
When you think about all surfaces your sponge has cleaned, whether it’s your bathtub, kitchen stove or dirty dishes in the sink, a quick rinse will not suffice. To clean your sponges, you can run them through the dishwasher, boil them in water on the stove or place them in water in a microwave-safe bowl of water and microwave on high for one to two minutes.
- Scrubbing carpets instead of blotting them.
In the unfortunate case there is a spill or stain that requires clean up, always blot and never rub the stain. Blotting applies pressure to the stain to soak it up, while rubbing can actually cause the stain to get pushed further into carpet fibers and cause premature breakdown of them.
- Dusting with a dry rag or feather duster.
Dry dusting with a feather duster or rag is really just pushing all the dust around instead of trapping it. It usually ends up on the floor rather than removing it. Try using a microfiber cloth sprayed with a bit of cleaning product formulated for the surface you’re dusting.
- Using the same rag everywhere in the house.
When you use the same rag or cloth everywhere in your home you’re bringing those germs along too. Designating a microfiber cloth for each area in your home and cleaning it after each use will reduce the transfer of bacteria.
- Cleaning from the ground up.
When you start cleaning from the floors and work up to higher surfaces, you end up pushing crumbs and dust back onto the floor, causing you to re-clean it. Instead, start with the windows, countertops and other surfaces, chairs and couches. Then vacuum or mop the floors to remove any dust or particles left and pushed to the floor from surface cleaning.
- Putting away a wet toilet brush.
Moisture and bacteria go hand in hand so it’s essential to let your toilet bowl brush dry for at least 10 minutes before putting it back in its holder to avoid unwanted bacteria growth. Placing the handle between the seat and base with it suspended over the bowl will allow it to drip-dry.
- Washing windows in direct light on a sunny day.
The sun heats up the windows and may cause the product you’re using to dry before you even get the chance to wipe them which may cause streaks. Washing shaded windows on a particular sunny day or waiting for an overcast day is best for exterior windows.
- Not emptying the vacuum.
If you notice your vacuum start to smell or its not picking up debris like it should, there is a good chance the vacuum bag is full. Emptying the bag or canister every 2 or 3 uses will keep your vacuum working properly.
- Tossing everything into the dishwasher.
Some small kitchen utensils have nooks and crannies that aren’t always cleaned in the dishwasher and that can be a hotspot for bacteria and mold. Washing these items by hand will ensure that these are washed thoroughly.