Don’t you hate it when you’re cleaning and stains are stubborn, food is stuck on, and your furniture gets ruined because you didn’t clean something the right way, or right away?
I know I do, and since becoming an adult, having children and buying nice furniture, the struggles of keeping nice things nice, is super real.
But cleaning the house isn’t just about keeping nice things nice. It’s about creating a healthy environment for your family. It’s about eliminating mold, roaches, and other bugs from taking over your home.
My favorite thing to do on the weekend is to wake up, pour myself a cup of coffee and clean the things I didn’t get to on the weekdays. (I’m a work from home mom, so managing kids, working at home and keeping a clean house is definitely a huge challenge, but I’ve got a handle on it!)
However, I have learned some things during the development of my cleaning routines. Mistakes have been made, and these mistakes will now be shared with YOU (you lucky duck!)
Correct these cleaning mistakes and watch your home shine and sparkle.
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Cleaning Mistakes You Need to Avoid
Mistake 1: Cleaning From The Ground Up
Oh my goodness, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve made this mistake. Cleaning from the floors up just makes you work twice as hard. If your floors are clean, and then you go ahead and clean your countertops and tables, that dirt will fall back onto the floor making your life more difficult and you’ll need to go over the floors again. No one wants to do that!
Start cleaning your home from top to bottom. Clean dust off the highest surfaces such as ceilings, corners and door jams. Don’t forget to clean the walls and baseboards from cobwebs and dust. I like to use Casabella® Everywhere Duster for the walls and ceilings because it is a microfiber and washable. Any microfiber mop can work well, and if you’re in a pinch, cover a broom with a towel tied over it and sweep up the ceiling this way. Be sure to clean the light fixtures and fan blades while you’re working those walls. You can clean a little bit faster too if you just throw the dust and dirt onto the floor as you go, you’ll grab it later with the vacuum/broom!
Mistake 2: Not Changing Your Cleaning Rag
You may think that spraying the cleaning solution onto your cloth will eliminate the germs, but it doesn’t. This means that you can spread dirty bathroom grime and germs onto your kitchen counters and coffee table. That is definitely not so great for health…so go on and change your cleaning cloths while you go through your home.
I usually use 3 cloths in the bathroom when I’m cleaning. The cloth that touches the toilet, is for the toilet only and it goes into a plastic bag and into the washing machine when I’ve all finished the cleaning. If I’m doing a super quick bathroom wipe, I use a paper towel (not ideal for the environment, and not my favorite thing to do but I do it sometimes.)
Then I have a wet cloth for all other bathroom surfaces and then a drying cloth to go over all the surfaces once I’ve washed them off with the wet cloth. All these cloths are for the bathroom only and go into my little plastic bag, and to the laundry room at the end of the clean.
Mistake 3: Spraying Cleaners Onto Surfaces
I had no idea that spraying my cleaners onto my countertops was the wrong way to clean. I mean, you see it done on the TV, and I watched my mom do this when I was growing up, so how could I possibly have been using cleaners incorrectly?
Well, the things is, when cleaners are sprayed directly onto surfaces, they can leave your furniture greasy and sticky. If your surfaces are sticky, dust and dirt will accumulate faster than you like…which makes life harder!
Another reason you shouldn’t spray your surfaces directly with cleaners (as if you need another reason) is the health concern that comes from flying cleaner particles that you and your family members breathe in. It’s difficult to control the spray from a cleaning bottle, and spraying into a cloth will help keep those particles more contained than a free spray onto a countertop.
Spray your solution directly onto your cloth and wipe down your surfaces. This goes for windows too!
Mistake 4: Stone Countertops Being cleaned With Vinegar
While I love cleaning with vinegar, some things should not be cleaned with it and that includes stone countertops.
Vinegar is highly acidic and can damage your stone countertops, and stone countertops are not cheap! Those kinds of counters come with a protective coating that prevents scratching and etching, but prolonged exposure to acidic vinegar can cause that coating to wear off.
Mistake 5: The Feather Duster
I’ve always liked the feather duster, it’s kind of fun to just wipe the dust back and forth, watching the dust fall onto the floor..or that might be just me….
But I’ve learned that feather dusters do not lock in the dust, which is why you can see the dust floating around as you swipe the feather duster back and forth. Having the dust freely fly around the house means it can settle on other surfaces and the areas you just cleaned are no longer clean.
I much prefer to use a microfiber cloth, because I know the dirt and dust is going to be locked in. I also make sure to dampen my cloth, so make it extra sticky for all those yucky dust particles.
If you DO still use a feather duster, give it a little spray with water/ cleaner before dusting, this can help the spread of further dust.
Mistake 6: Not Cleaning The Vacuum
A vacuum is a great tool that helps keep the dust and dirt in your home at bay. However, when your vacuum bag is full, the vacuum just ends up putting that dirt and dust back into your home, meaning you’re not actually getting rid of the dirt when you’re vacuuming.
This problem can be solved by cleaning the vacuum bag out regularly. It’s also a great idea to wipe down the outside of your vacuum regularly because it also can get a lot of dust on it, which you can spread around the house while ou vacuum.
Mistake 7: Toilet Brush Cleaning
Cleaning the toilet with a toilet brush is the correct thing to do, but placing the toilet brush back into the holder without letting it dry off is a huge mistake.
Moisture helps germs multiply which means that your toilet brush will have even more germs than the last time, the next time you clean your toilet. This means your toilet is not actually getting clean!
Avoid this by placing the toilet brush under the toilet seat, and letting the brush drip into the toilet bowl for a while after cleaning the bathroom.
Mistake 8: The Sink
The kitchen sinks are very very dirty. I like to clean and disinfect my kitchen sink before I wash my dishes, and after I’ve finished washing my dishes. The food and dirt that touches the kitchen sink can really make it the dirtiest place in your home.
Because the kitchen sink is second the germiest place in your kitchen, (sponge being #1), it is important to keep it super clean! Hot water and dish soap daily should do the trick to keep your sink clean, but a good disinfecting clean should be done weekly. However, if you work with raw meat or are scrubbing dirt off of potatoes, don’t wait—wash it immediately.
Mistake 9: The Sponge
Sponges are pretty gross, but I still use them (I keep mine super clean!).
Sponges trap germs easily because they have so many pores. These germs then end up living in a moist environment and multiply. This makes your sponge dirtier than a toilet. Gross right?!
I still use sponges though because I like to wash my dishes with them. Before a sponge touches a dish, I wet my sponge, throw it on a plate and pop it into the microwave for one minute. This kills the germs and grime and then I can clean my dishes with it. When I am finished with my sponge for the day, I place it onto the windowsill to dry. The sunlight helps kills germs too!
Mistake 10: Wiping Stainless Steel in Circles
Basically I grew up watching my mom clean the house using circular motions. However, I have discovered that when you clean stainless steel in circular motions, you leave behind those marks and smudges as the cleaner dries. Wiping stainless steel should be done side to side, along the grain. Same with windows move from left to right and you’ll have clean looking stainless steel appliances.
Mistake 11: Using Bleach To Get Rid Of Rust
I don’t love using bleach in the home, it’s just not my favorite for health reasons, but it is very popular to use bleach to get rid of rust.
I have learned recently that rust gets worsened by bleach! there are many other products that are made specifically for removing rust, so you can leave the bleach out of the equation.
It’s a good idea to use bleach super sparingly in your home because it can be dangerous for children, it has harmful effects on the body, it can harm pets and it has a bad impact on the environment.
Cleaning Mistakes Can Be Fixed
If you’ve been making some or all of these mistakes, you’re not alone. I’ve made all of these mistakes! But you live and learn from those mistakes and move forward.
I really hope you found this article to be informative and helpful. If so, I would love if you shared these tips so everyone can have a clean and healthy home!