Cleaning our home is, without a doubt, one of the most common household activity we’re probably all accustomed to.
It almost seems like a formality, there are some cleaning activities we take care of on a daily basis, like sweeping the kitchen floor, then we have the weekly cleaning checklist, such as vacuuming, dusting and changing the sheets, and finally there are certain spick and span aspects we only take care of when seasons change.
That being said, cleaning the house seems like a trivial job that doesn’t require much explanation.
It’s easy, right?
You don’t need to read a manual to know how to turn your own vacuum on and off, you’ve been using it for years!
However, we are prone to make mistakes, especially when house cleaning is such a habitual activity.
Did you know there are certain cleaning aspects most people don’t even think to take into account?
Where should you start cleaning? Can you use a common product on a certain surface? Believe it or not, there is such a thing as the wrong way to clean!
Here’s a list of 10 big cleaning mistakes everyone should learn to avoid:
1. Not using the proper protective attire
Safety comes first!
It seems a bit far fetched, wearing PPE (personal protective equipment) in your own home, but when using chemical / harsh cleaning products, not protecting yourself is one of the biggest cleaning mistakes you can make!
Most house cleaning products contain certain chemicals that may harm us. While some of us may experience discomfort right away (fumes from cleaning products containing ammonia may cause respiratory or eye discomfort in seconds), others may be affected later on (the chemical impact from products containing chlorine, can occur over a long period of time).
Don’t skip on wearing rubber gloves or even protective goggles and masks, if necessary. A clean home is indeed, important, but so is our health!
2. Not following a proper cleaning strategy
This may seem unrealistic, but there is a logical way to clean things around the house. Not following a proper order could very easily lead to you wasting your time and your cleaning products.
So, what’s the right way to clean? Top to bottom!
When you think about it, it makes sense. Start cleaning up high (chandeliers, high shelves) and work your way to the floors. Can you imagine sweeping and vacuuming, just to have all the dust from your furniture fall down on your squeaky clean floor? Avoid this mistake by planning accordingly.
3. Dusting all furniture with dry clothes or furniture polish
Dusting with a dry cloth will not only move dust around, but it may even scratch your furniture! Furniture polish can also turn out to be the enemy, especially when used on old furniture, without coating. These are 2 big mistakes than can be easily avoided!
The right way to dust furniture is by using a damp cloth. Just take a microfiber cloth (old T-shirts might also work, as long as they are soft), lightly damp it and start dusting, using delicate movements.
Just in case, keep a dry cloth at hand, to brush the surface after you use the damp one.
4. Vacuuming in the wrong direction
Hold your horses! How is vacuuming even an issue, when we’re talking about cleaning mistakes?
Well, there is such a thing as the wrong way to vacuum.
Pushing the vacuum head against the walls, closets, etc. is, in fact, the wrong way to vacuum. The right way to clean floors is placing the vacuum head parallel to the perpendicular surface.
This way, you won’t be pushing the dirt under the baseboards or closets, but you’ll be vacuuming it in a more efficient way.
5. Cleaning windows on a hot, sunny day
The keyword to pay attention to is “hot”.
Cleaning windows on a sunny day is actually a good idea. Spots and smudges can easily be spotted on a bright, sunny day.
However, if the temperature outside is too hot (above 70°F), the cleaning product used on the windows will dry so fast, you’ll be left with visible spots and stripes on the glass.
Summing up, you can wipe windows clean on any given day, as long as it’s not extremely hot.
6. Not paying attention to germ hot spots
How many times a day do you turn your lights on and off indoors? How many times do you touch your water tap or use your TV remote?
All these little things are often overlooked. It’s not unusual to forget about doorknobs or light switches, but unfortunately, these are the germiest spots in the house! It’s a big mistake not to wipe them clean at least once a week.
7. Improper use of homemade products
Store bought cleaning supply alternatives are amazing for so many reasons! First off, they save you money. Second, they don’t contain all sorts of peculiar and, often, unnecessary chemicals.
However, not all homemade products have an universal usability. For instance, vinegar (or lemon juice) is a phenomenal ceramic, fiberglass and shower cleaner! You would think it works on pretty much anything, right? Big mistake! If you use vinegar on marble or travertine, for instance, you risk destroying it in time.
8. Forgetting to clean / throw out the cleaning supplies
Talk about a no-brainer!
You just used the mop to sweep the floors, a cloth to dust all the furniture, and a brush to scrub the bathroom. Unquestionably, all your cleaning supplies are now full of germs!
It’s important to clean all of the cleaning supplies on a regular basis. Or even throw the non reusable supplies out, as soon as you’re done cleaning the house.
9. Using the wrong cleaning tools for the job
Did you know green-backed sponges are highly abrasive, while white-backed sponges are less abrasive?
Obviously, using a green-backed sponge on a ceramic surface will ruin the later. Use a white backed sponge to clean your grill and you’ll have to double your efforts to finish the job!
Always make sure you’re using the right tools to clean your home. Improper use of sponges, brushes and even cloths can have disastrous effects.
10. Using the wrong cleaning supplies for the job
On the same note, using the wrong cleaning products to clean a surface can easily turn out to be a big mistake!
For instance, some creamy cleansers are great for bathroom or kitchen surfaces, but use them on your marble floor and you’ll risk surface abrasion.
Avoid this big mistakes by reading the products’ labels!
What other cleaning mistakes can you think of? Have you ever made any?