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Top 10 Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid for a Cleaner Home

Cleaning your home is such an important task for having a healthy and happy home, but what if I told you you’re actually doing it wrong? It may sound a bit crazy but the truth of the matter is that there are a few mistakes that are so commonly done that they actually do more harm than good.

Knowing what mistakes you might be making and making sure you’re doing it properly will result in your chore list getting done faster and more effectively. You’ll be able to save both time and money by doing your house cleaning right the first time around.

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Here are the top 10 cleaning mistakes you need to avoid so you have a cleaner home:

1. Using too much of your cleaning product at once

More is not always merrier and doesn’t always mean that your surfaces will end up cleaner. Cleaning products have directions on how to use them properly on their labels for a reason. In fact, using too much of the product doesn’t make the cleaning process more effective at all.

Overspraying is a real thing and it can sometimes it can make things worse in the end. Products are formulated in a specific way for a reason so it’s important to use the recommended amount. It also ends up costing you more money because you are wasting more of your cleaning product at a faster rate.

Here’s how to fix the mistake: Use a little bit of cleaning product at a time and wipe it away. If you use too much, it will be harder to clean off and create streaks. Read the steps on the back of the bottle and see what the product recommends. Is it one spray? Two sprays?

Use the product the way is intended to and you’ll save yourself so much time!

2. Using the same rag or sponge around the house

Think about it: Can you picture every single surface that sponge or rag has been used on in your home? The floor? The sink? Has it been around raw food?


Another thing to think about is when was the last time you replaced that sponge or rag. It’s probably been a long time. These tools can harbor so much bacteria in them and when you don’t replace them often enough, you end up spreading the germs from surface to surface. You can also end up causing things like cross-contamination which can put you at risk for food poisoning… and nobody wants that!

Here’s how to fix the mistake: The best way to fix the this is by cleaning your sponges and rags by tossing them for a cycle in the dishwasher. This can usually lengthen the life of your sponge just a little bit longer.

If that doesn’t do the trick for you, you can simply replace your sponges and rags altogether if it’s been way too long since you’ve replaced them. The best routine for cleaning your sponges and rags is by washing them daily and deep cleaning them once a week. Once the sponge or cloth is looking raggedy, stained, or broken then it’s about time you get a new one!

Pro tip — If you don’t have a dishwasher, another great thing you can do to clean your sponge is by boiling them in a pot over the stove for a few minutes You can also put them directly in the microwave with some water for about a minute.

3. Forgetting to clean your vacuum

Sometimes when you go to vacuum your floor, you might notice that it’s not picking up all the crumbs and dirt off of your floor like you’d like it to. This means your vacuum cleaner bag is full. When the bag of your vacuum is full, it can create a burnt smell and cause your vacuum cleaner to not work properly.

Then you find yourself going over the same spots over and over again so that it picks up everything and it’ll leave you wondering where in the world that odd smell is coming from.

Here’s how to fix the mistake: The solution to this very simple mistake is to empty your vacuum cleaner more often than you normally would. A great tip is to check how full the bag is before you start vacuuming your floors. Afterwards, just empty it out when you are done with the vacuuming your home. That way, you’ll always have an empty vacuum that will do its job correctly.

4. Ignoring the sink

Ever find yourself letting those dishes pile up? You could actually be creating more problems for yourself this way because sinks tend to harbour bacteria at a faster rate because it is a cold, wet area of your home. Food particles often get stuck in your sink as well. This can not only attract germs, but can also attract bugs like ants or flies.

Here’s how to fix the mistake: Take a sponge or rag and wipe down all parts of the sink after each use. Clean out the drain of any food particles and then use a white vinegar and baking soda solution to give it a thorough cleanse.

Then use some of baking soda and water. Mix it together and it will create a paste that you can use with a scrubbing brush to clean the edges, the faucet, and the caulk seal around your sink.

5. Spraying cleaner directly onto surfaces

Spraying cleaning chemicals and other products such as polish or wood cleaner directly onto surfaces is such a huge mistake. It ends up leaving too much product on your furniture, countertops, glass, and windows. When the solution builds up on surfaces, you end up with a greasy, sticky mess and streaks. Then, your surfaces look dirtier than what you started with.

Here’s how to fix the mistake: Instead of spraying directly onto your countertops or any other surface in your home, try spraying it onto a cleaning rag or cloth instead and then wiping down the areas. You’ll see less residue and fewer streaks when you finish.

The spray won’t hit the surface directly and it will be easier to clean off and wipe down because you are not saturating it so much.

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6. Washing windows on a sunny day

When you use a cleaning solution on your windows, it dries very quickly when it is in direct heat and sunlight. Quick drying might sound like a good thing because you think you can tick off chores from your list faster, but it’s not when you realize that you actually end up with huge streaks on your windows before you even have a chance to wipe down the glass.

Here’s how to fix the mistake: Clean your windows during the late afternoon when the sun isn’t so strong. You can also leave window cleaning duties for cloudy days and evenings. Changing the time of day that you clean your windows will prevent streaks from being left on them. Then, you can use a cloth to wipe them down for easy drying and beautiful streak-free glass. Major win!

7. Forgetting to clean your washing machine

Ever decide to throw in a load in your wash only to discover a pretty funky smell coming from your washing machine? Just because it washes your clothes doesn’t mean it’s clean and washes itself.

Everything that is getting cleaned off your clothes like stains, sweat and dirt stay inside the washing machine and end up creating a smell. If it isn’t cleaned often enough then the area that pours the water onto the clothes can become dirty. If where the water comes out from is dirty then you end up washing all your clothes in dirty water!

Here’s how to fix the mistake: To clean your top-loader washing machine, start the washer on the hottest water setting with the longest amount of time for the load. Then, open the lid and fill it with a quart of white vinegar and about 340 grams of baking soda. Let it soak for an hour. Then, you can use a scrubber to clean the cracks and corners of the machine.

If you have a front-loader, the best way to clean it is by putting about 45 gram of baking soda and water into the loading tray and fill the barrel with approximately 475 mL of white vinegar. Then, set it on its hottest and longest setting and you’re good to go.

8. Putting the toilet brush back immediately after using it

You already know that bacteria grow and breed in dark, moist places. So why is the toilet brush holder any different?

It’s not!

When you clean your toilet, rinse off the brush, and simply place it back inside the holder immediately — it’s the ultimate recipe to grow that nasty bacteria. It’s a big mistake so many people overlook when cleaning their home because it’s easy to just put it back in its holder and move on to the next task on your list.

That’s because when you go to use the brush again, you are just spreading more bacteria all over the toilet. You are dirtying it more than you are cleaning it.

Here’s how to fix the mistake: Instead of shoving the brush back into the toilet brush holder once the job is done, leave it out to air dry. A great way to let it fully dry is by letting it sit over the toilet bowl.

Place the handle in between the seat and suspend the brush part over the bowl. Once it’s dry, you’re free to put in back in the holder without having to worry about germs. If you’re guilty of making this mistake in the past, clean the inside of the holder with soap and warm water before putting in the clean toilet brush.

9. Using cleaners on electronics

Electronics are sensitive to certain liquids. Don’t just use any old polish or glass cleaner on them. Using cleaning products on them can be very harmful. Believe it or not, electronics aren’t meant to be cleaned with just any old household cleaning product. If you spray electronic devices, you could break them. Remember — water and electronics just don’t mix!

Here’s how to fix the mistake: Use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe down the electronics such as your TV, your remote, laptop, or even your cell phone. Be very careful when cleaning them because you run the risk of starting a fire this way.

You can also purchase special products such as wipes that are specifically created to clean electronics such as computer and TV screens.

10. Using dish soap to clean your cutting board

This is a big no-no! Dish soap is for dishes! A big mistake is thinking you could use it to clean your cutting board and that’s because the truth of the matter is that a little hot water and soap just doesn’t always cut it. It doesn’t get down to the root of the problem and actually can cause health problems in the future.

Using dish soap on your cutting board, whether it is wood or plastic, just cleans the visible food residue off the top of the board. Cutting boards often harbour bacteria deep inside them especially if you are cutting raw food on them. Then, those germs can transfer to any other foods you end up cutting and preparing on the cutting board next.

Here’s how to fix the mistake: Make it a habit to give your cutting board a deep and thorough cleanse. You can do this by soaking it in hydrogen peroxide or bleach solution to keep your cutting board clean and prevent cross-contamination.

So next time you find yourself tasked with cleaning your home from top to bottom, remember you could unknowingly be doing more damage than you thought. Having these cleaning habits can ruin your home and create more work for yourself in the end. Keep in mind these top 10 mistakes so that you can avoid them, break those habits, and have a cleaner, safer home in the end.

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