25 Of The Biggest Cleaning Mistakes You’re Making
You’ve got the tools, but it’s all about how you use them.
FORGETTING TO CLEAN YOUR DISHWASHER.
The sad truth is sometimes food gets stuck around your dishwasher’s filter, which might make it smell. So about once a month, you should remove the filter, rinse it thoroughly, then run a cycle with a machine cleaner.
Via: Good Housekeeping
IGNORING SUPER GERMY REMOTES.
We know, you probably don’t want to think about it, but these things are touched by a lot of people and have a lot of germs — so take to it with a disinfectant wipe at least every week.
NOT CLEANING YOUR GARBAGE DISPOSAL.
For starters, you should flush this thing regularly so as not to let foot just sit in it (ew). And you should also freshen it up, to keep smells at bay: “You can grind up ice or citrus peels to help clean the blades and remove odor,” says Forte.
TOSSING CERTAIN TOOLS IN THE DISHWASHER.
Since garlic is so sticky, bits of it might get stuck in the crevices of your garlic press that won’t come off without some serious scraping. So you should always hand wash your tool, instead of just throwing it in your dishwasher, to ensure it’s clean for tomorrow’s dinner prep.
FORGETTING TO CLEAN YOUR VACUUM.
This is crucial — forget this step and you’ll just end up pushing dirt around. For bagless vacuums, empty the canister after every use. Or if yours has a bag, replace it once it’s one-third full.
WASHING WINDOWS WHEN IT’S SUNNY.
Even though a warm, sunny day might be the most pleasant experience for this task, the heat will cause your cleaner to dry before you can finish cleaning — leaving streaks in its wake. And suddenly cloudy days are your best friend.
OVERLOOKING REUSABLE BAGS.
Especially grocery bags, which might have lingering food bacteria on them. You should treat them like any other fabrics in terms of care, but just turn them inside out before tossing them into the washing machine.
KEEPING TOOTHBRUSHES IN THE DARK.
Sure, the medicine cabinet might seem like a safe, germ-free environment, but the lack of light actually makes it a breeding ground for bacteria. Instead, keep your brush out in the light — just make sure you close the lid on the toilet when you flush.
USING TOO MUCH LAUNDRY DETERGENT.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever poured in a little extra detergent for an extra dirty load of laundry. Well it turns out if you use too much, the cleaner and your stains might not rinse out of clothes. Yikes!
NOT CLEANING BLADES SEPARATELY.
After you make your smoothie, don’t just swish warm water and soap around in the basin. You have to actually remove the blade and wash it separately to prevent gunk build-up. Follow this advice for food processors and electric can openers, too.
USING DIRTY SPONGES.
These cleaning superheroes won’t, in fact, be that helpful if you don’t sanitize ’em every few days (and replace them every month). To do this, soak your sponge in water, place it in a microwavable dish, then heat it on high for a minute.
POURING IN TOO MUCH FABRIC SOFTENER.
We get it: You want to sleep on the softest sheets possible. But using more product than is recommended by the manufacturer will have the opposite effect: “Just pouring it in usually adds too much and that can make fabrics stiff and scratchy, or even greasy, and reduce towels’ absorbency,” says Forte.
USING DISH SOAP FOR EVERYTHING.
While this grease-fighting product is powerful, it leaves streaks behind on surfaces that aren’t plates and cups. So you should steer clear of using this liquid soap on your car windows, and mirrors.
IGNORING CRUMBS IN CREVICES.
Before you take to your keyboard with a disinfectant wipe, make sure you turn it over and tap out food crumbs first — or else you’ll be stuck with an even bigger mess.
RUSHING YOUR TILE CLEANER.
“Give spray tub and tile cleaners a few minutes to work before wiping them away,” says Carolyn Forte, director of the Cleaning Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute. “Letting them sit helps soften and dissolve soap scum and stains, so less scrubbing is required.”
FORGETTING YOUR BIN.
If you notice an unpleasant odour (especially in your kitchen), it might mean you haven’t been cleaning your trash can enough. Wipe it down once a week with a cleaner containing bleach to keep nasty smells under control.
STORING A WET TOILET BRUSH.
Well hello, breeding ground for bacteria! Instead of just dropping your wet brush into the holder, set it across the seat so it can drip-dry over the bowl before putting it away for good.
NOT DUSTING YOUR WINDOWS.
Before washing them, that is. If you forget to tackle the dust on your sills, any window cleaner that drips onto the frame will become a muddy mess of dusty liquid (yuck). A vacuum or microfiber cloth can tackle it nicely.
USING A FEATHER DUSTER. PERIOD.
We’ll give you a thumbs up for dusting, but a thumbs down for using a tool that only spreads dust from one surface to another. Use a microfiber cloth instead, which will grab – and hold onto – particles.
USING THE SAME RAG EVERYWHERE.
Streaky surfaces? You might be over-using your cleaning cloth and spreading germs while you’re at it. Even if your towel doesn’t look old, it should be replaced daily since it’s used on high-traffic (read: dirtier) areas.
SPRAYING FURNITURE WITH POLISH.
When you spray furniture directly, it creates build-up that’s tough to remove and attracts even more dust (womp, womp). To avoid this, spray your cloth with the cleaner, then rub the cloth on dusty surfaces.
GETTING LAZY WITH THE COFFEE POT.
Since your coffee maker is a hot bed for bacteria and mold, we beg of you: Wash every removable part after each use — not just the pot. Think how much better your coffee will taste each morning!
NEGLECTING YOUR BIGGEST TOUCH POINTS.
Faucets, handles, and door knobs are some of the most-touched areas in your home — so it makes sense that they’re also the germiest. Take to ’em with a disinfectant wipe on the daily to keep germs at bay.
USING DISH SOAP ON YOUR CUTTING BOARDS.
When it comes to wooden chopping blocks, soap and warm water doesn’t always cut it. After using one to slice ‘n dice raw meat or poultry, soak it in a bleach solution to prevent cross-contamination when prepping your next meal.
OVER-LOADING YOUR DISHWASHER.
Stacking dishes or putting too many utensils in your basket could impact your appliance’s ability to reach items with soap and water — meaning they won’t get clean. Even worse: If you pre-wash your dishes, you might not notice.