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10 Cleaning Mistakes That Make Your Home Dirtier

Not a fan of cleaning? Well, let’s be honest, who is? But it’s something we all need to do from time to time if we want to enjoy a clean and fresh home. Unfortunately, some of the things we’ve been doing for ages when cleaning are actually making our homes dirtier.

Yes, that’s right! Prepare to be baffled by these mistakes you’ve been making this whole time and learn how to avoid them in the future! It’s time for a thorough cleaning… in a smart way.

Let’s get started!

Credit: Shutterstock

Pre-rinsing dishes

This is something most people do. It seems natural, doesn’t it? Surprisingly, pre-rising the dishes before loading them into the dishwasher isn’t really helping the washing process. According to Choice whitegoods expert Ashley Iredale, “not only does pre-rinsing push your water consumption way up, but it can also actually trick your dishwasher into thinking your plates are cleaner than they are”.

Scraping the food off the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher is enough, there’s no need for additional action. To make sure your dishwasher does its job as efficiently and for as long as possible, you also need to maintain your dishwasher and clean it as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Rubbing stains

Rubbing stains vigorously seems like the best way to get rid of them. But there’s a catch to stain rubbing that most people don’t know. Never rub a stain into a fabric while trying to treat it at the same time. You will only make it spread or soak deeper into the fabric, making it even more difficult to get rid of.

The secret is to treat your stain as soon as possible, either with a stain remover or just plain water and soap. But be careful, make sure you use the right stain remover and don’t let it sit too long either!

Neglecting high-touch areas

You probably have your own cleaning routine where you thoroughly clean and disinfect the main surfaces in your home. But does your routine also include high-touch areas such as doorknobs, cupboard and fridge handles, remotes and light switches? Such items are touched by more people with their bare hands, making them highly risky in terms of bacteria and germs.

Next time you clean your house, don’t forget to add these areas to the list. Using a disinfectant wipe once every few days should do the trick.

Using the same cleaning cloth on multiple surfaces

Not only is this practice disgusting but it is also highly unsanitary. What you’re actually doing is moving dirt, grime, and germs from one surface to another. You’re practically contaminating everything instead of cleaning it.

“Rubbing shower, sink, toilet, and mirrors with the same sponge leads to cross-contamination, transferring bacteria and grime from one surface to another,” says Dean Davies, cleaning supervisor for Fantastic Services, an antiviral sanitization cleaning company.

What to do? Use different cloths for different areas of your home, that way you avoid cross-contamination and clean efficiently. Here’s something else to think about! Think Twice Before Cleaning These 12 Things With Wet Wipes.

Cleaning the bathroom at room temperature

It sounds weird but trust me, it’s the ultimate cleaning trick! Instead of cleaning the bathroom at room temperature, turn on the hot water for a few minutes, until steam is formed in the room. You will be able to clean the dirt and grime away in a matter of minutes, instead of spending God knows how much time rubbing and rinsing.

Also, “bath and tile should have their own product, as well as sink and countertops, glass and mirrors,” explains Ashley Harkrader, founder of Pretty Clean CLT. Test it out and you’ll see everything in a new light! Literally!

Disregarding your washing machine

Your washing machine is cleaning your clothes, but it also needs some cleaning and maintaining of itself. It’s crucial to clean a washing machine on a regular basis, to prevent it from becoming a breeding ground for bacteria.  Not to mention neglecting it will only shorten its life cycle.

The practical way would be to use a special cleaning product recommended by the manufacturer. If you don’t have any, you can simply use some vinegar and baking soda. “Set the washing machine to the highest water and temperature setting and run a full cycle with one cup of white vinegar and a few drops of lavender essential oil,” suggests Alessandro Gazzo, content manager at Emily’s Maids, a house cleaning and maid service in Dallas.

Not cleaning the vacuum

Imagine not being able to do a quick vacuum cleaning and having to go back to the old days and use a broomstick. It doesn’t sound too good, does it?

Therefore, to make sure you are able to use your vacuum cleaner for as long as it’s designed to last, maintain it properly. That is, change and clean the vacuum filter regularly, as well as its vents and accessories so that it can do its job efficiently.

Credit: Shutterstock

Using bleach to treat mold

This one’s a real treat! Ask anyone how to deal with mold and they’ll automatically say bleach. It’s true that it can kill it, but….there’s a big but here…it depends on the surface you’re using it on. It might work on non-porous surfaces such as tiles but when it comes to other porous surfaces, it will not only take the color away but it will also have negative health effects for people with allergies or weak immune systems.

Instead of bleach, try applying some vinegar on a moldy area and enjoy the results. For larger areas, it might be better to turn to professionals.

Starting with the floors

We’ve all been there, but it’s time to put an end to this practice and start anew. Why? Because it’s practically a waste of time and cleaning agents if your floors are squeaky clean but the dust and grime from furniture and other surfaces is wiped back onto the freshly cleaned floors. Why do double work?

It’s much more effective to start with the surface cleaning and then move on to the floor. Only then you’ll have everything shiny and spotless. Speaking of which, what do you think are the first 6 Things Guests Always Notice About Your Home?

Doing it all at once

A complete cleaning of the house requires a few good hours. And, let’s face it, who wants to spend their weekend rubbing, scrubbing and wiping?

Want to know a secret? You don’t have to take it all on at once. If you can, get some of the chores done throughout the week so that your weekend is not fully “booked” with household cleaning. Doing the washing on Tuesday evening and the floors on Wednesday, wiping some of the dust on Thursday, and cleaning the bathroom on Friday, will release you of some of the chores on your to-do list for the weekend.

Step by step, or should I say, surface by surface, you’ll manage to enjoy a relaxing weekend and a clean, fresh home.

Want to know more about keeping a clean home? Then, maybe you could also take a look at these 12 Things You Shouldn’t Clean with Water!

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