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Even with the best of intentions, it’s easy to make cleaning mistakes that could be impacting the well being of your home and family. Keep you and your family safe and healthy by avoiding these Common Cleaning Mistakes that might be making your home a breeding ground for germs.
For more quick and easy cleaning tips, check out the following:
Common Cleaning Mistakes That Are Making Your Home Dirtier
OVERUSING YOUR CLEANING RAG
Not washing your cleaning towels often enough can spread germs and viruses throughout your home.
How to fix it: Wash cleaning rags after every heavy cleaning day. If you have a kitchen rag that you use to wipe your hands and other small messes, swap it out for a clean one once a day, or at least every other day if used less frequently.
USING DIRTY SPONGES
Sponges quickly pick up dirt and bacteria that can multiply without proper care. Then when you use a dirty sponge, you’re spreading that dirt and bacteria all over your home!
How to fix it: Replace disposable sponges every 1-2 weeks. To make them last a little longer, pop in the dishwasher on the dry heat cycle, or wet the sponge and microwave for a minute to kill germs.
PRO TIP: Buy an eco-friendly machine washable cleaning pad that will last months or even years, instead of just a few weeks.
OVERLOADING THE DISHWASHER
Loading the dishwasher is a delicate balance – you need to fill it with enough dishes to avoid wasting water and energy, but overloading your dishwasher can mean some dishes aren’t getting clean.
How to fix it: Find that sweet spot. Don’t overload your dishwasher. Hand wash extra dishes, or save them until the next load.
PRO TIP: Don’t put your silverware in the dishwasher all facing the same way. Try to vary the directions they’re facing, so they can’t nest together and not get clean.
CLEANING FROM THE GROUND UP
When you clean the floor first, you’re working against gravity. Then when you dust and clean your furniture and other high areas, dust, crumbs, and other particles will fall to the floor, wasting your time and energy.
How to fix it: Work with gravity, and always clean from top to bottom.
NEGLECTING YOUR GRINDER + COFFEEMAKER
Not cleaning your grinder and coffeemaker isn’t just gross – it can make your java taste lousy! Plus, the heat and moisture in your coffeemaker makes it a breeding ground for bacteria, which isn’t good for your health. Cleaning your coffeemaker especially can feel like a hassle, but it’s so important for your health and the longevity of your appliances.
How to fix it: Deep clean your coffeemaker at least once a month. Fill your coffee maker up halfway with white vinegar, and run the brewing cycle. Once the cycle is complete, pour the vinegar out, fill the coffee maker up with water, and start the brewing cycle again. Run water through the brew cycle until the taste of vinegar is completely gone.
To clean your grinder, wipe down with a wet cloth and soapy water, then pulverize uncooked rice to pick up any lingering debris and odors.
USING A FEATHER DUSTER
Feather dusters don’t actually remove dust from your home – they just push it around. This not only makes your home dirtier, it can also have a serious impact on allergies and the health of your family.
How to fix it: Use a damp microfiber cloth to trap and remove dust easily. Microfiber uses static electricity to pick up dust and dirt much better than a feather duster.
NOT CLEANING OFTEN ENOUGH
Do you tend to let chores go until you can’t stand it anymore? I can definitely relate to not wanting to clean, but cleaning more often can actually mean less work in the long run. When you let dirt and dust build up, it becomes much harder to remove, which means you’re working harder when you finally get around to cleaning. No wonder you hate it so much!
How to fix this: The easiest way to combat this is to clean regularly – every week is perfect for most households.
PRO TIP: Make cleaning and tidying up a part of your everyday routine. Your home will always look great, and you’ll never have to do much cleaning all at once.
STORING A WET TOILET BRUSH
Putting that wet toilet brush right back in its older after use can promote mold and bacteria growth.
How to fix it: There are a couple ways you can fix this mistake. You can prop the brush under the seat of your toilet to allow it to dry completely before storing, or you can add vodka or hydrogen peroxide (vodka stays effective longer once out of the bottle) to your brush holder to kill germs.
NOT CLEANING REUSABLE BAGS
Reusable shopping bags can become loaded with bacteria from store surfaces and spilled food.
How to fix it: Clean bags regularly by tossing in the washing machine on the gentle cycle, or hand washing. Hand wash in hot water and natural dish soap, and rinse. Spray liberally inside and out with hydrogen peroxide, and allow to air dry.
PRO TIP: Chico Bags are the best reusable shopping bags I’ve found. Store them in their own tiny, attached bag, and keep them in your purse so you’re never without a shopping bag. Check out these cool rainbow-colored shopping bags from Dr. Bronner’s!
NOT DISINFECTING CUTTING BOARDS
Hand cleaning your cutting boards in soapy water does a great job of removing food particles, but you still need to disinfect them after every use. The dishwasher is a no go, since it can melt plastic cutting boards and warp wooden ones.
How to fix it: Keep hand washing your cutting boards in hot water and natural dish soap. Then wipe or spray hydrogen peroxide onto your board, and let sit for 10 minutes before rinsing well. Allow cutting boards to dry completely before storing.
CLEANING TOO QUICKLY
Speed cleaning is necessary when you’re short on time, but if you do it every time, you’re probably not getting your home really clean.
How to fix it: Instead of speed cleaning, break it up. If you find yourself short on time – or just aren’t motivated to clean – pick one chore, and do it really well. Then come back later, and do another task with the same focus and attention to detail. Continue this cycle until all the cleaning is done.
IGNORING “TOUCH POINTS”
“Touch points” are items you and your family touch frequently throughout the day, such as door knobs, TV remotes, cell phones, light switches, faucets, handles – you get the idea. Most people don’t think to clean these items, which can spread germs and viruses, especially during cold and flu season.
How to fix it: Clean them every few days by wiping with a microfiber cloth that kills 99% of germs with just water. You may want to clean them every day during cold and flu season.
USING TOO MUCH DETERGENT
It might seem like using more detergent would lead to cleaner clothes, but that actually isn’t the case. The detergent residue left on your clothes can attract dirt, leave your clothes look dull and dingy, and actually makes fabrics break down faster, which means you’ll have to buy clothes more often.
How to fix it: Stick to the recommended amount of detergent for washer type and load size, and consider trying Charlie’s Soap. Charlie’s is all natural, rinses clean, and is great for allergies and sensitive skin.
I have never used a laundry detergent that rinses as clean as Charlie’s Soap. My clothes have never been cleaner, offensive odors in my laundry are complete gone even when I forget to remove my clothes from the washer or dryer immediately, I don’t have to clean my washing machine as often, and Charlie’s never irritates my sensitive skin!
OVERLOADING THE WASHING MACHINE
With high capacity washing machines, it may be tempting to throw all your clothes in the washer all at once, but there is a limit to what it can handle.
How to fix it: Keep loads on the small to medium side to reduce stress on your washing machine and get your clothes completely clean.
NOT CLEANING THE WASHING MACHINE
Since you use the washing machine to clean, you might not realize you have to clean it out regularly. Dirt, skin cells, pet hair, and dust mites from laundry can become trapped in the washing machine, and the warm, wet space is a breeding ground for mold and bacteria.
How to fix it: Use white vinegar to clean your washer almost effortlessly.
To clean front-loading machines: Fill the dispenser with vinegar, set to hot water and largest load, and run the cycle. Use the cleaning cycle if your washer has that option.
For newer top-loading machines: Use the cleaning cycle, if available, or the normal cycle if your machine doesn’t have that option. Fill the dispenser with vinegar, and run the cycle.
For older top-loading machines: Fill the machine with hot water, and add 3 cups of white vinegar. Let it sit for 30 minutes, then turn it on to run through the normal cycle.
For all machines: Once the cycle is finished, scrub the drum with a cloth or sponge. Use a toothbrush to get into hard-to-reach spaces. Be sure to clean well around the seals to remove soap scum and mildew.
PRO TIP: Remember to leave the door/lid open to allow the drum to dry after each load.
NOT CLEANING YOUR MOP + VACUUM
When you don’t clean your mop and vacuum regularly, you’re just spreading dirt and bacteria throughout your home!
PRO TIP: The eCloth Deep Clean Mop cleans and kills 99% of germs from floors with just water!
SKIPPING THE SINK
This moist, warm area is the perfect spot for germs to grow, especially when food particles get stuck in the sink, or water isn’t completely drained every time.
How to fix it: Wipe down the sink after every use, and deep clean your sink, drain, and garbage disposal at least once a week. To deep clean your sink, pour a few dabs of Sal Suds in your sink (Sal Suds is super concentrated, so a few drops is really all it takes!), then scrub your sink with a sponge or dish rag. Rinse well, and spray liberally with hydrogen peroxide. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, rinse well, and air dry.
CLEANING WINDOWS ON A SUNNY DAY
This tip might seem a little counterintuitive. You might feel more motivated to clean on beautiful, sunny days, and if you’re cleaning the outside of your windows, you want to be out when the weather is nice. But cleaning your windows – inside or out – when the sun is shining through them can cause your cleaning solution to try too quickly, resulting in unsightly streaks.
How to fix it: Clean your windows on an overcast day. As long as it isn’t raining, you should still be able to clean them outside, too. Plus, you won’t be working so hard to combat streaks!
TOSSING ALL YOUR KITCHEN TOOLS IN THE DISHWASHER
Kitchen tools like cheese graters, zesters, and garlic presses have small grooves that trap food particles, which can cause mold and bacteria to grow. Your dishwasher may not be able to reach ever little hole and crevice to get them completely clean.
How to fix it: Hand wash these tools – immediately after use, if possible, for easier cleaning.
NOT DEEP CLEANING YOUR BLENDER
In this post, I recommended quick-cleaning your blender by running it filled with soapy water. I still stand by that tip, but if you use this method every time, you might eventually have a mess on your hands. Liquids can seep into the space where the blade connects to the canister and can eventually mold and breed bacteria.
How to fix it: Deep clean your machine after every few uses. Take your blender apart, and clean the blade and other small pieces thoroughly in soapy water. Rinse well, and allow to air dry thoroughly before re-assembling.
Most people have made at least a few of these cleaning mistakes, but you don’t have to. With these easy tips, you can avoid these Harmful Cleaning Mistakes and keep your home clean and germ-free!
Are you guilty of these Common Cleaning Mistakes? Please share your experience in the comments below!