Most of us think that as long as you do clean, you’re doing a good thing for your house. But sometimes, our cleaning habits may do more harm than good. You and your family may be doing some cleaning habits that are actually bad, and are inhibiting your ability to get the job done efficiently. If you want to learn on tips on how to clean your home easier and faster, check here. Read more to know the cleaning habits you need to avoid to preserve your home and your belongings:
Using too much cleaning product
If your cleaning product works, then a lot of it will work better to make cleaning faster? Wrong. Using too much cleaner – and this goes for all cleaning errands like laundry, floors, countertops, dishes and even shampooing your hair – doesn’t make everything cleaner. Using too much makes it dirtier, because it will tend to leave behind soap residue, which becomes a dirt magnet and makes it harder to rinse and clean the next time you need to clean it. Follow the instructions on a product label about how much of a product is actually necessary. You’re wasting the product and your money since you need to rinse it more thoroughly if you used more. It also only wastes your time.
And while we’re on the subject of “too much”, anything too harsh for the cleaning job is also wrong. This won’t help you kill germs and eliminate dirt better – a harsh cleaner can strip away finishes that protects a surface in the first place. It may also cause health hazards for your household.
Using bleach for cleaning everything
A lot of people don’t bother with buying the right kind of product for a certain item or surface in the house; they just bleach it. Treating white clothes? Bleach. Cleaning the kitchen countertop? Bleach. Cleaning up the sinks, bathtubs and toilet? Bleach. Getting your tile grout to become whiter? Bleach. Yes, bleach can disinfect, but it’s not a general cleaner. For you to actually remove dirt, molds, mildew and residue from a surface, you need to scrub it with an appropriate cleaner before applying bleach. Also, this can be too harsh for certain natural surfaces like marble and granite.
Mixing ammonia with other cleaning products
Ammonia is friendlier to the environment than bleach, but mixing it with bleach and other bleach-based cleaners can be dangerous, as this can cause irritation to the eyes, skin and respiratory tract even in small doses. You just need to use one or the other. Also, ammonia shouldn’t be used straight up – it must be diluted and used in a well-ventilated area.
Cleaning with disinfectant wipes
Remember that disinfectant wipes are made for a specific purpose: disinfecting. They are not cleaners – they don’t remove deep-seated dirt and grime. These things are great for a quick wipe down of the toilet seat or bathroom sink, but they are not enough for cleaning the entire bathroom. For disinfectant wipes to be effective, these must contain enough cleansing moisture so that the surface will remain wet for at least four minutes. But it’s always better to rely on a sufficient cleaner and water solution.
Wiping with just any rag
Not all rags are created equal. A lot of people don’t want to spend more for a microfiber cloth and just settle for a typical rag or use old, raggedy clothes instead. But microfiber cloths aren’t just a gimmick – they really have smaller fibers that enables them to attract even the smallest, microscopic particles of dirt that a cotton cloth would most likely miss. This is why microfiber cloths are great for dusting and for cleaning out almost every surface in the home.
Some people, however use paper towels instead, thinking it is the cleaner option and more efficient one, since you just need to dispose it after use. But this means spending a lot of money in the long run, as using a few rolls a week can really add up. Habitually cleaning with paper towels is downright wasteful. Better yet, get some cleaning cloths and microfiber cloths, and wipe up spills and dirt on your kitchen and dining area with real dishtowels.
Leaving wet towels and shower curtains bunched up
Want to spend less time removing mildew from bathroom surfaces? Avoid leaving wet towels heaped on the floor and leaving wet shower curtains bunched up. This is one of the easiest habits to break. Make it a routine to hang wet towels every after use (this will also prevent mildew growth for the towels) and close the shower curtain after taking the shower so it will dry more quickly.
Not removing stains and spots right away
If your undies got a bloody stain, if your kid’s shirt got muddy and if your rug got spilled with soup, try to deal with it right after observing it. Some people have a tendency to let it sit and deal with them later, and end up having a hard time removing the stain because it has already dried up. If you don’t have the time to do laundry, at least pre-soak it for the mean time or use a stain removal spray. For rugs, wipe it right away with a wet rug.
Not cleaning up as you cook
When you cook, you automatically make a mess. You get ingredients out of their storage and you might spill a sauce or two. But any mess you make during cooking should be tackled right away to make it easier to clean, because if you put off cleaning until after you’re done, most probably you’ll feel less motivated to do so.
For instance, if you’re done using a dry ingredient, put it back on the fridge or the pantry where you got it right away to keep your stuff organized. Toss away any vegetable peelings to your biodegradable trash container just right after peeling and slicing them up. Wipe any splashes or spills right away, or else they will stick to the surface, which will make it harder to clean. Make it a habit to clean up while you cook. When you’re waiting for the water to boil or waiting for one side of the salmon to get grilled, clean up your countertops. But of course, you can give yourself a pass for any dish that needs serious concentration.
Ignoring floor finishes
A lot of people think that the type of wood floor that you have should determine what cleaner you should use. However, what really matters is your floor’s finish. Find out what it’s made of and what cleaners are suitable for it. Surface-sealed floors can be simply swept and mopped with a gentle cleaner. If the floor is untreated, simply wipe it with a damp rag and protect with wax.
Leaving dirty dishes in the sink
It doesn’t take much time to put that dirty plate in the dishwasher instead of the sink. Yes, the dirty dishes can wait, but leaving it for hours (sometimes even just minutes) can have the tendency to make it a breeding ground for bacteria and food for hungry insects and pests you don’t want crawling in your kitchen. Teach your household to put dishes in the dishwasher right away, or wash it immediately. If you really do have something to do after eating and you don’t have a dishwasher, at least rinse your plate thoroughly first to remove food particles and simply go back to washing it later.
Waiting for the clutter to pile up before putting them in the right place
Online banking and billing is common nowadays, but still there are amounts of paper that can end up in your homes. Textbooks, newspapers, magazines, school papers and projects – it’s easy to stack them up and they have a tendency to pile up. Before you know it, it becomes a pile of clutter that will be time-consuming to sort out. The once empty table or countertop becomes a place for resting the stuff, but you need to remember they are not storage holding stations.
The best thing to do is once you receive that piece of paper – whether it’s mail, a form or a periodical, put it away in a designated place. Periodically, sort through it and see to it what needed to be tossed. Tax receipts and other important papers must be filed. For magazines, if you haven’t read it for a while, just give it away or sell it. Chances are, you are never going back to open it again because you know you’ll end up searching it on Google anyway.
Forgetting to clean your cleaning tools
How can you expect something to be cleansed if your cleaning tool is dirty? The washing machine and the dishwasher is the cleaning gadget most people tend to overlook. If these things has an odor from build-up bacteria and detergent/soap residue, then your clothes are going to stink and your dishes will remain dirty. The filter in your vacuum cleaner may need to be replaced or may be full of dust that needs to be disposed, so the vacuum can work efficiently. A vacuum cleaner that’s too full inside won’t do a good job sucking up dirt. Your mop, sponge or duster can push around more soil, bacteria and dust if they are dirty.
Take the time to thoroughly clean your tools periodically (or after every use if you need to, like for mops, rags, brushes and sponges). Also, know when your cleaning tool must be replaced.