For the most part, there’s no “correct” way to keep your home clean. Whether you prefer dusting surfaces around the house or wiping them down with a wet cloth, things still end up cleaner than than they were before! But even though there aren’t any hard and fast rules to cleaning, there are certain “mistakes” that could actually make things dirtier!
The mere idea of spending time and effort on a cleaning task, only to realize afterward that my efforts actually made things worse, is enough to fill me with (hypothetical) despair. And I wouldn’t want anyone else to experience that despair either! So today I thought I’d address some of those cleaning mistakes in this post, so that we can all avoid these backfiring behaviors! :-)
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9 Cleaning Mistakes That Are Making Your House Dirtier
1. Overloading The Dishwasher
You can help conserve both water and energy by only running your dishwasher when it’s full. However, there’s a line between full and jam-packed, and crossing that line can do more harm than good! If your dishwasher is overly full, there’s a good chance that some of your dishes won’t get properly cleaned.
2. Overusing Your Cleaning Rag
Most people have a rag that they use for a variety of different tasks when they’re working in the kitchen. I know I do! I’ll use it to clean my hands off, wipe up overspray at the sink, clean up stove splatters, and more. Having a kitchen rag like this isn’t a bad thing, but it can be if you’re not cleaning it regularly!
If you use your kitchen rag several times a day, swap it out for a clean rag daily. If you use your rag a bit less frequently, swap it out for a clean one every other day.
3. Neglecting Your Coffee Maker
The warm, moist environment in your coffee maker and coffee pot can make a comfortable home for bacteria and mold. Make sure to clean the coffee pot and any removable parts in your coffee maker after each use. A clean coffee maker is a happy coffee maker, and it makes better tasting coffee too! Check out the link below to learn how to use denture tablets for a cleaner coffee maker.
4. Neglecting “Touch Points”
It’s easy to forget to clean “touch points” (places or things that are frequently touched or handled) around the house. But it’s crucial to keep these surfaces clean to avoid the spread of germs! Clean or disinfect touch points like faucets, handles, light switches, remote controls, and door knobs every few days. (You may even want to clean them daily during cold and flu season!)
5. Using A Feather Duster
Feather dusters can move dust around, but they aren’t that great at picking it up off of surfaces. Replace your feather duster with microfiber (either a microfiber cleaning cloth or a microfiber duster.) Microfiber creates a bit of static electricity as it glides over surfaces, which helps grab onto and lock in dust much more effectively than feathers.
6. Storing A Wet Toilet Brush
While there’s really no such thing as a “clean” toilet brush, putting it away while it’s still wet is only going to make it dirtier. Instead, let it dry for a while before you put it back in its holder.
I learned a great trick for this from a woman who cleaned professionally for years! Just prop your wet toilet brush between the bowl and the toilet seat, so that the brush is suspended over the water. Any drips will go right into the toilet, and the brush will be dry in no time!
7. Using Dirty Sponges
Kitchen sponges can be a hotbed for bacterial growth, which is why it’s so important to replace them regularly (about every other week). Cleaning your sponge can also help eliminate the most harmful strains of bacteria. To clean your sponge, pop it in your dishwasher with a heated dry cycle, or get it wet and microwave it for a minute.
Questions or concerns about cleaning your kitchen sponge? Check out this helpful article on NPR that clears up some of the misinformation that has been floating around on this particular topic.
8. Using Too Much Detergent
Using more detergent in your washing machine won’t necessarily yield cleaner clothes. In fact, it could product the opposite effect! Using too much detergent for your washer or load size will make it less likely that your clothes get properly rinsed during the rinse cycle.
The detergent residue that lingers in the fibers of your clothes can attract dirt and grime, leaving them dirtier than ever! So make sure to follow the detergent recommendations on your detergent bottle and in your washing machine’s user manual.
9. Neglecting Your Reusable Bags
Reusable bags that you use at the grocery store can collect food bacteria overtime. Failing to clean those bags properly can lead to the spread of bacteria, and no one wants that! To clean your reusable bags, either wash them in your washing machine on a gentle cycle, or spray them inside and out with hydrogen peroxide and let dry.
Do you know of any other counterproductive cleaning “mistakes” that could be included in this list?