We all try our best to keep our homes as clean as we can, but it’s not easy! It can be time-consuming, labor-intensive, and you probably have a thousand things you’d rather be doing instead. And even when you do find the time and motivation to clean, you may accidentally be doing things that are less-than-helpful. But don’t worry, because today’s post is all about helping you avoid those habits, so you can make the most of the time you spend cleaning your home.
I wrote a similar post a couple of years ago, listing 10 common “cleaning don’ts” that can be more detrimental than you might expect. (If you missed it, you can check out that post at the link below!) Today’s post will be a sort of follow-up to that one, since I’ll be sharing 9 all new “don’ts,” along with easy tips for avoiding them in the future! Because if you’re going to invest the time and effort to clean something, it’s worth making sure you’re doing it right the first time. :-)
Related: 10 Common Cleaning Mistakes
1. Don’t wash your windows on a sunny day.
A warm, sunny day might seem like the perfect time to scrub the grime off your windows, but it actually isn’t! Bright sunshine will warm up your windows considerably, which will cause any cleaning solutions you use to evaporate quickly. If your cleaning solution evaporates before you can rinse your windows, you’ll be left with a streaky mess! This is much less likely to happen if you clean your windows on an overcast day, out of direct sunlight.
2. Don’t spray cleaners directly onto the surface you’re cleaning.
Some surfaces need to be cleaned carefully, and spraying a cleaner directly onto it can be too harsh. Spraying cleaners onto a surface also releases more of the cleaner into the air, which can be irritating to people with asthma or allergies. Instead, spray your cleaner onto a cleaning cloth, then wipe the surface.
3. Don’t wipe counters with dirty cloths or dirty water.
Your countertops are usually the last thing you tidy up before you’re done cleaning up the kitchen, but don’t use a dirty cloth or used dishwater to clean them. You’ll just end up spreading more germs around! Use a clean cloth or a sanitizing wipe (or one of my homemade reusable kitchen wipes!)
4. Don’t clean stainless steel in circular motions.
Stainless steel can be finicky when it comes to cleaning. If you wipe a stainless steel surface using circular motions, you’ll likely see those marks once the cleaner dries. Instead, identify the direction of the “grain” in the stainless steel, and follow that while cleaning. It makes a big difference!
5. Don’t clean windows with newspaper.
When it comes to cleaning with newspaper, the paper isn’t the problem; it’s the ink. Some of the ink is likely to come off once the paper gets wet, and you don’t want that on your windows, mirrors, or anything else you’re cleaning. You can use a brown paper bag instead, which has all the lint-free benefits of newspaper, without any of the ink.
6. Don’t clean stone countertops with vinegar.
Vinegar is acidic, which makes it a great cleaner for many types of surfaces. However, you shouldn’t use it to clean stone countertops, because the acid can actually wear down the protective coating on the stone and leave behind etching, scratches, and other noticeable marks. Instead, use a cleaner that’s labeled as safe for stone.
7. Don’t wash your kitchen knives in the dishwasher.
You can keep your kitchen knives nice and sharp by hand washing them, rather than putting them through the dishwasher. And avoid using vinegar to clean them, as vinegar can cause etching in the steel. Just use a bit of dish soap and some warm water!
8. Don’t wash non-stick pans in the dishwasher.
You can extend the lifespan of your non-stick pans by hand washing them, rather than running them through the dishwasher. The hot water that circulates in the dishwasher can actually wear down the non-stick coating over time. A bit of dish soap and warm water is much gentler!