When it comes to cleaning our homes, we often fall into habit, using outdated techniques and supplies that end up making our work less effective. Often, just cutting some corners to save time can reduce the effectiveness of your cleaning, precipitate germ spread, and damage surfaces. Here are three common cleaning mistakes made around the house.
Using All-Purpose Cleaner on Everything
“All-purpose” or “all-surface” household cleaners are convenient and smell nice. However, some people overuse their all-purpose cleaners because they assume they work well on any surface. The reality is, you should avoid applying all-purpose cleaners to many surfaces throughout your home.
Don’t use an all-purpose cleaner to clean your entire floor. It might work well for small spills, but don’t use it to clean your floor, be it tile, linoleum, laminate, or hardwood. This is because all-purpose cleaners can leave behind a film. This film is usually very subtle, but it can certainly reduce your floor’s shine. You have probably noticed this if you have tried to use an all-surface cleaner on your mirrors or glass and realized it doesn’t work as well as a designated glass cleaner. Just like you do with your glass surfaces, use a designated floor cleaner to keep your floor looking great.
Image via Flickr by Ivy Dawned
Vacuuming hardwood floors is much easier and quicker than mopping or sweeping. However, it is not nearly as effective, especially if you have pets that shed. A vacuum’s motor often blows this super-light hair away, spreading it around instead of sucking it up. If you do insist on using a vacuum, you will get much better results if you use the wand or hose attachment on your hardwoods. This way the air is not blowing the hair and dust away before you can suck it up.
Let Your Cleaning Supplies Dry Before Putting Them Away
We use scrub brushes, sponges, toilet bowl cleaners, mops, and other tools that need to be wet to clean surfaces. Then, when we’re finished, we usually put the tool away and move on to the next task. This is never a good idea. If you throw a sponge back under your sink while it is still wet, mold can develop. Even if that sponge is filled with soap, it can become moldy and smelly. The same goes for mops and scrub brushes.
You want to be especially careful to allow your toilet bowl cleaner to dry completely before returning it to the base. Toilet-cleaning is just about the dirtiest job in house, and you don’t want to make it even less sanitary by returning the wand to the base while it is still wet, where bacteria will form. You should also wipe down and dry your cleaning bottles before putting them back in a cabinet. Dripping cleaning solution can stain your cabinets and damage the wood. As silly as it sounds, you do need to clean your cleaning supplies.
Do your house and family a favor, and avoid these three common cleaning activities that spread germs and harm surfaces.