It’s no wonder people hate cleaning. It’s the definition of insanity – repeating the same actions over and over again and expecting different results. Whether you live for a clean house, or simply see it as a means to an end, there are a bunch of cleaning mistakes we are all guilty of. Here are some of the most common cleaning faux pas, and how to avoid them:
1. Using Feather Dusters
Given the name, you’d think feather dusters would be the most effective tool in removing dust. However, according to the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab, “this tool simply spreads dust from one surface to another.”
Using a soft cloth dampened with water, a microfibre duster, or an electrostatic duster are far better options, according to these experts.
2. Overloading Your Dishwasher
Ahh, the age old dishwasher debate. Whether you like to load it this way, or that, just don’t overload it. According to cooling, heating and plumbing experts Horizon Services, overloading your dishwasher prevents dishes from getting fully cleaned and can even cause it to leak. Popular Mechanics suggests leaving space between dinnerware, wine glasses and other items that can break easily, and steering clear of the rotating spray arms.
3. Loading Your Dishwasher With The Wrong Items
Throwing your dirty dishes in the washer is a quick and easy way to clean up, but not everything belongs in there. Horizon Services states items including wooden utensils and cutting boards, cast iron pans, gold trim plates, good knives, items with hollow handles, copper and pewter items, crystal and hand-blown glass, travel mugs, takeout containers and containers with labels should never go in your dishwasher, or they’ll get ruined and you’ll be victim of yet one of these cleaning mistakes.
4. Dish Soap On Wooden Cutting Boards
And speaking of wooden cutting boards, washing them with dish soap might not cut it. Homes to Love suggests soaking them in bleach solution “to prevent cross-contamination when preparing your next meal.”
5. Neglecting Your Vacuum And Dishwasher
Your vacuum and dishwasher do a fabulous job at cleaning your floors and kitchen items, but who is cleaning them? Your vacuum needs to be regularly emptied, or you’ll just end up pushing crumbs and floor debris around. As for your dishwasher, if you don’t regularly remove bits of food, wipe away door grime, rinse out the filter and give it a monthly deep clean, it will become a breeding ground for germs and reduce the efficiency of the appliance, according to Today.
6. Forgetting The TV Remote
Active germs can live on TV remotes for at least 24 hours, according to researchers at the University of Virginia. That’s 24 hours too long. Homes to Love states you can avoid these cleaning mistakes be wiping down your remote controls, and biggest touch points, with a disinfectant weekly.
7. Dirty Sponges
If you thought your remote control was full of bacteria, wait until you hear the facts about your dirty kitchen sponge. A study, published in Scientific Reports, found 362 different species of bacteria living on a kitchen sponge. To avoid these cleaning mistakes, food microbiologist Jennifer Quinlan tells NPR, you should keep your sponges away from raw meat, replace them every one to two weeks, and clean them every few days using a dishwasher or zapping them wet in a microwave for a minute.
8. Spending Your Life Cleaning
No one really wants to spend hours cleaning their house, which is why it’s important to do a little bit every day so you’re not left with a huge mess at the end of the week. Apartment Therapy recommends avoiding these cleaning mistakes by doing your dishes after every meal, doing your laundry throughout the week, breaking rooms up by day, and sweeping and vacuuming as you go.