Cleaning, for most people, isn’t their idea of a good time. It’s a chore: Something we do because we have to. And in our quest to cross cleaning off our to-do list as quickly as possible, we’ve probably developed some strategies to help cut down on the amount of time and energy we have to expend on these tasks each week.
But there’s a good chance that not all of our methods and shortcuts are the most effective ways to get the job done. In fact, some may be making our homes even dirtier than they were before we “cleaned.” Here are a few examples of bad cleaning habits you should break right now.
Bad cleaning habits to avoid
We may not think of cleaning being a science, but that’s exactly what it is. And while no one is expected to understand the chemistry, biology, and mechanics behind all of their household chores, it’s important to keep in mind that doing something we may think of as “cleaning” may actually be making our homes dirtier. Some examples of this include:
Going overboard with cleaning products
Using more product than you need won’t get the job done faster, or leave your home any cleaner. In fact, the excess product can form a residue that attracts and traps dirt and dust, leaving the surface in worse shape than when you started.
Leaving dusting for the end
Dusting a room’s surfaces may seem like a finishing touch, but if you wait until you’ve already vacuumed and cleaned the rest of the room to do it, you’ll just be spreading dust around, making the room dirty again. Instead, clean a room top to bottom, so vacuuming (or washing) the floors is last.
Using your dish sponge to wipe down the rest of the kitchen
We’ve already made our feelings on sponges known, including why it’s never a good idea to wipe down kitchen counters and other surfaces with the bacteria-covered sponge you use to do dishes. The same applies to using a single rag to clean an entire space. Or, worse yet, starting out with a dirty, used rag. Yuck.
Overloading your dishwasher
If you’re lucky enough to have one, you should make sure you’re using it in the most effective ways possible. This includes not overloading your dishwasher — even if you’re doing it with the best of intentions, like saving water. What’s actually happening is that when dishwashers are overloaded or loaded improperly, the mechanisms inside aren’t able to function the way they were designed to, and dishes can come out still being dirty.