Whether you love to clean or do it out of necessity, you’re probably guilty of making mistakes. There are eight common cleaning blunders that we all make, probably without even realizing it. Before you pick up that scrub brush and go to town on your countertops, make sure you’re not making the following gaffes:
1. Cleaning windows when it’s sunny
It’s sunny outside, which reminds us we should clean our windows. Here’s the problem: you’ll get streaks. The heat from the sun will interact with the cleaning solution you’re using on your windows and dry too quickly, making for some very streaky glass. Instead of waiting for the sun to come out, clean your windows on a cloudy day.
2. Placing utensils the same way
The dishwasher is a magical machine that deep cleans our dishes. However, if you place the utensils facing the same direction, they don’t get properly cleaned. For example, if you place all your spoons in the same direction, they’ll stick together and their bowls won’t get cleaned out. Instead, place some spoons facing down and others facing up. Do the same with knives. Forks, on the other hand, should be placed tines up so they don’t bend.
3. Using too much vinegar and lemon juice
Lemon juice and vinegar do make for cleaning products in a pinch, but it’s important to remember that they are acids and can damage certain surfaces. Furniture and areas made of stone, marble, onyx and travertine will become dull and ruined with too much vinegar and lemon juice. Nevertheless, vinegar and lemon juice work wonders on getting soap scum off fibreglass and ceramic tile.
4. Using the wrong tools for the job
It’s important to find the right sponges and clothes for each of the areas you’re cleaning. Many of us use heavy-duty sponges to clean pots and pans, only to find they scratch their surfaces. Furthermore, Magic Erasers from Mr. Clean aren’t made for every surface. In fact, they have been known to damage vinyl flooring. So, be sure to use the right sponges and cloths, otherwise you risk ruining what you’re trying to clean.
5. Going nuts with the furniture polish
Furniture polish and oils smell great, but they’re almost useless nowadays. Most furniture made in the last decade comes with protective topcoats. Only use polish and oils on older furniture. When used on furniture that already has a protective layer, polishes and oils can create a gummy residue. Instead, opt for a damp microfibre cloth to clean newer furniture.
6. Spraying cleaner right onto the surface
It may seem like a good idea to spray cleaning product right onto a dirty surface, but you’re better off spraying it onto a microfibre cloth. Not only is this a more effective solution to get rid of grease and other buildup, you’ll save money since you’ll be using less cleaning solution.
7. Not cleaning your sponges properly
A sponge is only truly clean when it’s been heated up or sanitized. Rinsing a sponge is a waste of your time because it doesn’t do anything to clean it. To truly get your sponges clean after use, throw them in the microwave for two minutes. This kills the bacteria that build up with use. Another thing you can do is put your sponges on the top rack of the dishwasher and run it. You can also buy sanitizing sprays that kill bacteria and clean your sponges.
8. Putting the toilet brush away when it’s wet
Here’s the deal with bacteria, it loves moisture. Your toilet brush is full of moisture so after you use it, you’ll need to wash it and hang it to dry before you put it back in the holder. Leaving it suspended over the toilet bowl to drip dry for about 10 to 15 minutes should do the trick.