One of my favorite parts of this time of year is getting my home clean and ready for the holidays! We are often in a whirlwind of activity with daily bustle and work and right now we are adding a host of holiday liveliness to that already full plate. So we are fitting cleaning in quickly but more often so that we are ready for guests, both expected and unexpected. We all want nothing more than to stay on top of it so that we are able to hang out with family and snuggle up while watching holiday movies. Unfortunately, common cleaning mistakes can make the job harder.
We all want a clean home and make every effort to clean and keep it clean, often thinking we are preventing germs. However, there are some common cleaning habits that are actually spreading germs and making your home dirtier. I’ve compiled this list to help you be sure you aren’t making any of these cleaning mistakes.
Here is the roundup of the biggest offenders. While some may seem like common sense, you may be doing them without thinking when you are busy with your hectic schedule.
I wish I could tell you none of us are doing these but, I found it is more common than you think. A friend recently committed one of the ‘offenses’ and was like ‘OH! I bet a lot of people do that!’. It was one of those situations. that I apologized and helped.
Cleaning Mistakes You Might Be Making
#1 Biggest Mistake
This mistake is actually the most common which is why I say #1 biggest mistake: using the same rag to clean throughout the house. Even though you are using some sort of cleaning solution, it’s not killing germs. As the grime clings to the rag, there’s only so much room so you are leaving some behind in many instances. Additionally, let’s say you clean the bathroom and then the kitchen. You’re spreading bathroom germs, possibly unseen fecal matter to the kitchen.
I’ve picked up a box of cleaning rags at WalMart that are in different colors and created a color code system. Yellow is used in the bathroom and so on. After cleaning, all the rags are washed in the washing machine with hot water to get all the dirt and germs out.
2. Cleaning From The Floor Up
When cleaning the floor before cleaning the furniture, counters, and dusting, all of those particles fall to the floor, therefore the floor is needing to be cleaned again.
Start in a room and clean from the top down. Start at the ceiling removing cobwebs, dust, etc and work to windows, sills or high nooks and crannies that seem all the rage in the new houses. Work your way down to counters, tables, furniture, followed by baseboards and ending at the floor.
3. Washing Cutting Boards in The Dishwasher
Wood cutting boards hold in moisture and raw food particles. IMO, wood should be exchanged for safe plastics or glass cutting boards. Only those stated on the label that the dishwasher is safe may be washed in the dishwasher. Some may melt.
I’ve read soaking your cutting boards in hydrogen peroxide solution or bleach solution (2 tablespoons of bleach and 1 gallon of water), will sterilize them. Then rinse with water and dry completely. Personally, in the past, I’ve wiped mine down with a bleach solution and then rinsed but I may try this method for more thorough cleaning.
4. Using Feather Dusters
Feather dusters do not trap dust. They push it and allow it to fall. Opt instead for microfiber dusters that trap the dust. Even better if the microfiber is removable from the handle and washed in the washer when done cleaning.
5. Certain Kitchen Tools in the Dishwasher
Some small tools placed in the dishwasher (such as a garlic press), hold food particles in the small holes. Even though the dishwasher is blasting water, this often doesn’t clean these.
Instead, wash these by hand, paying particular attention to holes, etc.
6. Not Cleaning The Sink After Every Use
Sinks breed germs and bacteria due to being a wet environment and food, especially raw foods get trapped. Clean the sink after each and every use by sprinkling the sink with baking soda and scrub the sink and nooks and crannies.
For the disposal, simply pour about a half cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a cup of white vinegar. Pour boiling water down the drain. Then add two cups of ice and one cup of rock salt to the drain, turning on the disposal until the ice stops grinding.
7. Spraying Cleaner Onto Your Surface
Avoid spraying cleaners onto your surface. Instead, spray onto the rag or paper towels. Spraying onto surfaces causes a buildup of cleaners and waxes, so it’s one of the miner cleaning mistakes, but it does make a difference.
8. Cleaning Your Vacuum
When you aren’t cleaning your vacuum’s filter, your vacuum is not only less effective, but it can back up and blow dirt and germs back into your room and the air. Cleaning mistakes like this one can really set you back.
You should be changing your bag often. As for canisters, I recommend emptying after each vacuum. After I am done I empty mine and rinse my filter (I am able to on mine. Check your directions before you do that). Periodically, wipe down vacuum attachments, hoses, and vents with the vacuum unplugged.
9. Toilet Brush
Cleaning the toilet and putting a dirty brush back into the holder breeds germs from the trapped moisture and fecal matter, spreading and repeating each time you repeat the process.
After scrubbing, I flush again holding the brush but allowing clean water to run over the brush and then I prop the brush between the bottom of the seat and the base and allow it to dry. I also have cleaner in my brush holder and drop the brush in it.
10. Not Cleaning The Washing Machine
Not cleaning your washing machine is one of the great cleaning mistakes, most people don’t consider. You need to clean out your washing machine because of the build-up of skin cells, stains, and dust mites. They build up in thr drum and on the lid/door and detergent dispensers, thereby washing in dirty water. This also leads to smelly clothes.
Clean a top-load washer, by first turning it on with it set on its longest and hottest settings. When it is almost full of water, pour in 1 liter of vinegar and 1 cup of baking soda. Leave the lid open so it soaks for an hour or longer. During this time, clean the lid and any crevices. After at least an hour, close the lid and allow the wash cycle to run. Repeat the process once a month.
For your front-loading washer: Make a solution comprised of 1/4 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup water and then pour into the detergent area, followed by 2 cups of vinegar poured into the drum and run on the hottest temperature. When the wash cycle is complete, wipe the drum entire clean, as well as the door, and the detergent compartment. Pay extra attention to the gasket.
No that you know some common cleaning mistakes to avoid, how about making things even easier with these cleaning hacks? Happy cleaning, friends! Don’t forget to comment if I missed any cleaning mistakes you know of! xoxo.