Cleaning may seem very simple but in fact there are many ways you might be damaging your home and your health with cleaning mistakes, without even knowing it.
1. Mopping your hardwood floors.
First cleaning mistake: Using water can discolor or damage wood floors… and wooden furniture too! Instead of using the typical mop, use a flat and dry mop to collect dust or a vacuum cleaner to clean up dirt. If your floors are too filthy, use a specially formulated cleaning product for hardwood floors. If you insist on using a mop, use as little water as possible, squeezing the rag deeply while cleaning.
2. You’re using dryer wipes on every load.
Dryer wipes can -in fact- reduce the absorption capacity of your towels, sheets and T-shirts, so definitely don’t always use them. If you like to use wipes on each load, we suggest cutting them in half or reducing the amount of softener. They won’t release much of their waxy substance, but they will still reduce static and keep the clothes soft.
3. You’re using an acid to clean marble.
Vinegar, Windex and chlorine, all of these are going to overshadow the marble -or any other surface- in your home, due to its acidity. These can be quite expensive cleaning mistakes.
4. You’re mixing chlorine with other cleaning products.
No, no, no. Do you know the chlorine gas? The one that can kill people? You’re creating it when you mix products like ammonia and chlorine. The only thing you should really mix with it is laundry detergent and/or a little dish soap. And always, ALWAYS, clean with chlorine in well-ventilated areas.
5. You’re throwing your bras in the dryer with the rest of your clothes.
Washing and drying machine are bad for your bras, as both can stretch the elastic and bend the hooks. If hand washing and/or tending clothes to dry is not your thing, be sure to put them in a delicate clothing bag. It’s not the perfect solution but will help them to stay in shape longer.
6. You’re dusting off with a duster.
A duster looks beautiful and probably makes you feel very stylish while cleaning, but it just moves the dust from side to side. Vacuuming with a soft bristle brush is the best way to get rid of the dust, but a microfiber rag or brush also does the job.
7. You’re washing your windows on a sunny day.
A bright sunny day is the perfect day to do all the cleaning of the outside areas, right? FALSE. When the glass dries too fast, it becomes stained. Cleaning your windows on a cloudy day is best. Windex or ammonia diluted in water (1/2 cup per gallon of hot water) work. Once you have cleaned the glass, rub it completely until it is dried with a microfiber towel.
8. You’re rubbing stains to remove them from carpets or upholstery as hard as possible.
Please don’t do this cleaning mistakes! It’s very tempting to scrub the stain like crazy, but you’re only going to make it worse. Relax. The first thing you need to do is lift or absorb the substance as much as you can. Patience is the key. Continue absorbing until the area is as dry as possible. After that, it all depends on what kind of stain it is.
9. You’re putting the makeup brushes back in its cup to dry after washing.
It is essential to gently squeeze and dry your brushes with a paper towel, then leave them on a flat surface to dry after washing. Otherwise, the water will get inside the brush and… cleaning mistakes! ruin the glue that keeps your bristles together. Additionally, they may start to smell bad.
10. You’re not cleaning the lint filter in your dryer after each cycle.
Do you want to cause a fire?! Well, you’re going to do it if you don’t control the fluff buildup! Take it out of the filter after each cycle and wash it fine at least once or twice a year (or any time it’s visibly dirty). At the same time, you must clean the dryer duct.
11. You’re using aggressive cleaners on your stainless steel.
In addition to being quite easy to scratch, stainless steel doesn’t really need much more than a clean with some mild soap and water. If you have visible stains on your steel, make a paste with soap and baking soda. A microfiber towel and stainless-steel cleaner can also help with the most serious stains and scratches.
12. You’re not letting your pots cool before you wash them.
Any extreme changes in temperature will cause the metal to deform, so wait at least a few minutes before washing your cooking utensils. Whenever you wash the dishes, use warm water and don’t submerge them unless they’re completely cold.
13. You’re using a sponge to clean your house.
Sponges are fine for use on dishes (as long as you’re disinfecting them likely every time or every week or so) but using that same sponge to clean the kitchen table is actually quite disgusting. Sponges absorb and spread bacteria, so if you’re using it for the whole house, you’re just picking germs from one area and moving them to another (the real cleaning mistake!). In addition, the rough side of the sponge can scratch delicate surfaces, such as glass.
Instead, we recommend using a microfiber cloth (which has the added benefit of attracting and catching dust and dirt) or a paper towel to clean surfaces beyond your kitchen sink.