We often talk about cleaning tips here at Expert Home Tips, but what about cleaning mistakes?
You may be sat there thinking, "No, not me! I'm a cleaning pro," but cleaning errors are easier to make that you might think.
Even if you've been keeping your home spotless for years, the danger of dirt is that it's not always visible. Your kitchen may sparkle and gleam, but cleaning mistakes mean it could be harbouring germs not visible to the human eye.
Check out this list of common cleaning mistakes to see if you're a culprit. Don't fret if you are, they are easily remedied!
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1. Using washing up liquid on chopping boards is a big mistake
Washing up liquid gets rid of everything, right? Unfortunately not, especially in the case of raw meats.
Raw meat contains harmful bacteria. These germs are easily transferred onto our chopping boards, so it's important we treat them properly after every use.
Washing up liquid may do a great job on greasy pots and pans that have contained cooked food, but for the cold surface of our chopping boards, something stronger is required.
Soaking chopping boards in bleach after every use will ensure they are properly sterile, thus preventing any risk of bacteria transfer.
2. One of the biggest cleaning mistakes is spraying polish directly onto furniture
You may have got into the bad cleaning habit of spraying polish directly onto your furniture. This will actually be making your job much harder, as the furniture polish will build up over time and be hard to remove.
Instead, spray first onto a microfibre cloth, then wipe over furniture. It will prevent any marks and stains from being left behind, plus you'll use less product.
3. Are you using a feather duster all over?
Feather dusters are great for reaching high-up places. A quick flick with those soft bristles and ceiling lights and corner cobwebs can soon be swept away.
However, unlike dusting with a cloth, the dust is not actually removed. Instead, it is flicked off, falling down to lower areas of the room. This is why it's never a good idea to use a feather duster to clean everywhere - instead of making the room clean, you're just transferring dust from one surface to another.
To counteract this, you should also make sure to vacuum after dusting.
4. Washing windows on a warm day
A sunny day may seem like the perfect occasion to finally get those windows clean. Washing them in the heat is, however, one of the biggest cleaning mistakes!
This is because the sun will evaporate the water and cleaning solution before you've had time to finish. You'll be left with streaks and cleaning product build-up - not exactly the gleaming glass you had in mind!
5. Making the bed too often & quickly can lead to germs
If you're anything like me, a messy bedroom will stress you out. As soon as I wake, I like to make sure everything in my room looks neat and tidy.
I was fascinated to learn that this is actually one of the worst cleaning mistakes - oops! When we make our beds, we're trapping bacteria, dust mites and dampness inside, creating an environment that encourages the multiplication of germs.
By leaving our covers thrown back, we allow our sheets to properly dry out, aerate the bedding. This make dust mites and bed bugs much more unlikely.
6. Forgetting to maintain your hoover
A lot of us make the mistake of not cleaning our cleaning appliances. Don't let this be you!
Your hoover may make it look like bits of dirt and strands of hair on your floor have vanished into thin air, but they have to go somewhere.
Hair, in particular, can pose a particular problem. It will wind its way around the cylinders at the base of your hoover, making it harder for it to function.
After each clean, turn your hoover off and lay it flat on the ground. Then begin to pull off hair, and any other objects that have become wrapped around the mechanisms inside. This will help your hoover continue to perform as efficiently as possible.
7. One of the most common cleaning mistakes is dusting surfaces with a dry rag
Not getting the results you're after with your cleaning cloth? A dry rag will do one thing and one thing only - flick dirt and dust from one place to another.
In order to really maximise the capabilities of your microfibre cloth, you need to add water! Not much - a cloth that's slightly damp is all we're after. The wetness will pick up dust much more effectively, and your surfaces will be left spotless in no time.
8. Cleaning mistakes can happen with natural products too!
As you know, we love natural cleaning solutions here at Expert Home Tips. Check out Colleen's 17 natural ways to clean your lovely home to see just some of our favourites.
Just because you choose a natural cleaning solution, it doesn't mean it's overly gentle or weak. In fact, many natural products pack a real punch.
Going overboard on the vinegar or bicarbonate of soda is definitely a common cleaning mistake. Trust in the power of natural cleaning, and use moderate quantities. You don't want to end up damaging your lovely furniture!
9. Not allowing cleaning products to sit
Cleaning products aren't cheap these days - make sure you're getting your money's worth. If they claim to remove all traces of limescale yet you're still left with crusty taps, chances are you're making one of those pesky cleaning mistakes.
Allow your cleaning product to sit on surfaces before you get scrubbing or wiping them clean, and you'll be amazed at the difference!
10. Flushing the toilet with the lid open is a big mistake
Did you know that the flush on a toilet can spray water up to six feet in the air? I certainly didn't!
This fact explains why flushing the toilet with the lid open is one of the most horrible cleaning mistakes.
After you've finished scrubbing, be sure to close the lid before flushing clean. The last thing you want to do is germ up a bathroom you've just thoroughly disinfected.
11. Don't make the mistake of overloading your dishwasher
Dishwashers are magical things, aren't they? Not magical enough to wash through a hundred dirty plates, 30 cups and 3 smoothie cups you're too lazy to wash by hand, however.
Overloading your dishwasher is in fact, one of the easiest cleaning mistakes to make. All that wonderful water needs room to move around and do its thing. When dishes become too cramped together, it's unable to cycle effectively, splashing food from one bowl to another, or simply not reaching it at all.
Next time you load your dishwasher, make sure you're not asking too much of it. Remember, space is key!
12. A wet toilet brush creates a breeding ground for germs
Toilet brushes can be unsightly things. As soon as you're done scrubbing the loo, you'll be anxious to get that germy brush back in its holder, right?
STOP! This is one of the worst cleaning mistakes you can make. Wet environments create breeding grounds for germs and bacteria. Leave your toilet brush balanced over the seat until it has had time to dry to prevent this.
13. Using furniture polish on furniture that isn't wood
Furniture polish has been around for centuries. It certainly does its job - it's wonderful at buffing and shining wooden surfaces, giving them a gorgeous gleam.
Once upon a time, when all furniture was wooden, it was perfect. In our modern homes, however, it's not as suitable.
Despite most of us using furniture polish on all surfaces, it's actually not advisable. It's still great for nourishing solid wood, but does little for other materials.
So what should you use instead? A simple, dampened cleaning rag. It will get those IKEA surfaces dust-free in no time.
14. Forgetting to clean your cleaning tools
What do you use to clean? Sponges? Rags? Toothbrushes? A mix? Whatever you choose, if you're neglecting to clean them, you're making a mistake!
All those germs that you do a great job at wiping from your surfaces can end up on your cleaning tools - gross. To make sure you begin each clean with sterile cloths and sponges. Have a read of Clean My Space's guide to maintaining cleaning tools to learn how.
15. Not wearing rubber gloves when cleaning
A pair of bright yellow Marigolds don't just look professional, they're beneficial in so many ways.
The durable barrier they provide between your hands and the outside world provides protection against all the germs and bacteria you come in contact with. This means you don't have to be afraid of getting your hands dirty.
If you want to preserve your soft skin, forgoing the rubber gloves is a real mistake. The harsh chemicals in our cleaning products can be extremely harmful. Pull a pair of gloves on before you start your clean and you won't have to deal with dry or damaged skin.
To learn more about the benefits of rubber gloves, have a read of these reasons to wear rubber gloves that will shock & surprise you.
Take care of these pesky cleaning mistakes, & your house will be cleaner than ever before! Let me know which ones you're guilty of in the comments below.