15 horrific cleaning mistakes that are RUINING your home

cleaning mistakes

We often talk about cleaning tips here at Expert Home Tips, but what about cleaning mistakes?

Now you may be sat there thinking, “Noo, 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!

If you love our tips, don’t forget to share it with your pals using the links above and below. Sign up to the Expert Home Tips newsletter to get all the best home hacks, living tips, competitions and more.

1. Using washing up liquid on chopping boards is a big mistake

using washing up liquid on chopping boards = cleaning mistake
Even Fairy Liquid won’t get chopping boards spotless.

Washing up liquid gets rid of everything, right? Unfortunately not, especially in the case of raw meats.

Raw meat contains harmful bacteria that presents a risk to our health. 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 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.

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, cleaning product build-up and all sorts – not exactly the gleaming glass you had in mind.

5. Making the bed too often & quickly can lead to germs

making your bed is a cleaning mistake
Leave your bed to air for fresher sheets.

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 less 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 realise 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

leave toilet cleaner to sit
Make your products do the work.

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 brush cleaning mistake
Don’t let those germs multiply!

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

why you should wear rubber gloves to clean
Protect your hands – you only get one pair!

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.

Editor

Lover of all things fashion & foodie...I look to satisfy my tastes without obliterating my budget. Wannabe interior designer, I'm an avid cushion cover maker and charity shop hunter.

  1. 1 yvonne Reply

    Don’t use descaler or Brasso or metal cleaner on Gold Taps. They may have been sold to you as ‘Brass’ taps, but in reality is just a chemical film sprayed onto base white metal and it is easily and quickly abraded off. Even meticulous wiping will wear the ‘gold’ film away. But the best descaler is a light wipe over with vinegar on a paper towel followed by a wipe with a damp cloth.

  2. 3 Anne Ballinger Reply

    When I use certain bath cleaners I apply to a wet bath and clean right away, many years ago a friend was cleaning her bath with a bath cleaner, ( naming no names) when she was called away to deal with a problem that her son was having with his homework, by the time she returned to cleaning the bath the solution had eaten into the acrylic bath and NO AMOUNT OF SCRUBBING WOULD REMOVE THE INPRINT OF WHERE THE SOLUTION HAD RUN DOWN THE BATH! needless to say a perfectly acceptable bath was ruined, so read the instructions before you use the cleaning products as some are quite corrosive if left on to long, A LESSON LEARNED THE HARD WAY!

    1. 4 Stephanie C Reply

      Hi Anne. Thanks a lot for sharing your story. It’s true that cleaning products can be extremely powerful so it’s always best to edge on the side of caution. Normally you’re pretty safe to leave cleaning products to sit on bathroom tiles, though.

        1. 8 Stephanie C Reply

          Hi Claire. My Mum does this! Although this does mean the brush will remain wet near the top, which can lead to germ multiplication. It’s best to bleach your brush, then leave it to dry if you can 🙂

  3. 9 Angela W Reply

    Bleach can’t sterilise your chopping board through a layer of dirt. You need to wash your chopping board first and then soak it in bleach.

  4. 13 Lucy Reply

    My mum always uses boiling hot water and washing up liquid to seperately wash items that were in contact with raw meat and she always warns me not to touch any of the things before they have been washed to avoid spreading germs.

    1. 14 Stephanie C Reply

      Hi Lucy. Your Mum is certainly right! Cross-contamination is extremely easy in the kitchen – always best to take extra care 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *