Agreed, cleaning is not on top of the list of your favorite chores. One of the reasons you hate it could be because you’re not getting the results you want. All that hard work doesn’t seem to leave your home looking as pristine as it should. You may not believe it, but there are right ways and wrong ways to clean. Obviously, it’s not rocket science, and it seems pretty straightforward. You don’t need to “learn” how to clean. Most people pick up cleaning routines from what they’ve seen their parents do at home. You don’t think twice when you launch into your daily cleaning routine. But take a step back and really think about what you’re doing. Is your cleaning system more about going through the motions than about proper hygiene, freshness, and removing dirt? Do you feel there are cleaning secrets you’re not privy to? Take a look at our guide to The Top 5 House Cleaning Mistakes You Should Avoid in 2023.
Why Your Cleaning Isn’t Working
Everyone’s idea of “clean” is different, and we may have different benchmarks on what constitutes it. For some, keeping things organized and tidy gives the appearance of cleanliness. Others may want every inch of space scrubbed, whether it’s under the kitchen sink or shelves in the garage. Most people fall somewhere in between, looking for a combination of tidy and ultra-clean.
If your cleaning routine seems ineffective, it could be for several reasons:
- Reactive and not proactive: If you’re waiting until the mess builds up, you have to work harder and longer. Wipe spills immediately before they stain the floor, counter, upholstery, or carpets. You go into a frenzy when you expect company but let things lie the rest of the time – that’s why your cleaning isn’t giving you the desired results.
- Expectations: You need to work out your own standards and not rely on what you see in TV ads for cleaning products, gorgeous homes in movies, or magazine articles. Set expectations about what, according to you, is clean, and then you can do a little better.
- Stuff: If your home is cluttered with huge amounts of stuff, the available space to clean could be very little. If you have to move a lot of things to get at the floor or walls, it’s time to de-clutter.
- Time: You may not have the time in the midst of a busy work-life schedule to do a thorough job. Set aside a time in the week for cleaning, and focus on getting things tidy and surface-cleaned the rest of the time.
- Organized: If you don’t have the right tools and products, there’s no point in having a cleaning routine. This could be why your cleaning is less than effective – you’re making do with whatever you can lay your hands on instead of stocking up on supplies.
The Top 5 House Cleaning Mistakes You Should Avoid in 2023
1. Dry Dusting: If you wield a feather duster or dry dusting cloth over dusty furniture, shelves, or fixtures, all you’re doing is shifting the dust from one surface to another. Another big mistake to make while dusting is using the same duster all over the house. The dirty duster will simply transfer the dirt to another place.
Solution: Use a damp microfiber cloth and wipe the surfaces clean instead of flicking and dusting.
It’s also important to figure out where the dust comes from. It could be due to poor airflow, a nearby construction site, pet dander, sand, or dirt brought in with your footwear, or vehicular traffic on the road alongside.
Solution: Use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust, keep windows closed as much as possible during the dry season, and place doormats at the entrance.
2. Using The Wrong/Dirty/Old Tools: There’s no way you’ll get anything cleaned when you use old and dirty cleaning tools. Using the wrong tools is as good as not using them at all.
Solution: Clean all your cleaning tools thoroughly after a round of cleaning. Wash and dry them thoroughly and store them in a clean, dry place for the next time. Empty your vacuum cleaner bags immediately. Keep a lookout in your local supermarket for new and more effective cleaning tools. You’ll find great new products, such as steam cleaners and robotic sweepers, that will make your job much easier.
3. Not Giving Enough Time: If your floor looks streaky and splotchy after mopping, tiles look glazed-over, mirrors don’t look sparkling clean, and metal surfaces look dull, the mistake you’re making is not giving enough time.
Solution: Let floors dry thoroughly before stepping on them, laying rugs and carpets back, or dragging furniture across. Air-drying is best, but if you have a ceiling fan, you can switch it on full speed till the floors dry.
For glass and metal, spray-on cleaners need a few minutes to start working. Don’t wipe the cleaning product off immediately. Let it sit for at least five minutes before you wipe it. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe for that streak-free shine.
4. Mixing Cleaning Products and tools: Using cleaning products that contain ammonia together with other products that contain bleach is a recipe for disaster. It releases toxic fumes that pose a risk to life. Similarly, many other cleaning products should not be mixed with others. You may think you’re getting a double benefit, but that’s not how it works. Using the wrong tools, such as abrasive scrubbers on tiles, can damage them. Mopping or washing hardwood floors with water can cause them to warp, swell and crack.
Solution: Read the labels carefully before you use any product. Check if it’s compatible with other products and water. Use gentle scrubbers or a sponge on the tiles and wipe dry with a microfiber cloth. Use a lightly dampened microfiber mop on wooden floors, or stick to vacuuming/sweeping them.
5. Cleaning in the Wrong Order: If you’re cleaning the floors first and then going on to higher levels, you’re only doing extra work for yourself. There is a logic and sequence to this job.
Solution: Start with anything that needs soaking, such as inside your oven or toilet. Go on with dusting, and work from the top floor of your home to the lowest area. Tidy and de-clutter before you vacuum. Tackle the wet areas, such as the kitchen and bathroom next. Clean the floors last. Whether you have a studio apartment or a 5-bedroom bungalow, this simple sequence works wonders.
If you’ve been dissatisfied with your cleaning, it’s time to take a look at your routine and discover where you’re going wrong. It could be something simple as changing the sequence of work. Using the wrong tools and products is another problem area that can be easily corrected.