Cleaning…while it's an essential task, it's one most of us don't enjoy. Except for me, I love it...great for stretching, great for low-impact cardio. Just don't tell anyone, k? Because I will deny, deny, deny!
Anyhow, one of the biggest challenges when it comes to cleaning your home is that you may not be cleaning properly. With all the different cleaning products, gadgets and gizmos on the market, it's hard to keep track of what to clean, when to clean and with what to use!
But no worries, we got you. Here are six of the more common mistakes to avoid while cleaning your home, and what you can do to remedy them.
Six Mistakes To Avoid When Cleaning Your Home
Mistake #1: Not Cleaning Frequently Enough
Let’s begin with the number one mistake that most of us make when cleaning our home: not cleaning as often as we should.
If you have carpeting or area rugs in common, well, areas, you should be vacuuming on the daily, especially if you have pets. High traffic areas like living rooms or family rooms should especially get the once over. Do your vacuuming at the end of the day so your rugs are fresh for the next day.
Countertops, tabletops and other solid surfaces that get used regularly should also get the once over at least once a day. Use a good antibacterial multi-surface cleaner (we like Clorox Disinfecting Wipes). While you're at it, wipe down your cell phone, plastic toys and light switches, too. If it's come in contact with hands, it's probably a bit germy.
Cleaning out the fridge and giving it a good wipe down on the reg is also a smart idea. Old, moldy, smelly food happens in the blink of an eye and it's much easier to give a good wipe down once a week vs. a good scrub down once a month. Or do both, who are we to judge?
Mistake #2: Spraying Surfaces Directly
When you spray furniture, fixtures and other elements in your home directly with cleansers and furniture polish, there's the potential for build-up that is incredibly challenging to remove and can attract even more dust. Not only that, spraying causes germs, bacteria and other dust particles to become airborne, contaminating clean surfaces.
Our best advice? Spray cleaning products directly on to your rag or paper towel, then wipe down surfaces. Alternatively, have a bucket of water mixed with cleanser handy, saturate your rag, ring out, then wipe down.
Whether you use chemical-based cleansers or naturally-based products, the objective is not to cause dirt and dust to become airborne. Of course, you should always follow the directions for use outlined on the product itself.
Mistake #3: Vacuuming First, Dusting Later
Another common cleaning mistake we tend to make is vacuuming before dusting, and I totally get it. It's easier to spot dirt, crumbs and even pet hair on carpet, especially when it's a lighter shade and shorter pile, than dust. But vacuuming before dusting is a total faux pas.
Instead, wipe down all solid surfaces using your favorite cleaner(s) and preferred method of cleaning, be it with wipes, paper towels or microfiber clothes, and remove any linens from the room that you plan on washing, like curtains, blankets, sheets, throws, table runners, placemats and the like. Start vacuuming in and around your sofa, chairs, beds tables and other furniture with soft surfaces or cushions. Then move furniture that you can out of the way and vacuum normally.
When you're finished dusting and then vacuuming, return all your furniture to its proper place, replace the linens and call it a day!
Mistake #4: Not Cleaning Your Vacuum
When cleaning your home, it is important to make sure that your cleaning tools themselves are actually clean, and this includes your vacuum cleaner.
With the unit unplugged, remove the canister and empty the canister (or dispose of the bag) into the trash. Assuming you use your vacuum regularly, remove and replace the filter on a monthly basis. Some filters can be washed; if that's the case with your vacuum make sure it's washed and dried completely before putting it back. If your vacuum has a removable canister, remove it and wash it in warm, sudsy water.
Check your vacuum's beater bar for any strings or threads that might be wound around it and remove. It's best to take tiny, careful snips at the strings with small safety scissors, and discard.
Give your hoses, cords, belts, gaskets and attachments a once over for clogs, damage and any unusual wear and tear.
If you have any issues, consult your owner's manual. Speaking of owner's manuals, make sure you disassemble your vacuum according to manufacturer's directions.