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7 Cleaning Mistakes You Should Avoid Doing

Avoid these cleaning mistakes to get the best cleaning results.

We've all heard a few comments about the best practices for cleaning your home. How can you tell which practices are true or false? We've got 7 cleaning mistakes you should not be doing, and why.

1. Cleaning the windows on a sunny day

Woman cleaning outside windows with the sun out in summer
Woman cleaning the outside windows.

The sun is shining on the windows and you think it's the perfect day to go outside and clean the dirt spots. Wrong. The sun can actually make cleaning your windows more difficult. The heat from the sun will cause your windows to dry faster, and while that may seem like a good idea it will actually create streaks from the soap and water drying too quickly. For the best results, clean the windows on a cloudy day.

2. Washing machines don't need to be cleaned

Washing machine and dryer in laundry room
Washing machine and dryer.

Sometimes a load of laundry can be forgotten about or left in the washer for longer than you intended. The wet clothing in the washer can actually cause washing machines to buildup mildew on the surface and cause your clothes to smell a little funky. You may not think you need to wash the washing machine, but washing machines need to be cleansed too.

To keep your washer smelling and looking fresh, run an empty cleaning cycle once a month, wipe down the insides with a damp cloth, and leave the washer door open to air dry once done. If there's a weird smell, try combining one cup of vinegar to one cup of making soda and add it to the detergent dispenser. Run a normal hot water cycle and air try to finish.

3. Spray cleaning product directly onto a surface

Cleaning solution being sprayed on to kitchen countertop
Spraying cleaning solution onto countertop.

We never think twice about this one. Spray a cleaning solution onto the dirty surface and wipe it down with a cloth, done. While it may not be a bad habit, it does waste a lot of the cleaning product. To get the most out of your product, spray the solution onto a microfiber cloth, then use the cloth to wipe down the surface. The items won't be drenched in cleaning solution, and you'll be left with more cleaning solution. Your pockets and your items will thank you for this.

4. Vinegar cleans everything

Bottle of vinegar sitting next to some lemons
Bottle of vinegar.

It's been said that you can use vinegar as a cheap and effective natural cleaner. While that is true, it is also very acidic and it shouldn't be used on every part of your home. The acid in the vinegar can cause damage to surfaces such as granite, stone, and marble, and also strip the seal off of waxed furniture. So, be mindful of where and how you are using vinegar to clean.

5. Bleach can be used for cleaning

Cleaning supplies, sponge, gloves, clothes and mop
Cleaning supplies in a bucket.

Bleach should be used as a disinfectant but not as a cleaner, as bleach does not actually clean a surface. Before bleaching any surface you should be using a multi-purpose cleaner to remove the dirt first. Follow the instructions on the bleach bottle before using, and leave it on the surface for about 10 minutes to kill all the germs. Remember to also never mix bleach with ammonia while cleaning.

6. You don't need to read the label

Disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, and cleaning solutions
Cleaning and disinfecting products.

Simply spraying the product and wiping it down could defeat the whole purpose of proper cleaning. Pay close attention to the specific instructions on the product labels as some cleaning solutions may not be the best for certain surfaces. Cleaning manufacturers leave cleaning instructions on the back of their products to provide you with the best way to use it, and many common cleaners actually require a specific amount of time for the product to sit before killing the germs or bacteria.

7. Over vacuuming ruins carpets

Robot vacuum cleaner transitioning from cleaning tile to carpet
Bob PetHair vacuuming the carpet.

Over vacuuming does not ruin the carpets, but leaving the vacuum running in one spot does. Leaving the vacuum on and running in one spot could potentially ruin the carpet and leave a burn mark. Frequent vacuuming can can however, prolong the life of your carpet and does not ruin the fibers at all. Vacuuming helps release the dirt and debris that gets trapped between the carpet fibers over time.

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