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Cleaning gone wrong

Cleaning gone wrong
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You probably feel good after you complete a household cleaning task; it’s not much fun, but needs to be done and is definitely beneficial. Or is it? Frustratingly, there is a right and a wrong way to clean. Find out if you’re making any of these mistakes that could actually be sabotaging your home’s cleanliness.

Mistake 1: Using the same rag around the house

Mistake 1: Using the same rag around the house
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Why it’s dirty: Despite spritzing it with a cleaning solution, when you use the same rag in multiple spots around the house, the rag hangs on to the grime from the previous surface and spreads it to whichever surface it touches next. That means bathroom germs get wiped onto kitchen counters, the living room coffee table, and anywhere else that cloth is used, definitely making this one of the ways you’re cleaning your kitchen all wrong.

How to fix it: Use a new wad of paper towel for each surface cleaned, or have a microfibre cleaning cloth designated for each area of your home. Microfibre cleaning cloths can be tossed in the laundry or thoroughly washed after each use to remove gunk or grime.

When you’re cleaning around the house, make sure you know these 12 items that shouldn’t be cleaned with paper towels.

Mistake 2: Using a feather duster

Mistake 2: Using a feather duster
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Why it’s dirty: No matter how much the advertisements for these dusters say the feathers “trap and lock dust,” they don’t. Feather dusters are notorious for spreading dust around a surface or pushing it off to fall to the ground, rather than removing it.

How to fix it: Use a microfibre cleaning cloth or a disposable paper towel with an appropriate cleaning solution, depending on the surface being dusted.

Discover 9 ways to get rid of dust in your home you never thought of.

Mistake 3: Not cleaning the vacuum

Mistake 3: Not cleaning the vacuum
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Why it’s dirty: When a vacuum filter hasn’t been changed or cleaned in a while, not only is the vacuum unable to pick up as much dirt and dust as it should, due to decreased suction, but dirt also is blown back into the air and carpet by the dusty vent.

How to fix it: Change or empty vacuum bags or canisters immediately after they become full. Wipe vacuum attachments, the hose, and the vent with either a damp microfibre cleaning cloth or a moist paper towel, double-checking that the vacuum is unplugged first.

Discover 11 unexpected ways you never thought of to use your vacuum cleaner.

Mistake 5: Placing a toilet brush back into its holder immediately

Mistake 5: Placing a toilet brush back into its holder immediately
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Why it’s dirty: If a toilet brush is put right back into its holder right after use, the moisture and germs from the toilet get trapped in the container and the brush, where they breed and multiply. These germs are then rubbed back into your toilet the next time the brush is used.

How to fix it: After scrubbing, allow the toilet brush to dry completely before returning it to its holder.

Don’t miss these other bathroom mistakes you didn’t know you were making.

Mistake 6: Skipping the sink

Mistake 6: Skipping the sink
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Why it’s dirty: Sinks rapidly grow germs and bacteria due to being a moist environment where food particles tend to get stuck. This issue is compounded when food or standing water is left in the sink, the drain or the garbage disposal.

How to fix it: Wipe down the sink after each use.

You should also try out these home cleaning hacks from professional house cleaners.

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Mistake 7: Cleaning from the ground up

Mistake 7: Cleaning from the ground up
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Why it’s dirty: When sweeping, mopping or vacuuming the floor before cleaning the furniture, dust, and crumbs fall from tables, counters, and shelves, requiring you to re-clean the floor.

How to fix it: Clean a room from the top down. Start with windows, working down to tables and counters, chairs and couches, side and coffee tables, ending with the floor.

You’ll also want to try these 35 nearly forgotten house cleaning tips from the past.

Mistake 8: Spraying cleaner directly on a surface

Mistake 8: Spraying cleaner directly on a surface
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Why it’s dirty: Spraying a cleaner directly onto furniture, countertops or glass can cause a buildup of the solution, leading to greasy furniture and surfaces, and streaky windows. This also could cause dirt and dust to stick to them more firmly.

How to fix it: Spray cleaning solution on a microfibre cleaning cloth or disposable paper towel, then wipe down surfaces.

Here are 13 dumb cleaning habits to avoid.

Mistake 9: Not cleaning the washing machine

Mistake 9: Not cleaning the washing machine
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Why it’s dirty: The skin cells, dust mites and stains from clothes can linger in a washing machine drum as well as on the lid or door and detergent dispenser. This leads to washing clothes in dirty water, and eventually, they’ll turn stinky.

How to fix it: For a top-loading washer, start it on its longest and hottest wash setting. When the drum is nearly full of water, pour in 1 litre of vinegar and 1 cup of baking soda, leaving the lid open and allowing the mixture to sit in the paused cycle for at least an hour. While the cycle is paused, clean the lid and any other visible nooks and crannies. Close the lid, allowing the wash cycle to run. Repeat vinegar and baking soda wash, if needed, then wipe down the inside of the washer and leave the lid open to allow the washer to dry completely.

For a front-loading washer, pour a solution of 1/4 cup each baking soda and water into the detergent compartment and pour 2 cups of vinegar into the drum. Set your machine to the hottest temperature and let it do its thing. When the cycle is over, wipe the drum clean, along with the door, detergent compartment and exterior. Pay extra attention to the gasket. Remember to leave the door ajar between loads for the best air circulation.

Don’t miss these expert laundry tips you’ll wish you knew sooner.

Mistake 10: Washing a cutting board with dish soap

Mistake 10: Washing a cutting board with dish soap
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Why it’s dirty: While dish soap and hot water remove visible food residue from a cutting board, the cuts in wood and plastic cutting boards trap microscopic food particles. These breed bacteria that transfer to any foods you prepare on that cutting board.

How to fix it: Don’t put it in the dishwasher! A wooden cutting board can warp and crack, while a plastic cutting board can melt in the hot water and steamy environment of a dishwasher. Instead, soak your cutting boards in hydrogen peroxide or a bleach solution (2 tablespoons of bleach and 4 litres of water), rinse with water and dry completely.

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Source: RD.com

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