Cleaning is arguably the most beneficial activity to fill in your time given that the world is still battling the Covid-19 pandemic. Now that most of us are spending most of our time at home again, it could be that some are cleaning as a form of productive procrastination too (the art of doing anything productive other than the thing you actually have to do).
Whatever your reason is for cleaning the house, while the intention is noble, you might be doing these house cleaning mistakes that would be counterproductive to your efforts.
- Cleaning the floors first
As a general rule of thumb, clean the house from the top down instead of starting with the floors. If you start this way, it would just mean you will unnecessarily be doubling your cleaning efforts as the floor will just be covered in dust again.
Start by cleaning the dust from the ceiling, fan, tables and sofa before making your way to the floor. Use a broom to clear the big particles of dust before mopping the floor. Do not use a feather duster as it will just push the dust out of your sight instead of cleaning the surfaces.
- Soaking your wooden floors
Wooden floors require a little bit more of tender and loving care. The number one rule is to avoid using too much water while cleaning it with a mop. Wooden floors would swell and crack as it absorbs the excess water. Even waterproof is no exemption to this rule.
The best way to clean wooden floors is by using pH-neutral cleaning spray solution with a microfiber mop. Even then, make sure that the mop is only slightly damp before using it for cleaning.
- Not emptying the vacuum cleaner
Cleaning your cleaning equipment is just as important as the act of cleaning itself. Living in our weather, it is likely that the house has gathered a lot of dust and so will your vacuum cleaner. If you put off cleaning it, you will just be spreading dust around the house the next time you use it.
To make life easier for yourself, empty the canisters or replace the vacuum bags once they’re a third full.
Oh, another tip: Remember to sweep and wipe down surfaces before vacuuming your house.
- Not taking care of your mop and mop bucket
A dirty mop will just spread filth around the house. And after mopping the whole house, including the bathroom floor, your mop and its bucket would be the dirtiest items in the house. Residue from the soap can also cause damage to your mop.
Remember to wash the mop and rinse its bucket thoroughly after each usage, squeeze as much water as you can and let them completely dry to prevent bacteria growth. Drying your mop on the clothesline would be the easiest way to do this as the sunshine would naturally kill bacteria.
Pro tip: Use two buckets when you’re mopping the house – one for the detergent solution and the other with water for rinsing.
- Scrubbing on carpet spills
Fight off your intuition to scrub away those carpet spill! While you might be able to clean the stain eventually, it will also permanently untwist carpet fibre. Plus, it can even spread the stain even more.
So the next time you see a stain, blot the spot with a paper towel instead of scrubbing before treating it with a cleaning product. Let it soak for a few minutes before cleaning. Remember to test the product on a discreet area of the carpet to make sure that it won’t do any damage to it.
- Forgetting to clean the little things
Put this one on your checklist. Especially now with the Covid-19 pandemic. Daily touchpoint items such as door knobs, light and fan switches, and remote controls are frequently touched by all members of your household and are likely to be germ infested. Sanitizing them will always be a good idea.
Wipe down these items with anti-bacterial wipes that contain at least 70% alcohol in order to keep your house safe and sound. It might be tedious, but it is worth it!
- Cleaning windows on a sunny day
It’s a sunny day, good time to wash your windows right? Well, not always. The ideal weather to do so would be on a cloudy day when the sun is not too strong. There is a practical reason behind this logic – the heat from the sun would dry out the window cleaner solution, damaging the glass in the long run and leaving behind stain.
Before cleaning your window, get rid of the dust on your window sill to avoid having to clean a mess of dusty liquid. Just use a microfiber cloth or a vacuum for this.
- Pouring cleaning products directly onto surfaces
Spraying or pouring your cleaning products directly onto surfaces is not the most effective way to clean; and this is especially true on surfaces that need extra care such as wood, car seats, and screens of electronic devices. Residue left behind by the product can attract dirt and microbes to grow on your surface. No one likes their surfaces to be grimy.
Make a small change to your routine by spraying or pouring your cleaning product onto a microfiber cloth then wipe down any excess liquid with a clean, dry cloth. This way you are also less likely to waste your liquid gold too!
- Cleaning your wooden chopping board with dish soap
We all love wooden chopping board for the aesthetic value that it brings to your kitchen. Most people will just use the same chopping board to cut everything and anything. After all, it is practical. However, dishing washing soap and warm water may not always be enough to clean your wooden chopping board, particularly after cutting any form of raw meat as they can leave behind bacteria that will survive the normal warm soapy water.
While it’s not an issue for meat (as it will be cooked), fruits and vegetables might absorb the bacteria from the cutting board, risking cross-contamination. One way to effectively clean your wooden chopping board is by soaking it with bleach solution. Or you soak it in a mixture of one part white vinegar with four parts water. Soak it for a few minutes, rinse off and let it air dry.
- Not cleaning your sponges
When was the last time you washed your sponge? If you don’t clean your sponge properly, then it’s a pretty useless thing to have in your kitchen as you will just be spreading germs onto your dishes.
Fortunately, cleaning a sponge is pretty straightforward. Just place your sponge in a bowl of water and microwave it for a minute. If you don’t have a microwave, soak it in boiling water. Do this once a week until your sponge is worn out.
There you go. You can now clean your house the right way with these simple tweaks.
But while cleaning is a simple process, it is rather tedious and demanding to do on your own. So unless you’re a clean freak like Monica Geller, consider engaging the services of professional cleaners out there who can keep your house squeaky clean. There’s no shame in seeking help when you need it. It’s healthy!