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The 9 Cleaning Mistakes That Are Undermining Your Efforts

Don't waste your valuable time and energy on these cleaning mistakes (especially when they're so easy to avoid!)

cleaning mistakes

We all try our best to keep our homes as clean as we can, but it’s not easy! It can be time-consuming, labor-intensive, and you probably have a thousand things you’d rather be doing instead. And even when you do find the time and motivation to clean, you may accidentally be doing things that are less-than-helpful.

But don’t worry, because today’s post is all about helping you avoid those habits, so you can make the most of the time you spend cleaning your home. Because if you’re going to invest the time and effort to clean something, it’s worth making sure you’re doing it right the first time around! 🙂

I wrote a similar post a couple of years ago, listing 7 common “cleaning mistakes” that can make your life harder. (If you missed it, you can check out that post here!) Today’s post will be something of a follow-up to that one, because I’ll be sharing 9 all new mistakes along with easy tips for avoiding them!

9 Cleaning Mistakes That Undermine Your Hard Work

1. You Wash Your Windows When It’s Sunny

A warm, sunny day might seem like the perfect time to scrub the grime off your windows, but that’s actually one of the worst times to do it! Bright sunshine will warm up your windows considerably, which will cause any cleaning solutions you use to evaporate quickly.

If your cleaning solution evaporates before you can rinse your windows, you’ll be left with a streaky mess! This is much less likely to happen if you clean your windows on an overcast day, out of direct sunlight.

2. You Spray Cleaning Solutions Directly Onto Surfaces

Some surfaces need to be cleaned carefully, and spraying a cleaner directly onto it can be too harsh or too wet. Spraying cleaners onto a surface also releases more of the cleaner into the air, which can be irritating to people with asthma or allergies. Instead, spray your cleaner onto a cleaning cloth, then wipe the surface.

Related: 9 Things In Your House You Should Never Clean With Water

cleaning mistakes

3. You Wipe Your Counters With Dirty Cloths

Your countertops are usually the last thing you tidy up before you’re done cleaning up the kitchen, but don’t use a dirty cloth or used dishwater to clean them. You’ll just end up spreading more germs around! Use a clean cloth or a sanitizing wipe (or one of my homemade reusable kitchen wipes!)

cleaning mistakes

4. You Clean Stainless Steel In Circular Motions

Stainless steel can be finicky when it comes to cleaning. If you wipe a stainless steel surface using circular motions, you’ll likely see those marks once the cleaner dries. Instead, identify the direction of the “grain” in the stainless steel, and follow that while cleaning. It makes a big difference!

cleaning mistakes

5. You Clean Mirrors With Newspaper

When it comes to cleaning with newspaper, the paper isn’t the problem; it’s the ink! Some of the ink is likely to come off once the paper gets wet, and you don’t want that on your windows, mirrors, or anything else you’re cleaning. You can use a brown paper bag instead, which has all the lint-free benefits of newspaper, without any of the ink.

cleaning mistakes

6. You Clean Stone Countertops With Vinegar

Vinegar is acidic, which makes it a great cleaner for many types of surfaces. However, you shouldn’t use it to clean stone countertops, because the acid can actually wear down the protective coating on the stone and leave behind etching, scratches, and other noticeable marks. Instead, use a cleaner that’s labeled as safe for stone.

Related: This Easy Homemade Cleaner Makes Granite Countertops Sparkle

7. You Clean Your Best Knives In The Dishwasher

You can keep your kitchen knives nice and sharp by hand washing them, rather than putting them through the dishwasher. And avoid using vinegar to clean them, as vinegar can cause etching in the steel. Just use a bit of dish soap and some warm water!

Related: 7 Ways You’re Ruining The Most Important Thing In Your Kitchen

cleaning mistakes

8. You Clean Your Non-Stick Pans In The Dishwasher

You can extend the lifespan of your non-stick pans by hand washing them, rather than running them through the dishwasher. The hot water that circulates in the dishwasher can actually wear down the non-stick coating over time. A bit of dish soap and warm water is much gentler!

Related: 11 Ways You’re Ruining Your Non-Stick Pans

9. You Use Bleach To Remove Rust Stains

Bleach might actually set a rust stain, rather than cleaning it up. Instead, use a cleaner that’s specially formulated to use on rust, like CLR or Lime-A-Way.

Which cleaning mistakes would you add to this list?

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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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