Cleaning is tough, but it's something we need to do consistently to take care of our humble abode. Not to mention it’s a crucial task to keep our family and home safe in this pandemic age.
But since it’s a tedious job, we’re often guilty of cutting corners to do it “faster” and easier. This could result in developing bad habits that are actually hindering our ability to get the job done more efficiently, and sometimes could even cause harm to our family and our home.
It's time to figure out if you’re guilty of these bad cleaning habits, and then drop them out for good, one at a time. This way, cleaning won’t be a tougher job than it was supposed to be, and you’ll be left with a cleaner and healthier home.
One thing to remember when cleaning your home is to always dust first and work from the top of the shelves, then down and around. This way, dust that doesn't get trapped in your cloth or duster will land on the floor to be swept or vacuumed away.
This seems like a huge irony, but it's something that we’re often guilty about. How can you expect to get clean results when you are using dirty cleaning tools? Using a dirty duster will just push around dust all over the place. By wiping your countertop or stovetop with an already soiled cloth or a dirty sponge, you are just risking cross-contamination between surfaces. If your vacuum bag is full of dust or its filter hasn’t been changed, it just won’t do its job of sucking up dirt any more.
Using dirty cleaning tools isn’t only ineffective, but it’s also the culprit in spreading further germs and bacteria. So take the time to thoroughly clean your tools after every use by using hot water and disinfectant so they are ready for your next cleaning job. You can also check if you already need to replace them. For vacuums, washing machines, dishwashers, and other cleaning appliances, read the manual first and follow instructions on how to properly clean them.
But “more” is better, right? Using a lot of cleaner will work better and faster, isn't it?
Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. Any residue that was not rinsed away completely will just become a dust and dirt magnet. Using too much laundry detergent, for example, will just make you wash the clothes again to remove the excess detergent.
Over-applying any cleaning product is simply just a waste of water, time, and money. This is why it’s important to read the label (more on this later) and use only the recommended amount of cleaner for the job.
Just like how using too much cleaner is a common mistake, using a harsh cleaner to do the job can also be a bad habit that can do more harm than good. Household staples, such as chlorine bleach, may be a good disinfectant but is too harsh and can cause more damage than just removing dirt and grime. It can be hazardous to your family and pets, and could even strip away your home's surfaces, furnishings and finishes.
Take extra care when deciding what cleaner to use and if it is appropriate for the job. Most cleaning tasks require nothing more than gentle and natural cleaners that are also safe and environment-friendly. If you can’t skip the bleach, remember that a little amount goes a long way.
It will just take at least 30 seconds to a few minutes, so why skip it? Not reading the label on the cleaning products before using them is a surefire way to make a cleaning fail. You'll save time and effort (and extra minutes of scrubbing) when you follow the directions on the product, especially if it needs to “sit” for a period of time to do its magic.
Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on proper usage, how much you need, what surfaces it works on best, and even storage tips. If it says to only use a capful of detergent for a load of clothes, or just a few drops to a cup of water, follow just that and don’t use double or triple thinking that you will maximize its effectiveness. It's in the manufacturer's best interest to ensure the product works for you, so make sure you heed their advice.