Cleaning is one of those weird gray areas in life. You have to do it, there are definitely right and wrong ways to do it, but, in most cases, you were never explicitly taught how. You might be committing one of these mistakes and not even know it! We’re putting a stop to the assumptions. We’re helping you learn the right way to go about cleaning by spreading the word about these common DIY house cleaning mistakes.
1. Using the Wrong Equipment
Perhaps “wrong” isn’t the correct word here. In the famous phrase “don’t bring a knife to a gunfight,” the knife isn’t wrong, just not nearly as effective. There are many examples of this in the cleaning world, too; people using tools that will do the job okay, but only because they don’t know of the better alternatives. One example is window cleaning. You can use lots of things to clean windows, but most experts agree squeegees are the tools to use if you don’t want streaks. Another example is people who buy commercial rust removers for removing small patches of rust. They could do so just as easily with a potato! Why buy a product for several dollars when you have an old potato that cost a couple of cents and will do the job just as well?
Of course, there are times when the tools you’re using are just flat-out wrong. You can fix this mistake by fixing mistake #2…
2. Not Doing Your Research
Cleaning is often considered boring and not worthy of much brainpower. This is just a matter of perspective though! If you’re interested, there can be a lot to learn when it comes to cleaning. We’ll use an example that ties into mistake #1, using the wrong tools. Many people use bleach to kill mold even when they shouldn’t. “Wait,” some might say, “I thought bleach was the go-to mold killer.” Bleach does kill mold…but only on non-porous surfaces. On porous materials, such as wood or drywall, the chlorine in the bleach cannot penetrate the material and get to the “roots” of the mold. Only water is absorbed, and since mold loves moisture, this actually ends up worsening the mold problem. The person who hops online and does 5-10 minutes of research will learn this helpful fact and be a more effective cleaner. Knowledge is (cleaning) power!
3. Working Harder, Not Smarter
So while learning about the chemistry behind cleaning can be cool, we’ll admit that usually the cleaning itself is less than exciting. So when you can, skip it! Set yourself up for less cleaning in the first place. Here are a few preventive moves that will save you work later on:
- Use a silicone mat on cookie sheet and baking pans. Eliminate scrubbing stuck-on food.
- Rub down surfaces with a dryer sheet. The sheet’s anti-static properties repel dust and means you can go longer without cleaning!
- Have pet hair all over your furniture? Regularly and thoroughly groom your pet to prevent them shedding over your furniture as much as possible.
- Avoid ever having a mold problem by removing excess moisture from your home.
These are just a few things you can do. Avoid DIY house cleaning mistakes and explore our Cleaning Tips to pick up more time-saving tricks!
4. Not Cleaning Often Enough
We’re sorry to break it to you, but to really get your home clean, you have to clean often. There are no tricks here, just commitment. If you think it will help you, make a daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning calendar to keep you on track.
5. Spending Too Much Money
Most cleaners out there are versatile, which means you only need a handful of them to be able to clean up any mess. So, if you have a closet full of specialty cleaners, that’s your first mistake. (Unless, of course, you like spending more money than you have to on cleaning supplies. Then just keep doing what you’re doing.)
So we’ve established you need only a small number of cleaners, but even these are still going to set you back quite a few bucks every grocery trip, right? Wrong! There are many items you can use to make your own cleaning solutions very cheaply. These include baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and more. We discuss cheap cleaning solutions like these in our publications 12 Cleaners You Already Have at Home and Green Cleaning Solutions, as well as throughout our list of Cleaning Tips. Continue reading our list of DIY house cleaning…
6. Doing A Chore You Know You’re Unable to Do
Get weak-kneed and wobbly when you’re up high? Maybe you shouldn’t clean a chandelier. There are chores out there you might not be able to do because of lack of time, lack of expertise, or another reason. In that case, get someone else to help you. You’ll be glad you did when your belongings come through clean and undamaged.
DIY House Cleaning
So now you know the basics. Just like anything else, it helps to have a proper fundamental knowledge of cleaning to make sure you know what you’re doing. If you think there are common mistakes we left out of this list, add it in the comments section below.
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