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10 common cleaning mistakes to avoid

Mar 10, 2023
Cleaning Mistakes
For some of us, cleaning our homes is therapy - an opportunity to clear your space and your mind. For others, it’s a necessary evil - an unavoidable chore. But whether you love or hate cleaning, you want to ensure precious time spent scrubbing, mopping, brushing and polishing is used as effectively as possible.

With spring on our doorstep and spring cleaning front of mind for many homeowners, David Wilson Homes has spoken to an array of experienced professional cleaners to unearth where us amateur home cleaners are going wrong and what we should be doing instead.

From damaging kitchen worktops by misguidedly using a store cupboard ingredient that doubles as an eco cleaning champion, to risking harm to your health by not adequately ventilating your space while you clean, these are ten of the most common cleaning mistakes homeowners are making.

1. Using dirty cleaning tools

Using dirty cleaning tools simply spreads bacteria, dust and dirt around your home. Tools like cleaning cloths, toilet brushes and mop heads should be cleaned or sanitised after each use. And don’t forget to regularly empty your vacuum, and change or wash the filter.

2. Using the same cloth for the whole home

When on a cleaning blitz, many homeowners use the same cloth for the whole house. But you don’t want bacteria from your toilet ending up on your kitchen work surfaces. Therefore, designate various cloths for use in different rooms.

A rule many professional cleaners use is: blue for loo; pink for sink; green for clean; yellow for dusting. As a note, old clothes make perfect cleaning cloths. They can be washed time and time again, and remove the need for disposable cloths which are not great for the environment.

3. Starting with the floors

Many homeowners start by blitzing the floors with the hoover. But the floors should be at the end of your cleaning checklist. As many professional cleaners will tell you, you should always start up high and work your way down. Otherwise, crumbs and dust can fall onto your newly cleaned floors, undoing all your hard work.

4. Mixing cleaning products

Whether using branded cleaning products or natural cleaning ingredients, like white vinegar and bicarbonate of soda, you should always stick to just one. Mixing cleaning products together can cause dangerous chemical reactions.

5. Not adequately ventilating your space

Cleaners that contain ingredients like ammonia or bleach can irritate your airways. For this reason, ventilation is paramount when working with products that contain these sorts of chemicals. Open windows, turn on the extractor fan and leave the room once you’ve finished cleaning to limit the effect of any fumes on your body.

6. Using vinegar on granite or marble

If you’re lucky enough to have granite or marble countertops, make sure to keep them well away from vinegar and any cleaning product that contains white vinegar. This eco cleaning hero is highly acidic and can discolour and strip the shiny surface off natural materials like stone. Always research caring for your worktops when moving into a new home.

7. Rubbing stains

Stains should always be blotted with a clean cloth, rather than rubbed. When you’re frantically trying to clean up a stain, this can be hard to remember. But it’s important. Rubbing stains can push them deep into the material, or damage the material.

8. Spraying furniture polish directly onto furniture

It’s always better to spray furniture polish onto a clean cloth, especially if cleaning unsealed wood furniture. This ensures you apply the product evenly. Spraying wood polish directly onto furniture can cause the product to soak into the wood. This can discolour or warp the surface.

9. Not leaving disinfectant to work its magic

We’ve all seen those disinfectant adverts that claim they can kill 99.9% of germs but you need to read the small print. Most of these cleaners have directions on the back which explain how long you should wait between applying the cleaner and wiping it. Make sure you leave it long enough to work its magic.

If you want to avoid chemicals altogether, a steam cleaner is a great investment. These also kill 99.99% of bacteria and can be used to blast floors and surfaces. Plus, if you have allergies, steam cleaning is an effective way to get rid of allergens.

10. Ignoring touch areas

Studies have shown touch points like light switches, door handles and TV remotes are some of the germiest surfaces in the home, but they’re often forgotten about when it comes to cleaning. Make sure you give these a good wipe with an antibacterial product.

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