10 ‘common cleaning mistakes’ you could be making
The 'little-known' washing machine trick baffling cleaning fans
David Wilson Homes has spoken to an array of experienced professional cleaners to share where Britons are going wrong when cleaning their homes and what they should be doing instead. From damaging kitchen worktops to mixing cleaning products, the experts have shared 10 of the “most common cleaning mistakes” homeowners are making which can be “hazardous” towards residents.
1. Using dirty cleaning tools
Using dirty cleaning tools simply spreads bacteria, dust and dirt around the home, which is far from ideal when trying to clean the space.
Tools such as cleaning cloths, toilet brushes and mop heads should be cleaned and sanitised after each use to prevent this.
Britons also shouldn’t forget their vacuums, which need to be emptied regularly, as well as needing their filters changed or washed.
2. Using the same cloth for the whole home
The experts explained: “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
According to the experts, many people will often start their clean by blitzing the floors with the vacuum. However, this should be at the end of the cleaning checklist.
This is because crumbs, dust and debris will often fall onto the floor when cleaning work surfaces and furniture, so always make sure to start up high and work your way down.
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4. Mixing cleaning products
Whether using branded cleaning products or natural ones, it is always best to stick to just one at a time to prevent nasty gases circulating the home.
According to the experts, mixing cleaning products together can cause dangerous chemical reactions, including anything mixed with bleach.
5. Not ventilating the space
The pros continued: “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.”
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6. Using vinegar on granite or marble
While white vinegar can make a brilliant cleaning product for many surfaces around the home, granite and marble countertops are not one of them.
This eco-cleaning hero is highly acidic and can discolour and strip the shiny surface of natural materials like stone.
Always research caring for your worktops when moving into a new home, and make sure to use the correct products to avoid damage.
7. Rubbing stains
If you find any stains on your clothing, they should always be blotted with a clean cloth, rather than rubbed.
The experts noted: “When you’re frantically trying to clean up a stain, this can be hard to remember. But it is important. Rubbing stains can push them deep into the material, or damage the material.”
8. Spraying furniture polish directly onto furniture
The pros continued: “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
Disinfectants will often state they can kill 99.9 percent of germs and bacteria, but the experts warn Britons 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 away, and it is often around 10 to 15 minutes.
The pros added: “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 99.9 percent 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 surfaces
According to the experts, studies have shown touch points such as light switches, door handles and TV remotes are some of the worst areas in the home for bacteria, but they’re often forgotten about.
Make sure to give these a good wipe or spray with an antibacterial product to prevent bacteria transferring around the home.
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