Compared to your friends and members of your family, you might consider yourself exceptionally good at cleaning your home. Your spotless, sparkling kitchen surfaces and the lack of stains marking your walls may even be showered with jealous praise every time you have company over, which has probably left you thinking there’s nothing you can do to improve your house cleaning regime. As presentable and welcoming as your house may be, there are many mistakes even professional cleaners have been known to make on occasion, which can end up slowing you down or even making the dirt in your home worse. Here are a few of the most common mistakes people make when cleaning their home.
First of all, don’t place all your cutlery in the dishwasher facing the same way. This may sound a little too meticulous, but there is a practical reason for this. Your forks can remain with their points up, as this will stop the individual prongs from getting bent. However, if you stand your spoons up all facing the same direction in any normal dishwasher basket, they will end up shielding each other from the cleaning agents, preventing you from getting them completely clean. Try to alternate them; one up one down in order to get a more even spread. Another mistake you may be making is washing your windows when it’s sunny. Glass cleaner dries up rapidly when in direct sunlight, which can leave your glass covered in unsightly, distracting streaks. Try to hold off on your window cleaning until the late afternoon, or when it’s overcast.
Another common mistake is spraying surface cleaners directly onto a surface. This again may sound slightly ridiculous to start with, but think about it. These cleaning agents, to make them stand out in an increasingly competitive market, are full of strong, often slightly corrosive chemicals. While of course you shouldn’t hold off on using surface cleaners altogether, they certainly shouldn’t become part of the daily routine, as they can leave residue on your counters, which you may have already noticed as a gummy deposit on varnished wood or solid drips on walls. If you find you simply have to use surface cleaner daily, get into the habit of spraying it onto a microfiber cloth and wiping the surface down, rather than spraying it directly on. Another bad practice to drop is cleaning bare-handed, even for the smallest of tasks. Even natural products have the annoying habit of drying your hands out quickly, which can lead to unsightly marks. If you want to be completely safe, avoid your run-of-the-mill rubber gloves, and find a pair with a cloth interior.
Up until now, you may have been targeting stains on your carpet on a purely superficial basis. The toughest stains; dog urine, red wine and coffee, may disappear once you scrub at them for a while, but if you don’t tackle the spill at its deepest level, it will resurface after a while. As soon as you notice a spill, get a fresh, dry towel and try to soak up as much liquid as you can. After this, pour some ice cold water or club soda onto the affected area, and repeat the process with a separate towel, stepping on it to make sure you maximise your efforts. Even when you can’t see anything on the carpet itself, stains and blotches of colour should still be transferred to the towel. Just repeat this blotting and dabbing process until the towel starts coming up completely clean. Obviously some stains are going to be more stubborn, so use a stain remover if the water and soda aren’t working.