9 Common Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid: Getting it Clean the Real Way

Are you thrilled to see your place sparkling after a deep clean exercise that almost robbed you of your holiday? Well, hold on because your so-called ‘Clean’ place may not be so perfectly clean if you take a close watch and analyze your complete cleaning activity. Yes, often we bring back more dirt and bacteria to a place during a cleaning session than there were before, and all because of some common cleaning mistakes of which we are completely unaware.

To help you trace some of the most common cleaning mistakes to avoid, we asked a few professional cleaners, organizers, and professional cleaning companies to share their experiences. And we have got some insightful comments on what can go wrong and some practical tips that can help you to eliminate all that dirt, filth from your place with minimal effort and maximum outcome.

Schedule your Cleaning Session at Regular Intervals

The most common mistake made in the majority of the houses is conducting a deep cleaning session once a month. It means accumulating all the dirt and debris all month long and then spending one full day to get rid of it. With all the mess already piled up, it becomes a herculean task to get rid of it and you end up rushing through the cleaning process. 

Roman Peysakhovich, CEO of Onedesk Cleaning Company says, “Rushing through your cleaning means you are creating more work for yourself in the long run, and this ultimately results in more time spent cleaning.”

Breaking your monthly cleaning sessions into two fortnightly cleaning programs is a wise idea. It gives you the chance to clean at regular intervals, discouraging dirt and clutter from accumulating into a massive heap.

You may also like our article on 25 Kitchen Organization Tips From Expert Organizers

De-clutter First for Better Motivation

While shopping and adding stuff to your cupboards is easy, de-cluttering is undoubtedly tiresome. Before you embark on your cleaning journey, remove all clutter that does not belong to the cupboards and shelves where it is placed, rather wherever possible dispose of the stuff. 

 Go From Top to the Bottom

Avoid the temptation to start from what is at arm’s length. While it is easy to spot all the dirt on the carpets, flower vases, and cushions, remember there is more that is waiting for you on the ceiling, curtains, and the fan above. 

Dean Davies, a professional cleaner at Fantastic Cleaners  says, “A common cleaning mistake people make is vacuuming first and dusting afterwards.” Always start from the top with the ceiling fans, drapes, and curtains. Allow the dust from the top layer to settle down on the next layer before you take up its cleaning, else you will have all the dust settling down on your recently cleaned floors, carpets, and sofas.

Avoid a Cocktail of Cleaners

Be very careful when you use different chemical cleaners to help you in the cleaning process. Read the warning and direction labels carefully, because a little carelessness can backfire and cause more damage than good. Mixing chemicals like ammonia and bleach can be hazardous. 

Alessandro Gazzo from Emily’s Maids seconds the thought, “Mixing two completely different cleaning products is the biggest mistake. Chemical mixing can create harmful gases. Second, it might create a useless mix, because the first cleaning agent might neutralize the second one.”

For example, blue and red Harpic should never be mixed together because it releases chlorine gas, which is toxic and sometimes even life-threatening. Similarly, mixing baking soda and vinegar doesn’t make much sense because one being alkaline and the other being an acid neutralizes each other without much benefit.

Choose the Correct Cleaning Tools and Chemicals

One cleaning tool like a brush, or a single glass spray cannot help you win the cleanliness battle. You need different weapons- and knowing which one to use where is even more important.

Use a soft material like microfiber on hard metals and delicate glass to avoid scratches. Abrasive cleaning tools and chemicals should be used with care as it can cause permanent damage to your goods and wooden surfaces. 

Diana Rodriguez, of ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba says, “Before you start cleaning, take out all your cleaning products and carefully read the labels to make sure the products are appropriate for cleaning different parts of your home. Avoid using a multipurpose spray for delicate areas.”

Allow Cleaners to Sit for Sometime

cleaning mistakes to avoid

Patience is the key to good cleaning. Give cleaners enough time to work up their magic, else what you do is just spraying and rubbing away the surface and not cleaning it. 

Justin Carpenter of Modern Maids says, “There is a big difference between looking clean and being disinfected. Allow cleaning sprays to sit for 10 minutes before wiping. Too often people just spray an area and wipe it seconds after. This wipe removes the dirt and dust but does not disinfect your surface. Make sure to follow the directions on all labels for proper cleaning.”

Stop Using the Same Cleaning Cloth Everywhere

cleaning mistakes to avoid

Accomplishing your cleaning spree with a single cloth can be convenient but not effective. Even if you clean the single cloth thoroughly in between uses, dust, bacteria, and microbes can still cling to the fabrics and be easily transferred to surfaces in other rooms.

Similarly, soap and water may work effectively to clean your dishes but not the chopping boards. After using your chopping board to slice meat, soak it in a multi-purpose cleaner to prevent cross-contamination.

Choose the Correct Time to Clean Glass Windows

cleaning mistakes to avoid

Sparkling and spotless glass windows can make your nest look brighter and bigger. But when handling them, be gentle and wise. Choose to clean glass windows on a cloudy day to avoid the glare of the sun that can distract you from spotting the scratches and grey spots. As Ryan Smith of Ant and Garden Organic Pest Control says, “If you want to clean your windows, do so in gloomy weather. This is because the scorching heat of the sun can dry the glass cleaner before you know it, which can leave streaks behind.”

Cleaning Tools Need a Cleaning Too

cleaning mistakes to avoid

The biggest sin you can commit while cleaning is not cleaning your tools after using them. For example, if you do not clean your kitchen sponge and let it dry, it will become the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. So, change your dish sponge every week to ensure that your dishes come out clean after every wash rather than loaded with germs. 

The same holds good for toilet brushes and dishwashers too. As Ana Andres co-founder of TidyChoice says, “If you forget to clean your dishwasher, you may end up having dishes come out with great lumps of food on them. Regularly remove the filter, soak it in soapy water and run a cycle with a machine cleaner.” Cleaning dishwashers, washing machines, and vacuum cleaners regularly are as important as cleaning your other stuff. It ensures that whatever you clean through them genuinely comes out clean.

Hope the cleaning mistakes shared above served as an eye-opener for you. Could you recall the last cleaning mistake which you made and understand why you could not get the desired result? Nonetheless, we hope these tips help you to work smart rather than hard and get the best results after all the valuable time you invest in cleaning your place.


Swati Mehrotra

A banker by profession and a writer by passion, Swati gave in to her inner call of writing and has been penning down her thoughts as a freelance writer for the last five years. As an avid reader, she loves to read everything under the sun with a specific love for niches like home improvement, health, wellness, lifestyle, and interior decor. She has written extensively on topics like smart home improvement, kitchen accessories, trending interiors and home/kitchen styling tips.

Read more posts by Swati Mehrotra


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