Cleaning: 10 Mistakes You're Probably Making | homify
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Cleaning: 10 Mistakes You're Probably Making

Sarah Rose Anderson Sarah Rose Anderson
Moderne Wohnzimmer von homify Modern
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Even if you hate cleaning, you probably love the feeling of a clean home! We want to make it easier for you to enjoy your beautiful home by keeping it it in great condition. There’s nothing worse than spoiled effort. We will help you avoid the most common pitfalls of cleaning.

Here is our list of ways to avoid the 10 most common mistakes that we were guilty of while cleaning the house. Some of our tips require a little more work. Mostly, you will be  saving time and effort by properly cleaning your home. Make cleanup safe and easy by following our guide! Let’s start with our number one cleaning mistake.

1. Cleaning with a filthy sponge

Too often people have one sponge that they use for wiping down surfaces that long outlives its usefulness. Sponges become a breeding ground for bacteria and get smelly. Don't clean your counters with a dirty sponge! Doing so only spreads around dirt and bacteria. 

We recommend that you replace your sponge often. You can clean a sponge by rinsing it in hot water or throwing it in the dishwasher for a cycle. Make sure to dry your sponge after you use it to make sure that bacteria doesn't get a chance to grow. A dry sponge is a happy sponge!

2. Going spray happy

Sala Tropical Chic von Movelvivo Interiores Tropisch
Movelvivo Interiores

Sala Tropical Chic

Movelvivo Interiores

All-surface cleaner is not a magical cure all for cleaning woes. People go spray happy and spritz every surface with it before wiping it all down.

This is wasted effort. All you need is a small amount of cleaning spray on a cloth which you then use to wipe down surfaces. Then go over it again with a clean cloth to dry. This is best practice for all the surfaces in your house like stainless steel, glass, and wood. Clean smarter, not harder!

3. Ditching the toilet brush ASAP

modern  von Salgar, Modern

Mobiliario Fondo Baño


Nobody wants to clean the toilet. When we do, we tend to get it all over with as quickly as possible and toss the toilet brush back into it’s holder as soon as possible. It’s gross! 

Well, you’re making it even grosser by not using the toilet brush properly. Take care of your brush and it will take care of you. After you clean the toilet, rinse the brush in clean toilet water and let it dry. Then it can go back into it's holder.

homify knows lots of professionals who can help you plan the perfect bathroom that's easy to clean!

4. Cleaning up too fast

Light and bright! Klassische Wohnzimmer von CC Construction Klassisch
CC Construction

Light and bright!

CC Construction

A rush job never produces quality. When it comes to cleaning it simply can’t be done in half-measures. Be sure to take the time to clean your home instead of hurriedly rushing to clean all at once. 

It’s better to plan in advance when and what you will clean! For example, do the toilets in the house Thursday nights. Don’t try to clean everything in one go. It will make cleaning exhausting and boring! We recommend taking the time to do a little bit of cleaning every day.

5. Not reading the label

Robot Side table von &New Minimalistisch

Robot Side table


Many of us aren’t taking the time to read the labels on our cleaning products. It’s a cleaner, it cleans, right? So what’s the fuss? 

Well you may not be using your products to their full advantage. They are designed to make cleaning easier for you but only if you use them properly. All those labels and instructions are not there for decoration. They are trying to help you get the best results. It’s worth doing a little research into what cleaners are best for your home and then taking the time to learn how to use them to their full advantage. This is an easy way to save money by not buying unnecessary products.

Pro tip: many surfaces in your home can be cleaned by a water and vinegar solution. It’s an inexpensive, environmentally friendly, and simple solution with no instruction labels.

6. Washing windows in the sun

Window Bay Seat Moderne Wohnzimmer von homify Modern

Window Bay Seat


This is a little counterintuitive. It may seem like a good idea to clean windows on a sunny day. It’s better lighting, it’s less cold outside, and you can see clearly how the cleaning job is going. If you think about it, it’s better to wait for overcast skies.

Direct sunlight heats up surfaces on a sunny day. The windows are also absorbing the heat from the sun. This is why you get streaky windows. The solution is drying before you can wipe it up.

7. Cleaning side to side

Residência A & F Klassische Wohnzimmer von Lyssandro Silveira Klassisch
Lyssandro Silveira

Residência A & F

Lyssandro Silveira

Whether you’re mopping floors, washing windows, or wiping down counters, they will never get clean if you wipe side to side. This just pushes dirt back and forth. It’s a common and ineffective cleaning style. 

Instead you want to clean in an “S” or “Z” shape to clean dirt away. This technique is fast and effective for cleaning your home. Your walls and floors will thank you!

8. Maximalist approach

With cleaning often less is more. A maximalist approach to cleaning is useless. Don’t go overboard on the cleaning solutions. Using more bleach is not going to clean your surfaces faster or better. It’s actually wasteful and even dangerous. 

Using too much product means that you could be damaging your belongings in your home. You’re also creating more work for yourself by having more product to wipe up.

9. Lugging a vacuum full of dirt

Check that you’ve properly emptied the vacuum.  It may be that you’re lugging around a vacuum cleaner that’s already full of dirt. This can give you less suction and create a weird smell when vacuuming. A full vacuum is also a luxury resort for dust mites! 

Close the resort for business by always emptying the vacuum. You might have to do this a couple of times during vacuuming if you’re doing your whole house. A full vacuum restricts the airflow, meaning that the dirt you’re trying to pick up won’t go anywhere. We recommend emptying the bag outside so that the air in your home doesn’t become dusty.

10. Using cleaners on electronics

Cleaners and electronics do not mix. You should never spray cleaner onto your electronics. You could cause damage or a fire hazard if you start using cleaners on your electronics.

Instead try to wipe them down with a barely wet cloth or a duster. This tip can save you lots of time and money. More importantly, it can protect some of the most expensive items in your home! Thanks for taking a look at how to avoid cleaning mistakes with us. Remember that cleaning can be great exercise so put on some music and get your workout in while you’re at it. For more ways to avoid mistakes in your home design check out our feature on 8 dining room style mistakes.

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