15 House Cleaning Habits That You Need to Break

15 House Cleaning Habits That You Need to Break

By Dikran Seferian December 16, 2021

Almost every homeowner is guilty of having at least one bad cleaning habit. Such certain habits include applying more product than you need, or skipping tasks that may involve slightly more effort such as decluttering, or cleaning the HVAC filters. Of course, there's nothing more convenient than coming up with a hack to make the job easier. These measures, however, can do more harm than good. In many cases, it can actually be easier, more effective, as well as more inexpensive to do without unnecessary habits. Changing the way you go about cleaning your house allows for a more efficient process and better results. 

1. Applying Too Much Product

Using too much cleaning product is a common mistake. You don’t need to empty almost half the bottle of dish soap in order to wash the dishes. Many people also make the mistake of overly pouring laundry detergent for just one batch of clothes. This is both unnecessary and counterproductive — you will most likely have to rewash your clothes to get rid of the excess detergent. The same goes for using too much wax for hardwood floors — doing so will not make them shinier. As a matter of fact, the more wax you use, the duller your floor becomes. It is a good idea to follow the instructions mentioned by the product. Using double or triple the suggested amount doesn't make it any more effective. 

2. Using Filthy Cleaning Tools

Do you ever wipe a surface over and over again wondering why it’s not quite clean yet? The culprit might very well be that overused piece of cloth you’re wiping with. By using the same old rag, you’re basically spreading the germs from one surface to another. This is obviously detrimental to your cleaning efforts. Consider washing your cleaning tools after use, or throwing them away if they’re disposable. When you’re done vacuuming, for instance, make sure to empty the vacuum bag.

Useful Tips To Make Cleaning Tasks More Effective

Useful Tips To Make Cleaning Tasks More Effective

3. Letting Clutter Accumulate

Clutter is often known to accumulate rather quickly. If ignored, it can literally take over your living spaces. Anything from clothes to paper bags, magazines, and cardboard can contribute to cluttering — eventually to a point where reorganizing may seem impossible. At least once a month, consider going through your house to sort out unneeded junk and random items that are left around.

4. Keeping the Shower Curtain Open

Bathrooms can be rather unpleasant areas to clean — more so if you don’t take certain measures. When you step out of the shower, for instance, make sure not to leave the curtain open. This simple measure will prevent mold and mildew from developing in the moist folds of an open shower curtain. You may also want to hang the non-slip shower mat up to dry after showering — the moisture trapped under the mat tends to garner a lot of molds. 

5. Allowing the Dishes to Pile Up in the Sink

Taking a couple of minutes to wash a small number of dishes is much easier than washing an endless pile of them. Not only will a mountain of dishes take ages to wash, but the food grime also hardens with time and may even attract bacteria as well as insects. This makes the task even more daunting. You can avoid this dreadful issue simply by washing the dishes on the spot or placing them in the dishwasher.

Why You Shouldn't Leave the Dishes in the Sink

Why You Shouldn't Leave the Dishes in the Sink

6. Cleaning the Entire Bathroom With One Disinfectant Wipe

Antibacterial wipes are great for cleaning bathroom surfaces rather quickly. One piece, however, doesn’t have enough disinfectant to use for the entire bathroom. Once you’re done with the sink, for instance, there would hardly be any antibacterial qualities left in the wipe. At this point, you’re only pushing the germs around. Consider using at least one square for each of the bathroom fixtures. 

7. Neglecting Hidden Spots

Spots that are out of plain sight are often easy to neglect. When was the last time you cleaned your stove hood vents or your clothes dryer? These appliances deal with moisture, lint, odors, as well as grease particles with every use. A kitchen hood with a buildup of grease, for instance, is a fire hazard. Making sure to maintain the cleanliness of these items will prevent further issues. 

8. Forgetting About Outdoor Spaces

One area that homeowners sometimes tend to overlook is the outdoor space. Clogged gutters, muddy patios, and dusty porches aren’t going to clean themselves. The former, for instance, may lead to moisture issues whereas the others are simply unsightly. Cleaning your backyard on a seasonal basis will help maintain a nice and tidy appearance.

Outdoor Maintenance Tasks You Need to Catch Up On

Outdoor Maintenance Tasks You Need to Catch Up On

9. Not Completing a Cleaning Process

While it’s okay to do certain tasks — such as decluttering — in steps, others must be finished in one go. When cleaning a carpet, for instance, it is better to get the task done by rinsing away the applied product. Soapy residue attracts more dirt to the carpet fibers, making it look even worse. Avoiding distractions and planning your time efficiently will allow you to complete your cleaning tasks without cutting them short.

10. Hoarding Leftovers in the Fridge

Why bother hoarding excess food in the refrigerator when you know that neither you or your family is going to eat it? If you reckon that the leftovers from yesterday’s dinner are going to end up in the garbage eventually, simply don’t store them in the fridge to begin with. Poorly stored food can be a breeding ground for both bacteria and mold, making a fridge cleanup rather daunting — plus, can you imagine the smell?

11. Using Excess Paper Towels

Paper towels are incredibly useful in the kitchen. Using too much of it, however, is simply absurd. Before you’d know it, the roll will already run out and you’ll find yourself buying another one. You can avoid this unnecessary addition to your household budget by using paper towels sparingly. Instead, consider using a kitchen towel to wipe a wet plate dry or an old rag to clean up spills.

Simple Ways to Cut Down on Your Monthly Budget

Simple Ways to Cut Down on Your Monthly Budget

12. Not Using the Right Product

What’s the point of cleaning if you’re using the wrong product. It is important to bear in mind that cleaning agents are not all-in-one package deals. While certain products do offer several purposes, many specialize in only one. Acid-based cleaners, for instance, are known to irreversibly ruin marble countertops. It is therefore important to always read the labels before using any cleaning product.

13. Overlooking the HVAC

Regularly putting off basic HVAC maintenance can render the system ineffective. Over a period of time, dust particles tend to build up in the filters and vents. This can also lead to poor indoor air quality. Consider vacuuming the vent and cleaning the filter on a monthly basis to keep your HVAC running smoothly and maintain the air quality.

14. Going for Harsh Products

A common misconception is that harsher cleaning products get the job done more effectively. Many of them, however, are harmful to the environment as well as your health — and they're not any more potent than household ingredients such as white vinegar and baking soda. These organic house cleaning solutions are both effective and perfectly safe to use. One harsh substance to avoid is bleach. In many cases, this abrasive product does more harm than good — and it's not as effective as it is thought to be.

Harsh Cleaning Products You Should Consider Avoiding

Harsh Cleaning Products You Should Consider Avoiding

15. Not Dusting First

Dusting your living spaces after vacuuming, sweeping, or mopping the floor can be counterproductive. By doing so, you're basically pushing the dust onto the newly cleaned floor. The best way to go about the task is by starting from the top and working your way down. That means dusting the shelves, countertops, and other high surfaces first. If you're using disposable dust cleaners, make sure to actually dispose of them once they've served their purpose. Otherwise, you'll only be spreading the dust around instead of trapping it.


Written by
Dikran Seferian

Written by Dikran Seferian