Cleaning your home is a tedious task that few people love doing. However, it’s important for health reasons to keep your home clean. So if you live in fear of unexpected guests, read our common mistakes people make when cleaning their homes, so you can get the job done more quickly and make it less of a chore.
Not cleaning up after yourself
We’ve all been there, long day at work or with the kids and suddenly the wine appeals more than a quick tidy up. But tidying up after yourself or a quick once over before bed really does make the difference. It’s a habit worth forming.
Clothes in a pile or strewn everywhere are common, especially when you have kids. But it’s the easier way to make the room look messy and they can attract bugs and dust. One tip would be to put dirty clothes in a wash bin and clean clothes into a wash basket for putting away. Even that half-way point is better than the floor and can transform the mess.
Leaving dishes or leftover food out in the kitchen is a similar mistake. This can attract ants and flies, but also creates an unpleasant smells and odours. And if you have pets in your home, they might find cleaning the plates for you hard to resist. A good habit would be to do this as soon as you’ve finished eating before you find comfort in the sofa.
The more difficult thing to do is to try and tidy the house before bedtime. Often we are too tired, but if you can it reduces the workload of a big clean. Ideally, each night before the kids go to bed, it would be great to get them to help tidy up and put toys away to encourage that behaviour for the future. Tidy up time is commonplace in nurseries and pre-schools, so age should not be a barrier.
Leaving your sink full of dirty dishes
It’s easily done, and the best motivation to do this daily is understanding what happens when left to fester.
If you leave dishes in the sink, yeast and mould will start to form and can cause stains or mildew. Which makes it harder to properly clean them because they’re already coated with bacteria. Leaving dishes in water can speed up the bacteria build up, meaning after washing up you will contaminate the rest of the kitchen and beyond as you move around.
To avoid this problem, do try and wash up daily. If they have been left for a few days, it would be best to use scolding hot water and anti-bacterial wash to sanitise the dishes before a standard clean. But it’s always good to hand wash in highest temperature that is bearable, and scrub rather than wipe. And it’s vital to use a clean dishcloth.
Dishes washed in a dishwater come out cleaner, and can also be stored safer as enclosed.
Tip – microwave your clothes and sponges to kill bacteria.
Leaving smelly rubbish on the bottom of the bin
Rubbish bins in the kitchen avoid the need to regularly go to the outside refuse bin. Often the main collection point of food waste, even with bin-liners the bottom of the bin can collect all sorts of germs and bacteria.
Often excess food finds it way there too, so it’s good to clean it out regularly for sanitation and to reduce odours.
If you live alone you may find out that you don’t change your bin often enough to stop the kitchen smelling. You could user a dryer sheet, fragrant oils, baking soda or get a compost bin for food waste.
Not Using the Correct Cleaning Products
We all have our favourite cleaning sprays, which are likely to be used for all. But every surface that you clean needs a different type of cleaner. The best kitchen cleaners have grease removal properties, and all metal work needs something like Viakal. The best bathroom sprays contain bleach, and again taps and showers should be cleaned with limescale removers.
For windows, there are specific products to stop streaking. Carpets need material-focused cleaners, and this can vary on your product as some are bleach cleanable carpets while others will stain.
There are a whole range of cleaning products for all purposes, and it’s worth reading all labels and instructions to best match.
Leaving wet clothes in the washing machine
We’re all guilty of this one, it’s easy to forget the wash cycle has finished. This may not seem like a big deal, but there is a good chance that after too long they will start smelling. Eventually mildew or mould will grow.
Using the same towels over and over again
When you use the same towel over and over again without washing them, bacteria builds up in the fibres of the towel. This build-up of bacteria can lead to a bad smell and spread bacteria around the house.
To avoid this, always change your towels frequently. Experts recommend hand towels are changed daily, whereas bath towels could be weekly.
Not shaking out your bed linens before using them
Shaking out your sheets before you put them on your bed can remove excess dust and debris. It only takes a few seconds and will make your bed more comfortable to sleep in.
Not Using A Vacuum Cleaner
Many people don’t vacuum their carpets as often as they should, meaning allergens and pollutants will accumulate over time.
Hoovers are great for picking up dirt, allergens, and hair from your carpet. You can use special attachments to suck up pet hair or collect large pieces of debris that a standard suction miss.
Ideally, you should be hoovering once a week minimum, although this would depend how often the house is used. House dust is made up of skin cells, hair, fibres, bacteria, bugs, soil, etc. So if if everyone is out all day it builds up less. Either way, vacuuming improves the air quality, especially for infants who are at floor level.
In summary, the key to overcoming this is routine. Tidying up as you go makes the big cleans easier, which is important as they should be done weekly. It will seem less overwhelming if you keep on top of it though.