Whether it comes to cleaning or life in general, we all have them: bad habits. We are often asked about cleaning routines and best practices, which is great. But—sometimes simply correcting some of the bad habits we have is just as useful. So, I figured I would talk about some of the more common bad cleaning habits, some of which I have certainly been guilty of in the past, and how to break them!
Using Too Much Cleaning Product
This goes for almost all realms—laundry, floors, countertops, darnit, even when you’re shampooing your hair! More product doesn’t make anything cleaner. In fact, it makes it dirtier, because it leaves behind soap residue, which becomes sticky and attracts more dirt, and is way harder to rinse. Use less product than you’re inclined, and don’t be afraid to actually *read* the instructions on the bottle.
Moldy Bath Mats & Shower Curtains
If you step out of the shower and leave your curtain open, or leave your non-slip mat on the tub floor, you’re sending an engraved invitation to mold and mildew, which will love to set up shop in the curtain folds and under all those suction cups on the mat. It’s easy-peasy—just pick up that mat and open the curtain all the way when you’re done, and run your overhead exhaust fan, too.
Cleaning With Dirty Tools
Come on, that’s just nasty. You’ll never get a floor clean using a dirty, stinky mop. Check out this video for how to get your cleaning tools clean.
“Cleaning” With Disinfectant Wipes
Hey, newsflash: Disinfectant wipes were designed with a very specific purpose in mind: Disinfecting. They don’t remove dirt or grime at all. Use cleaning tools to clean and remove soil, and then if you need to disinfect, go ahead and use a wipe to finish up.
Damp Towel & Cloth Piles
If you want to not join the ranks of followers who complain to me about stinky bath towels that you can never get fresh-smelling again, just cut this habit out. Don’t put anything in the hamper that’s not bone-dry, and you’ll never get that musty stink.
Using Bleach as a Cleaning Product
See number 4. Bleach is not a cleaning product! It has two uses: whitening and disinfecting. You don’t remove dirt and soil with bleach. So switch to a real cleaning product, and save that bleach for your whites (if at all!).
The Pile: Dirty Dishes
I hear from so many people that it’s hard to keep on top of the dishes, and as a result, the kitchen always looks messy. There’s just one solution: Wash them as you use them! Put them away and start fresh at every meal, and you’ll be greeted by a clean sink and counter, not a pile of guilt.
Letting Clutter Multiply
Take magazines. It’s easy to let a stack pile up, because of stories you want to go back to, recipes you want to try, purchases you want to make… let’s be honest. Chances are you’ll never flip those old magazines open again. So when a new issue comes in, it’s time to put the old one out.
So many of us see empty countertops or tables as a place to rest our stuff. Stop thinking of these places as storage holding stations! Deliberately curate your tabletops and countertops, with a few items chosen for utility (think: stand mixer or coffeemaker in the kitchen) or beauty (a nice bowl or picture frame on a console). If you do need to store something out in the open, that’s fine, but find a visually-pleasing and under-control way to do so, like a tray for oils and vinegars or a caddy for spices.
Paper Towel Madness
Hey, using a few rolls per week really adds up! That means a lot of money spent by you, and a ton of paper that needs to be manufactured and disposed of. It’s downright wasteful. When you can, go with cloth—get some nice cloth napkins, get some cleaning cloths, and wipe up inoffensive spills with real dishtowels.