11 Bad Habits You Need to Break! (Cleaning Motivation)

Maybe you know it to be true about yourself or maybe someone who’s close to you has pointed it out in a less-than-kind way, but, just like me, you’ve got a bad cleaning habit or two, or maybe ten. That’s why this article is so important because, so often, we talk about creating good cleaning habits but we don’t always follow through. Well, today’s the day we take all those dusty bad cleaning habits out of the closet and get to work on making our cleaning routines better and more efficient!

Reading the Instructions

There are many rules and regulations that companies have to abide by when they put out a cleaning product. Plus, they want to make sure that when you receive it, you’re using it in the way that they intended it to. Machines and cleaning products are tested for certain kinds of use and companies make sure you know that so that they aren’t responsible if you use their product incorrectly and ruin something.

If you pick up a new cleaning product or something that you’re a little bit unfamiliar with, it is worthwhile to flip over the package and read the instructions carefully. It’s always best to understand where and how to use it so that you don’t run the risk of ruining any surfaces, clothing, or fabrics. Doing this will also get you better cleaning results as you’ll end up using the product correctly and get cleaner stuff in the end!

More is Not Better

You might think that it’s a good idea to use more of a cleaning product, especially if there’s a super dirty surface or if you have really dirty clothing, but this is not always the case. In fact, often times, using too much detergent or soap leaves you with a much longer cleaning process, as now you not only have to clean the grime or dirt off, but you also have to wash out the sticky and sudsy soap. So, when you’re cleaning anything, whether it’s doing laundry or cleaning your floors or a surface, always remember to use the least amount possible while still getting the job done.

Using Dirty Cleaning Tools

Folks, I’ve said it before, but you cannot clean a surface with something that is dirty. Not only will it make the surface look physically dirty but you’re actually going to take the dirt from the cleaning tool and spread it everywhere else. For example, if you use a dirty mop on a floor, you’re never going to get the floor clean, instead, you will redeposit all of that bacteria all over the place. What you need to do here is make sure that your tools, mops, rags, and cloths are clean and ready for use. Always start with clean tools and you’ll already be halfway to a clean space!

Dry Dusting

When dusting a surface, keep in mind that dust is like a tiny slurry of all kinds of things like fabric, skin, hair, and dirt. So, always use a dry cloth or duster for these surfaces. If the dust gets wet it becomes a streaky paste that is difficult to clean up. A mistake I often see people make is spraying cleaning solution on a dusty surface before clearing off all of the dust. Remember, dry dust first, then clean. It’ll leave your surfaces looking fresher than ever!

Stop the Clutter

Never has the saying, “Out with the old and in with the new” rung more true than in our lives today. Take magazines for example. If you get magazines every month then they start to pile up over time. You might think, “Oh, but I need that magazine from 3 months ago because there was this thing in there and I want to reference it.”

Well, the truth is you’re probably never going back to that magazine if you haven’t already, so what you need to do is ditch it and start fresh. It’s also good to remember that when you buy a new thing, say a new magazine, throw the old one out. Out with the old and in with the new! It will make all the difference!

Don’t Put It Off

If there is something you need to do, say a cleaning chore, then it’s really important that you do it now instead of later. Find a way to schedule it into your day and then honor that commitment. This is the best way to make sure that things actually happen.

It’s similar to work. If you have a meeting or if you have something important to do or a deadline, pencil that thing into your schedule. It’s the same with cleaning. If you treat cleaning with the same amount of respect that you would treat other tasks, like work-related or other family or friend commitments, then you’ll find you get a lot more cleaning done and you get more time to enjoy your space with those you love!

Dwell Time

Sure, I might check my social media when I’m in the middle of shooting a cleaning video but it’s for a good reason. I talk often about “pre-treating” and it’s something I’ve learned to do over the years, so my dwell time comes when I am waiting for a product to do its work. Often times people make the mistake of spraying on a product and then wiping it seconds later. Patience is key here, especially if you are using a disinfectant or degreaser. Spray the product and then let it penetrate and disinfect before you wipe it clean. Just remember the next time you clean about dwell time. Use it, enjoy it, and clean better!

The “S” Pattern

Here’s something a lot of people do and I need to put a stop to it right now. It’s called the buffing pattern. Unless you are buffing a vehicle, using the popular circular motion to clean will leave streaks and stains on whatever you are cleaning. If you use the “S” pattern to clean then you will find you’ll have cleaner surfaces and much better results!

For the “S” pattern, start at one side of the surface, then swing your way over to the other side, and then back, making sure to never go over the same part twice. That way you’re never re-depositing dirt back onto the surface and you’re end result will be a fresh and clean surface.

Toilet Brush Soup

A mistake that I know a lot of people make is they use their brush to clean the toilet, then put it right back in its holder and forget about it. The problem is, a dripping wet toilet brush, going back into a confined space, is a breeding ground for bacteria. The next time you clean your toilet make sure to dry your brush before putting it away. Keeping your cleaning tools clean is key after every wash session!

Cleaning Frenzy

Before I got into the cleaning world, I never had a plan when I was cleaning a room. I would just go into a room and then start cleaning randomly, without a certain method. I’d spend so much time cleaning and would leave more frustrated than when I started and my results were terrible. This is one of the reasons why I tell everyone that I hated to clean because I just didn’t know how to do it.

Once I got into cleaning, started the business, built a website, and start making videos and writing articles, I began to understand how important a plan is when it comes to cleaning. Over the years I have researched and tried many things, and have developed what I now call, my 3 Wave System, to tackle any space or cleaning task. Essentially, it shows you how to create a method for your cleaning madness. Once you nail those 3 waves and you repeat them, you’ll get familiar with them and it will completely change the way you clean. No more will you be approaching a room with frustration and exhaustion. Instead, you’ll be approaching it with meaning. You’ll get your cleaning done faster and your results will be better! Check out our eBook My Secret 3 Wave Cleaning System today and learn to tackle any space, no matter how messy it might be!

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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.


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