Is there a right way and a wrong way to clean your home? You may be surprised to know that some cleaning habits may actually work against you, leaving greasy residue when you want a clean shine or streaks where you want it to be crystal clear.
See if you make any of these cleaning mistakes, then learn how to help fix them.
It may be tempting to add more laundry detergent to a load of soiled clothes, but doing so may make things worse, according to Good Housekeeping. Too much detergent may not rinse out completely, and it may actually trap stains so they don’t wash out. It’s best to carefully follow the directions on the detergent and your washing machine manual.
Scrubbing a spill on your carpet may treat the top layer, but the liquid may have penetrated deeper than that, Real Simple says. If you don’t clean the stain at a deeper level, it may work its way up and reappear. The magazine recommends that you blot the spill immediately with a clean towel. Then pour club soda or ice water on it, blot and repeat until color no longer appears on the towel.
All countertops are not created equal when it comes to the cleaning products you should use. Granite and laminate, for example, may be damaged by abrasive scrubbers, according to Better Homes and Gardens. When choosing a product to clean your countertops, consider reading the instructions on the bottle to make sure it is recommended for your type of countertop.
If you spray your countertops with cleaning solution and quickly wipe them down with a paper towel or let them air dry, you may be leaving residue behind, Good Housekeeping says. The best drying tool will depend on your type of countertop, but a clean, soft, dry cloth will typically be good for most counters, Better Homes and Gardens says.
If you see annoying streaks after cleaning your windows, check your watch and the weather. Glass cleaner dries quickly in the sun and heat, which may cause streaks, Real Simple says, so the right time to wash your windows is late afternoon or evening, or when the sky is overcast and it’s below 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Using some water is OK, according to Good Housekeeping, but too much water may soak into scratches or gauges in your floor and potentially damage the wood. If you need to do a deep clean, Better Homes and Gardens suggests using a product formulated for wood floors that is diluted according to the label instructions. After dipping your mop into the solution, wring it nearly dry so it feels only slightly damp before you start on the floor.
Abrasive cleaning products or sponges may permanently scratch stainless appliances, Better Homes and Gardens says. Instead, use a clean, soft cloth with hot water (ideally on a daily basis, according to the magazine), plus an oil-based stainless steel cleaner weekly.