7 Worst Ways To Clean


The other day I opened a package that was filled with packing-peanuts. Without thinking, I dumped the entire box out to receive my gift. Then I looked down at the floor – tiny pink Styrofoam balls were spread all over my carpet. One by one I picked up each piece. After a few minutes, I started to get impatient. Eager to save time, I grabbed the vacuum and began rolling over them. They snapped into tiny pieces that were so light they blew across the room into everything. The mess had multiplied by a thousand. I spent the next hour using the hose to chase and suction up miniature pieces in my plants, stuck to my pillows, and even clinging to the walls. There is good cleaning and then there is horrible cleaning. We all make mistakes, but sometimes it is best if we learn from other people. Here are the seven worst ways to clean with tips on doing it right.

Using Furniture Spray on Wood Floors

Hardwood floors are precious and need to be treated with delicate products. Although I love my floors to shine, I avoid any sprays. While they might look good, sprays make it slippery and easy for dust to stick.

Flinging Dust Around with a Dry Rag

Whenever I see dust across a shelf or in a corner, my first instinct is to brush it away quickly before anyone sees it. While a rag can wipe it away, it also can release dust particles into the air. If you have allergies or asthma, you know how irritating dust is. Use a damp cloth to wipe up the dust and avoid using any product or chemical sprays.

Dumping Too Much Laundry Detergent

We all get a little ambitious at times. Desperate to get clothes clean quickly, it can be tempting to triple the dosage. Using the recommended amount, or even less, will get your clothes clean and avoid any soap spots from getting on your clothes. There is no need to wash them twice.

Cleaning Everything with Bleach

Bleach certainly has a strong smell that kills germs like a superstar, but is it the best product to use? Bleach can become incredibly harmful if used frequently, and vinegar and other natural products work just as well for scrubbing down surfaces.

Washing Surfaces with a Dirty Rag or Sponge

Sponges are filled with bacteria. When you wipe down a surface using a dirty sponge, you are spreading germs everywhere. It is better to not clean at all than use a dirty rag or sponge. Microwave sponges every single day, and never use a rag twice. When the cleaning job is done, the rag and sponge are done too.

Vacuuming With a Full Bag

It seems obvious, but I have certainly been guilty of vacuuming with a full bag. Anxious to get clean lines in my carpet, I save emptying the vacuum for later. Unfortunately all that cleaning does nothing but release more dust into the air; a full vacuum can stir up dust and allergens. Empty your vacuum frequently and check the hose to make sure it still has a strong suction.

Piling Dishes in the Dishwasher

Typical after a big meal, I start the puzzle game of loading the dishwasher. Trying to get every single plate, cup, bowl, and utensil crammed in is hard work, but with a little effort, I always seem to master it. Then the next morning as I unload, I am greeted with numerous dirty dishes. Ahhhh! I get to load it again. Save yourself the time and load the dishwasher correctly. Yes, you might have to wash a few by hand, but the time you save from not finding perfect spots to fit each dish will leave you plenty for washing.

Image Courtesy of of John Liu (Flickr)

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