What Most People Get Wrong When Cleaning the House

Cleaning the house should be a simple, straightforward task – but there’s still a lot of room for error. House cleaning incorrectly could lead to wasted time, an unnecessary amount of effort, or worse, a clean that isn’t thorough enough to give you the results you want.

Fortunately, reviewing and accounting for the most common house cleaning mistakes can help you avoid them – and set yourself up for a cleaner, more comfortable environment for you and your family.

So what do most people get wrong when cleaning the house?

They Use the Wrong Tools

For starters, many people end up using the “wrong” tools for the job, leaving them with inferior results, more time wasted, and greater frustration with the overall experience. Better tools will make your work easier, saving you time and setting the stage for better results.

There are four main rules to follow if you want to avoid this outcome:

  • Invest in quality. You can pick up a mop at the dollar store or buy generic cleaning products that do an okay job, but you often get what you pay for. If you want your tools to last (and do a much better job while you’re using them), you need to invest in quality.
  • Prioritize versatility. It’s also important to buy cleaning tools that offer some degree of versatility; tools that can do multiple things at once can save you time, reduce the storage space you need, and give you a more thorough clean. For example, the BISSELL® CrossWave® is capable of vacuuming and washing your floors simultaneously, doing the work of multiple tools at once.
  • Use cleaning products as intended. That “all purpose” cleaner can be used for literally anything, right? Wrong. Different cleaning products are optimized for different surfaces and different types of cleaning jobs. Make sure you read the instructions and guidelines carefully before using them.
  • Replace when necessary. Over time, your tools and products are going to degrade, resulting in an inferior clean (and a worse experience). That’s why it’s important to replace your tools, or at least parts of your tools, over time. As a simple example, you should be replacing your sponges on a regular basis; otherwise, they could end up spreading germs.

They Do Everything at Once

Some people commit to cleaning the house once a month, or at a similarly long time interval. They clean the house from top to bottom, working tirelessly for hours and exhausting themselves in the process. Not only does this require more effort and strain, but it also results in a dirtier house in the time you have between cleaning sessions. It’s much better to do a little bit at a time – like committing to 20 minutes of cleaning every day.

They Work Too Fast

Some people intuitively feel like cleaning faster is better. It certainly feels more efficient and requires more energy. But there are times when it’s possible to clean too fast. Blitzing through your work increases your chances of missing a spot or making an error, resulting in an inferior clean. Plus, sometimes it’s better to let your cleaning products soak in; if you start scrubbing or wiping too quickly, they won’t have time to do their magic.

They Work From Bottom to Top

Some people never learned the importance of cleaning from top to bottom. Cleaning higher-positioned items will inevitably kick up dust and debris, which can then settle on lower-positioned items (and your floor). If you work from bottom to top, you’ll be undoing all the work you did early in the process.

They Ignore Certain Items

When was the last time you cleaned your throw pillows? What about your curtains? There are surreptitious items all over your house that probably haven’t been cleaned in years – and they’re probably filthy.

They Never Learn Specific Techniques

Much of house cleaning is fairly intuitive, but there are some intuitive techniques that simply don’t work – or end up making things worse unnecessarily. If you don’t take the time to learn the proper techniques for different environments and circumstances, you could fall into the same trap.

For example, many people take advantage of bright, sunny days to wash the windows; the nice weather fills you with energy and makes you more interested in getting fresh air. But washing the windows in sunlight can make the windows dry too fast, leaving streaks and smears (and ruining your otherwise adept work).

Almost any effort you make to clean the home is going to have a positive impact; it’s certainly better than never cleaning at all. But if you want to make your time and effort truly count, or if you want your home to be sparkling clean, you have to be aware of these common mistakes and work to avoid them at all costs.