Bad Cleaning Habits to Break

From Better Homes and Gardens

Have you ever bought an expensive cleaning product, taken it home to try out—and felt like it was a total waste of money? Sure—there are products that work less efficiently than others, but usually, the problem can be chalked up to user error. Before calling the manufacturer to complain, ask yourself if you really, truly read the directions on the label first. (And if you read them, did you actually follow them precisely?) The answer is often no. So the first item on your task list is this one: read the directions (and follow them!). It's in the manufacturer's best interest to ensure the product works for you, and it's in your best interest to follow the advice listed. Here are some other bad cleaning habits to break.

Stop heading straight for harsh cleaning products.

Most jobs require nothing more than gentle, pH-neutral cleaners, which are not only safer for you and your family, they're easier on your home's furnishings, fixtures and finishes. When you must break out the big guns, know that a little goes a long way. When you use bleach, things don't need to smell of it to be clean. Seriously!

Stop using too much cleaning product.

"More" doesn't directly translate to "better." Use only the amount of cleaning product required to do the job. (And again, read the instructions.) You'll just waste time wiping up the excess. You'll also waste product and, therefore, money.

Stop washing your cabinets each time you clean.

Cleaning your cabinets too often can wear the finish down and cause them to swell, as moisture penetrates the surface. Spot cleaning does the trick here—and plus it's faster and easier.

Stop dusting last.

Always dust before tackling the floors. Start at the top of the room, and work your way down and around. That way, your final vacuum or mop will take care of any remaining debris you've knocked to the ground.

Stop trying to multitask.

Doing two things at once may make you feel like you're getting more done, but you're only prolonging the cleaning process. If you focus on cleaning only and don't try to organize, take a phone call or watch TV, too, you can get the job done in half the time. Then you're free to put your full attention toward the things you'd rather be doing.

© Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

To learn more about how you can leverage articles from Meredith's trusted brands—like this one!—for your content and marketing programs, fill out the form below or browse some of our offerings here.