5 Common Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid

When it comes to cleaning it's typically a matter of motivation rather than skill that determines whether a job is done well ... or done at all. As basic as the work is, however, there's definitely a learning curve.

While there may be more than one right way to clean a house, there are also some very wrong ways to do so. Some will merely do a less than stellar job while other cleaning missteps can seriously damage your home and belongs. Here are five common cleaning mistakes to avoid.

1. Using Windex to clean TV and computer screens

It seems like it would work, but don't do it! The alcohol and ammonia can damage today's LCD and plasma screens. The best method is to use a soft, damp sponge.

2. Using dishwashing soap as dishwasher detergent

They do the same job, but what's intended for your sink must never go inside your dishwasher. Never. Just ask the many people who have made that mistake and found their machines foaming.

3. Spraying and wiping too quickly

You need to give sprays -- especially those meant to eliminate germs -- time to work. Wiping the second you spray will minimize their effectiveness and leave behind forborne bacteria like Salmonella. Read the label and follow the recommendations as to how long it should be left to sit before wiping away.

4. Combining cleaners

This is not the time to practice your mixology skills. Some combinations can be dangerous. When bleach and the acids found in many bathroom products mix, they can create chlorine gas, which can be deadly. Another bad mix -- bleach and ammonia.

5. Cleaning windows on a sunny day

It seems like a great time to clean them since that's when you can best see the smudges, but actually the heat can make the cleaner dry too quickly and leave streaks. It's better to save that dreaded chore for a more overcast day.

What cleaning mistakes have you made?


Image via Collin Anderson/Flickr


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IHear... IHeartCake

I'm trying to use up my cleaners and switch to just vinegar and water (1:10 for cleaning or 1:5 for disinfecting surfaces).  Vinegar is a lot healthier than any chemical cleaners. You can even use it to disinfect your dish sponge. 

I don't believe in keeping harsh chemicals like bleach nor ammonia in the house with children.

However, if I only I could find something that would definitely eliminate all mineral build-up in our toilets.  Unfortunately, vinegar doesn't cut it. We have very mineral-heavy water.

Irela... Ireland69

IHeartCake I  boil my dish rags or the sponges with soap.  Baking soda is really great also.

nonmember avatar doriangirl

I use vinegar for cleaning as well. Iheartcake, have you tried using baking soda? I use that along with vinegar when I have something extra heavy duty to clean like food stuck to the stove. It helps because it's abrasive and it works well with the vinegar.

Megan Johnson

I've found that lens cleaning wipes (for glasses) work best for cleaning computer screens.  

nonmember avatar a

I use vinegar and baking soda in my toilet, let it sit for around an hour, or overnite, and in the morning give it a light scrub and flush, not only does it get rid of most marks, but it also deodorizes the toilet at the same time!

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