A regular cleaning routine is usually second nature – if it’s messy, pick it up – if it spills, wipe it up – if it’s stinky, wash it – and Boom – DONE! How clean is it though? Some everyday cleaning habits could be doing more harm than good, and you could be leaving behind bacteria, dust, and grime without even knowing it. Here are the most common cleaning mistakes that might be making your home dirtier.
There’s a difference between cleaning and disinfecting, and the distinction matters. Cleaning physically removes dirt and grime from a surface, while disinfecting uses chemicals to kill germs hiding in plain sight. A surface must first be wiped free from dust and debris to disinfect it properly, or you will end up with a paste or residue that adheres to your surface and becomes more difficult to remove over time.
Cleaning with Dirt
Your cleaning routine is only as good as the supplies you use. Avoid spreading bacteria, dirt, and dust all over the house by starting with clean supplies. It is imperative to wash cleaning cloths and scrub brushes after each use. Don’t even get us started on what lurks in a traditional mop head! Anything that comes into contact with germs must be sanitized after each use. The vacuum should be emptied after each use. Germs are always looking for a host. They will not stay safely locked inside a vacuum or on a dusting cloth if they can help it.
Designate specific cleaning supplies for specific rooms. Reusing the same cleaning supplies throughout your home might seem more efficient, but it’s also a great way to transfer germs from your bathroom floor onto your kitchen counter.
Getting the best clean isn’t always as simple as spraying and walking away. Some disinfectants take time to work correctly, and the surface needs to be visibly saturated for several minutes to eliminate germs effectively. Always read the product labels to determine the recommended contact time for sanitizing and disinfecting.
The Dreaded Sponge
Kitchen sponges are notorious for harboring bacteria, which can transfer to other surfaces as you clean. To avoid spreading germs, disinfect your sponges, replace them monthly, or throw them out and use a clean microfiber cloth instead.
Some of these items might seem like no-brainers, but they wouldn’t be listed if everyone knew. As you tackle your chore list, slow down and consider whether your strategies are simply showing germs around your home or if you’re truly getting the best results!
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