Cleaning the house: it’s one of those tedious things that has to get done but no one ever really wants to do. But no one can argue the great feeling you get when everything’s done and tidy– and you want to strange anyone who walks in the front door with shoes on!

But did you know there’s actually a right and wrong way to clean certain rooms or items in your home? These common cleaning blunders can ruin even your best efforts at a clean house, and you might actually be making things worse. 

  1. Cleaning the floor first.

    How many times have you swept or scrubbed the floor and then began cleaning the countertops or dusting off the furniture? Suddenly the ground you worked so hard to clean is filled with dust, crumbs, and who even knows what else? Always clean from the top to the bottom to avoid being counterproductive.

  2. Spraying directly on the surfaces.

    From countertops to glass windows, if you spray a cleaning solution right on the exterior, it’ll likely cause buildup, which can lead to greasy furniture or streaky windows. That can attract dirt and dust, causing it to stick to them more easily. To avoid this annoyance, spray the cleaner directly onto a paper towel or cloth, and then get to work.

  3. Throwing everything into the dishwasher.

    Also, not everything is supposed to go in there, like a garlic press, cheese grater, or other items that have small holes that food can get stuck in. This can lead to mold, which can get into your dishes the next time you use them—gross! There’s an art to loading the dishwasher. Never place all your utensils in the same direction, for example, like spoons (which can get stuck together). This will lead to a more even, all-around clean. So will not overloading the dishwasher, another culprit of still-dirty dishes post cycle.

  4. Not changing out your sponge.

    I’m definitely guilty of scrubbing a pot with a sponge that’s seen better days, making a mental note to change it out afterwards, and then consequently forgetting to do so. Sponges get pretty dingy after about a month, so be sure to swap them out accordingly. You can also sanitize your sponge by soaking it in water and then heating it in the microwave for about a minute.

  5. Storing a wet toilet brush.

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched my spouse scrub the toilet and then put the toilet brush right back into the holder still wet. It’s important to let it dry before sticking it back in there. Moisture breeds bacteria, so you risk it being pretty gross the next time you want to clean the toilet.

  6. Using the same rag.

    If you’re anything like me, you have a drawer full of dishrags but use the same one all the time. Well, stop being like me, because that’s not a good way to do it. When you overuse your cleaning cloth, it stops drying it as well as a clean one. That’s why you might notice streaks. This also spreads around germs.

  7. Neglecting your trash can.

    Not surprisingly, since your trash can collects all the dirty stuff in your house, that means it’s actually one of the dirtiest items in your home. It’s important to wipe it down at least once a week, preferably with a cleaner containing bleach. That’ll help lessen the stink too. To make things easier, wipe it down every time you take the trash out.

Are you guilty of any of these cleaning saboteurs? Tell us your best tips for keeping your home clean!