People have been cleaning their homes for millennia, so you’d think that we’d have it right by now. Unfortunately, many of us are still making a bunch of mistakes. Knowledge is power, they say, so if we know about these mistakes, we know what not to do and can clean more efficiently and effectively instead.
Mistake #1: Overusing cleaning products (e.g. using twice the amount directed on the packaging)
How Professional Cleaners Do It: Follow the instructions! If you use too much of a cleaning product, you end up leaving a residue or film on whatever you’re cleaning. This residue will end up attracting dirt (which is how cleaners work) and leave the surface dirtier than before.
Mistake #2: Thinking that natural cleaners are always cheaper and gentler
How Professional Cleaners Do It: While vinegar and baking soda do work very effectively for most chores and are pretty cheap, other natural cleaning products aren’t. Take lemons: yes, they are natural and safe, but they’re not cheap. Vinegar can also be a trap for the unwary, as this strong acid can eat into certain surfaces. Find out the facts before you make the switch to natural cleaning products.
Mistake #3: Getting fiddly when doing the laundry
How Professional Cleaners Do It: Make the owners of the clothing responsible for removing things from the pockets and turning clothes right side out. Instead of getting obsessive about matching socks, have a designated spot for odd socks where they can wait for their mates after being washed. Check the pile periodically for any matches. If any sock has sat there for over 9 months, get rid of it as its mate is probably lost.
Mistake #4: Racing too quickly
How Professional Cleaners Do It: You can’t just spray or squirt on a product then start wiping straight away. Whatever’s in your cleaner, be it natural or commercial, needs time to work. Water needs to soak in and soften dirt and stains; disinfectant needs time to kill germs. Spray a surface, leave it to sit (while you start another small chore) then go back and start wiping.
Mistake #5: Using the wrong tool for the job
How Professional Cleaners Do It: Have a good selection of tools on hand and keep them in your cleaning caddy. That way, you’ll avoid using a too-stiff scrubbing brush for soft surfaces, a sponge on the computer screen or a mop for getting cobwebs off the ceiling. Multipurpose tools do exist but even these can’t do every single job.
Mistake #6: Cross-contamination
How Professional Cleaners Do It: Have a designated set of tools – including rubber gloves – kept for really dirty and unhygienic jobs and places like the lavatory, inside the rubbish bin and for cleaning up pet poop or vomit. Colour code them like the pros do to ensure that they don’t accidentally get used for wiping down your kitchen bench or washing the dishes you eat off.
Mistake #7: Leaving all the cleaning to one person
How Professional Cleaners Do It: OK, professional cleaners usually work solo and do all the chores. However, they get paid to do this. You don’t get paid to clean your own house! Everybody in the household should be responsible for some of the work from the age of two years old. Yes, even a two-year-old can put away his/her toys and dust a dresser!