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Old 29-08-2014, 09:24 AM   #1
Few Common Cleaning Mistakes
.BZU. .BZU. is offline 29-08-2014, 09:24 AM
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Doing Everything at Once

The surest way to skip tasks, cut corners and feel overwhelmed? Trying to get every chore out of the way at once. "Break cleaning into smaller intervals," says organizational expert Jennifer Ford Berry, author of Organize Now!. "Set a timer for an hour here, an hour there don't waste a whole Saturday."

Thinking More Is Better

Ever spritz your carpet 10 times when the directions say to stop at two or three? Or if one teaspoon is all you need in the cleaning solution, you put two? "This actually works against us, especially in the laundry," says green-cleaning coach Leslie Reichert, author of The Joy of Green Cleaning. "Instead of getting rid of smells, it can just make your laundry smell worse." Stick to the amount in the instructions.

Over-Using Natural Cleaners

Whipping up at-home cleaning solutions can be great. Ford Berry suggests checking out Pinterest for alternatives to store-bought products, which can save you money. However, don't think they're all right for clothes, furniture or surfaces. "Just because you can eat a lemon or vinegar doesn't make it gentle," Reichert says. "They are natural acids that can eat away at finishes." When in doubt, research a solution to double-check any problematic applications.

Using the Wrong Tool

No, that screwdriver isn't a multipurpose miracle tool for lifting sticky substances. "Something too abrasive my seem like it will make the job easier, but it may actually destory the finish you are trying to clean," says Reichert. "Also using tools without controls, like floor steamers that don't have a control dial for wood floors, can leave too much water on floors."

Wasting Time on Laundry

"I don't match socks, sort laundry or turn clothes right-side out," Ford Berry says. Make sure kids are fixing inside-out clothes as they take them off, and let them do the post-wash sorting. It's simple, and will save you lots of time.

Cleaning Too Quickly

Many cleaning products need to sit on a surface for awhile to do their job, or else they won't work completely. "In our hurry, we spray and wipe and think the cleaner works as fast as we do," says Reichert. Leave the product on the spot and come back later if you have to.

Failing to Read Directions

Spray bottle? It's as simple as spritz and go... right? "We use cleaning products the way we think they should be used," says Reichert, who gives the example of hardwood-floor cleaners. "Some actually need to be used in a three-step process of washing, rinsing and buffing. Most people just pour it in a bucket and mop the floor." Why waste all that time and money when you can just take a glance at the instructions?

Assuming Products Will Work

Just like tools aren't all multi-functional, you are probably using the wrong products for some household chores and just assuming they'll work. "If you read the product container carefully there are usually some dos and don'ts," says Reichert. "One spray polish specifically says do not use on floors, yet people spray it on the floors and complain that it's too slippery." Whoops!

Mixing Your Cleaning Products

"Everyone knows not to mix bleach and ammonia, hopefully, but in addition, you should never mix any cleaning products," Reichert says. "Commercial cleaning products contain so many different ingredients that, combined, can become lethal. Even in the air, you could be making a chemical cocktail.

Not Enlisting Your Family

Your kids and hubby can help tackle chores with you, just by doing the little things. "It's a huge waste of time if kids aren't cleaning up clutter in their bathrooms and bedrooms," Ford Berry says. Make a rule: No technology in the afternoon until rooms are tidied up. If you have your kids keep up with it daily, the mess is less overwhelming.

Not Enlisting Your Appliances

Don't do everything by hand, or skip over tasks that seem too cumbersome. "Your clothes dryer can help kill dust mites in your pillows and blankets, and also dust your curtains," Reichert says. "Your dishwasher can clean the grease catcher over your stove as well as knick knacks. Your microwave can disinfect sponges and dish rags in three minutes or less."

Forgetting Germy Spots

Remember, germs are everywhere ... "and they are not getting cleaned," Reichert says. "When was the last time you cleaned your cell phone, phone receiver, doorknobs or the screen inside your faucet? What about your toothbrush holder or the inside of your kitchen trash can?" Kind of gross to think about all those common surfaces, right?

Not Giving Yourself a Break

If you're a busy bee (likely), don't be afraid to call in a cleaning team for a fresh start in the spring. "Give yourself the gift of help," says Ford Berry. "It can really be worth the time you save, which you can spend with your family."

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