Mistakes you’re making while cleaning your home.


We all know how important it is to keep a clean home — especially these days. But, have you ever wondered if you are cleaning  your home correctly

Scroll down to find out if you’re making these common cleaning mistakes. Additionally, you’ll find tips from professional house cleaners on how to dust, scrub and vacuum your home like a pro.

1. Leaving grease on your walls, backsplash and cabinets. 

Cooking steams up your kitchen walls and cabinets, getting them sticky with grease in the process. Regularly wiping down walls and stainless steel surfaces, like your vent hood, with a mild detergent will do the trick. If you wait, then grime will build up and you might need to use a heavy-duty solution.

Fill a bucket with cold water and just a splash of an ammonia-free cleaning alternative like Simple Green. Next, use a damp sponge to wipe away the build-up. Don’t forget to dry the clean area with a paper towel.

"Before starting, you should do a smaller test,” says Thumbtack Pro David Tello, owner of Freedom Cleaning in Grand Prairie, Texas. “You want to know what a product is going to act like before you use it, especially if you’re using something on wallpaper or paint.” 

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2. Using chemical-heavy cleaning products.

Not all cleaning products will cause eye irritation or headaches. According to the American Lung Association, they’re bad news when they do. Common household cleaning products like aerosol sprays, chlorine bleach and floor polish can be harmful and toxic.

Be kinder to your body and the planet by using natural cleaners like baking soda, warm water, white vinegar and good old-fashioned soap to clean your home.

3. Ruining your carpet (instead of cleaning it).

Your carpet is nice. Let’s keep it that way. Here’s how to do so : avoid soaking stains in tons of product or water. More product being used may not equal a better clean. In fact, over-soaking your carpets may cause mold and mildew to grow beneath the surface. 

Instead, dampen a rag with eco-friendly carpet cleaning products or a homemade mixture of hot water, dish soap, white vinegar and baking soda. Next, dab the stain until it lifts. 

Related: How much does carpet cleaning cost?

4. Not regularly cleaning items that always get dirty.

Make it a point to clean the appliances and surfaces you use most — even if it’s easy to think, “It’s just going to get gross again tomorrow.” For example:

  • Scrub the soap scum off your shower doors in under 5 minutes with baking soda and salt. 
  • Wipe down your counters before you go to bed every night. 
  • Run hot water and white vinegar through your washing machine.
  • Pour a cup or two of water with a little baking soda down the garbage disposal to neutralize odors.

Then, focus on the small stuff:

  • Round up kitchen appliances (coffee maker, toaster, etc.) and take them apart for a deep cleaning. 
  • Soak any detachable parts in your sink with hot soapy water.
  • Wipe the rest down with an all-purpose cleaner and a paper towel. 
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5. Neglecting your screens.

Built-up dust and grime make screens fragile and attract allergens to your home. If you want to keep the outdoors out, then keep your screens clean. If a screen is only a little dirty, then roll a lint brush over both sides of the mesh. If the lint brush isn’t solving it, then try a vacuum.

When a screen is totally caked in dirt, use warm water and a drop or two of dish soap to wipe it clean. For best results, be sure to take your screens off for cleaning twice a year.

Related: How much does house cleaning cost?

6. Skipping high and low dusting.

Coming home should be nice - it shouldn’t make you sneeze! In order to cut down on allergens, keep your home free of dust and dander. Use a microfiber cloth or feather duster to wipe down your bookshelves, window sills and side tables. If you have a dog or cat, be cautious of pet hair that builds up on your floor, bed, couches, ceiling fan  along with your air vents.

“A lot of professional cleaners will rotate high dusting and low dusting,” says Thumbtack Pro Paige Rounds, owner of MaidPro Wichita in Wichita, Kansas. If you have pets (or hay fever), remember to ask your cleaner to dust the whole house (including problem areas) every time.

7. Not washing your dishes every day. 

You get home from work with just enough energy to cook a quick dinner, but not enough to actually wash the dishes. You tell yourself that you will get to them tomorrow (maybe). This kind of thinking is a trap. The longer you leave your dirty dishes, the more likely that  they will stack up. This will lead you to use more dish detergent and each plate will take a longer time to scrub. It also may make it much more likely that you’ll attract pests like ants and cockroaches. Save yourself the hassle and get to the pile as soon as you finish your meal. 

8. Not cleaning your bathroom weekly.

Even though water runs in your shower every day, this doesn’t mean it’s “self-cleaning.” Save yourself, your roommates, and your family the hassle of cleaning outright filth by setting aside 20 minutes a week to polish up the bathroom. If you share your bathroom, explore creating a shared cleaning schedule so that you’re not the one holding the toilet brush every week.

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Who to hire to help with house cleaning.

Cleaning your home the right way sometimes means letting someone else clean it. Find house cleaners, carpet cleaners and other pros on Thumbtack: 

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