Cleaning is one of those tasks that we all want to get completed quickly and efficiently, with as little effort as possible. While that is our goal cleaning often ends up being a stressful and frustrating task that takes far too long and leaves us with less than satisfactory results. Our experience shows that often this comes down to using the wrong products and / or methods, causing the homeowner to work twice as hard as they need to. In an effort to help you get your cleaning done as quickly and easily as possible we have produced this list of the 10 worst time-wasting cleaning mistakes you can make, along with ways to work more efficiently.
1. Trying to Clean with Dirty Rags
Trying to clean with rags that have been left dirty from the last time you cleaned will only result in you transferring old dirt onto the surface you are trying to clean. It’s a vicious cycle that won’t stop until you stop using dirty rags. To fix this problem all you need to do is rinse out your dusty rags thoroughly after you have finished cleaning with them. Keep rinsing them until the water runs clean and they will be ready for the next time you clean. In addition, if you find yourself in the middle of a cleaning task and the rag is dirty, stop and rinse it out, or get a clean rag to complete the job.
2. Streaky Mirrors
A lot of people believe the way to clean mirrors is to spray with glass cleaner and then wipe it off with either newspaper or a microfiber cloth. Unfortunately this results in a mirror with streaks of dirt all over it. Why? Glass cleaner should only be used on mirrors after they have been wiped down with a clean cloth to remove any grime and dust on the surface. After you do that, spray with glass cleaner and let it do it’s magic.
3. Scrubbing Dishes
We all know what it is like to try and scrub dried on food off of dishes. If you fill your dirty pans with water and allow them to soak for a time scrubbing them will be a lot easier. It is important that you use very hot water when washing dishes as this helps to loosen hardened food particles so they can be easily scrubbed off.
4. Cleaning Windows
Cleaning windows is perhaps the most frustrating cleaning task of all when it’s not done correctly. The key to streak-free windows is to clean at the right time of the day. Windows should never be cleaned when the sun is blazing down on them because your windows will be hot and the glass cleaner will dry up before it has a chance to get wiped off, leaving streaks everywhere. Choose a day when it is overcast or cloudy, or after the heat of the day has eased off. Trying to clean the streaks off is just as hard as trying to clean the windows was in the first place. Just try cleaning your windows on a cooler day next time and we assure you they will look great.
5. Treating Carpet Stains
Fresh carpet stains respond far more favorably to blotting than they do to being scrubbed. Scrubbing not only damages the carpet fibers but also causes the stain to spread. When you blot the stain a lot of the spilled liquid can be drawn back out of the carpet and absorbed into a sponge or cloth. This method is much more gentle and effective on both the stain and your expensive carpet. Once the liquid has been blotted up the remaining stain can be treated to remove it.
6. The Wrong Tools
Often it can be more a case of using the wrong tools than the wrong method. Certain tools will certainly make a job more difficult to complete than it would if you were using the right tool for the job. A little bit of research as to what is the best thing to use for a specific cleaning task will help you avoid working not only too long at a task but also too hard. An example of using the wrong tool would be if you were trying to clean the bottoms of pots with a sponge instead of a scouring pad or abrasive scrubber. With a sponge it is going to take a lot of ‘elbow grease’ to get the bottom of that pot shiny clean again and depending upon how discolored or dirty the pot is a sponge may never get it clean.
7. Cleaning Products
More is better, right? Wrong. When it comes to cleaning products more usually means more work and not a better result. Take laundry powder for example. If you put more than the recommended amount in the washing machine your clean clothes may come out with a powdery residue on them, or they just don’t feel as if they have been rinsed out properly. The only thing to do when that happens is to put them through another rinse cycle to try and remove the excess laundry soap. Furniture polish is another great example of where more is definitely not better. If you find your furniture has a somewhat greasy film on the surface it is a clear indication that you have applied too much polish. Try smaller amounts. It is easier to add more if necessary than to spend time trying to remove the excess. In addition you are wasting money by using more than is needed.
In order for vacuum cleaners to work efficiently the dust bag should be empty. This doesn’t mean you have to empty it every time you use it, although with bagless vacuums you certainly can do this easily. When the dust bag is full, the vacuum will not suck efficiently, making it a labor-intensive job to get your carpets and floors dust-free.
9. Cleaning Products Standing Time
We know you want to get through your cleaning tasks as quickly as possible but some cleaning products require a certain amount of time to be left to work. Take toilet bowl cleaner for example. If you don’t allow it the recommended length of time to break down dirt in the bowl you will have to brush and scrub much harder than if you had left the toilet bowler cleaner long enough to work its magic. You can always go and complete another cleaning task in the meantime.
10. Start at the Top
While this may seem obvious starting your cleaning tasks with the things that are at the highest points will ensure that you don’t end up cleaning things twice. If you need to clean ceiling fans it is best to vacuum the carpet after the fans are clean so you don’t drop dust onto the carpet and have to vacuum a second time. No matter how carefully we clean dust will fly and settle on lower surfaces so always start your cleaning from the highest surfaces and work systematically down to the lowest surfaces.
We believe in doing a quality cleaning job in as efficient a manner as possible. We would like the opportunity to show you how efficient and professional a cleaning job we can do in your home. For information about the services we offer and prices, please visit our website.