Are you making these cleaning mistakes? Clean Mama

If you are spending time cleaning, make sure you’re making the best use of your time and energy by avoiding these cleaning mistakes! (No judgment here, just trying to help you figure out the best and most efficient way to clean your home.)

Vacuuming More Than Necessary

Save your energy and vacuum weekly and do a thorough job. Spot clean during the week as needed. Then on the day that you do vacuum (I like Wednesdays) vacuum horizontally in each room and then vertically in each room. Yes, you are going over the carpet twice, but this technique ensures that the carpet is lifted and the dirt that may be embedded is removed. This is especially helpful if you have pets to remove pet hair and dander. Vacuum from the furthest corner away from the door and vacuum your way out of the room. This will give you those beloved vacuum lines that say,  ‘I just vacuumed’.


When you wipe down surfaces, are you wiping the same area multiple times or wiping the mess back over your just cleaned surface? Make sure you’re wiping LEFT to RIGHT and TOP to BOTTOM in a soft Z pattern. This will effectively clean your surfaces and keep you from wiping dirt and bacteria back over your clean surface. Make sure that you are also changing microfiber cloths or cleaning rags frequently to keep the bacteria away. This post shows you how I speed clean my bathrooms and change out microfiber cloths to avoid cross-contamination.

Not Leaving Cleaners on Long Enough

If you’re cleaning bathrooms or your kitchen counters and spraying and wiping right away, you’re wasting time and cleaners. It’s important to thoroughly saturate your surfaces with your favorite cleaner and let it sit for 10 minutes. This will let the cleaner do its job, sanitize, and dissolve any stuck on particles making your cleaning a little bit easier.

Using Fabric Softener on Towels

Did you know that traditional fabric softener actually coats the fibers of towels making them less absorbent and fluffy? Instead, add between 1/4 to 1/2 cup of traditional white vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser. Vinegar serves to actually soften the fibers as well as add a little cleaning power to your laundry routine. I like to buy a jug of white distilled vinegar at our Costco. At under $5.00 for an economy sized container, you can’t beat the price. No need to worry about any residual scent from the vinegar either as you won’t be able to detect it on your clean laundry at this dilution rate.

Using Dirty Sponges

There’s no need to use dirty sponges when all you need to do is toss it in your dishwasher nightly. Did you know that sponges are one of the dirtiest things in your house? Get in the habit of tossing your sponge in your dishwasher or sanitizing it in the microwave every night and you’ll eliminate that risk of spreading germs all over your kitchen. Here are 3 ways to safely sanitize your sponge.

Using Vinegar on Stone Surfaces

I love using vinegar to clean with but it’s important to know WHAT it works on and what it doesn’t. If you’re using vinegar on your marble or granite counters, the acid in the vinegar will eventually etch away the surface. If you want to DIY your cleaners and are looking for one that is safe for marble and granite, try this one – it’s awesome!

Emptying Your Vacuum Canister or Bag and Cleaning your Vacuum Cleaner

Make sure you’re emptying your vacuum canister after each use if you have a canister vacuum and if you have a vacuum cleaner with a bag, change it when necessary. Make sure you’re cleaning your vacuum cleaner frequently as well – this will ensure that your vacuum lasts for a long time and you aren’t dragging dirt around the house as you’re vacuuming.

Not Cleaning Those Most-Touched Areas

It’s no wonder that germs can live on surfaces for up to 72 hours. If you’re looking for ways to cut down on that spread and transfer in your home (especially when someone’s sick or during flu season), reach for a cotton pad and a bottle of rubbing alcohol. Saturate the cotton pad and carefully wipe over those most touched areas in your home: light switches, remotes, and electronics. The rubbing alcohol effectively kills germs, dries quickly, and is safe to use in your home.

Cleaning Garbage Cans

Yes, garbage cans hold garbage, but keeping them clean will keep odors down and keep germs from congregating. Bring the garbage can(s) outside, spray them with your favorite all-purpose cleaner, let it sit for 10 minutes, and rinse thoroughly with your garden hose. Let them sit in the sun to dry and naturally kill germs before returning them inside. Use garbage bags in large and small garbage cans to line them and keep them cleaner for longer.

Which cleaning mistake have you been making? Have one to add? Share it in the comments!

If you are new here and/or curious about my cleaning routine, go to my START HERE page – you’ll find helpful links to get you started with cleaning less and enjoying life more.