In the interest of making life easier, we want to have a quiet word about household chores… and how not to do them.
KEEPING our homes in a clean state is no easy feat; it can feel tedious, it’s certainly repetitive and mostly downright bothersome. However, it’s a necessary task for most of us. So, for the sake of extracting the most value out of your cleaning time, here are some basic mistakes that even the cleanest person makes – and how to avoid them.
- Cleaning windows when it’s too hot
When cleaning your windows, it might seem like a great idea to do so on a sunny day when there’s extra light to expose all the dirt there is to clean. However, doing so causes the heat from the sun to dry up the window too quickly, leaving streaks along the way. Instead, opt for a cloudy day to tackle this task.
Tip: To get your windows extra sparkly, add a tablespoon of cornstarch to a litre of lukewarm water in a spray bottle. Spray on the glass, then wipe your windows with newspaper, cloth or a squeegee, as you would with commercial glass cleaner.
- Changing bed covers the hard way
If you find yourself in a wrestling match every time you go to change your doona cover, you may be doing it all wrong. Rather than simply shoving your doona into the cover and wrestling with a mountainous landscape, try flipping the doona cover inside out first. Lay the doona on top of the inside-out cover and pin the top two corners of both the doona and doona cover together using safety pins. Next, push the doona through the open end of the cover, feeding it through until it’s right side out. Give it a good shake to flatten it out, then reach inside and remove the safety pins. Simple.
- Overloading the washing machine
It’s a temptation all of us give in to because, let’s face it; no one wants to spend an entire day doing laundry. With that being said, it’s important to resist the temptation, as overloading the washing machine will cost you both time and money in the end.
Although load capacities vary with the size and model of your machine, make a point to always leave enough space for your laundry to move around. This will help with the soaking and rinsing process, so your laundry actually gets clean and doesn’t need to be washed all over again.
- Not emptying your vacuum cleaner enough
Most of us rely on vacuum cleaners when it comes to cleaning our homes, so it’s only fair to look after this hard-working machine. Avoid only emptying out its bag when it’s ready to explode; an overload of dust, dirt, hair, and other particles can reduce suction power. Instead, change the bag when it’s about two-thirds full, approximately every six weeks or so.
Tip: Tangled hair and threads can burn out the motor of your vacuum. To prevent this, unwind or snip away any tangles. After all, a brush roll that doesn’t turn, doesn’t clean – it’s that simple.
- Forgetting to look up when cleaning
Often the surfaces that get most neglected in our homes are the places that are hardest for us to reach. After all, if you can’t see it, it’s not there, right? So wrong. For example, ceiling fans collect dust over winter; come summer, if left unattended, you’ll be fanning built-up dust all over the place. In other words, don’t forget to look up when cleaning. Grab a stepladder and wipe down all high-up surfaces from time to time.
- Washing knives in the dishwasher
It seems like a no-brainer to put everything in the dishwasher, right? Wrong. Fun fact: chefs never put their expensive knives in the dishwasher. Dishwasher detergent, which contains highly alkaline compounds, can cause sharp edges to become blunt, so when it comes to knives you’d like to stay sharp, hand wash them with warm soapy water instead.
- Cleaning glass shower doors with chemicals
You take a shower to get clean, but in the process, your shower door becomes quite the opposite. Most likely over time, white soap scum will remain stubbornly streaked on your shower door, despite your best attempts to make it clean and shiny. People often use particular store-bought cleaning products, however, if you prefer to use something with fewer chemicals, white vinegar is an excellent alternative.
Tip: It’s best to clean your shower screen while it is wet, so do it after a shower, or run some water onto the screen first.