We all love a good cleaning hack; they’re simple, effective, and will usually save you a few extra dollars. And there’s plenty of them on the internet, all waiting to be read at just the touch of a button. Unfortunately, information on the internet comes as both a blessing and a curse. For every helpful cleaning tip you find, you’re just as certain to come across one that doesn’t work, or will actually cause further damage – sometimes even permanent.
To avoid any big messes or unwanted expenses on cleaning professionals, we’ve rounded up some of the common cleaning mistakes to avoid and what you should do instead.
Removing Stains on Carpet
Don’t use your generic laundry stain remover to mop up that red wine spill – or any spillage for that matter. The formula can make it even more difficult to remove, and its sticky residue can quickly become a magnet for dirt and grime.
Use a trusted brand with a solution specifically designed for carpet stains. Try to tend to the stain as soon as possible. And don’t forget to always blot the stain and never rub! Rubbing or scrubbing could permanently damage the carpet.
Top tip: The best cleaning solution will depend on the type of carpet you have and what sort of stain it is. For example, your local pet shop will stock a cleaning solution made for cleaning up urine from carpets.
Don’t spray a cleaning product directly onto your electronics as this will wreck the technology. In fact, you should never spray a surface directly because this will risk more of a grime build-up.
For your electronics, stick to using a dry, microfiber cloth to remove any dust or smears. For surfaces, spray your cleaning solution directly onto the cloth and then proceed to wiping them clean.
This one is more of a friendly reminder: don’t neglect your cleaning tools – they need to be cleaned as well! If your vacuum isn’t cleaned regularly, you’re essentially just pushing around more dirt.
Maintain your vacuum cleaner by regularly emptying the vacuum bags as soon as they become full and changing the filter at least every year. Regularly wipe down all the vacuum attachments (unattached to electricity) with a damp microfiber cloth and remove any debris that has clogged the cleaner.
Vinegar is often hyped as the be-all and end-all of DIY cleaning solutions. While there’s no denying it’s a useful cleaning agent, you don’t want to reach for vinegar to clean everything. Keep the vinegar away from hardwood floors, stone countertops, and granite finishes.
You can use vinegar for cleaning your tiles, bathrooms, walls, windows and towels. Just remember vinegar is quite acidic so will often need to be diluted with distilled water for the best effect.
Do not fall into the mindset of thinking you need to use polisher on your wooden furniture every time it’s due for a clean. Overuse of polisher leaves sticky oils which attract even more dust.
Use your furniture polisher sparingly; it’s generally only needed once or twice a year. This goes for homemade and store-bought polishers alike. For regular weekly cleaning, simply dust your furniture with a soft microfiber cloth.
Need some more handy household cleaning tips? Check out our 6-step guide on fast-tracking the kitchen clean-up.