When it comes to cleaning your home, you want to make sure you are doing it most efficiently and effectively. We try and do this by ensuring we are purchasing the best cleaning products for the job. However, do you actually know how to go about using cleaning products correctly? It turns out that many people don’t and by using some products wrong, you could be wasting time and money. Worse than that, it can be dangerous when products are misused.
Here we explain some of the common things that people are doing wrong when it comes to using their cleaning products
Mixing the wrong products
It is common to think that more is more. The more cleaning products we use, surely the more clean the house will be which is not a bad thing? Well, that, unfortunately, isn't true. Sometimes using too many products is just a waste of time and money. But, sometimes, it can actually lead to dangerous results that can be harmful to the household. For example, NEVER mix bleach with other cleaners.
Bleach should NEVER be mixed with ammonia as this chemical reaction can create a hazardous and harmful tox gas. Whilst this combination is an extreme example, it is best never to mix bleach with any other cleaning products, even ingredients such as vinegar or salt which are deemed more natural and less toxic cleaning products.
Some products may not be pure bleach but contain some bleach, so ensure you check the ingredients before you start to use them.
Not giving enough products time to work
We can all be guilty of being impatient at times and this can often happen when we are cleaning. We have set ourselves a task to clean a certain amount of rooms that day or you need to quickly clean a room before you leave the house for an errand. Whilst this is a common occurrence, people need to ensure they are still using the products correctly as otherwise, the rush job will leave your house as dirty as it was before you started.
Many people, for example, fail to leave cleaning sprays on surfaces long enough before they wipe them off. Alternatively, they are not using enough of the product. For example, when you use disinfectant sprays, make sure you are leaving the products to soak onto the surface for a good 5- 10 minutes before wiping away. Whilst there are some products now on the market that say you can spray and immediately wipe, the majority of sprays do not follow this rule. So spray, leave for a bit and continue with another task, before returning to wipe away. This will leave you with a much cleaner surface.
Leaving disinfectant wipes to dry out
Disinfectant wipes are a convenient product to have when cleaning but they can lead to several cleaning mistakes. One is that they can easily start to dry out. If they are kept airtight, the wipes can remain wet for up to two years, however, once open, you may find that they can dry out relatively quickly. To avoid waste and make sure they are still effective.
You can revive the wipes by adding 70% isopropyl alcohol to the container and leave until the wipes have absorbed the liquid before you use them.
The second mistake a lot of people mistake with wipes is spreading them too thin and trying to clean too large an area with a single wipe. Using one or two to clean an entire room will not be sufficient. You must ensure the area is sufficiently wet when you are using them, otherwise you won't be cleaning enough. Also, check to ensure the wipes you are using are disinfecting. Some are not and people merely assume that they are.
Not reading the instructions
A lot of the mistakes that happen when cleaning often come from simply not reading the instructions. Don’t rush into using a product, especially if it is something you haven't used before. Make sure you know how to use the project before you start. Often without reading the instructions, people end up using the products for the wrong purpose, using them on the wrong materials and surfaces which could cause damage, or using the wrong quantity of the item. It only takes a moment to read the instructions and will save you a lot of potential hassle in the long term.
Not protecting the skin
Whenever you use products that have cleaning chemicals in them, make sure you are wearing protective clothing. Rubber gloves are the go-to. Not only will it protect your skin from any harmful chemicals, but it will also stop your hands from smelling and reduce the spread of bacteria if you remove the gloves straight away.
It is not just rubber gloves that you should consider though. When using items containing bleach, always wear clothes that are not your best. Just in case there are any accidental spillages or splashes. Some products can also produce very strong odours. In these extreme cases, you may even want to wear eye protection.
Using the wrong amount of products
People often don’t use enough product, in the case of disinfectant sprays as explained above. Either because they are not aware of how much needs to be used, or don’t want to use too much as otherwise they will have to refill sooner.
Alternatively, there are some products that people tend to overuse. Liquid washing detergent and fabric softener are popular examples. Using too much detergent can leave sticky residue on the fabrics and can end up trapping bacteria that over time will produce odours. So whilst you make think that using more will result in cleaner clothes, the opposite is true.
Not having adequate ventilation
Best practice is to open a window whenever you are cleaning, no matter what type of products you are using. Many products can cause cleaning fumes which can cause irritation and in some extreme cases be harmful. However, you should open your windows any way as it’s a great way to circulate air throughout your home and makes your cleaning extra effective as the room will feel particularly fresh once you have finished.
Using old products
We all probably have old cleaning products hidden and tucked away at the back of the cupboards that we can't remember the last time we used. Whilst some of these products will still be fine to use, others can deteriorate over time and become less effective, so be careful when using these. If you cannot remember how long ago you purchased it and opened it, it may be safer to not use it.
Forgetting to clean your tools
You cannot expect to leave your home clean if the tools you are using are dirty. Its often the case that people forget to clean their dusters, mops, cloths, and vacuums. However, this should be a task that is added to your to-do list. Keeping all your tools in check and in top condition will make them last longer and do their job better.
These are just some of the ways we are misusing our cleaning products. Even if we have the best intentions, purchase the best products for the job, if we are not using them correctly, what's the point? Keeping the issues we have discussed in mind when you next tackle the big clean will help you ensure you are cleaning in the most effective way possible.