Share on Facebook

A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

10 Bad Housekeeping Habits You Should Drop Today

Are you guilty of these housekeeping mistakes?

Cleaning Wooden Cutting board inside of Kitchen Sink with spongetab1962/Getty Images

Washing your cutting board with soap

Whether you’re slicing veggies, fruit, or meat on your cutting board, it’s a no brainer that you need to wash it. But contrary to what you might think, scrubbing it down with soapy water isn’t the answer. Soak your board in bleach after each use (or at least those boards used for things like raw meat which contains harmful bacteria), to properly sterilize it and avoid bacteria transfer. Find out how to clean your whole kitchen in five minutes.

Cleaning table surfaceSellwell/Getty Images

Dusting surfaces with a dry rag

Put down the duster, or anything that resembles it, especially a dry rag. While dusting your fan may leave it looking pearly white, that dust doesn’t just disappear into thin air! All that sneezing you do when dusting is the result of the tiny particles flying elsewhere, like your table, rug, etc. You may think you’ll clean up all the dust when you vacuum, but there are plenty of nooks and crannies it settles in that you’ll forget about. Your best bet is to wet a rag, which will pick up dust more effectively.

Pillows On Empty Bed At HomeSomyot Techapuwapat/EyeEm/Getty Images

Not washing your pillows

Sure, you know about washing your pillowcases weekly, but what about your actual pillows? Most pillows have a tag giving laundering instructions, yet very few people follow them. Your pillow is subject to dust mites, body oils, and bacteria from your saliva, which is why you should stick it in the washing machine every three to six months. Here are 16 more surprising things you can put in the washing machine.

Clean stainless steelAvalon_Studio/Getty Images

Cleaning stainless steel in circular motions

It doesn’t take much to dirty up a stainless steel appliance. One touch and your refrigerator is totally smudged. When cleaning, be sure you’re not wiping in circular motions, because you’ll see the marks when the cleaner dries. Instead, find the grain in the stainless steel and follow that. You’ll notice a big difference.

TV Remote controltifonimages/Getty Images

You’re overlooking switches and remotes

You know to do the big stuff: vacuuming, mopping, wiping away dust. But there are some items in your house that you may have never cleaned, yet harbor a major amount of bacteria. Light switches and remote controls are two highly overlooked housekeeping areas. Cold viruses lurk on such places, from sneezing or coughing into your hand and then immediately flipping on the TV or light. A simple spritz of disinfectant is a good place to start, and a bleach wipe can get into the tough to reach spots where the unhealthy gunk hangs out. Take a look at these other things in your home you aren’t cleaning often enough.

Cleaning window pane with detergentAlexRaths/Getty Images

Washing windows on a sunny day

You can’t control the sun, but you can avoid it, which is something you should do when washing your windows. Glass cleaner dries quickly in direct sunlight, leaving behind unsightly streaks that are counterintuitive to your washing job. Opt for overcast skies and the temp below 70 degrees.

Close-Up Of Laundry In Washing MachineWerayuth Tessrimuang/EyeEm/Getty Images

Not cleaning your washing machine

Isn’t the point of a washing machine is that it cleans dirty things? So why would you have to clean it? The reality is, your cleaning tools need just as much TLC as the rest of your home. Good housekeeping means paying attention to the things that make your life easier, which is why your washing machine, for instance, deserves to be cleaned. If your clothes have started smelling of mildew after being washed, it’s time to run a cycle on the hottest water setting with nothing inside, and using vinegar for an extra boost for a squeaky clean washing machine. Regular cleaning is an important part of maintenance. Find out how to extend the life of all of your appliances.

Wooden planks bathed in the rainArtMassa/Getty Images

Using too much water on wooden floors

Sometimes less is more when it comes to good housekeeping, and that’s certainly true for cleaning and taking care of your wooden floors. Whether you’re mopping or using a standard rag and bucket, be sure that you don’t have too heavy of a hand with the water. If there are scratches or gouges in the finish, the excess water can make its way beneath the surface and damage the wood. Don’t miss these other products that you should never use on your hardwood floors.

Heating/Cooling VentIcemanJ/Getty Images

Not cleaning your air ducts

Even if you are good at keeping the dust at bay throughout your house, your housekeeping is lacking if you’re not cleaning your air ducts. Over time, they collect dust, leading to allergy symptoms and even increasing the chance of fires when you turn the heat on. Be sure to clean them once a year at least. Learn which other household items become fire hazards when you don’t clean them enough.

Keep the darkness awayjeffbergen/Getty Images

Not cleaning your light bulbs

While light bulbs used to burn out and need replacing frequently, today the long-lasting LED bulbs make it possible for you to forget about them for a while. But you shouldn’t. The longer they’re installed, the more dust they build up, which is yet another fire hazard. Now check out these 50 cleaning secrets that will make your home shine.

The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman

Alexa Erickson
Alexa is an experienced lifestyle and news writer currently working with Reader's Digest, Shape Magazine, and various other publications. She loves writing about her travels, health, wellness, home decor, food and drink, fashion, beauty, and scientific news. Follow her travel adventures on Instagram: @living_by_lex, send her a message: [email protected], and check out her website: