12 things you might be cleaning wrong 38



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The methods you’ve been using for years are (most likely) not the most efficient ways to clean. From your toilet to shower curtain, there is a correct and practical way to clean them.

Here are 12 common cleaning mistakes and their brilliant solutions.

1. Toilet 

Understandably, plenty of attention is taken to clean the bowl and seat, however, you’re probably neglecting the area behind. It can result in a build-up of urine and feces. Solution? Take 2 or 3 towels, roll them tightly and dip them in a cleaner. Place the roll behind the toilet and with one hand on either side move the cloth back and forth. Let it sit and then clean again until dry!

2. Grater

Clean the cheese off the grater with a potato. No more shredding your sponges (or knuckles)! The oxalic acid from the potato binds the cheese-leavings to help remove them.

3. Shower curtain liner

Toss your shower curtain liner in your washing machine and set it on a hot water cycle, along with some old towels and a bit of bleach to remove any mildew. Either hang to dry or put it in the drier for a few minutes. No need to throw your dirty curtain away.

4. Carpet and upholstery stains

This may seem like a no-brainer but for years I made this mistake. Instead of spraying cleaner directly on the stain, put cleaner on a cloth and gently dab the area until the stain is gone. Rinse the same way with a clean cloth dipped in cooler water. If you spray the area directly, it can over-wet or damage the carpet or fabric.

5. Clothes/Towels

Washing clothes is like baking. Follow the instructions otherwise it won’t work properly. Don’t generously pour extra detergent or fabric softener into the machine – it won’t help your clothes, appliance or skin. In fact, by adding too much fabric softener or dryer sheets, it can reduce the absorption of cloth or fluffy fabrics.

6. Electronics

Any of your handheld devices are likely to get dirty and sticky but you probably don’t know how or never think to clean them. Do not spray them with a cleaner. Instead, use a micro-fibre cloth to clean, dust or remove smudges on an LCD screen.

7. Insinkerator

It gets rid of your unwanted/leftover food, so yes it needs cleaning. Try freezing vinegar cubes like you would water and throw them down the drain (when needed), then turn on the insinkerator disposal. Or, instead use citrus rinds to remove bad odours.

8. Sheets

We spend one third of our lives asleep and yet we spent a considerable amount of time lying in dirty sheets! This is especially true if you enjoy a late night snack in bed on occasion. Simply put, wash your sheets once a week!

9. Microwave

Give your microwave a 5-minute vinegar steam bath. Wipe away all nastiness.

10. Blender

Let your blender clean itself. How many times have you cut yourself trying to take apart your blender? All you have to do is fill it half full of water, add a squirt of dish soap and let it run for a minute.

11. Windows

Don’t clean your windows on a sunny day. They will dry too quickly and leave streaks. Instead, on a cloudy day start by sweeping or vacuuming (with the dusting attachment) the window, frame and screen to eliminate dust. Also, use a cloth instead of paper towel to wipe down the surface to avoid residue being left over.

12. Pet hair

A rubber glove will magically attract pet hair. No more rollers, the rubber glove will wipe up the hair from your furniture. Rinse the glove when you’ve finished and toss the hair-mess away.

Have you been cleaning any of these things incorrectly? Did you find these helpful tips? Share with us below!

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I think I will live and so will my family. Have been doing it my way for years and haven’t killed anyone yet

  2. The worst thing you can do to your washing machine is use any type of fabric softener. The soluble essential oils in softeners not only create a problem in the material (accumulating, thus lessening absorption) they build up in the machine as well and can be the cause of dreadful black marks that may be impossible to wash out!

    1 REPLY
    • I agree, we have had that problem with the black marks and even doing a Bowl clean does not get rid of the dried on scum 🙁

  3. I like the idea for cleaning the microwave with a vinegar steam bath. I also like that bleach was not in the instructions – it’s too harmful for the environment. Microfibre cloths work well for me.

  4. One thing many do incorrectly is allow the family to come inside. & wash hands at kitchen sink,it actually leaves germs that are transferred to food & utensils/crockery.

    1 REPLY
    • Come off it, that’s a bit far fetched,,,,,

  5. And those people who wash their hands in the sink often dry them on the tea towel, yuk.

    3 REPLY
    • I have clean tea towels every day for any dishes that need it, and a hand towel for hands. If I see anyone use the tea towel for hands I put it in the laundry. I saw a program on B&W TV about 40 years ago which showed a dirty tea towel under the microscope, it was literally alive with things! Yuk! Never forgot that.

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