11 Bad Cleaning Habits & Easy Ways to Finally Break Them

Break up with bad cleaning habits and fall in love with your new, spotless home.

Published December 21, 2023

We all have that one flaw in our cleaning routine we just haven't broken up with yet. But it's time to say goodbye to bad cleaning habits for good. The trick to making this breakup a permanent one is to swap those less-than-perfect habits for some cleaning hacks that actually work. 

Stop Skipping the Baseboards


The Bad Cleaning Habit: Skipping the Baseboards

We're just going to say it: cleaning baseboards is the worst. You're not the only one who avoids them for as long as possible.

The Cleaning Solution: Take the Easy Route

Who wants to spend all day scooting around the floor with a cloth and a bucket? Not us. That's why we prefer the easy method for cleaning baseboards. When a cleaning task is easier to tackle, we're much more likely to stay consistent. An extendible duster, a mop, and soapy water make the process a lot easier and significantly faster. 

Skip the Germs & Sanitize Your Sponge


The Bad Cleaning Habit: Not Sanitizing Your Kitchen Sponge

Sponges clean many things, but they don't clean themselves. Using that germ-covered sponge on dishes or your counter is only going to make your kitchen dirtier.

The Cleaning Solution: Use the Dishwasher to Your Advantage

Do the easy thing and toss that sponge into your dishwasher whenever you run it. This will prolong your sponge's life and keep everything sanitary.

Make Sure You're Using the Right Product


The Bad Cleaning Habit: Using the Wrong Cleaning Products

Just because a product says it's "all-purpose" doesn't mean it truly is. You want to make sure you're using the correct products for each part of your home you're cleaning.

The Cleaning Solution: Learn How to Choose the Right Products

Multisurface and all-purpose cleaning products are great, but it's important to know when they aren't enough. 

  • For bathroom surfaces, you need a disinfectant.
  • For wood surfaces, make sure your product is intended for wood and follow with a conditioner as needed.
  • Windows and mirrors require a glass cleaner.
  • Your shower or bath might need a cleaner with bleach.
  • Surfaces like granite, marble, or steel call for specialized cleaners. 

Sorting Laundry Is Worth Your Time


The Bad Cleaning Habit: Not Sorting Your Laundry

You may have gotten away with washing all of your clothes together in college. But, if you're washing a wide range of garments and fabrics, you should do some minimal sorting to make sure your pieces are getting as clean as possible.

The Cleaning Solution: Follow Easy Sorting Rules

Sorting your laundry only takes a few moments and is well worth the effort if it means prolonging the life of your garments and textiles. 

  • Sort colors into darks, whites, and colors. 
  • Sort pieces into clothing, bedding, towels, and delicates.
  • Sort by heaviness of fabric when needed. You may not want to wash heavy pants or outerwear with delicate or simple cotton items.
  • Be sure to take pieces to the dry cleaners if the label indicates you should.
Quick Tip

Keep extra hampers in your laundry area for each category so you can sort laundry as you go and then wash the load when the hamper is full. 

Trying to Clean Everything in One Day Doesn't Work


The Bad Cleaning Habit: Trying to Clean Everything on the Same Day

This could be the single cleaning habit that's tripping you up and making your cleaning tasks feel impossible. Trying to squeeze all your cleaning for the week or your deep cleaning for the month into one day might be setting you up for failure.

The Cleaning Solution: Set Up a Cleaning Schedule

Instead of trying to clean your entire house in a day or a weekend, try a daily cleaning schedule you can stick to. No more overwhelming weekends of cleaning for you. 

Close Your Kitchen Every Night


The Bad Cleaning Habit: Putting Off Cleaning the Kitchen

Turning the light off in your kitchen every night and saying you'll tackle the mess the next morning is a cleaning habit that's so easy to fall into. But, more often than not, the mess continues for the next day, and you're left to deal with clutter and germs before you can even think about making dinner. 

The Cleaning Solution: Close Your Kitchen Every Night

Instead of feeling stressed by the mess each morning, make a point to "close your kitchen" every evening. Doing so helps you start the day with a clean slate.

  • Put away any food from dinner
  • Clear the counters of clutter
  • Load and run the dishwasher
  • Wipe down the counter, cooktop, and the handles on your appliances.
  • Clean the sink.
Helpful Hack

You don't have to spend forever on this task. Set a timer for ten minutes and try racing against the clock to get the kitchen closed every night.

Upholstery Needs Special Attention


The Bad Cleaning Habit: Forgetting Your Upholstery

As long as the pillows are fluffed, it's easy to forget that your upholstery needs some extra attention when it comes to cleaning. Your sofa, mattress, and other large upholstered pieces need thorough cleaning from time to time.

The Cleaning Solution: Find Easy Methods for Cleaning Upholstery.

You don't need to go searching for the easiest ways to clean your sofa or your mattress, we've already found them for you.

Skipping the Windows Is Tempting


The Bad Cleaning Habit: Putting Off Cleaning Your Windows

From the glass to the tracks, windows are one of the least appealing cleaning tasks. So, they're tempting to skip. But clear and clean windows might make your whole home look brighter. 

The Cleaning Solution: Schedule Some Window Cleaning Time

There's no trick to making cleaning windows more fun, but knowing when you need to clean them can help you stay on top of the task. Since windows can take a bit of time, schedule the task into your usual cleaning list with a larger window. It's the type of task you just have to commit to doing and get it done. We do have a hack for making it easy to clean window tracks, though. 

Bathroom Textiles Get Pretty Gross


The Bad Cleaning Habit: Leaving Dirty Towels in the Bathroom

Your towels, bath mats, and shower curtain might look a lot cleaner than they actually are. Skipping or prolonging this cleaning task can leave bacteria on your surfaces and the smell of mildew in your bathroom.

The Cleaning Solution: Clean Your Bathroom Textiles Regularly

Change your bathroom towels daily and clean your bath mat once a week. When you deep clean the shower or bath, make sure you give the shower curtain a cleaning as well. 

Give Cleaning the Ceiling Fan a Whirl


The Bad Cleaning Habit: Ignoring the Dust on Your Ceiling Fan

You probably don't take a hard look at your ceiling fan very often. So it probably gets forgotten on your list of cleaning tasks. It can also feel like a complicated part of your home to tidy up. But, a pillow case makes cleaning your ceiling fan quick and mess-free.

The Cleaning Solution: Try the Pillowcase Method

With an old pillowcase dedicated to the chore, use it to effortlessly dust off each blade of your ceiling fan. Place the pillowcase over each blade and sweep all that dust safely inside as you pull back. Give the light and the rest of the fan a quick dusting, and this task you've been dreading is finished in just minutes.

Your Child's Toys Need Attention


The Bad Cleaning Habit: Leaving Germs on Your Kids' Toys

The toys your child plays with go through a lot. They're left on the floor, touched by the dog, and covered in the germs that only toddlers can produce. That means they need to be cleaned often.

The Cleaning Solution: Take the Simple Approach

Because you're so focused on the usual cleaning tasks, you may often forget to clean and sanitize your child's toys. Follow these practices to keep your whole family safe from germs.

  • Wash their favorite stuffed animal every month.
  • Look out for mildew on bath toys and clean them weekly.
  • Wipe down your child's favorite toys with disinfectant wipes and clean their preferred play surfaces while you're at it.
  • Don't forget the outdoor toys. Give them a wipe with disinfectant and rinse with the hose once a month. 

Wipe Away Bad Cleaning Habits


Cleaning isn't a beloved hobby for most of us. It's just something that must be done. As you're learning to let go of bad cleaning habits, embrace the hacks that make the tasks more manageable. Your home will be cleaner, and you'll be happier.

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11 Bad Cleaning Habits & Easy Ways to Finally Break Them