Using Too Much Laundry Detergent
When doing laundry, many people fill the cap to the brim with detergent. As it turns out, though, there’s merit to following the directions on the packaging. Using too much soap will make your clothes feel greasy, and the suds can trap excess bacteria in the creases of the fabric—yuck!
Related: 9 Smart Hacks for Laundry Day
Ignoring Your Ceiling Fan
Most people neglect to clean their ceiling fan—until they notice a small mountain of dust collecting on top of each blade. Instead of using your regular feather duster to get the job done, reach for a pillowcase instead. Wipe the surface clean and flip the case inside out to collect the dirt, which prevents allergy-inducing particles from traveling down to the bed or floor.
Washing Your Chicken
When cooking a chicken dinner, your parents probably washed the raw bird in the sink to kill off any bacteria. Nowadays experts warn against this outdated practice, since holding a chicken under running water may cause harmful microbes to splash on towels as well as countertops and other kitchen surfaces. Minimize the risk of salmonella poisoning by taking the poultry directly from the packaging to the pan.
Putting Knives in the Dishwasher
Dishwashers are extremely convenient appliances that save you from having a pileup of dirty dishes in the sink, but you shouldn’t rely on the machine to wash everything in your kitchen drawers—for example, your knives. Running your knives through a dishwasher dulls the blades over time, which can make them more dangerous to use. Carefully hand-wash your knives to keep them sharp and sparkling clean.
Relying on Your Oven's Self-Cleaning Feature
Although many homeowners swear by their oven’s self-cleaning mode to eliminate caked-on food particles, the setting can harm your appliance and compromise your home’s air quality. Keep your oven clean by pouring salt over spills as they happen. At hot temperatures, the salt turns food residue into ash, which can then be wiped away with a towel once the oven cools.
Related: How To: Clean Any Appliance
Drying Towels with Fabric Softener
Fabric softener makes towels feel incredibly soft, but it can also reduce the absorbency of the fabric and trap unpleasant mildew smells. To increase the lifespan of your towels, skip the softener on laundry day and opt for detergent only.
Washing Hardwood with Water
Though wood floors are more hygienic than carpet, the smooth surface shows every speck of dirt and grime. Resist the urge to wash them with soap and water, which may warp and damage the wood, and opt for a wood-cleaning product instead. Work the product into your floor with a slightly damp rag mop to polish, shine, and deep-clean.
Mishandling Your Cast Iron
Not Cleaning Your Toilet Brush
After cleaning the toilet, most of us absentmindedly plop our wet scrubber back into its holder on the floor. Unfortunately, the brush can grow bacteria and germs in its container—and a dirty brush will never get the toilet truly clean. Be sure to clean your toilet brush and soak the toilet brush container in antibacterial cleaner once in a while, and ensure that the brush is completely dry before storing.
Relying on WD-40 for Everything
Even if your dad swears that WD-40 can fix every household problem, the spray isn’t the best solution for things that require a true lubricant, like squeaky door hinges. Rely on WD-40 to remove dirt and rust, and opt for petroleum jelly as your go-to lubricant.
Related: 9 Unusual Ways to Use WD-40
Ignoring Your Garbage Disposal
Garbage disposals are true heroes in the kitchen, yet they often go unnoticed when you're running through your cleaning routine. To freshen up your disposal, put a few ice cubes or citrus peels in your sink drain and turn on the disposal. This trick will clear out any old gunk and eliminate unpleasant smells.
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