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15 Common Spring Cleaning Mistakes

‘Tis the time for spring cleaning — that time of year where you scrub and scour everything from the light fixtures to the carpets. But before you begin, let’s talk basics.

Here are some of the most common spring cleaning mistakes — including helpful tips, DIY recipes, and a whole bunch of “DON’Ts”:


  • Spring Cleaning Mistakes 1 of 16
    Spring Cleaning Mistakes
    Click through for 15 of the biggest "Spring Cleaning" mistakes
  • Instead: Do a little each day 2 of 16
    Instead: Do a little each day
    Dedicating ONE day to do a full "spring cleaning" might drive you mad. Opt for a "divide and conquer" approach — spreading it out over a week or even longer. If you can block out 10 to 15 minutes each day, you won't feel so overwhelmed.
  • Instead: Check out these DIY home cleaning recipes 3 of 16
    Instead: Check out these DIY home cleaning recipes
    Like corn meal for grease stains and Cream of Tartar for stainless steel. And apparently you just need vinegar for...everything.
  • Instead: Make a Chore Chart/Set a Plan 4 of 16
    Instead: Make a Chore Chart/Set a Plan
    Here's a really awesome DIY toddler chore chart, and here are some free printable chore charts for the whole family.
    ALL HANDS IN. Even the little ones.
  • Instead: Clean FIRST 5 of 16
    Instead: Clean FIRST
    Disinfecting everything with bleach might SOUND clean, but it doesn't pay to actually skip the cleaning step. Get rid of the crumbs and dirt before pouring on the disinfectant.
  • Instead: Go Green(er) 6 of 16
    Instead: Go Green(er)
    "Spring Cleaning" is as good excuse as any to finally ditch your paper towel addiction. Between the kitchen, bathroom, mirrors, furniture — you can easily go through multiple paper towel rolls on your cleaning binge. Opt for a less wasteful approach with micro-fiber cloth and ordinary rags.
  • Instead: Warm it up 7 of 16
    Instead: Warm it up
    According to Oprah.com, it's much easier to clean a warm oven than a cold one. It shouldn't be screaming hot (obviously), but warm it on 250-degrees for 10 minutes, and then spray a baking-soda/water mixture inside. Scrub it after 20 minutes.
  • Instead: Check out these awesome tips 8 of 16
    Instead: Check out these awesome tips
    According to WomansDay.com you can use tang as toilet cleanser (YES! TANG!), mineral oil to shine stainless steel, and white vinegar to replace fabric softener.
  • Instead: BLOT, don’t scrub 9 of 16
    Instead: BLOT, don't scrub
    Scrubbing a stain — such as red wine on carpet or ketchup on a white couch — will only ingrain the stain into the fabric.
  • BE CAREFUL 10 of 16
    BE CAREFUL
    It's not just ammonia and bleach that shouldn't be combined. Even mixing things like vinegar and hydrogen peroxide can be potentially dangerous for your skin/eyes/lungs. (Although vinegar and hydrogen peroxide IS an incredible natural disinfectant — but don't mix them in the same container. First spray vinegar, then use the hydrogen peroxide.) Do some research before doing any at-home combinations.
  • Keep the air circulating 11 of 16
    Keep the air circulating
    ...especially with kids in the house. When in doubt, open some windows.
  • Instead: Everything has a home 12 of 16
    Instead: Everything has a home
    To keep clutter in check, try having a designated "lost and found" in the house. Take a walk through the house with a basket and toss in anything lying around — shoes, loose books, etc. Not only will it do a quick clean up, but the kids (and husband) will know exactly where to look for something.

    Other than that, use baskets and bins for toys, puzzles, books, etc.
  • Don’t forget germy places… 13 of 16
    Don't forget germy places...
    ...like the doorknobs! And toilet handles! Oh, and the e-coli breeding ground that is the SINK. It's so easy to focus on the floors and counters, without remembering to disinfect the places that collect the most germs. (Don't forget your germ-filled sponge — which you can clean with a quick minute in the microwave.)
  • Don’t forget these easily forgotten places… 14 of 16
    Don't forget these easily forgotten places...
    Namely the dishwasher, washing machine, and shower head. Speaking of which, check out this awesome tip on cleaning your shower heads.
  • Instead: Be reasonable 15 of 16
    Instead: Be reasonable
    Listen, you're busy. You have work to do, hair to wash, children to keep alive. If you have the extra money, why not hire some help? At least for the nitty-gritty "spring cleaning" stuff — like blinds and ceiling fans and ovens. And if you don't have the extra cash....
  • Instead: Put things into perspective 16 of 16
    Instead: Put things into perspective
    Remember that a messy house is a happy house.

 

Read more of Michelle’s writing at Early Mama.

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