10 Bad Cleaning Habits You Need to Break in the New Year

Whether it comes to cleaning – or our lives in general  – we all have them: bad habits. We’re all guilty of cutting corners from time to time while we’re cleaning. After all, who doesn’t want to make their chores easier and get them done faster? Well, believe it or not, sometimes taking certain shortcuts will actually make it harder on you in the long haul. Do you ever feel like you can’t get your house all the way clean? You and your loved ones may have developed some bad cleaning habits that are getting in the way of a sparkling clean home. We’re days away from the new year, and now more than ever, it's time to break these bad cleaning habits so you can get a cleaner home, faster! 

Here’s a good way to start and to make these tips your new routine: Pick one or two bad cleaning habits to break each week. Before you know it, you’ll have a solid cleaning routine and a cleaner home. 

Bad Habit #1: Cleaning With Dirty Tools

If you want to have a sparkling clean home, you need to start by using clean tools. A dirty sponge or mop doesn’t clean, it simply pushes around more grime and germs. If your washing machine has a foul odor from mildew and built-up bacteria, your clothes are going to stink. If your vacuum filter or bag is filled to the brim with dirt and dust, it won’t do a good job of sucking up more. Take the time to thoroughly clean tools after every use by emptying completely or washing with hot soapy water and then disinfecting with Vital Oxide to kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses. In the case of the smelly washing machine, run a hot water cycle and add one cup of Vital Oxide. After the cycle, spray the inside of the machine liberally with Vital Oxide and let it air dry. Also remember to periodically replace worn out tools. 

Bad Habit #2: Leaving Wet Towels & Shower Curtains Bunched Up 

If you’re tired of spending all your time in the laundry room and scrubbing mold and mildew from bathroom surfaces, take heart. Breaking these simple bad habits will give you more time! Don’t leave wet shower curtains bunched up and wet towels in a heap on the floor. And don’t forget to always hang up your non-slip shower mat after each use. By closing the shower curtain, it’ll dry more quickly and discourage mold and mildew growth. By hanging wet towels to dry, you'll get a second or third use and lighten your laundry loads at the same time. By hanging up your non-slip shower mat, you’re reducing the risk of mold, mildew, and lingering bacteria. 

Bad Habit #3: Not Completing Tasks

Of course we all get sidetracked while we’re cleaning, but always try to finish a task once you’ve started it. If you start dusting the living room, don’t stop for a social media break until the whole room is dusted. If you know you only have a few minutes to clean up, start by removing clutter and putting items in their proper place. Then if you get interrupted, you can come back later to do the deeper cleaning.

Bad Habit #4: Using Too Much Cleaning Product

This goes for almost all realms – countertops, floors, laundry, you name it. Using more product doesn’t make anything cleaner. The bottom line: Always follow product directions! Not reading the label on the products we use is a surefire way to make a cleaning fail. The manufacturers will have recommendations on how to use the product, how much you need, and where it should be used. So if it says a capful of detergent for a load of clothes, don't throw in two or three, thinking it will be twice as effective, when in reality you’ll have to wash the clothes again to remove excess detergent. Just follow the instructions! The same goes for cleaning tools. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to prevent electrocution, injury, or worse.

Read Vital Oxide’s label here

Bad Habit #5: Leaving Dirty Dishes in the Sink

How much longer does it really take to put that dirty bowl in the dishwasher, or even to wash it by hand? Likely only a few seconds. Not only is it harder to clean dishes that have dried food residue stuck on them, leaving dirty dishes in the sink is a jackpot for hungry insects and also the perfect breeding ground for bacteria like Salmonella, Listeria, E. coli, plus mold and yeast. All of these organisms can cause digestive upset and even make you and your family very sick. 

Break this bad cleaning habit by training everyone in the household to either put the dishes in the dishwasher or wash them immediately, and also to regularly disinfect the kitchen sink with Vital Oxide. It’s easy: After washing the dishes, wash out the sink with hot soapy water. Rinse. Then spray liberally with Vital Oxide and let air dry. That’s it! Remember, a few minutes here and there is so much easier, and healthier, than a stack of messy dishes. 

Bad Habit #6: Using Disinfectant Wipes 

We went over this topic in detail here, but it’s an extremely relevant one. With the COVID-19 pandemic on everyone’s mind, people are using disposable disinfectant wipes to wipe down everything from shopping carts to bathrooms. However, improper use can do more harm than good. If you do choose to use disinfecting wipes, it’s important to understand that you can’t just swipe them on everything and expect your home to be germ-free. You’ll want to make sure the wipes you buy can actually kill viruses and bacteria. You’ll also want to ensure that you’re using them the right way, otherwise you risk cross-contamination. Using disposable disinfectant wipes correctly is expensive, not to mention the long list of negative effects on the environment. 

Instead, toss the wipes and opt for Vital Oxide for everyday cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting. It’s versatile, and it’s also on the EPA’s List N as a disinfectant approved for use against SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19. What about the impact Vital Oxide has on the environment? After use, Vital Oxide breaks down to simple salt and produces no harmful byproducts – making it an environmentally-friendly choice. Not to mention, it’s much more economical than disposable disinfectant wipes. To use disinfectant wipes properly, you need to reach for a new wipe for each item or surface, or else you’ll simply be transferring germs from one surface to the next. Even smaller rooms like the bathroom require A LOT of wipes for effective disinfection. On the other hand, a 32 oz bottle of Vital Oxide can typically cover 250-square-feet if sprayed directly from the bottle and 2,000-square-feet if applied by an electrostatic sprayer or fogging device. For surfaces like electronics that cannot be directly sprayed with liquid, apply Vital Oxide using a clean microfiber cloth to disinfect. 

Bad Habit #7: Wearing Outside Shoes in the House

We’ve all heard our parents or grandparents tell us to take our shoes off at the front door at some point in our lives. And for good reason! Taking just a few seconds to remove your shoes each time you come in from the outside will save you hours of vacuuming. Not to mention the bacteria and germs that will stay out of living areas. Even if your shoes aren't visibly dirty, they're teeming with bacteria picked up from the outside world. In fact, a study by the University of Arizona found an average of 421,000 units of bacteria on footwear. Yikes! Leave germs out in the cold and remove your shoes at the door. Make this habit simple for everyone in the household by providing a bench or chair for easy shoe removal, and consider adding a shoe tray for wet or muddy shoes and a shelf or bin to collect each family member's footwear.

Bad Habit #8: Using Harsh Cleaners

Let’s face it, bleach has been a household staple long before many of us were born. But it turns out, bleach isn't as good a cleaner as we once thought. Not only that, but bleach is intensely harsh, it can cause a long list of adverse health effects (including respiratory issues and disease), and can cause damage around your home. If bleach is a regular part of your regular cleaning routine, consider swapping it out for an alternative that works harder without all of the negative effects: Vital Oxide. It’s free from harsh chemicals like sulfates, phthalates, dyes, allergens, ammonia, and bleach. Instead, Vital Oxide harnesses the power of oxygen – in the form of stabilized chlorine dioxide – to create a fast-acting, environmentally-friendly, effective broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent and cleaner. And while it has chlorine in its name, it’s very different from chlorine bleach. Unlike bleach, which has a harsh odor and forms trihalomethanes when mixed with water, making it extremely corrosive – chlorine dioxide breaks down into simple salt, making it much less corrosive to surfaces and more versatile in a variety of application situations. With Vital Oxide, you don’t have to worry about exposing your loved ones to harsh chemicals. 

Bad Habit #9: Allowing Paper Clutter to Accumulate 

Even though we pay most of our bills and fill out most forms online, somehow, there is still a never ending mountain of paper that ends up in our homes. Magazines, flyers, newspapers, school papers and projects; they have the tendency to pile up. This is one of the easiest bad habits to break. Instead of letting paper pile up, designate a place in the kitchen (or near the entryway) for all paper forms, mail, and periodicals. Keep a shredder and recycling bin nearby and sort through it at least once a week. For children’s school papers and art projects, consider having a designated storage bin and select a few to save, or even frame a few and hang them up. 

Bad Habit #10: Waiting Until the Cleaning Task Is Overwhelming

This is one of the hardest habits to break, but breaking it will save you time, energy, and frustration. Resist the urge to put off cleaning and waiting until the task has become overwhelming. Instead, wash, dry, fold and put away that load of laundry, dust and vacuum one or two rooms each day, and load and empty the dishwasher before dishes pile up, and cleaning the entire house won’t be so daunting. Or, better yet, try following a cleaning checklist to stay on track; check out Porch's cleaning checklist and recommended cleaning routine for a fantastic example. You’ve got this! 

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of the list. We hope these tips will make your upcoming year a bit easier, and give you more time to do things that you enjoy. From all of us at Vital Oxide, Happy New Year! 

Want more cleaning tips? Follow Vital Oxide on Instagram (@vitaloxideofficial). If you have any questions, please Contact Us or Send Us a Message on Facebook. We’re here to help!
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