Seemingly Harmless Ways You May Be Ruining Your Home
It’s easy to own a home. Taking care of it is another story. The former simply needs you to sign a lease. The latter requires attention and focus. If you have a home but you don’t know how to take proper care of it, you might need to confess your sins and start to feel remorseful for your dastardly deeds.
This list is not exhaustive, but it covers the basic things we should be doing but in many cases aren’t. Consider this a warning and a clear sign for you to change your ways!
Suck, Don’t Sweep
Dirt is everywhere. You have two options to get rid of it – either sweep it away or vacuum it. If you choose to sweep dirt using a broom, expect all the dirt to spread faster than you can say COVID-19.
If you choose to vacuum away dirt, you will get rid of it easily from your floor. Which method do you think works best? A better question is, which method is ideal for someone too lazy to do any cleaning? The answer, of course, is the vacuum cleaner.
Making Your Bed Is Not Always The Best Thing To Do
Growing up, you may have heard your folks tell you to make your bed the minute you get up. But doing it immediately is actually a no-no. Why? You are keeping all your body’s moisture trapped underneath the sheets if you do it this way.
The best thing to do is to wait a few minutes and allow your bed to air dry before you start making it. Your bed bugs will thank you. Expect sound slumber too.
Avoid Placing Bleach Tablets Inside Your Toilet Tank
Thanks to bleach tablets, cleaning toilet tanks has never been this easy. Simply toss one inside a tank, and voila! You get a pristine tank. No need to scrub all the nasty nooks and crannies. But is a bleach tablet everything it’s cut out to be?
You may be saving yourself time, money, energy, and the eww-factor of having to clean inside your toilet tank. But bleach tablets can actually cause the rubber parts and plastic flushing system of your tank to wear down. It may be clean for now, but for how long, really?
Coffee And Tea Should Not Be Poured Down The Toilet
Both of these drinks can stain a white porcelain surface. Throwing them in a toilet is, therefore, not a logical thing to do. Imagine the effort you must exert to clean off the stains. Worse, imagine the looks on visitors’ faces when they see the state of your toilet! Good luck convincing them it’s only coffee.
If you find the process of removing coffee stains from your teeth difficult enough, it’s best to throw tea and coffee into a compost bin. That way, you’ll be helping the environment instead of destroying your toilet.
Keep Your Sink Free From Pasta Water
Pasta water contains starch. If it is poured down your sink, fatty deposits will form inside the pipes. Somewhat similar results will be seen when you pour coffee grounds right into your sink. Expect both to block your sewer.
Throw pasta water into your garden instead. Plants need liquid carbs, but your sink definitely does not. Get this gunk away from your kitchen, and make sure to never pour it into your sink.
Granite Countertops Do Not Need Vinegar
Vinegar is not everything it’s cut out to be. If you’ve seen people online claiming that vinegar can clean everything, including granite, you need to know that this is not the gospel truth. Professional homebuyer Melanie Hartmann confirmed that vinegar is not a miracle cleaner.
When vinegar is used to clean granite countertops, the end result is that your gorgeous granite will turn into an eyesore. Vinegar has the ability to wear down the sealant in granite countertops. Eventually, the sheen decreases, and so does your kitchen’s beauty.
Do Not Clean Your Dishwasher With Vinegar
Let’s not villainize vinegar. It is an excellent cleaner and has been used extensively and effectively in homes. But it should not be used to clean everything that is inside your house, especially your dishwasher.
Vinegar can harm the sensitive rubber and plastic found inside your dishwasher because of its high acid content. If you want to keep using your dishwasher and want to avoid doing manual labor, please heed this advice.
Vinegar Will Not Clean Grout
We can’t stress this enough. Vinegar is a miracle liquid that can be used not only on food but for cleaning. However, as with all things, there is a limit. You can combine vinegar with other cleaning solutions, but using it to clean dirt from your grout is not advisable.
When you use vinegar to clean tiles, its acidity will cause the grout to wear over time. Eventually, you can expect to see your grout turn yellow and crumbly. Who wants to be in a bathroom that has crumbly grout and yellow stains?
Rethink Your Barbecue Grill
Homes don’t feel complete without the requisite barbecue grill. Most homeowners have a grill they can use during summer, but be aware of where you place these babies. There is a proper way to position them, and they should not be placed close to your house.
Numerous fires have started because a grill was placed too close to someone’s house. If you want to have a fun barbecue with your family, being threatened with a potential fire generally isn’t on your to-do list. So, remember this tip and place your grill at a safe distance from anything flammable.
Avoid Plastic Cutting Boards
Plastic cutting boards are easy to use. They are handy and easy to clean. Everyone has them in their kitchen. If everyone has them, they are probably safe, and there is no reason why we should not use them, right? Wrong!
When you look closely, plastic cutting boards are full of scratches. These scratches eventually become a rich breeding ground for all types of food-borne bacteria. It’s best to keep these away from your kitchen.
Rugs Must Not Be Shampooed
Rugs are not hair, so they do not need to be shampooed. Clean your rugs how your grandmother used to do it – by beating them with a racket. You can also clean rugs the way your mom did – by vacuuming.
What happens if you shampoo your rugs? Expect to live with and breathe in the mold spores that have made your rug their home sweet home. Shampooed rugs may look clean, but they are potential sources of sickness.
Door Slamming Is A Very, Very Bad Thing
Slamming a door hurts the ears because of the noise it makes, but it also ruins the alignment of your door. If you or your teenager is into door-slamming when making a point, it’s best to express yourselves in a healthier way. Try walking it off instead.
Continued door slamming eventually misaligns a door and produces an ugly gap between the trim and the jam. It is also an emotionally unhelpful way of expressing yourself, so it won’t hurt to cut it out.
Lint Filters Must Be Consistently Cleaned
Lint must be cleaned from your dryer filter regularly as it causes dryers to perform poorly. Getting rid of this gunk will keep your machine operating at its best. Also, too much lint can also be a cause for fires.
These small and seemingly harmless bits of fluff have been deemed hazardous by experts. Always remove lint each time you use the dryer. It may look like a small step, but it’s a giant leap for keeping your home lint-free, and more importantly, fire-free.
Gutters Must Always Be Free of Debris
This picture says it all: You should not let gutters be filled with dirt, dead leaves, and any form of debris. You should also not let your grandpa clean your dirty gutters for you.
Gutters keep rainwater away from your roof. Do you know what happens when water gets stuck on your roof? It stays there until grandpa removes the blockage because you are too lazy to do it yourself. Clean your gutters and keep your grandpa safe and happy.
Do Not Use Dish Soap For Cleaning Cutting Boards
Notice the knife marks on your cutting board? Those little gaps are actually spaces where bacteria can live. Using dishwashing liquid to clean them is not effective since those microorganisms will simply transfer to the wash sponge and dishes.
The best way to clean cutting boards is by using hydrogen peroxide, not dishwashing soap. Make sure you have some handy near the sink. Doing so will keep your family healthy by removing the threat of food-borne diseases that may otherwise infiltrate your digestive system.
Leave Shoes Outside The House
Once you bring shoes inside your house, you are also bringing in dirt, grime, and all the residual germs left by all the nameless, faceless people and critters that stepped on the same ground your shoes traversed.
Stop doing what all Americans have been doing since the advent of time. Keep shoes outside of the house and save yourself from allergy symptoms and illnesses caused by wayward bacteria that hitch a ride on the bottom of your shoes.
Bleaching Hardwood Floors Will Soften Them
Bleach will not literally cause your hardwood floors to soften up, but it could cause them to lose their sheen. Tiles and porcelain surfaces are fine with bleach, but hardwood floors are a different story.
Bleach is simply too potent and may strip hardwood floors’ polyurethane coating. Keep your hardwood safe from the perils of bleach. Warm water and a few drops of dish soap are enough to keep it clean.
Flushable Wipes Are Not Flushable
Just because a potato chip commercial says you can’t stop once you pop does not mean you will eat potato chips forever. The same principle applies to flushable wipes. These wipes – surprise surprise – are not as flushable as they’re marketed as being. Who knew advertisers lied to us?
These wipes are made of non-woven fabric. When you flush them down the toilet, they could very well end up getting stuck in your pipes. If you want to know how it feels to flush money down the drain, then feel free to continue flushing these wipes down your toilet.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner Does Not Remove Grout
Whatever information your neighbor gave you about removing grime from your bathroom using only toilet bowl cleaner is incorrect. Such cleaners do not clean grout effectively. Instead, they will only break your grout down, causing it to caulk over time.
Toilet bowl cleaners are highly acidic and can cause terrible damage to the grout in your bathroom. There is a reason the label says “toilet cleaner” – it is only made for toilet bowls. Always look for gentle cleaners you can use to rid your bathroom of dirt and grime.
Walking Wet After A Shower Is Harmful
Surprisingly, you are in quite a bit of danger if you walk around wet after stepping out of the shower. It is always safer to dry yourself first before walking around your house. That way, you avoid slipping, and you keep your floors dry.
If you continually walk wet, that water will eventually make your wooden floor buckle from all that moisture. Your floors will warp and lose their shape. Would you rather pay to change your warped floors or just towel off properly? You decide.
Close Your Curtains
The sun is a good source of vitamin D, but too much of it can actually harm your home. Leaving your curtains open the whole day and having the sun’s rays creep inside your house all the time can damage your furniture.
The best thing to do is to close your curtains when the sun gets too hot. If you are going out, make sure you close the blinds to prevent the sun’s rays from entering your room. Your furniture will thank you by staying beautiful for longer.
Keep Your Downspout Together
Don’t complain about how your drain pipes look. They may not be pleasant to look at, but they do a lot of good. Taking good care of your pipes will benefit your home, especially when it is raining.
Never remove downspouts. Their purpose in the world is to keep rainwater away from the foundation of your house. When you let these devices do their job, you make your house stronger and more resilient.
Clean The Drain Of Your Dishwasher Regularly
Try not to use your dishwasher’s self-cleaning mode whenever you feel lazy. Stretch a few of your muscles for a change and do your best to manually clean your dishwasher’s filter. Located at the bottom of your machine, filters keep your dishwasher running smoothly.
Cleaning your filter also helps your dishwasher last longer. All you need is warm soapy water to keep it clean. It’s the lightest manual labor you can ever do.
Damp Laundry Should Not Be Left In The Washer
What happens when you leave damp clothing in the washer? Evidently, it retains moisture, collects mold, and eventually becomes stinky. In the end, you have no choice but to rewash your clothes. Why would you want to rewash something you already washed?
To avoid this, always make sure you start doing laundry only if you can readily switch them to the dryer once washing is complete. Also, dryers need to be free from mold. Try to rinse clothes in white vinegar or bleach to ensure they’re bacteria-free.
Tree Branches Must Be Trimmed
If your front yard or backyard has trees, make sure you have the branches trimmed, especially if there is an oncoming storm. It is critical to have your property surveyed for any dangerous hanging branches.
If you see any branches that can potentially break due to strong winds, trim them as soon as possible before a storm arrives. You’ll be helping your house (and your neighbors) stay safe. Plus, it keeps the people in your home very well protected.
Humidity Is Bad For Hardwood Floors
Hardwood floors do not like humidity. Their natural sensitivity makes them prone to moisture. They expand when the moisture is high and shrink when humidity is low. If you can, purchase a humidifier, especially if your house is situated in a moist climate.
Though a dehumidifier may be costly, it is a minor investment compared to the money you will spend to maintain such expensive floors. You will thank yourself in the future.
Keep A Stud Finder Handy
The beauty of a stud finder is that it makes finding the place to hang something in your house extremely easy. It beats having to find the right spot via guesswork. Gone will be the days of knocking on the wall just to see if it is sturdy enough for your clock or picture frame.
A stud finder takes all the guesswork out and ensures you find the correct place. It does the work so you don’t have to, and it does it with swift and perfect precision.
Hardwood Floors Deserve Furniture Pads
Hardwood floors are sensitive beings that deserve care and respect. To show your concern for your hardwood floors, always place furniture pads underneath any heavy furniture you may have in your home.
You’ll save your floors from unwanted scratches anytime you move a heavy item, and you’ll keep your gorgeous hardwood floor smooth and free from scrapes. Keeping your home in good shape really doesn’t take a lot of money. Instead, it’s all in the details.
Keep Santa Happy By Cleaning Your Chimney Regularly
Chimney-cleaning should be a habit you never break. A dirty chimney not only keeps Santa away, but it can also lead to lethal consequences if it is not taken care of properly. This is harsh but true.
A poorly maintained fireplace can drastically decrease the quality of air circulating in your house. If such a situation continues, it can be the cause of fireplace pollution that eventually leads to your family’s poor health.
Keep Mulch Far From Your House
Stay away from mulch as much as you possibly can. Though having mulch around your home can help you make gorgeous flower beds, mulch actually produces moisture that can negatively affect your house.
Mulch is a magnet for termites that can eventually infest your home and destroy its foundation. If you want the best of both worlds, you can keep your flower bed as long as you also keep mulch as far from your house as possible.
Spray Cleaners Must Not Be Sprayed On Surfaces
What are spray cleaners for if you can’t spray them on surfaces? If you want a clean room or table surface, apply spray cleaners on a sponge or paper towel and use that to wipe surfaces.
The reason why you are not supposed to directly spray these onto counters or floors is because of the thin, ugly film they leave behind every time they are used. Using a rag or cloth will prevent this from happening and help you get a clean surface every time.
Make Exhaust Fans Your Friend
Exhaust fans in the bathroom help remove any excess moisture after baths and showers. Turning it on regularly, especially after bathing, is the best way to reduce humidity. Odor is also removed as well as the threat of any airborne contaminants.
Exhaust fans also remove any possibility of your bathroom mirror fogging up. Stagnant air gets to move and circulate in the presence of an exhaust fan. Therefore, mold and bacteria are not able to survive. With so many benefits, they are an important feature in any bathroom.
Never Pour Fats, Oil, or Grease Down The Drain
This photo may be disturbing to look at, but it’s a powerful reminder that you should never pour any fats, oil, or grease down your drains after cooking. This image is of a water pipe completely clogged by a build-up of oil and fats.
While when cooking, the fats, oil, and grease may appear to be a liquid when they’re heated, once they are poured down the sink they typically solidify and can lead to dangerous sewage system clogs. The best thing to do is place any excess oil you have in a container. Collect grease from any of the pots and pans you use, and once it has solidified, dispose of it as you would with other solid waste.
Don’t Drown Your Hardwood Floors With Water
Mopping your floors is a good habit to get into, but when it comes to hardwood, too much water can create problems. Avoid using a wet mop on hardwood floors unless you want the boards to become warped.
Hardwood will also wear down through time if it is continually washed with excess water. Use only very minimal water to clean such sensitive floors. Your house will thank you for it. After all, a clean house is the foundation of a happy home.
The Toilet Brush Should Not Be Returned To Its Holder After Use
Don’t believe everything your parents tell you. That includes anything about toilet brushes. If you were told to put it back in its holder after you have cleaned the toilet, don’t do it. What do you think will happen if you place a wet and dirty object into a closed, moist space?
The toilet brush will remain wet when it is placed in a damp place. Instead, the brush must be dipped in a household cleaner and then set out to dry.
Towels Must Not Be Left In The Bathroom
It may be convenient to leave towels in the bathroom where you can easily use them after bathing. But doing so is really not advisable. Bathroom towels must not be left for prolonged periods in the bathroom.
The bathroom is a moisture-rich environment. Leaving towels in a room filled with moisture can cause bacteria to breed. You surely don’t want to put a piece of bacteria-ridden cloth on your face after bathing. Instead, keep towels in a dry place where they can air out between uses.
Trim Vines From Your Home
Vine-covered walls are gorgeous to look at. But allowing vines to hug your home may not be the best idea. When vines encircle your house, it’s not just the leaves that hug your home.
You can expect to see creepy crawlies, bugs, worms, and other critters around your abode too. Plus, vines retain moisture, and if they’re clinging to your home, that means you have a layer of dampness all around you. Unless you want your house to become a makeshift rainforest, trim those vines off!
Don’t Store Everything Underneath Your Porch
It’s not against the law to store things you don’t want to see in your house underneath your porch. It is perfectly fine to convert your porch into a makeshift storage facility. But do you think it is right to put your old couch, Christmas decorations, and other clutter down there?
When you store all your unwanted stuff under your porch, air circulation can be blocked. Eventually, you can expect to see the boards warping. The question to ask yourself now is, have you ever heard of a garage sale?
Don’t Fill Your Closet To The Brim
A closet full of clothes does not only mean you are addicted to maxing out your credit card. It also means you may be ruining your drywall. Do not pile your clothes on top of each other or layer them on clothes hangers.
When you place numerous clothing pieces on hangers, the closet rod, as well as the brackets in your closet, will become strained. Eventually, the brackets could be pulled from the wall, thus destroying your drywall.
Avoid Dusting Pads
Swiffer is a lifesaver for homemakers who want something to clean their house in a way that is fast and efficient. No need to wash a mop. Simply use the Swiffer and throw the dusting pad out after use. But are these really helping your home?
When you use a dusting pad, it leaves a thin residue on the floor that actually attracts more dust. You then need to clean the dust off again with a Swiffer only for your floor to attract more dust. The never-ending cycle only leads you to buy more Swiffer products and never get your home fully cleaned.
Eco-Friendly Swiffer Alternative
As Swiffers are notorious for pushing dirt around and causing you to waste more money on the replacement pads, you may be curious about an eco-friendly alternative that won’t ruin your home. Well, here’s a DIY hack you can try using a large fuzzy sock! We all know how much dirt and dust the bottom of our socks can pick up while walking on our floors, so this mop will work in a similar fashion.
Simply cut a small hole near the heel of the sock then slide the Swiffer mop’s pole through the standard opening then through your created incision. Stretch out the sock until it covers the entire mop head. Once you finish mopping, you can simply take off the sock and wash it, thus creating a more environmentally friendly cleaning option rather than throwing out countless cleaning pads.
Using Huge Amounts Of Cleaning Product Isn’t Recommended
Being a neat freak is a good thing but sometimes too much obsession with cleanliness can be bad. There’s no rule that says we can’t use multiple cleaning products at home. But did you know that using great amounts of cleaning products won’t make your house cleaner than you want it to be?
For instance, using more than enough detergent powder can leave behind a residue on your clothes because it won’t be able to wash out as expected. Better save your cleaning items and money and use cleaning products as directed.
Keep Your Cleaning Tools Clean
You use your broom and dustpan to collect debris on the surface. You use your vacuum to clean your carpets, but do you also keep these cleaning tools squeaky clean? Let’s say that you’re mopping the floor with a mop that you forgot to clean, well, now you’re (un)intentionally spreading the bacteria around your house.
By using unsanitary cleaning supplies, you’re actually making matters worse by creating a playground for dirt and germs, hence putting your family’s health at risk. Remember to always clean your cleaning tools!
Don’t Use One Wipe To Clean Everything
Needless to say, disinfectant wipes quickly wipe out dirt and bacteria from different surfaces in your home like in a kitchen or bathroom. Question: Are you using one cleaning item to clean everything or are you using more than one?
Regardless of your preferred cleaning product, make sure you’re utilizing more than one. If you are loyal to disposable wipes because of its easy use, note that they don’t have enough disinfectant to clean an entire room. Use multiple wipes to create the fresh space you’re looking for.
Leftovers Should Not Be Kept In Your Fridge For An Extended Period
As much as we want to keep food at the end of each meal, a decision should be made as to which food to throw away and what to keep as leftovers. Let’s be reasonable, nobody wants to waste food.
But hiding leftovers when you and your family members don’t actually end up eating them is not a good idea. Leftovers kept in the fridge for an extended period of time allow mold and bacteria to grow and multiply. Do yourself a favor and throw out that plastic container of lasagna.
Dusting Should Be Done First
Dusting seems like a simple task you can do at the conclusion of your cleaning once you’ve dealt with a big chunk of debris. But this is pointless. Dusting is going to mix up more dirt on the surfaces and in the air.
That being said, it is important to always remember that dusting is the first step in your cleaning session. Once done with dusting, you can wipe out anything that’s left over with your disinfectant wipe and other cleaning products.
Stop Using A Feather Duster
Now that you realize that dusting should be the first step in your cleaning job, you should likewise realize that it’s time to toss out your beloved feather duster. You might have been used to the idea that this cleaning tool catches and seals dust and dirt, but in reality they really just push it around everywhere.
Again, feather dusters expand the dust and dirt around instead of getting rid of it. There are plenty of cleaning tools out there that are more liable for making your house spotless, so might as well leave that duster in the dust.
Know The Warning Signs of Roof Damage Before It Gets Worse
Owning a home is a big responsibility. You have to keep up with the maintenance of your home at all times in order to prevent costly devastation later down the road. Your roof is one of those things that need to be checked frequently and be properly maintained.
If you’re letting small leaks and shingle damage go unnoticed, you are ruining your home. Protect yourself from future damage by looking on your ceiling for water stains and mold spores as these can be bigger signs of a major roofing issue. You’ll also want to check your roof for corrosion since rusty nails on your roofing can leave streaks on the exterior of your house or even trickle into your home when it rains.
Wax-Based Wood Polish Is Not A Good Cleaning Product
We’re sure any homeowner who has wooden furniture wants their beloved tables, chairs, and other furniture items to shine. If you’re using a wax-based wood polish to make them sparkle, this is not the best product for you. In general, wood polish can do more bad than good.
Why? Because it causes deterioration to the finish when applied unreasonably. Also note that wax-based polish can result in an oily buildup that catches more dirt and dust in the long run.
Your Windows Should Not Be Over-Cleaned
We understand that neat freaks and those that obsess over cleanliness can easily spot even a speck of dirt on surfaces. While cleaning your window immediately when you notice a dirty area is okay, this impulse should be controlled. Did you know that overcleaning your windows is not a good habit?
A useful rule of thumb is that you should be cleaning your windows one to two times each year. Yep, you read it right. Cleaning your windows more than that can actually cause accumulation of dirt and streaking.
Upholstered Furniture Should Be Tackled By The Professionals
Upholstered furniture is widely used thanks to its comforting and appealing ambience. While we have a good intent to keep it clean at all times, it’s best to leave it to the experts. These cleaning pros use the right cleaning products in the market and can steam clean any piece of upholstered furniture.
If you want to tackle minor dirt issues in your upholstered furniture, the safest thing that you can do is use a vacuum apparatus like a brush connection to clean between and underneath any paddings.
Certain Kitchen Items Should Be Washed By Hand
Dishwashers are a smart device that makes household chores light for busy moms. While it seems simple to throw each kitchen apparatus into the dishwasher toward the finish of each meal, there are a few items that you ought to wash by hand like the cheese grater and garlic press.
When these kitchen tools are run via the dishwasher, they will not be completely cleaned, and the extra food can accumulate on your tools or become rotten. We’re sure nobody wants this dirty result.
Leaving Damp Towels or Laundry on the Floor
If you’re sensing a pattern here, way to go. The culprit is yet again moisture. By leaving your wet towels or damp laundry on the floor, you’re putting your floor at risk for warping and stains.
It is the same scenario for your bathroom rug. If you find it’s gotten wet after a shower, make sure that you hang it up so it can dry out and spare your floor from an unfortunate fate.
Not Cleaning Up Carpet Stains Right After They Happen
When an accidental spill is made, it is crucial to the integrity of your carpet that you clean it up straight away, or risk making the stain tougher to deal with. It is more common for stains to become harder to pull out of your carpet fibers the longer they can sit and seep down.
Furthermore, the moisture can put your carpet at risk for mold and mildew growth. Don’t hesitate when that stain hits!
Don’t Let Your Dog Ruin Your Lawn
If you’re a dog owner, you may or may not know that allowing your dog to urinate in your yard may end up causing dark lawn spots where grass has trouble growing. If your dog urinates in the same spot frequently, this can actually cause burning of the grass and ruin your lawn over time.
What you do with this information is up to you. Of course, you can let your dog live their life and do their thing outside, wherever they please. However, if you recently paid a lot to redo your lawn or are planning to do some extensive landscaping soon, you may want to think about creating designated zones for your dog to do their business that aren’t in the center of your yard.
Mowing Your Lawn Too Closely
It may feel like an easy hack to cut your grass as short as possible as to not have to mow as frequently, right? While that may be true in the short term, what you are ultimately doing is cutting off the grass’ nutrients.
When you cut the grass too short you limit the lawn’s ability to store photosynthetic energy which then weakens your lawn and may even kill it.
Dirty Brooms Only Make Your Floors Worse
This fact seemingly should go without saying, but in all honesty when was the last time you actually cleaned your broom? Since brooms are the tools that help us do the cleaning, we often take them for granted and only use them when we have a mess to clean. Yet after sweeping up your messes time and time again, brooms themselves become dirty and dusty.
On the surface, your broom may even appear to look fine, but even then you should regularly clean it to ensure it isn’t making matters worse. To clean, try vacuum cleaning the bristles to suck up built up dirt, rinse the broom with hot water, then allow it to soak in bleach, water, and detergent for 20 minutes. Now rinse and dry it, and it will be as good as new.
Ignoring Broken Wiring or Flickering Lights
Do not hesitate to fix damaged electrical wiring in your home. Some wiring problems could be mere inconveniences while others could end up posing serious electrocution or fires.
Have a dependable electrician come check out the issues and become aware of which category yours fall into. For flickering lights check to see if the lightbulb is tight enough. If it is, flickering lights can signal a wiring problem that could pose a danger to your home.
Using Chemical Cleaners on Painted Cabinets
We all want our cabinets to look amazing and sparkly, however keep clear of the chemicals if you have painted cabinetry! Anything ammonia based will wear down the existing finish and cause a dull look to your cabinets.
On the other end of that, if you’re thinking of using wax-based products, this can leave your surfaces sticky, dull, and ultimately in need of a professional clean.
Mixing Hydrogen Peroxide and Vinegar Together is a No-No
While hydrogen peroxide and vinegar are effective cleaners on their own, mixing the two together is a negative and can cause damage to your home and more importantly your health.
The mixture of the two can create toxic peracetic acid which can change the texture and color of your soft surfaces or leave chemical burns. However, the real threat is the acid that can cause skin irritants and respiratory issues.
Carpeting in the Bathroom?
Absolutely not! There’s a good reason most bathrooms aren’t carpeted, and that’s because it’s incredibly unhygienic to do so. Bathroom flooring should be made of ceramic or porcelain tiles as these options are waterproof and easier to clean bacteria off of.
As for carpeted bathrooms, this trend is a breeding ground for bacteria. Carpets absorb water and other bacteria that live within bathrooms. Once the rug gets damp, it will only become more unhygienic over time. The carpet will also be more difficult to properly clean, and your bathroom will become a bacteria playground.
Watching Out For Kids - Onion Trouble
Children are precious gifts, but they can sometimes cause headaches around the house. Not to say that kids in any way intend to ruin our houses, but accidents are bound to happen as they explore their homes and try out new things. Thus, in considering how to maintain a home, be sure to keep a watchful eye on any children you may have yourself or may have as guests.
For example, this sweet little boy decided to use an onion as his new favorite toy. While this seems cute at the time, leaving an onion out or left on wooden floors or furniture can cause staining. Furthermore if it gets left out and forgotten about, it will leave a rather strong, contaminating smell that will be difficult to get rid of.
Watching Out For Kids Part 2 - Hide-N-Seek Gone Wrong
Here we have another instance of a cute kid potentially getting herself into a costly home error. This photo seems funny enough with the girl totally winning an intense match of hide-n-seek. All we see is her head, making for a hilarious perspective.
However, kids hiding in tight spaces can lead to trouble such as if she accidentally steps on or disconnects any pipes back there. You may want to consider child-proofing areas around bathrooms and kitchens that allow access to visible pipes or electric wiring that could turn dangerous for the child and costly for your home.
No Lemon on Your Granite Counters
If your granite counters could speak, they would tell you to keep the lemon-based products far away from them! If you’re looking for longevity in the condition of your granite counters, you’ll listen.
Lemon has high amounts of citric acid and eats away at the surface of the countertops. Instead, opt for a mixture of dish soap and warm water to keep them in good shape and clean.
Not Draining Your Water Heater
Your water heater needs to be drained at least once a year to avoid the potential for major damage to your home. The mineral deposits from the water heater tend to form a crusty and thick coating that will eventually begin to chip off and clog your faucets and drains, along with the water heater valve.
When this happens, the inner lining of your water heater may begin to crack and require replacement.
Don’t Hide Your AC Unit
Although the AC unit is not the most attractive item to look at in your home, please don’t hide it away behind those hedges, this can cause major problems. Your AC unit needs a lot of room for air ventilation.
By obstructing the air flow, you are creating potential for the condenser to overheat and possibly be irreversibly damaged and in need of replacement.
Using the Wrong Kind of Extension Cord is Dangerous
Not every extension cord is meant to be used outside. If a cord is not rated for outdoor use, there is a greater potential for overheating which could lead to a fire.
To tell which kind of extension cord you have and whether or not it is safe for the great outdoors check to see if there is the letter W printed on the cord jacket. The W is indicative of it being safe for outside use.
Use Your Stove Exhaust Hood
By neglecting to use the stove vent hood you may be compromising the air quality in your home. Use the fan to remove cooking fumes that lead to moisture build-up within your home.
It is also recommended to open windows when you cook and allow for cross-ventilation which will reduce build-up moisture, smoke, and all-around indoor air quality.
Leaving Pipes Exposed in Winter
If you’re living in a place with seasons, protect your pipes! The exposed pipes in your chilly basement need insulation and by not doing so you could be putting your home at serious risk for damage.
The reason for this is due to the plumbing that goes through the unheated parts of your home or is exposed to outdoors is liable to freeze within the pipes and possibly burst.
Allowing the Foundation Around Your Home to Dry Out
Just as too much water around the foundation of your home can create serious damage, too much dryness can also cause damage. Because the ground reacts like a sponge, when it dries out it shrinks and creates an unstable base around your home.
Over time, this can lead to cracks in the foundation of your home which could create the potential for water to seep inside. To avoid this, ensure that you water the grass and dirt around your home frequently enough to keep it moist but not enough for it to pool.
Not Insulating Your Attic
While most of us use our attics as a storage space, if you are leaving your attic without insulation, you could be adding undo damage to your wallet and your house. 25% of your home’s heat can be lost through the lack of insulation in your attic.
Each year you don’t insulate, you put your home at risk for burst pipes due to the plumbing freezing and increased electric bills.
Doing Construction on Your Home Without Permits
As capable and savvy as you are, do not skip securing a permit before beginning construction on your home. Not only could those larger do-it-yourself jobs cause damage to your home, but you’re putting yourself in the crosshairs of the city.
If the city discovers you’ve begun construction without the proper permits you could be heavily fined, and your project may be torn down completely. Not to mention, a bad DIY job could lead to structural damage!
Don’t Forget the Trivet
Your countertops can suffer if you don’t invest in trivets for your hot pans. If you’re cooking and mindlessly set your hot pans onto your counter, you’re setting yourself up to leave noticeable burn marks.
This one mistake can be detrimental to an entire countertop. And costly to repair! So, in the future invest in trivets to save your counters.
Harsh Chemicals on Your Bathtub or Sink
Be wary of using harsh chemicals on your bathtub or sink! This can cause the glaze to erode. Abrasive cleaners like scouring powders, white vinegar (or anything with high acidic content), or steel wool should be avoided, as they can wear down the surface.
You’ll want to protect those surfaces as they are hard to fix. What you do or don’t do now will certainly help save you time, money, and repairs in the future.
Stop Smoking Indoors
In this day and age, it may seem obvious that you want to avoid smoking cigarettes indoors, but it is worth mentioning anyway.
The odor will stick to the carpets and curtains and turn your white ceilings a sickly yellow. That is nothing to mention what it does to your insides, but that is a different story entirely.
Overloading Your Washing Machine
Some of us wait for weeks to wash our clothes. Subsequently, we end up loading our washer and dryer with more than it is meant to hold. If you’re lucky enough to have your own appliances, check the weight limits on them.
Overloading these appliances can damage the drums and decrease the efficiency of them.
Forgetting to Put Felt Bottoms on the Bottom of Furniture
Felt bottoms and furniture sliders are great for helping to prevent your floors from getting tarnished and scratched up. Forgetting to do so can lead to costly (and frankly completely avoidable) marks on your floor.
Not to mention that the cost of these felt sliders are much cheaper than the cost of repairing the marks left on the ground from skipping these home hacks.
Not Drying Your Dishes Prior to Putting Them Away
Drying racks can only fit so much, and if you don’t have someone help you dry as you go, it can be tedious to dry each and every plate as you wash your dishes.
However, putting wet (or damp) dishes away before they are totally dry can have costly side effects. The excess moisture in your cabinets can cause the wood to rot and the cabinets to develop mold or water stains.
We know that having a cat or dog is great for things like mental health and children, however there is no denying that having pets can add undo damage to your home.
Whether you have carpet or hardwood floors, a pet can add urine, mud, and many other kinds of stains, along with scratching. It is something to consider before you devote yourself to the idea of having a furry friend.
Sleeping on a Waterbed
Sleeping on a waterbed is not good for several reasons. If you’ve ever slept on one, you’ll know that it doesn’t do your back any good. However, the damage isn’t just to your achy bones.
If a waterbed happens to get a leak (which it’s implied in the name, isn’t it?), it can cause real damage to your unit, as well as the one below you if you happen to live in an apartment.
Keep an Eye on the Space Heater
Make sure you’re keeping an eye on your space heater during the winter seasons. We know it can be easy to throw the heater on and snuggle up before drifting off, but be warned that this is not a good idea.
If the heater is too close to a flammable object and is left unattended or is accidentally knocked over by a pet or child, there is potential for a fire.
Ignoring a Dripping Faucet
If you have a dripping faucet in your home, do not avoid it! This may seem like a minor problem, but it’s not. This could lead to major water damage.
If you cannot figure out what the problem is yourself, call in a professional to take a look at it to diagnose the issue.
Don’t Clean Your Marble Incorrectly
If you’ve got some fancy marble in your home, you’re going to want to pay attention to this one. While it may seem like baking soda would be a good way to clean your marble, this is false.
Why? Because baking soda can wear down the sealant and absolutely destroy your beautiful marble. User beware.
Using Melamine Incorrectly
Melamine foam pads (better known as Magic Erasers) are great for erasing marks on your wall; however, they are not a one size fits all type of product.
Do not use them on your countertops or on stainless steel, as they are far too abrasive and will create further damage.
Using Adhesive Tape on the Walls
It’s fun to decorate our walls with posters and art. To avoid putting holes in the wall and said art, we may be tempted to use adhesive tape. However, this can damage the drywall.
Not only can it damage the drywall and pull the paint, it can also add undesirable discoloration.
Change Your HVAC Filters
Depending on if you rent or own your home, your landlord may be responsible for this task, but it is important, nonetheless. By neglecting this task, you could be setting yourself up for more than one issue.
The first is that energy costs can go up if these are not maintained. Also, dirty HVAC filters can lead to potentially damaging the heating and cooling systems in your home.
Test Your Water
Whether you draw your water from a private well or a nearby municipal supply, there is a chance that you are being supplied hard water, meaning water with high mineral content.
While it may not be harmful to your health, it is certainly not good for your plumbing. To avoid future problems, test your water to see whether it contains problematic concentrations of calcium and/or magnesium. If this is the case, you can install a water softener to correct the issue.
Don’t Assume Caulk Doesn’t Expire
Caulk (both acrylic and latex) can and will expire after about a decade. Make sure that you inspect your home or any new place that you have recently moved into.
Inspect your windows, doors, tubs, and sinks, or anywhere else caulk may have been applied. If you see that the sealant has dried up and cracked, you need to remove and replace it.
Seal Your Tile!
Whether your tile is on the floor, countertop, or backsplash of your home, never ever skip the important step of sealant. Sealing protects the tile from the general wear and tear of life.
Consult your tile manufacturer for the correct sealant for your tile to ensure your tile will go the distance and sustain.
Using Colored Cleaners on Tile
Yes, more tile tips. Be cautious of using colored cleaners that contain dye on your tile. Grout and natural stone tiles can and will absorb the color of your cleaning products.
To avoid an accidental rainbow hued wall, avoid this mistake and use colorless cleaning products.
Not Sweeping Enough… Also Bad for Tile
Having some dirt on your tile floors doesn’t in and of itself damage your floors. But if you have foot traffic going in and out of your home, that is a different story. This is especially true when we walk on dirt and debris.
Walking atop dirt and debris can cause scratches to form. Just like hardwood floors, tile floors need to be swept regularly to slow the process of wear and tear.