Cleaning 101 – Common Mistakes

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Wiping off product straight away

Most people are guilty of this and will spray a surface and wipe up straight away. This doesn’t give the product time to work. This is important if the dirt is really heavy duty (like dried sauce or such) as it needs time to break down dirt to lift it off the area. It is even more important to leave the product when disinfecting an area as it needs the time to actually kill those nasty germs, this is sometimes referred to as dwell time in the industry.

Cleaners and Disinfectants are the same

Cleaners breakdown and help lift dirt but they do not get rid of bacteria. Where disinfecting will but it won’t properly remove dirt. In reality, we need to clean and then disinfect an area because disinfectant won’t sufficiently clean an area.

Buffing motion

We’ve all seen the circular cleaning motion. Unfortunately, my dear readers, that is the wrong kind of motion. This is because the circular motion put the dirt back over clean areas, so in actual reality, it is better to work in left to right motion working slowly towards you or the floor if it is a vertical surface.

More is better

A lot of people think that using more product is better but it can actually waste product and make it get dirtier quicker. The reason for this is because using too much product can leave a residue of the product which could more easily attract dust and such that make it dirtier quicker and then you will need to re-clean it sooner. It is for that reason to be careful of being too trigger happy with the spray bottle when instead it was better to apply and then you can always apply again if necessary in particular areas to spot clean.

Kitchen paper is a great cleaning supply

Ok so this is half of a myth, there are times when it makes total sense to use kitchen paper to clean areas where they are high-risk areas like a toilet and need a wipe with something that can be disposed of easily. However, when cleaning the kitchen counters or a table it can be extremely wasteful and less effective than the alternative. So what are the alternatives, well you have standard cotton cloths which are good for any oily messes but for the majority of messes you probably want to use a microfiber cloth. Microfiber clothes are really great because they can be washed in the washing machine (up to 500 times) and they are really absorbent (providing you don’t buy the really cheap ones). I personally recommend Sinlands Microfiber Cloths to be effective and affordable.

Putting the toilet brush back in the holder wet

By putting that toilet brush back into the holder you are allowing all the bacteria to thrive on the moisture in an enclosed environment. I recommend that you allow the brush to drip dry by putting it under the toilet seat to hold it above the toilet bowl and let it dry fully before returning it.

Using warm water for dishes

Most people I know handwash dishes. Some do it in water luke warm believing that it will adequately wash away any bacteria in the process. Like what was discussed earlier, a detergent/cleaner won’t disinfect but what will is a disinfect or a non-chemical way is heat. The Food Standards Agency in one of its cross-contamination guides explains that the acceptable temperature to disinfect utensils, small kitchen tools, cloths and mop heads is to be washed at 82°C with a contact time of at least 15 seconds (page 28). Now, this can be achieved by just rinsing them in hot water or you can wash them in hot water (and wear rubber gloves to protect your hands).


Related:

Cleaning 101: How To Do Laundry Right

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