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I’m a cleaning expert – these are the things you’re cleaning TOO MUCH & how it could be damaging your home

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WE spend hours and hours of our lives buffing and scrubbing our houses until they’re spotless – but is there such a thing as too clean?

Good news for those of you looking for an excuse to have a break and well-deserved cuppa – you might actually be doing more harm than good by over-cleaning particular items in your house.

Fantastic Services

Here, Dani reveals which items in your house you could actually be doing more harm than good to by excessive cleaning[/caption]

Here, Fantastic Services cleaning expert Dani Palikarova reveals the items that you may actually be damaging with excessive cleaning…

Mirror, mirror on the wall

Some people make the mistake of cleaning their mirrors almost every day, and therefore damage them.

The moisture from humidity and the usage of glass cleaners can get behind the mirror and destroy the backing over time, and essentially turn it into just glass.

To avoid this, make sure you ventilate your bathroom well and often. Use only a squeegee and a clean microfibre cloth to deal with daily moisture and mist on the mirror.

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Avoid cleaning your mirror every day[/caption]


Use glass cleaner no more than once a week.

To clean your bathroom mirror, first wipe away tough stains by applying a little rubbing alcohol on a soft cloth.

Then, spray the mirror with your glass cleaner and make sure you use a microfibre cloth. Any remaining smears or fingermarks could be wiped with white vinegar and paper towels, for a sparkling finish. 

Damaging furniture

Wooden furniture is difficult to maintain to start with.

I’ve seen scratched tables and dressers in almost every home I’ve been in.

Over-cleaning wooden furniture will surely damage them, especially when cleaned improperly.

Using huge amounts of spray cleaners is a common mistake, which discolours the wood over time and leaves visible marks.

Wood spray polishes should be used sparingly, as they can actually trap dust and create stains, which is the exact opposite of what you want.

Using harsh sponges and circular motion is also a common mistake – dabbing liquids and gentle wiping are the only movements allowed.

You should dust regularly using only a microfiber cloth. Do not forget legs, arms, and the smaller wood supports of the furniture.

Tricks of the trade

A solution of one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid to two quarts of water can help remove heavy grime build-up, if the furniture has been stored or long-neglected.

When deep cleaning, cloudy or dark surfaces are the result of using too much polish or wax.

To make sure the wood is protected, always start with the most gentle method first, and only progress to stronger methods if it’s needed.

Black tea contains tannins which can remove any waxy build-ups.

Just brew two bags of tea, leave it to cool down, then dip a soft cloth and squeeze until just damp.

Water marks are quite frequent and must be cleaned as soon as possible. Rub some olive oil or mayonnaise, let it sit for an hour, and then buff away.

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You can scratch and damage wooden furniture with over-cleaning or by using the wrong products[/caption]

Ink marks are cleaned by dipping a damp soft cloth in some dry baking soda and rubbing away gently, until the stain disappears.

Wipe any remaining baking soda residue with a damp cloth.

Stickers or glue residue could be cleaned using the edge of a credit card or plastic scraper to loosen as much of the sticky residue as possible.

Then add some olive or mineral oil on a soft cloth and rub across the stained area.

Use the clean end of the cloth and more oil if needed until you are done. Mould or mildew should be cleaned outside in order to avoid the spores spreading to other areas of your home. 

Over-clean carpets

Carpets are designed to last for many years but will not do so without proper care.

Vacuuming them weekly is good but using harsh methods like steam cleaning should be limited to twice a year at most.

Some people steam clean their carpets after every stain or party, which is not the best idea.

It leads to discolouration, weird-looking patches and snags.

When you vacuum, make sure you use the highest setting of the head of your vacuum in order to avoid damaging the ends of the fibres.

Never use high temperatures when cleaning carpets for it will surely speed up wear and tear.

When you see a snag, don’t pull it, but instead use scissors to clip it even with the rest of the fibres.

Furniture dents are removed easily by using the edge of a quarter across them to make fibres stand back up. 

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Save steam cleaning for twice a year at most[/caption]

Dishing the dirt

If you use a dishwasher, do not pre-rinse dishes before putting them inside.

Pre-rinsing does not only waste water, but it might confuse the built-in soil sensor, which may result in giving the dishes a lighter wash than needed, which in turn will result in leftover bits of food stuck in your dishes and glassware.

Next time, just scrape off leftover food from the plates and leave the rest of the work to the machine.

You will save yourself time, money, and lots of wasted effort. Every quality dishwasher produced in the last five years has these sensors, with the clear goal of conserving water from pre-washing.

If you wash dishes by hand, you either add dish detergent to a sink or a dishpan with water, or directly to the plate or sponge.

Start by scraping the leftover food away with a rubber spatula or paper towel. Leave plates with stuck-on food to soak for 15-30 minutes in a baking soda and hot water solution.

Remember to never pour grease down the drain, as it will clog it.

Start washing the lightly soiled items first, and end by washing cookware and pots/pans.

Bed mistake

We’ve seen many people treat bulky items like bedspreads and comforters as if they were just regular sheets.

They wash them every other month, and don’t pay much attention to the labels.

All this leads to premature wear and tear on the fabric, or strange lumps on the comforters.

Bedspreads in particular should be washed two to three times a year, comforters – every one to two years, and quilts – only when necessary, which I’d say around once a year.

Getting the wear out of your clothes

Many people wash their clothes after only one use.

That’s a great idea for socks and underwear, but most other clothes can be worn for up to about three times before they need washing, unless you work on a construction site, or a similar dusty environment.

Avoid washing things like jeans, sweaters and jackets too often, as that will surely wear out the fabric.

Just put your clothes on hangers and let them air out for the night. Any stains should be treated immediately, don’t let them dry.

To avoid your darks from fading, wash them inside out.

Do not overload your washing machine and make sure you have removed any metal attachments or pieces, as they will surely damage your machine.

Avoid using fabric softeners on towels, as they will become less absorbent over time.

Also, make sure you maintain a clean washing machine to avoid the laundry smelling like mildew – just put some clean dishcloths in the drum and run it on the hottest programme.

Additionally, you might not give a second thought to your towel or how you wash it, but it turns out there’s a proper way to launder them – and you’ve probably been getting it wrong. 

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