Better cleaning habits will keep your home safe and your family healthy

Make 2011 the last year your desk looks like this. Photo fred:

If you find yourself kicking dirt under the rug or dousing the house in bleach – it is time to face your habits.

When it comes to cleaning, we are all guilty of developing routines that might save us time and energy, but in the long run these time savers can be harmful to our health. With the New Year upon us, there is no better time than the present to kick these habits to the curb.

In case you are in denial of your cleaning choices, The Maids has created a list of ways to ensure a healthy, happy home.

1. Let it go. Get rid of the things you constantly have to clean around. Focus less on preparing for an imaginary yard sale and more on getting rid of useless items that make cleaning a hassle. A clutter free home will cut cleaning time and improve your mood!

2. Don’t cut corners. Use a toilet brush? Don’t use it to clean anything other than the toilet. And let it dry completely before stowing it away. Close the toilet lid on the handle while it airs out. Use a sponge? Don’t crossover cleaning duties. Use one sponge for the kitchen counters and appliances, one for the dishes and another for cleaning the bathroom or other areas. Using the same sponge for everything will cause cross-contamination. Be sure to change your sponge every two to three weeks, or as soon as it starts to look ragged or grey.

3. Expand your horizons. Many of us douse every surface with bleach to get the job done quickly and save money. But, bleach is very harsh on our skin and other surfaces, and only partially gets rid of mold and mildew. Make it a habit to use more natural, environmentally friendly cleaning products to do the same job.

4. Read Labels. There is a reason grocery stores devote an entire aisle to cleaning supplies. Although many cleaners serve multiple purposes, be sure to check the label to ensure it is safe to use on particular surfaces. A window cleaner will not make a good wood cleaner, and the lemony scrub you use on the bath probably won’t benefit your counter tops. Be ready to clean your whole house with a caddy full of cleaning products.

5. Break the cycle. Dust can be a tricky mite to tackle. While vacuuming and dusting are helpful, these practices alone won’t stop an allergen in its tracks. Start by removing dust from ceiling fans and other hard to reach areas where dust settles most. Then wipe down counter tops and table surfaces with a microfiber cloth. To finish, vacuum carpeted areas and sweep hardwood floors to pick up the fallen particles. Be sure to frequently change your air filters to get the nasty bits out of your home.

There’s no doubt that bad cleaning habits can be hard to break. Start by making a list of your goals and the things you’d like to change. Try to overcome one bad habit at a time and if you need help, just give us a call. Visit to find a Maids office near you.

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