15 Wrong Housekeeping Habits You Learned From Your Parents


Growing up, we learn countless lessons from our parents, including maintaining a clean and tidy home. However, not all these lessons stand the test of time or align with best practices for modern housekeeping. In this gallery article, we’ll explore 15 common housekeeping habits that have since been labeled outdated or ineffective.

Using Newspaper to Clean Windows


While the newspaper was once a popular choice for cleaning windows, it’s not the best option anymore. The ink can transfer onto the glass, leaving smudges behind. Instead, use microfiber cloths or specialized window cleaning solutions for a streak-free shine.

Overloading the Dishwasher


An overloaded dishwasher leads to suboptimal cleaning results and potential damage to your dishes and the dishwasher itself. Overcrowding increases the likelihood of items bumping into each other, leading to chipping, scratching, or breakage of delicate items. Additionally, inadequate air circulation caused by overloading can prolong drying times and leave dishes with water spots.

Washing Clothes in Hot Water


Hot water can cause fabrics to shrink, fade, and deteriorate faster, especially for delicate or synthetic materials. Moreover, it consumes significantly more energy than washing in cold water, contributing to higher utility bills and increased carbon emissions.

Using Bleach for Every Surface

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Using bleach on surfaces like granite or marble can cause deterioration over time. Bleach is a powerful disinfectant, but it’s not suitable for every surface. Look for gentler cleaning solutions that are safe for specific materials.

Spraying Cleaners Directly onto Surfaces

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Directly spraying cleaners onto surfaces does not allow for proper distribution and adherence, compromising the effectiveness of the cleaning process. Certain cleaners also contain harsh chemicals that, when sprayed directly, can linger in the air and lead to respiratory risks upon inhalation.

Never Wash Cast Iron with Soap

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Contrary to popular belief, it’s okay to use soap when cleaning cast iron cookware. Soap helps to remove food residue without stripping away the pan’s seasoning. You just need to ensure the pan is thoroughly dried after cleaning and greased with oil.

Vacuuming Carpets in Straight Lines


Most parents swore by vacuuming carpets in straight lines, but it’s not the best approach. Vacuuming in the same direction pushes dirt deeper into the fibers. Instead, mixing it up with diagonal or criss-cross patterns loosens dirt better and prevents traffic patterns.

Cleaning Hardwood Floors with Vinegar


Vinegar is touted as a natural cleaner for hardwood floors, but its acidity erodes the finish over time. To maintain hardwood floors’ longevity, use a pH-neutral cleaner specifically formulated for them.

Washing Knives in the Dishwasher


Dishwashers tend to dull knife blades and cause handles to loosen over time. Keep your knives sharp and in good condition by hand washing them with warm, soapy water and drying them immediately after use.

Using Lemon to Clean Stainless Steel


The acid in lemon juice can corrode the metal, leading to discoloration, pitting, and even rusting, especially if the stainless steel is not properly rinsed and dried after cleaning. It’s better to use cleaning products specifically formulated for stainless steel or a gentle soap and water solution.

Cleaning Windows on Sunny Days

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Direct sunlight causes cleaning solutions to dry too quickly on the glass surface, leaving streaks and residue behind. In addition, heat can increase the evaporation rate of the cleaning solution, making it less effective in removing dirt and grime. 

Washing Cutting Boards in the Dishwasher

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Wooden boards should never be washed in the dishwasher, as the moisture leads to warping and splitting. Hand wash them with hot, soapy water and sanitize them periodically with a mixture of vinegar and water.

Using Fabric Softener on Towels


Skip the fabric softener and go for dryer balls or wool dryer balls to soften towels naturally without chemicals. Fabric softeners usually leave a residue on towels which reduces their absorbance over time. 

Scrubbing Stains with Bleach


While bleach is effective for removing certain stains, it can react with other substances and release harmful fumes. Before using bleach, check the label to ensure compatibility with the stain and follow safety precautions to protect yourself and your home.

Ignoring Regular Maintenance

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Although your parents may have overlooked the importance of regular maintenance, it is a key aspect of responsible ownership that cannot be ignored. As a result, various problems can arise, ranging from minor inconveniences to serious safety concerns. For instance, failing to service a car regularly can result in mechanical failures and accidents, while neglecting home maintenance tasks can lead to structural deterioration and safety hazards.


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