MYTH #1: The string mop you use doesn’t need to be cleaned because it’s soaked in floor cleaner.

Although it may not make immediate sense, the tools you use to clean your home need cleaning, themselves. While the floor mop you use is regularly dunked in soapy water, that water is often quite dirty by the time you’ve cleaned the floor. If you just leave that dirty water on the strings of the mop to slowly air dry in a dimly lit closet, you’re creating the perfect environment for bacteria to breed. If you’d rather not be smearing these bacteria all over your floor the next time you mop, purchase a mop that has a head that detaches and can be completely washed, then dried, when you do the laundry. Even better, swap out your string mop for a flat mop made of microfiber, as the pads they use take up even less room in your loads of laundry, and microfiber will pick up more dirt, leaving your floors even cleaner.

MYTH #2: You can clean the sponge you use for dishes by squeezing it out under the running water.

You can rinse that dish sponge in water all that you’d like, but without using a disinfectant of some type, you’re still leaving quite a lot of bacteria behind that can grow and then be passed on to your next sink full of dishes. Soak the sponge in bleach diluted in water or by running it through your dishwasher. While you can also kill any germs that are on the sponge by filling it with water and microwaving it for a minute, this method doesn’t remove any food residue, and the sponge may still grow bacteria in these areas.

MYTH #3: It’s not all that bad to use paper towels to clean your house.

Although paper towels are extremely convenient, they’re basically the worst possible choice you can make for thorough house cleaning. First, they’re not actually all that great at cleaning. They’re absorbent for cleaning up spills, but most brands of paper towels disintegrate if you try to scrub with them, and they leave lint behind on shiny surfaces like mirrors. Worst, they’re awful for the environment. Most bleached paper towels are made with virgin pulp; this means that the wood to create them came directly from the tree to the paper towel.

Unlike most virgin pulp products, such as bleached white paper, after a paper towel is used, it cannot be reused or recycled. This means that the tree grew, the factory ran, and then the paper towel was used for a few seconds and then sent to a landfill forever. If you want to switch from using paper towels, begin by using them only in situations where you’re cleaning an item that you don’t want to wash, like cleaning a counter after handling raw meat.

MYTH #4: Using ripped up bath towels as cleaning rags around the house is thrifty and environmentally friendly.

When you reuse old towels as rags for cleaning, you feel as though you’re saving both money and the environment, but actually the opposite may be true. Fabrics like cotton don’t do as good of a job as microfiber, and towels that are old will pick up even less dirt. When most people clean with a poor quality cloth, they make up for it by using more soap, which is bad for both your wallet and the environment. Investing in better quality microfiber cleaning cloths almost always pays for itself quickly, as they last for hundreds of washes, limit the soap needed, and reduce the cleaning labor necessary. If it’s absolutely necessary to use an old bath towel, consider using it for something too gross or dangerous to launder, then throw it away.

MYTH #5: When purchasing scouring pads and scrub brushes, stronger is always better.

It’s far too easy to accidentally purchase a brush or scrubbing pad that is far too harsh for the job at hand, and wind up destroying the object that you’re trying to clean, instead. Although your local home improvement warehouse may sell pads for heavy duty scrubbing and extremely stiff scrub brushes, they’re designed to be used by professional contractors, who are carefully trained to use them as a one time event, not on a continuous basis by an untrained home owner. If you abuse the surfaces in your home’s bathroom with these incredibly abrasive tools, you may find that you’re wearing down the softer coatings and seals on the surfaces, and you may actually damage the stone, marble, or grout itself, removing years from your shower’s lifespan. Instead, stick to medium duty regular cleaning bristles and non abrasive scrubbing. When you need more power, allow the cleaner you’re using to soak for longer, so that it can do the work for you, and remember that it pays to have patience.

Dashing Maids offers a full-suite of professional house cleaning services in Denver and the surrounding metro region.

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