50 Seemingly Harmless Ways You May Be Ruining Your Home

It’s easy to own a home. Taking care of it is another story. The former simply needs you to sign a lease. The latter requires attention and focus. If you have a home but you don’t know how to take proper care of it, you might need to confess your sins and start to feel remorseful for your dastardly deeds.

This list is not exhaustive, but it covers the basic things we should be doing but in many cases aren’t. Consider this a warning and a clear sign for you to change your ways!

1. Suck, Don’t Sweep

Dirt is everywhere. You have two options to get rid of it – either sweep it away or vacuum it. If you choose to sweep dirt using a broom, expect all the dirt to spread faster than you can say COVID-19. 

If you choose to vacuum away dirt, you will get rid of it easily from your floor. Which method do you think works best? A better question is, which method is ideal for someone too lazy to do any cleaning? The answer, of course, is the vacuum cleaner.

Advertisement

2. Making Your Bed Is Not Always The Best Thing To Do

Growing up, you may have heard your folks tell you to make your bed the minute you get up. But doing it immediately is actually a no-no. Why? You are keeping all your body’s moisture trapped underneath the sheets if you do it this way.

The best thing to do is to wait a few minutes and allow your bed to air dry before you start making it. Your bed bugs will thank you. Expect sound slumber too.

Advertisement

3. Avoid Placing Bleach Tablets Inside Your Toilet Tank

Thanks to bleach tablets, cleaning toilet tanks has never been this easy. Simply toss one inside a tank, and voila! You get a pristine tank. No need to scrub all the nasty nooks and crannies. But is a bleach tablet everything it’s cut out to be?

You may be saving yourself time, money, energy, and the eww-factor of having to clean inside your toilet tank. But bleach tablets can actually cause the rubber parts and plastic flushing system of your tank to wear down. It may be clean for now, but for how long, really?

Advertisement

4. Coffee And Tea Should Not Be Poured Down The Toilet

Both of these drinks can stain a white porcelain surface. Throwing them in a toilet is, therefore, not a logical thing to do. Imagine the effort you must exert to clean off the stains. Worse, imagine the looks on visitors’ faces when they see the state of your toilet! Good luck convincing them it’s only coffee. 

If you find the process of removing coffee stains from your teeth difficult enough, it’s best to throw tea and coffee into a compost bin. That way, you’ll be helping the environment instead of destroying your toilet.

Advertisement

5. Keep Your Sink Free From Pasta Water 

Pasta water contains starch. If it is poured down your sink, fatty deposits will form inside the pipes. Somewhat similar results will be seen when you pour coffee grounds right into your sink. Expect both to block your sewer.

Throw pasta water into your garden instead. Plants need liquid carbs, but your sink definitely does not. Get this gunk away from your kitchen, and make sure to never pour it into your sink. 

Advertisement

6. Granite Countertops Do Not Need Vinegar

Vinegar is not everything it’s cut out to be. If you’ve seen people online claiming that vinegar can clean everything, including granite, you need to know that this is not the gospel truth. Professional homebuyer Melanie Hartmann confirmed that vinegar is not a miracle cleaner.

When vinegar is used to clean granite countertops, the end result is that your gorgeous granite will turn into an eyesore. Vinegar has the ability to wear down the sealant in granite countertops. Eventually, the sheen decreases, and so does your kitchen’s beauty. 

Advertisement

7. Do Not Clean Your Dishwasher With Vinegar

Let’s not villainize vinegar. It is an excellent cleaner and has been used extensively and effectively in homes. But it should not be used to clean everything that is inside your house, especially your dishwasher. 

Vinegar can harm the sensitive rubber and plastic found inside your dishwasher because of its high acid content. If you want to keep using your dishwasher and want to avoid doing manual labor, please heed this advice.

Advertisement

8. Vinegar Will Not Clean Grout

We can’t stress this enough. Vinegar is a miracle liquid that can be used not only on food but for cleaning. However, as with all things, there is a limit. You can combine vinegar with other cleaning solutions, but using it to clean dirt from your grout is not advisable.

When you use vinegar to clean tiles, its acidity will cause the grout to wear over time. Eventually, you can expect to see your grout turn yellow and crumbly. Who wants to be in a bathroom that has crumbly grout and yellow stains? 

Advertisement

9. Rethink Your Barbecue Grill

Homes don’t feel complete without the requisite barbecue grill. Most homeowners have a grill they can use during summer, but be aware of where you place these babies. There is a proper way to position them, and they should not be placed close to your house. 

Numerous fires have started because a grill was placed too close to someone’s house. If you want to have a fun barbecue with your family, being threatened with a potential fire generally isn’t on your to-do list. So, remember this tip and place your grill at a safe distance from anything flammable. 

Advertisement

10. Avoid Plastic Cutting Boards

Plastic cutting boards are easy to use. They are handy and easy to clean. Everyone has them in their kitchen. If everyone has them, they are probably safe, and there is no reason why we should not use them, right? Wrong!

When you look closely, plastic cutting boards are full of scratches. These scratches eventually become a rich breeding ground for all types of food-borne bacteria. It’s best to keep these away from your kitchen.

Advertisement

11. Rugs Must Not Be Shampooed

Rugs are not hair, so they do not need to be shampooed. Clean your rugs how your grandmother used to do it – by beating them with a racket. You can also clean rugs the way your mom did – by vacuuming.

What happens if you shampoo your rugs? Expect to live with and breathe in the mold spores that have made your rug their home sweet home. Shampooed rugs may look clean, but they are potential sources of sickness. 

Advertisement

12. Door Slamming Is A Very, Very Bad Thing

Slamming a door hurts the ears because of the noise it makes, but it also ruins the alignment of your door. If you or your teenager is into door-slamming when making a point, it’s best to express yourselves in a healthier way. Try walking it off instead.

Continued door slamming eventually misaligns a door and produces an ugly gap between the trim and the jam. It is also an emotionally unhelpful way of expressing yourself, so it won’t hurt to cut it out.

Advertisement

13. Lint Filters Must Be Consistently Cleaned

Lint must be cleaned from your dryer filter regularly as it causes dryers to perform poorly. Getting rid of this gunk will keep your machine operating at its best. Also, too much lint can also be a cause for fires.

These small and seemingly harmless bits of fluff have been deemed hazardous by experts. Always remove lint each time you use the dryer. It may look like a small step, but it’s a giant leap for keeping your home lint-free, and more importantly, fire-free.

Advertisement

14. Gutters Must Always Be Free of Debris

This picture says it all: You should not let gutters be filled with dirt, dead leaves, and any form of debris. You should also not let your grandpa clean your dirty gutters for you. 

Gutters keep rainwater away from your roof. Do you know what happens when water gets stuck on your roof? It stays there until grandpa removes the blockage because you are too lazy to do it yourself. Clean your gutters and keep your grandpa safe and happy.

Advertisement

15. Do Not Use Dish Soap For Cleaning Cutting Boards

Notice the knife marks on your cutting board? Those little gaps are actually spaces where bacteria can live. Using dishwashing liquid to clean them is not effective since those microorganisms will simply transfer to the wash sponge and dishes.

The best way to clean cutting boards is by using hydrogen peroxide, not dishwashing soap. Make sure you have some handy near the sink. Doing so will keep your family healthy by removing the threat of food-borne diseases that may otherwise infiltrate your digestive system.

Advertisement

16. Leave Shoes Outside The House

Once you bring shoes inside your house, you are also bringing in dirt, grime, and all the residual germs left by all the nameless, faceless people and critters that stepped on the same ground your shoes traversed. 

Stop doing what all Americans have been doing since the advent of time. Keep shoes outside of the house and save yourself from allergy symptoms and illnesses caused by wayward bacteria that hitch a ride on the bottom of your shoes.

Advertisement

17. Bleaching Hardwood Floors Will Soften Them

Bleach will not literally cause your hardwood floors to soften up, but it could cause them to lose their sheen. Tiles and porcelain surfaces are fine with bleach, but hardwood floors are a different story.

Bleach is simply too potent and may strip hardwood floors’ polyurethane coating. Keep your hardwood safe from the perils of bleach. Warm water and a few drops of dish soap are enough to keep it clean.

Advertisement

18. Flushable Wipes Are Not Flushable

Just because a potato chip commercial says you can’t stop once you pop does not mean you will eat potato chips forever. The same principle applies to flushable wipes. These wipes – surprise surprise – are not as flushable as they’re marketed as being. Who knew advertisers lied to us?

These wipes are made of non-woven fabric. When you flush them down the toilet, they could very well end up getting stuck in your pipes. If you want to know how it feels to flush money down the drain, then feel free to continue flushing these wipes down your toilet.

Advertisement

19. Toilet Bowl Cleaner Does Not Remove Grout

Whatever information your neighbor gave you about removing grime from your bathroom using only toilet bowl cleaner is incorrect. Such cleaners do not clean grout effectively. Instead, they will only break your grout down, causing it to caulk over time. 

Toilet bowl cleaners are highly acidic and can cause terrible damage to the grout in your bathroom. There is a reason the label says “toilet cleaner”  – it is only made for toilet bowls. Always look for gentle cleaners you can use to rid your bathroom of dirt and grime.

Advertisement

20. Walking Wet After A Shower Is Harmful

Surprisingly, you are in quite a bit of danger if you walk around wet after stepping out of the shower. It is always safer to dry yourself first before walking around your house. That way, you avoid slipping, and you keep your floors dry.

If you continually walk wet, that water will eventually make your wooden floor buckle from all that moisture. Your floors will warp and lose their shape. Would you rather pay to change your warped floors or just towel off properly? You decide.

Advertisement

21. Close Your Curtains

The sun is a good source of vitamin D, but too much of it can actually harm your home. Leaving your curtains open the whole day and having the sun’s rays creep inside your house all the time can damage your furniture.

The best thing to do is to close your curtains when the sun gets too hot. If you are going out, make sure you close the blinds to prevent the sun’s rays from entering your room. Your furniture will thank you by staying beautiful for longer.

Advertisement

22. Keep Your Downspout Together

Don’t complain about how your drain pipes look. They may not be pleasant to look at, but they do a lot of good. Taking good care of your pipes will benefit your home, especially when it is raining. 

Never remove downspouts. Their purpose in the world is to keep rainwater away from the foundation of your house. When you let these devices do their job, you make your house stronger and more resilient.

Advertisement

23. Clean The Drain Of Your Dishwasher Regularly

Try not to use your dishwasher’s self-cleaning mode whenever you feel lazy. Stretch a few of your muscles for a change and do your best to manually clean your dishwasher’s filter. Located at the bottom of your machine, filters keep your dishwasher running smoothly.

Cleaning your filter also helps your dishwasher last longer. All you need is warm soapy water to keep it clean. It’s the lightest manual labor you can ever do.

Advertisement

24. Damp Laundry Should Not Be Left In The Washer

What happens when you leave damp clothing in the washer? Evidently, it retains moisture, collects mold, and eventually becomes stinky. In the end, you have no choice but to rewash your clothes. Why would you want to rewash something you already washed?

To avoid this, always make sure you start doing laundry only if you can readily switch them to the dryer once washing is complete. Also, dryers need to be free from mold. Try to rinse clothes in white vinegar or bleach to ensure they’re bacteria-free. 

Advertisement

25. Tree Branches Must Be Trimmed

If your front yard or backyard has trees, make sure you have the branches trimmed, especially if there is an oncoming storm. It is critical to have your property surveyed for any dangerous hanging branches.

If you see any branches that can potentially break due to strong winds, trim them as soon as possible before a storm arrives. You’ll be helping your house (and your neighbors) stay safe. Plus, it keeps the people in your home very well protected.

Advertisement

26. Humidity Is Bad For Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors do not like humidity. Their natural sensitivity makes them prone to moisture. They expand when the moisture is high and shrink when humidity is low. If you can, purchase a humidifier, especially if your house is situated in a moist climate.

Though a dehumidifier may be costly, it is a minor investment compared to the money you will spend to maintain such expensive floors. You will thank yourself in the future.

Advertisement

27. Keep A Stud Finder Handy

The beauty of a stud finder is that it makes finding the place to hang something in your house extremely easy. It beats having to find the right spot via guesswork. Gone will be the days of knocking on the wall just to see if it is sturdy enough for your clock or picture frame.

A stud finder takes all the guesswork out and ensures you find the correct place. It does the work so you don’t have to, and it does it with swift and perfect precision.

Advertisement

28. Hardwood Floors Deserve Furniture Pads

Hardwood floors are sensitive beings that deserve care and respect. To show your concern for your hardwood floors, always place furniture pads underneath any heavy furniture you may have in your home.

You’ll save your floors from unwanted scratches anytime you move a heavy item, and you’ll keep your gorgeous hardwood floor smooth and free from scrapes. Keeping your home in good shape really doesn’t take a lot of money. Instead, it’s all in the details. 

Advertisement

29. Keep Santa Happy By Cleaning Your Chimney Regularly

Chimney-cleaning should be a habit you never break. A dirty chimney not only keeps Santa away, but it can also lead to lethal consequences if it is not taken care of properly. This is harsh but true. 

A poorly maintained fireplace can drastically decrease the quality of air circulating in your house. If such a situation continues, it can be the cause of fireplace pollution that eventually leads to your family’s poor health.

Advertisement

30. Keep Mulch Far From Your House

Stay away from mulch as much as you possibly can. Though having mulch around your home can help you make gorgeous flower beds, mulch actually produces moisture that can negatively affect your house.

Mulch is a magnet for termites that can eventually infest your home and destroy its foundation. If you want the best of both worlds, you can keep your flower bed as long as you also keep mulch as far from your house as possible.

Advertisement

31. Spray Cleaners Must Not Be Sprayed On Surfaces

What are spray cleaners for if you can’t spray them on surfaces? If you want a clean room or table surface, apply spray cleaners on a sponge or paper towel and use that to wipe surfaces.

The reason why you are not supposed to directly spray these onto counters or floors is because of the thin, ugly film they leave behind every time they are used. Using a rag or cloth will prevent this from happening and help you get a clean surface every time.

Advertisement

32. Make Exhaust Fans Your Friend

Exhaust fans in the bathroom help remove any excess moisture after baths and showers. Turning it on regularly, especially after bathing, is the best way to reduce humidity. Odor is also removed as well as the threat of any airborne contaminants. 

Exhaust fans also remove any possibility of your bathroom mirror fogging up. Stagnant air gets to move and circulate in the presence of an exhaust fan. Therefore, mold and bacteria are not able to survive. With so many benefits, they are an important feature in any bathroom.

Advertisement

33. Grease Should Never Go Down The Sink

It’s easy to pour bacon grease down the sink, but it is a nightmare to clean it out of your pipes. Though it may look like liquid when it goes down, this fat quickly gunks up, and if enough of it accumulates in the pipes, it can block them entirely.

The best thing to do is place any excess grease you have in a container. Collect grease from any of the pots and pans you use, and once it has solidified, dispose of it as you would with other solid waste.

Advertisement

34. Don’t Drown Your Hardwood Floors With Water

Mopping your floors is a good habit to get into, but when it comes to hardwood, too much water can create problems. Avoid using a wet mop on hardwood floors unless you want the boards to become warped.

Hardwood will also wear down through time if it is continually washed with excess water. Use only very minimal water to clean such sensitive floors. Your house will thank you for it. After all, a clean house is the foundation of a happy home.

Advertisement

35. The Toilet Brush Should Not Be Returned To Its Holder After Use

Don’t believe everything your parents tell you. That includes anything about toilet brushes. If you were told to put it back in its holder after you have cleaned the toilet, don’t do it. What do you think will happen if you place a wet and dirty object into a closed, moist space? 

The toilet brush will remain wet when it is placed in a damp place. Instead, the brush must be dipped in a household cleaner and then set out to dry.

Advertisement

36. Towels Must Not Be Left In The Bathroom

It may be convenient to leave towels in the bathroom where you can easily use them after bathing. But doing so is really not advisable. Bathroom towels must not be left for prolonged periods in the bathroom.

The bathroom is a moisture-rich environment. Leaving towels in a room filled with moisture can cause bacteria to breed. You surely don’t want to put a piece of bacteria-ridden cloth on your face after bathing. Instead, keep towels in a dry place where they can air out between uses.

Advertisement

37. Trim Vines From Your Home

Vine-covered walls are gorgeous to look at. But allowing vines to hug your home may not be the best idea. When vines encircle your house, it’s not just the leaves that hug your home.

You can expect to see creepy crawlies, bugs, worms, and other critters around your abode too. Plus, vines retain moisture, and if they’re clinging to your home, that means you have a layer of dampness all around you. Unless you want your house to become a makeshift rainforest, trim those vines off!

Advertisement

38. Don’t Store Everything Underneath Your Porch

It’s not against the law to store things you don’t want to see in your house underneath your porch. It is perfectly fine to convert your porch into a makeshift storage facility. But do you think it is right to put your old couch, Christmas decorations, and other clutter down there?

When you store all your unwanted stuff under your porch, air circulation can be blocked. Eventually, you can expect to see the boards warping. The question to ask yourself now is, have you ever heard of a garage sale? 

Advertisement

39. Don’t Fill Your Closet To The Brim

A closet full of clothes does not only mean you are addicted to maxing out your credit card. It also means you may be ruining your drywall. Do not pile your clothes on top of each other or layer them on clothes hangers.

When you place numerous clothing pieces on hangers, the closet rod, as well as the brackets in your closet, will become strained. Eventually, the brackets could be pulled from the wall, thus destroying your drywall.

Advertisement

40. Avoid Dusting Pads

Swiffer is a lifesaver for homemakers who want something to clean their house in a way that is fast and efficient. No need to wash a mop. Simply use the Swiffer and throw the dusting pad out after use. But are these really helping your home?

When you use a dusting pad, it leaves a thin residue on the floor that actually attracts more dust. You then need to clean the dust off again with a Swiffer only for your floor to attract more dust. The never-ending cycle only leads you to buy more Swiffer products and never get your home fully cleaned.

Advertisement

41. Using Huge Amounts Of Cleaning Product Isn’t Recommended

Being a neat freak is a good thing but sometimes too much obsession with cleanliness can be bad. There’s no rule that says we can’t use multiple cleaning products at home. But did you know that using great amounts of cleaning products won’t make your house cleaner than you want it to be?

For instance, using more than enough detergent powder can leave behind a residue on your clothes because it won’t be able to wash out as expected. Better save your cleaning items and money and use cleaning products as directed.

Advertisement

42. Keep Your Cleaning Tools Clean

You use your broom and dustpan to collect debris on the surface. You use your  vacuum to clean your carpets, but do you also keep these cleaning tools squeaky clean? Let’s say that you’re mopping the floor with a mop that you forgot to clean, well, now you’re (un)intentionally spreading the bacteria around your house.

By using unsanitary cleaning supplies, you’re actually making matters worse by creating a playground for dirt and germs, hence putting your family’s health at risk. Remember to always clean your cleaning tools!

Advertisement

43. Don’t Use One Wipe To Clean Everything

Needless to say, disinfectant wipes quickly wipe out dirt and bacteria from different surfaces in your home like in a kitchen or bathroom. Question: Are you using one cleaning item to clean everything or are you using more than one?

Regardless of your preferred cleaning product, make sure you’re utilizing more than one. If you are loyal to disposable wipes because of its easy use, note that they don’t have enough disinfectant to clean an entire room. Use multiple wipes to create the fresh space you’re looking for.

Advertisement

44. Leftovers Should Not Be Kept In Your Fridge For An Extended Period

As much as we want to keep food at the end of each meal, a decision should be made as to which food to throw away and what to keep as leftovers. Let’s be reasonable, nobody wants to waste food.

But hiding leftovers when you and your family members don’t actually end up eating them is not a good idea. Leftovers kept in the fridge for an extended period of time allow mold and bacteria to grow and multiply. Do yourself a favor and throw out that plastic container of lasagna.

Advertisement

45. Dusting Should Be Done First

Dusting seems like a simple task you can do at the conclusion of your cleaning once you’ve dealt with a big chunk of debris. But this is pointless. Dusting is going to mix up more dirt on the surfaces and in the air.

That being said, it is important to always remember that dusting is the first step in your cleaning session. Once done with dusting, you can wipe out anything that’s left over with your disinfectant wipe and other cleaning products.

Advertisement

46. Stop Using A Feather Duster

Now that you realize that dusting should be the first step in your cleaning job, you should likewise realize that it’s time to toss out your beloved feather duster. You might have been used to the idea that this cleaning tool catches and seals dust and dirt, but in reality they really just push it around everywhere.

Again, feather dusters expand the dust and dirt around instead of getting rid of it. There are plenty of cleaning tools out there that are more liable for making your house spotless, so might as well leave that duster in the dust.

Advertisement

47. Wax-Based Wood Polish Is Not A Good Cleaning Product

We’re sure any homeowner who has wooden furniture wants their beloved tables, chairs, and other furniture items to shine. If you’re using a wax-based wood polish to make them sparkle, this is not the best product for you. In general, wood polish can do more bad than good.

Why? Because it causes deterioration to the finish when applied unreasonably.  Also note that wax-based polish can result in an oily buildup that catches more dirt and dust in the long run.

Advertisement

48. Your Windows Should Not Be Over-Cleaned

We understand that neat freaks and those that obsess over cleanliness can easily spot even a speck of dirt on surfaces. While cleaning your window immediately when you notice a dirty area is okay, this impulse should be controlled. Did you know that overcleaning your windows is not a good habit?

A useful rule of thumb is that you should be cleaning your windows one to two times each year. Yep, you read it right. Cleaning your windows more than that can actually cause accumulation of dirt and streaking.

Advertisement

49. Upholstered Furniture Should Be Tackled By The Professionals

Upholstered furniture is widely used thanks to its comforting and appealing ambience. While we have a good intent to keep it clean at all times, it’s best to leave it to the experts. These cleaning pros use the right cleaning products in the market and can steam clean any piece of upholstered furniture.

If you want to tackle minor dirt issues in your upholstered furniture, the safest thing that you can do is use a vacuum apparatus like a brush connection to clean between and underneath any paddings.

Advertisement

50. Certain Kitchen Items Should Be Washed By Hand

Dishwashers are a smart device that makes household chores light for busy moms. While it seems simple to throw each kitchen apparatus into the dishwasher toward the finish of each meal, there are a few items that you ought to wash by hand like the cheese grater and garlic press.

When these kitchen tools are run via the dishwasher, they will not be completely cleaned, and the extra food can accumulate on your tools or become rotten. We’re sure nobody wants this dirty result.

Advertisement