40+ Common Housekeeping Habits That Should Be Kicked To The Curb - Health and Wellness News

40+ Common Housekeeping Habits That Should Be Kicked To The Curb


If you ask any homeowner for tricks to keep your house clean and organized, you’ll probably end up with enough tips to write a whole book! This is especially the case if that homeowner, in particular, is your grandmother, who probably has countless secrets up her sleeve. But did you know some of those little tricks we often consider harmless are actually dangerous for your house? They may seem safe at first because so many people claim they’re useful, but if you look closely, you’ll soon notice they are not something you should add to your daily household upkeeping routine! Cleaning your counters with vinegar or using bleach to remove stains on your walls are just a couple of examples of unhealthy habits! There are always better alternatives that won’t damage your home in the long run! Do you have your attention yet? Let’s learn what not to do!

Stain-free grout

Cleaning both the walls and floor tiles simultaneously can be quite a satisfactory experience! That’s why so many videos on the internet cater to an audience that loves to watch grease and other dirty substances melt away from the grout!

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If you’d like to replicate one of these videos at home while washing your bathroom or kitchen walls, be sure to buy colorless cleaning products. Otherwise, you’ll end up staining your grout lines and even the tiles themselves, and no one wants that!

Funky smell

Humanity has come a long way since the times we had to wash our clothes by the river! Nowadays, we have powerful washing machines and dryers that make the whole process as simple as turning a knob! Some clothes washing knowledge, though, are timeless!

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For example, you should never leave your clothes inside the washing machine overnight! They’ll still be moist, and mold will slowly but surely start to grow on them after only a few hours! That’s why your clothes always smell weird after!

These don’t mix

Nowadays, if you go to the supermarket to buy cleaning products, you’ll end up flooded with hundreds of available brands and items! That’s all well and good, but did you know you’re not supposed to mix most of these products together?

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That’s right! Cleaning products have different chemical compositions, and some of them, if mixed, produce harmful gases that affect our health! You don’t want to feel like you’re in a chemical trench while cleaning your house, do you?

Bleached floors

Hardwood floors are a lovely addition to any home! Not only are they strong and durable, but they also look amazing and end up adding to the value of your home! They’re pretty easy to clean too, but not everybody is aware!

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You just need to sweep them every once in a while, but some people end up using super-strong cleaning products, like bleach, instead! You’re not supposed to do that because it will strip its natural protective layer, leaving your floors looking dull and dry!

Down the drain

Unfortunately, there are still many people who don’t know that not everything can be washed down the drain. For example, most people are aware that you’re not supposed to pour cooking oil or grease down your kitchen sink. But did you know you’re not supposed to pour pasta water either?

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That’s right! Pasta water is super starchy, which can create a thin film on the surface layer of your drain or even swell inside the pipes! The best way to get rid of your pasta water is to incorporate it into other dishes, such as sauce thickener!

Cooking hazard

Not everyone has the money to invest in quality kitchen tools. Cutting boards, for example, can be quite expensive if you opt for fancier ones. That’s why so many people end up buying plastic ones. They should come with a warning, though!

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Plastic cutting boards are the perfect breeding ground for mold and other harmful bacteria since they can hide and multiply in places your cleaning tools simply won’t reach! Also, they can release microplastics on your ingredients which are harmful to your body!

Good mulch, bad mulch

If you have a proper garden at home and are having trouble with plant growth, maybe it’s time to invest in mulch! Mulch is basically a layer of material that’s made up of bark, pine needles, leaves, or a mixture of all three.

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Make sure to keep it away from your house! Yes, it stops weeds from growing and retains much-needed moisture for your plants, but you don’t want that same moisture seeping into your foundation, do you? That’s how you end up with a sinking house!

Go easy on the window cleaning

Many enjoy cleaning their windows when the sun is out, and it’s warm outside, but that’s not always the best idea! Depending on how strong the sun is shining, you’ll probably end up with a load of water streaks, which look worse than the dirt!

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We suggest not washing your windows very often, too! Sweeping them is more than enough for most cases! The reason for that is the water can end up soaking the frame and ruining it entirely – especially if it is made out of wood!

The enemy of your house paint

If you were born in the 80s or 90s, then taping things to a wall is probably still a common practice for you! Posters from your favorite bands or actors, photographs of you, your family, and friends – it all goes to the wall!

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But did you know that this can ruin your wall? That’s right! The moment you try to remove them, your wall paint will either peel away or chip! So, from now on, instead of tape, you’re better off using blu-tack or something similar!

Sparkly-clean toilet brush

When it comes to toilet cleaning, most of us tend not to think too hard about it. It’s easy to just toss some cleaning products in there, brush it with the toilet brush, and then flush it all down the drain. Easy-peasy, right?

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Well, yes, but also no! Your toilet brush also needs to be cleaned and dried properly from time to time. Otherwise, you’ll end up with mold all over it! Let it soak in water mixed with a teaspoon of bleach, then let it dry completely before storing it away!

Lint here, there, and everywhere

There is a reason why dryers catching on fire is such a common occurrence! It has nothing to do with old installations or defective products but is actually a human mistake. It can happen simply from lack of maintenance!

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So, if you haven’t yet, make sure to always check your lint filters! They may need to be cleaned or even replaced already! If you didn’t know already, lint is a huge fire hazard, and anything that touches it can cause it to combust!

The biggest fan

If you live somewhere cold where hot water is necessary year-round if you want to take a shower, then you’re probably familiar with exhaust fans! There’s usually one or two of them in your bathroom. However, not everyone uses them properly!

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They’re there primarily to keep moisture out while you shower so your mirrors don’t get foggy, but they’re also a great help in the battle against mold. Just make sure to turn them on during and after your hot showers, and you’ll soon see the difference!

Clean bathroom

Ask anyone in the world about it, and the answer will always be the same: No one likes a dirty bathroom. That’s why so many people around the world spend so much time cleaning theirs! Not everyone knows how to clean them properly, though!

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For example, you’re not supposed to use strong cleaning products when dealing with your porcelain appliances, such as the bathroom sink, bathtub, and toilet! Not only are these products harmful to the porcelain, but they can also affect the durability of the grout and steel!

Keep your mind IN the gutter

It doesn’t matter where you live: warm, hot, rain, snow, it doesn’t matter. Your house needs a gutter! Many people out there simply forget they exist until it’s too late, and believe us; you don’t want to know what defines “too late” when it comes to gutter problems!

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So, always check and clean your gutters, especially if you have trees in your backyard! The falling leaves will clog them, and you won’t notice until the rain comes rolling in and you end up with water seeping through your walls!

Supper time

Everybody knows dogs and cats are great companions to have at home! If you have a fur baby, you probably love them more than your own kids, but some things are easily overlooked when it comes to taking care of them!

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Like forgetting to clean their bowls, for example! Not only it is a health hazard for your pets with all the germs and bacteria breeding in there, but it is also bad for your house – food left on the floor will attract ants and other critters.

Sweep your floors!

How often do you sweep your floors? If they are made out of tiles, the chances are you don’t sweep them enough! Believe it or not, tiles are actually super sensitive to dust and other particles! Who would have thought?

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It is true, though, and if you have ever walked on a dusty tile floor, you know that! The friction of the dust on top of the tiles wears them down just like sandpaper does to a piece of wood! It becomes slippery, which is dangerous!

Dishwasher-friendly

Washing dishes is not only super boring, but it can also make a mess of your clothes if you’re not wearing an apron. If you’d like to skip this task altogether, you need to buy a dishwasher. But you can’t put every kitchen supply inside.

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There are loads of pesky plastic items that will simply melt if cleaned in a dishwasher! Not only that, but some other utensils have small nooks and crannies where the water doesn’t really reach. With time, mold will grow in these crevices, and we all know that’s bad news!

The right way to clean a rug

Decorations are a great way to spice up an otherwise dull home, and nothing ties a room together more than a fine rug! Unfortunately, because they’re on the ground and we’re walking and dropping stuff on them all the time, they can become dirty pretty fast!

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If you have a dusty rug and want to wash it with cleaning products, don’t do it! Not only will it ruin the rug’s fibers, but it can also cause discoloration! Instead, hang them outside, and give them a good old-fashioned beating! Problem solved!

Brand-new hardwood floors for longer

If you or someone you know lives in an older house, then you understand the hassle of keeping everything in tip-top shape! Especially when it comes to maintaining hardwood floors! It’s easy to ruin them, and upkeeping them is a pain in the neck!

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If you want to keep your hardwood floors looking good for longer, keeping the moisture away from them is a must! Water is one of wood’s biggest enemies and must be kept at bay! A dehumidifier will do all the hard work for you.

Don’t ruin your counters

Ask any old-school house owner what the best method to clean a granite counter is, and they’ll probably answer vinegar! They’ll tell you to mix it with some water and soak your counters with it, but did you know that’s not the most ideal option for them?

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That’s right! It may not look like it, but vinegar is a pretty aggressive cleaner and is simply bad for your countertops! They’ll remove its natural protection, and your granite will turn dull and ugly! Use soapy water instead, and you’re good to go!

No more coffee stains

Nothing wakes you up faster than a steamy cup of coffee first thing in the morning! Its fragrant smell and delicious taste make for a great start to the day, no matter where you are! Just make sure to keep it away from your porcelain, though!

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The reason for that is because it’s super easy to stain anything using coffee, as your favorite shirt probably already knows! It will stain literally anything it touches, even your porcelain sink, if you let it sit there for too long! So, watch out!

Curtains are friends

If you live somewhere in a sunny and dry environment, you probably know that curtains are your best friends! Yes, they’re mostly used as decoration around the house to spice up the place a little, but they also have their practical uses!

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That’s right! They’re not only pretty but also useful! For example, if you close your curtains, you will have more privacy, less sunlight to ruin your furniture, and a pretty big dust filter to keep your house clean for longer!

Swiffer’s not so swift

Have you ever heard of Swiffer before? If a mop and broom had a baby, it would be a Swiffer. It comes with a disposable head with different cleaning functions. Many people prefer them over the old-fashioned alternatives, but did you know they’re actually not the best for your home?

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Sure, they’re simple to use, but they’re definitely not very cost-efficient with their disposable cleaning head. They’re also not very beneficial for the environment. Not only that, but they can actually ruin some types of floors like vinyl, for example!

Don’t overload your washing machine

If you’re the one responsible for washing the clothes around the house, you probably already know this tip, but it’s important to repeat this information anyway – Don’t ever overload your washing machine or dryer, or you’ll end up ruining them!

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There is a reason manufacturers state how much weight a machine can take! Those are not recommendations; those are rules you should definitely follow. Failure to do so will result in a less-than-ideal washing cabin and a broken machine!

Check your filters, change your filters

Nowadays, we have so many different appliances around our house that use filters we feel like it’s almost impossible to check them all! AC units, air purifiers, furnaces – the list goes on and on! Either way, it’s important to check them periodically!

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That’s because old filters are not only hazardous for your house but also for your health! The moment they become too dirty to do their job is the moment you become vulnerable to dirt particles in the air and airborne diseases!

Don’t flush your toilet paper

As we have all seen in every American TV show or movie, it is common practice to simply flush your toilet paper down, well, the toilet, but did you know that in reality, things are not so simple? That’s right!

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In some places, especially older cities with old-fashioned plumbing systems like Tel Aviv, flushing your toilet paper is the worst thing you can do to your neighborhood! The old pipes are simply not built for that kind of material and will end up clogging the whole system if you’re not careful!

Who washes the washer?

When cleaning your house, it’s essential to ensure your cleaning tools are also free of germs and bacteria! That’s true for everything – from your toilet brush and kitchen sponge to big machines, such as your washing machine and dishwasher!

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Sure, washing machines and dishwashers usually have a self-cleaning cycle, but sometimes that’s simply not enough! If you manually clean them, you’ll soon notice just how much gunk gets stuck inside them, both on their filters and on the walls! Ew!

Duster away

Nowadays, there are so many cleaning tools out there that it’s hard to decide what to get for each specific use, such as brooms, mops, toilet brushes, sponges, heck, even feather dusters are still in use! Is this kind of duster any good? We don’t think so!

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Feather dusters are mainly to remove dirt from smooth, shiny surfaces, but they don’t really trap dust! Instead, they kick it all up in the air, which is quite harmful if you have respiratory issues. You’re better off using hypoallergic rags instead!

Slamming doors left and right

As humans, it is completely normal to be angry sometimes. It’s important to find a healthy outlet to release it, though, if you don’t want to end up hurting the people and the things around you – and slamming doors are not the answer!

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Even if you’re not angry, going around slamming your doors is harmful not only for them but also for the walls close to them and the door frame itself! It can lead to structural problems that will snowball into even bigger issues!

Power overload

Of all the bad habits you can practice in your house, this one definitely takes the cake! Not because it can cause mold or destroy your floors, but because it is a super-serious fire hazard! Do not, under any circumstances, overload your power outlets!

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Sure, we’ve seen dozens of PSAs over the years about this topic, but people are still stubborn about it! It’s quite simple, honestly: Too many things connected to the same outlet = power overload. Your wires will overheat, melt, and cause a fire! What’s not to understand?

Drip, drip, drip

When it comes to these seemingly harmless problems we have around the house, a leaky faucet is definitely one of the more annoying ones! Not only is the noise super irritating, but it can also cause a plethora of other issues around your home!

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For example, your walls will know you have a leaking faucet long before you do! The accumulated water will slowly but surely eat away the grout between tiles and bricks, and the moisture will stimulate the growth of mold, which is detrimental to your health!

If it has to be done…

We don’t know about you, but for us, doing dishes is the most boring task to tackle at home! Sure, some people may find it therapeutic, but in reality, it’s just some mindless work you have to do to keep your house in order!

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Still, they’re not going to do it themselves. Piles of dirty dishes attract all sorts of critters, some of which may carry diseases! Not only that, but the leftovers can grow moldy and end up ruining your favorite cups and plates!

Icky-furniture no more

Wood is the best material if you want durable furniture for your house. People have been using it since forever, and for the longest time, it was the best option out there! If you want to keep your tables and chairs brand-new for longer, it requires some work!

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There are many oils, waxes, and varnishes you can use to keep your furniture looking beautiful! The thing is, you shouldn’t overuse them; otherwise, you’ll end up ruining it with too much product! It will not only look ugly but can also be super sticky or oily to the touch.

Towels forever

Towels are definitely one of those human inventions that fly under the radar if you think about it! Sure, they’re pretty simple and straightforward compared to the other things we use, but they’ve been around for a long time and certainly bring us comfort in our day-to-day lives!

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But do you know how to store them properly? That may seem like a silly question, but lots of people store them incorrectly and don’t notice. You shouldn’t keep them inside the bathroom, for example! All the moisture in there does nothing but make them the perfect incubator for growing mold!

Squeaky-clean cutting board

One of the unsung heroes of the kitchen is definitely your cutting board! Think about it! It is the perfect surface to cut up all of your ingredients, it’s durable, and it can even look good and add to the aesthetics of your kitchen!

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But do you know how to clean it properly? You’re not supposed to put it in the dishwasher or use soap on it! Instead, just wash it with plain water or let it soak in a mix of water and a teeny-tiny bit of vinegar before letting it dry completely. That’s it!

Moist bed

This one may seem silly and even a little bit counterproductive, but it’s the little things that make the biggest differences, right? So, if you have the habit of making your bed as soon as you’re awake, well, you should probably stop!

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The reason is that your body sweats through the night, and if you make your bed as soon as you’re up, you’re actually trapping all that moisture in the sheet, which can lead to a foul smell! Instead, go brush your teeth and let things air out for a bit!

Take good care of your tiles

Tiles have been around for centuries now, and while they have evolved not only in terms of sturdiness but also in design – the tiles in your grandma’s house don’t look a thing like the ones on your bathroom. However, what to care for them is basically the same!

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All you need is some soapy water and a lot of elbow grease. You can also use specialized cleaning products, but never use anything stronger than that! If you do, the tiles will probably be fine, but the grout between them will get damaged and compromise the integrity of your whole wall!

Homemade slip n’ slide

For some reason, some people love flooding their houses with soapy water during the cleaning process, especially if they have tile floors! Having a homemade slip n’ slide is all fun and games, but if you have wooden floors, that’s definitely a terrible idea!

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That’s because wood actually absorbs water and will either swell up or blow out and even rot away if not dried properly. That sort of problem is only solved by re-flooring your house, and no one wants that! Just vacuum your wood floors, and you should be fine!

Cleaning-ception

When it comes to cleaning your house, it’s important to use the right tools and cleaning products for each task at hand. It’s also important to make sure your cleaning tools are clean, too. Otherwise, you’re just smearing old dirt all over your house!

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But, how do you do that? Well, the answer is quite simple, to be honest! All you need is some warm water and either soap or a teeny-tiny teaspoon of bleach. Mix it together and let your tools soak. No germs will survive that!

Hard tap water

Drinking water straight from your tap may be common practice pretty much all over the United States, but unfortunately, the water that’s available in some places is not actually safe for consumption! That’s why it’s important to test your water every now and again!

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If you do that and adjust your water routine accordingly, not only will you notice an increase in the quality of life of your family but also in the longevity of your pipes! “Hard” water, as it is called, can cause buildups that clog your pipes!

Shoes by the door, please

The rules about wearing shoes or any other kind of footwear inside the house are different from household to household, but did you know leaving your shoes by the door is actually a good idea? It’s not just about the dirt, either!

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Yes, leaving your footwear by the door before entering the house is practical not only to keep your floors clean but also to prevent the spread of diseases and allergens inside your home! This way, you can be sure both the health of your kids and yours are taken care of.

A matter of weight

Many American houses have at least one bedroom big enough to have a walk-in closet inside. If your house is like that, then you better not overload the hangers in your closet, especially if they are attached straight to your walls!

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That’s because the weight of your clothes will pull on your walls, weakening them. That’s even more dangerous if your house is not made out of bricks! If the hangers are too overloaded, they can bring your whole wall down! So, watch out for that!

Caulking can-do

If you have ever renovated your house, then you’re probably familiar with caulk and all of its benefits! Caulk is basically a sealant that’s waterproof and ready to use! It’s perfect for bathroom and kitchen appliances, windows, and more.

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But despite what some people may think, caulk doesn’t last forever. It can and will dry and fall off if exposed to extreme temperatures or abrasive cleaning products. It’s important to always check your bathtubs, sinks, and windows to make sure they’re properly sealed.

Trim your bushes

If you’re lucky enough to live in a house with a big backyard, you might feel tempted to start a lush garden. But, you better make sure you have the time it takes to maintain it, otherwise, you’re just creating more problems for yourself!

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An overgrown garden is as much trouble as a neglected home, for example! Trees need to be maintained to avoid falling branches, and bushes must be trimmed so they don’t climb up your walls and ruin your windows or brickwork as they often do!