5 Things You’re Cleaning Too Much

published Aug 7, 2018
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(Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga)

Believe it or not, it’s actually possible to clean too much. Whether it means you’re cleaning an item too often or cleaning it more than necessary, over-cleaning is a surefire way to waste time and energy — and sometimes ruin your stuff.

To prove our point, we rounded up some examples of everyday items that we can pretty much guarantee you’re cleaning too much. From tables to dishes — yes dishes! — read ahead for five things you should reconsider washing so frequently.

1. Wood furniture

Who knew spraying your wood furniture too often could actually make it dirtier? Turns out wax-based sprays — you, know the kinds specially formulated for wiping down wood — can forge an oily buildup that attracts more dust and dirt when used more than once or twice monthly. So before you plan your next wood-cleaning spree, consider simply using a dry cloth instead.

2. Dishes

Look, we love sparkling-clean dishes as much as the next person, but the truth is that you’re wasting your time with excessive pre-rinsing or pre-soaking. While it might seem like a quick rinse or soak in the sink before cleaning is expediting your dishwashing process, in reality it doesn’t take much soap to disinfect your dishes — so your best bet is to just clean them in one fell swoop (and, if you’re lucky, in a dishwasher).

3. Cast iron pans

It’s only natural to want to clean your dirty cast iron pans with dish soap, but you won’t be doing them — or your dinner — any favors. Dish soap is notorious for stripping cast iron pans and skillets of the seasonings they accumulate with cooking over time. So spare yourself from the unnecessary time drain (and blasé meal) and use some kosher salt and water instead.

Get the proper steps: How To Clean a Cast Iron Skillet

4. Your carpet

When you spill something on your carpet, it’s easy to want to over-saturate the stain with cleaning solution. However, using too much cleaner too often can quickly weaken and damage your carpet. So instead of dousing your carpet with cleanser the next time you spot a stain, opt for a more natural solution — such as diluted apple cider vinegar — before you destroy it by over-cleaning.

5. Your hands

Okay, we know this one is going to be a little controversial but bear with us. Research suggests that although it’s important to wash your hands with soap and water after using the restroom and before eating or preparing food, excessive hand-washing and hand sanitizer use can eliminate healthy immune-building bacteria on your hands and in turn, make it easier for antibiotic-resistant bugs to enter your system. Translation: Washing your hands when necessary is good — but washing them too often could actually make you sick.

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: 7 Things You’re Cleaning Too Much