Save Your Furniture and Appliances: 5 Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid

 These Cleaning Mistakes Could Be Ruining Your Furniture and Appliances, writes cleaning expert  Simone Tsigolis

We all want our homes to be clean, tidy and welcoming. However, sometimes, our cleaning routines can damage furniture, appliances and other household items – sometimes without even knowing it. Damage is not always visible to the naked eye in the initial stages and can often be seen as a result of natural wear and tear. Some of the cleaning products and tools we opt for may be to blame.

It’s important to understand the common mistakes that could damage areas of the home over time and how to avoid them. Here are five common mistakes families and individuals could unknowingly make:

  1. Using cleaning products on Electronics and moisture don’t agree. Spraying cleaning products such as window or glass cleaner directly onto TV or computer screens can cause serious damage – especially if the screens are warm. Instead, use a damp microfiber cloth to gently wipe away dirt and dust
  2. Spraying Harsh Cleaners on Timber Surfaces: While it may seem convenient to use all-purpose (with lovely citrus scents) or glass sprays on wooden surfaces, their harsh chemicals can strip away the wood’s finish, leaving it prone to discolouration and cracking. Instead, opt for a specialised wood cleaner or a damp microfiber cloth with mild soap and water.
  3. Using vinegar on everything: Vinegar is a natural cleaning powerhouse. However, it’s not suitable for everything. Avoid vinegar on small kitchen appliances with rubber or stainless steel – typically, vinegar can cause the metal or rubber to erode. Using vinegar on waxed furniture or hardwood floors can dull the shine and polished finish. Instead, choose cleaners formulated for specific materials, especially for wood surfaces.
  4. Cleaning your couch. Cleaning the couch may appear to be a no-brainer. However, there are simple cleaning mistakes that can cause permanent damage to your furniture. Our first instinct is often to scrub a stain until it’s no longer visible – this will cause excessive wear of the fabric, particularly on a leather couch. Another common mistake is using commercial cleaning products directly on leather couches. These products are often very potent and harsh, causing the leather to crack and fade. Instead, mix hot water with a gentle soap, dip a microfibre cloth in the solution, and wipe the surface. Alternatively, for fabric couches you can use a handheld steam cleaner or better yet, try and purchase a couch that has washable covers!
  5. Bleach in the Laundry & Bathrooms: Bleach can be effective for whitening clothes, but it’s not suitable for every fabric, especially towels and bathmats. If bleach comes into contact with towels, it can weaken the fibres and cause discolouration. Instead, use oxygen-based bleach alternatives or a laundry detergent formulated specifically for towels to keep them fresh without compromising their integrity. We always remove all towelling from the bathrooms whilst cleaning just to ensure no products touch them.

Simone Tsigolis, Founder of premier cleaning and housekeeping service Jetlag Remedy, is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, and mother of two. She knows full well the challenges parents face in keeping their living spaces looking and feeling beautiful.