Personal Growth

6 Things You're Probably Cleaning Too Often

There's plenty we all probably don't clean often enough — but believe it or not, for some things, too much cleaning can be a bad thing. It's not only a waste of time and energy but can sometimes do more damage than good. Read on to discover the things in your home where, when it comes to cleaning, less is more.

Home Sweet Home

Despite popular belief, it actually is possible to clean things in your house too much. Save yourself some time with these.

1. Dishes: Let your dishwasher do its job. You're wasting your time by pre-rinsing and pre-soaking every dish. Instead, let the dishwasher disinfect your dishes — experts recommend it.

2. Carpet: Getting your carpets professionally cleaned too often can wear down the fibers and make them more susceptible to dirt. Even spot cleaning can be too much of a good thing — some cleaners can strip carpet of the color of the dye and damage the material. When you spot clean, it's better to opt for a more natural solution like diluted apple cider vinegar.

3. Wood Furniture: Spraying wood furniture with spray polish can actually make it dirtier. The wax-based sprays you buy to clean wood furniture can build up, attracting even more dust and dirt when used more than once or twice a month. Your furniture is probably covered in lacquer anyway, so any "conditioning" waxes aren't getting past that to nourish the wood.

4. Jeans: It's a plain fact that those beloved old blue jeans of yours will last longer by not washing them as much. Some, like Levi's CEO Chip Bergh, say you never have to wash them at all. Of course, eventually they may start to smell and you'll likely have no choice, but don't go overboard. By washing them too much, the denim will lose its shape and color.

5. Sportswear: Depending on the intensity and duration of your workout, you may be able to get away with a second wear, especially when it comes to shorts, leggings, and tops. That'll help them last longer. It's safe to say you should wash your sports bra after each use, although it may work to simply take it in the shower with you and hand wash it right then and there. Whether you wash your workout clothes every time or less than that, it's most important to understand how to wash them to reach their full potential. Most important: Don't stick them in the dryer. Air dry all the way.

Related Video: You're Probably Washing Your Hands Wrong

6. Your Hair: This one is a little more tricky — it really depends on what kind of hair you have and how oily your scalp gets. Experts say there is no single answer to say how often each person should shampoo, but generally two to three times a week is a good rule of thumb. Shampooing daily could strip your scalp of natural oils and leads to broken and dry hair. Washing your hair every day also dries out your scalp and can lead to dandruff. Only a small minority of people need to shampoo every day due to having fine hair, exercising often, or living in a humid location. If none of those apply to you, taking a day or two off can help keep your scalp from drying out and make your hair lusher.

Next time you do your chores, remember that it is, in fact, possible to clean too often. Just make sure to take everything with a grain of salt and don't let things get too dirty either. It's all about finding a balance.

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For a hilarious (but seriously useful) take on how to clean almost anything, check out "My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag . . . and Other Things You Can't Ask Martha" by Jolie Kerr, author of the column "Ask a Clean Person." We handpick reading recommendations we think you may like. If you choose to make a purchase, Curiosity will get a share of the sale.

Written by Annie Hartman June 29, 2018

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