Cleaning and Maintenance

14 Things You Are Probably Cleaning Too Often

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Although many household items need to be cleaned regularly, some may be cleaned too often. It might sound counterintuitive to certain people, but sometimes it’s better to avoid cleaning certain things very frequently. All that thorough washing and scrubbing might end up damaging some things over time. Some people might never feel satisfied with the current level of cleanliness and constantly strive for more, but it’s important to cut back on some cleaning tasks if you wish to preserve certain household items in better shape.

Knowing which things around the house are cleaned too often could be very useful. It’s not just so you avoid making matters worse in the long run. You can also save a lot of time on cleaning chores by only doing what’s necessary to maintain proper all-around cleanliness. It could sound surprising to many homeowners but it’s perfectly possible to keep the home orderly and hygienic without going overboard on cleaning work. Let’s see what are these items that you are probably cleaning too often.

1. Mirrors


Mirrors need to be spotless to get a good view of ourselves but you might be overdoing the cleaning. It’s understandable that you wish to quickly get rid of any little fingerprint or minor smudge, but frequent use of cleaning spray can ruin the backing of the mirror. Therefore, it’s recommended to stop cleaning your mirrors too often.

You might actually do more damage to the mirror in the process of removing dirt spots from it. This is particularly true for the mirror in the bathroom because it’s already exposed to a fairly high level of humidity. Over-spraying contributes to damaging the backing as vapors will inevitably end up behind the mirror as well.

2. Carpets

Bright Living Room

Carpets get dirty pretty often, especially if you have small children or pets. If you’re determined to tackle every little stain with quick efficiency, you might end up doing more damage. Repeated cleanings of the carpet are not recommended because you can leave a soapy residue that gathers more dirt in the long term. This is typically the case if you rely on heavy-duty cleaning products.

Using less harsh products to clean the carpet could be a smart decision to preserve its health. Even if you stick to more gentle cleaners, it’s important to avoid cleaning the carpet too often. When a stain happens, you should be careful to blot it instead of soaking it up with a strong detergent. Similar to carpets, area rugs can also be susceptible to extra damage for frequent cleanings, especially if they feature rubber backings.

3. Jeans

Stacked Jeans

Finding the right pair of jeans can be challenging. It’s a good idea to try to preserve them for as long as possible. This clothing item shouldn’t be washed very frequently if you want to avoid excessive wear. Most raw denim manufacturers suggest washing them once every few months. Even better, you should consider going to your local dry cleaner instead of washing the jeans at home.

If you have an expensive pair of jeans that you love, it can be tough to avoid washing them very often. It’s understandable that you’d wish to keep it spotless at all times. However, there are other cleaning solutions worth trying to extend the lifespan of jeans. Regular steaming is better than using the washing machine too often. Bacteria can be killed with the help of the freezer as the process freshens up jeans quite successfully.

4. Dirty Dishes

Dirty Dishes

If you own a dishwasher, it’s important to remember not to rinse dirty dishes before cleaning. This is a good example of why cleaning too much could actually be detrimental as you might reduce the washing effectiveness of your dishwasher quite significantly. How does that work? The food particles on your dirty dishes are necessary for the dishwasher detergent to grab and dissolve. A powerful water spray will clean them up nicely but pre-rinsed dishes won’t be washed as well.

Aside from saving water, there’s another great advantage of skipping the rinsing of dirty dishes. You will not have to waste as much time dealing with this chore. That’s a solid reason to avoid this process. Keep in mind that you should still remove food bits and large pieces before throwing the plates and bowls into the dishwasher. But this can be done without having to rinse them with water.

5. Ceiling Fans

Ceiling Fan

Ceiling fans should be excluded from your weekly cleaning routine. This is one item that can be safely cleaned on a monthly basis because it’s not getting dirty at the same rate as other things around the home. Dust and dirt build-up accumulates quite slowly on ceiling fans. Go for a deep clean done less frequently to keep this ceiling fixture spotless without expending as much effort. It’s worth mentioning that more frequent dusting could still be required during the summer when the ceiling fan gets a lot of use.

6. Comforters and Bedspreads

Comforters and Bedspreads

Bedding items such as comforters and bedspreads are particularly vulnerable to premature wear. This means that frequent cleaning should be avoided as much as possible. Keep the comforter protected by dirt with the help of a duvet cover. This way, there’s no need to wash the comforter that often. You can simply throw the cover in the washing machine together with pillowcases and other items.

Maintaining comforters and bedspreads can be quite challenging due to their size. Washing them often is simply not very practical when you need to deal with other cleaning chores that are more important. It’s recommended to clean these items thoroughly at the end of every season. If you have pets or need to deal with frequent spills on your bedcoverings, it’s probably a better idea to use a spot cleaner that will target the stain instead of washing the entire item.

7. The Pantry

Pantry With Spices

Some people focus too much on cleaning the pantry and reorganizing the food items here. You don’t really have to worry that much about dry and canned goods because they typically have a long shelf life. Instead of wasting your cleaning efforts here, you should work on areas that are more urgent to keep spotless. The refrigerator is a good example because foods stored here are more perishable.

Tackle your pantry seasonally to make sure that everything is still good to eat. Dust the shelves and give them a good wipe. While pantries can be different from one home to another, it’s safe to say that a weekly clean for this area isn’t mandatory.

8. Furniture Slipcovers

Furniture Slipcover

If you use furniture slipcovers, you shouldn’t really bother cleaning them too often. Most households can get away with seasonal cleanings for this item. Washing a furniture slipcover isn’t a challenging task compared to other items. However, the slipcover doesn’t get that dirty to necessitate a weekly clean unless you’re dealing with regular messes from pets or little kids. Similar to bedspreads, it’s recommended to go for spot cleaning of stains instead of frequent full washes.

9. Bras

Bras on Display

Some clothing items tend to be more often washed than others. This is the case for bras which can actually be considered over-washed. It’s not a good idea to throw this item in the washing machine after every single wear. Bras can suffer from a distorted shape if you clean them excessively. A misshapen bra will no longer fit you properly creating discomfort.

To keep them in top shape for longer, reduce the frequency of cleaning and wash the bras only after around three wears. Make sure you use a clothing bag to prevent tangling while in the washing machine.

10. Car

Washing a Car

Can you wash your car too much? It turns out that over-washing your vehicle is a thing. There may not be apparent at first, but upon further inspection, you might discover some telltale signs that your car is cleaned too often. If you spot little cracks or scratches on the body of the car, they’re usually signs of over-washing. The surface of the vehicle can get worn down by too many frequent cleaning jobs.

Another aspect to take into account is the problem of wax that doesn’t last long enough. That could also indicate over-washing. If you don’t want the car’s finish to become dull, it’s recommended to stop cleaning it too often. Doing it more than a few times a month is typically too much.

11. The Oven

Oven With Brown Cabinets

The oven doesn’t require more than an occasional deep cleaning every few months or so. If you wash it thoroughly on a monthly basis, you’re most likely overdoing it. Many advanced ovens feature self-cleaning cycles that you can use to simplify this chore. There’s no need to put in as much effort to clean it thoroughly yourself. Just pay attention to clean quickly certain drips of foods that can burn and release an unpleasant burnt smell.

12. Towels


Towels should be air-dried naturally to extend their use for more days. You don’t have to wash any towel after a single use. The main danger is mildew which only appears when the towel isn’t properly dried after every use. Keeping your towels free of moisture can minimize the time doing laundry chores. The same goes for kitchen towels though these get used more frequently. Instead of quickly bringing it to the washer, consider leaving it to air dry until it gets really dirty.

13. Bath Toys

Bath Toys

Bath toys can accumulate mildew if they’re not cleaned properly. However, they don’t require frequent scrubbing after every bathing session. Instead of wasting your time overwashing the toys, consider doing a monthly deep cleaning. Soak the toys in water with vinegar to remove any mildew buildup or bacteria. Keep in mind that toys not designed for the bath should still be cleaned fairly often, especially if the kids used them a lot.

14. Pillows

Pillows on a Bed

Washing the pillowcases often is a good idea but there’s no need to do the same for the pillows themselves. You can safely clean them only a few times a year without worrying about dirt and dust problems. As long as you’re diligently washing the pillowcases a couple of times per month, it’s safe to say that you can focus on other chores properly instead of dealing with the pillows as often.

By Stefan Bucur

Stefan is the founder and owner of Rhythm of the Home. He has 6 years of experience in home improvement, interior design, cleaning and organizing.

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