The #1 Mistake People Make When They’re Cleaning

published Sep 2, 2018
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(Image credit: Sylvie Li)

Believe it or not, there’s a big mistake most people are making when they clean. Not cleaning your home from top to bottom—a.k.a. dusting first and leaving sweeping and mopping for last—can have some major consequences for your housekeeping routine.

Don’t believe us? We called on cleaning expert Kadi Dulude, owner of Wizard of Homes NYC, to help us break down the benefits of cleaning your home from top to bottom. Read ahead to see what she had to say.

Why is cleaning your home from top to bottom such a smart strategy anyway?

“You have to start cleaning from the top because as you work your way down, you are casting dust and debris into the air, which will wind up settling on the lower surfaces that you’d otherwise already cleaned,” says Dulude.

And what could happen if you don’t do it?

“Here’s a cautionary tale: You decide to deep clean your kitchen and start with the stovetop,” Dulude says. “You move on to wiping down the cabinet doors and oven hood, and every time you spray or scrub anything above the stove, you’ll be sending drips and debris straight to your freshly polished stovetop. Which means you’ll have no choice but clean the stovetop again.”

“Now if you’d moved in reverse,” she explains, “by starting with the upper cabinets and moving your way down, most of the debris would make its way to the floor, which you could sweep up (then mop) in one fell swoop.”

How common of a mistake is this?

“Unfortunately, I see this mistake a lot when training new Wizards,” Dulude explains. “Another mistake we see being done is not concentrating on the task at hand and moving from one task to another before completely finishing. Sometimes even moving from room to room without finishing one room first. You might think: ‘I’ll come back to it later’ but distractions are easy to come by, so it’s best if you have a strict plan—like cleaning from top to bottom—for each room.”