The 7 Most Debated Cleaning Techniques of 2022, According to Apartment Therapy Readers

published Nov 28, 2022
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On the surface, cleaning a home sounds pretty straightforward. You tidy the clutter, wipe the surfaces, mop the floors, and put away the laundry. And yet within those seemingly run-of-the-mill tasks lies a whole world of variation. Look no further than the comment section in some of Apartment Therapy’s cleaning and organizing articles, and you’ll see exactly what I mean.

Where some folks may prefer strong cleaning chemicals, others tend to favor more natural products like vinegar and baking soda. One camp might extol the virtues of their Scrub Daddy sponge for washing dishes, whereas another may swear their Scotch-Brite Dobie is entirely more effective. 

In other words, we all have our personal preferences and peccadilloes when it comes to our cleaning methods. These were the seven most debated ones among Apartment Therapy readers in 2022. 

Wash your sheets in the morning.

The logic behind the “wash your sheets in the morning” strategy is avoiding the dreaded discovery of still-wet sheets in the washer at bedtime because you forgot to transfer them to the dryer. By tossing them into the laundry first thing in the morning and setting a reminder to transfer them, you won’t get distracted by the busy tasks of the day — and you’ll have fresh, clean sheets waiting for you when it’s time to tuck in at night. 

According to readers, though, an easy workaround to the problem would be to simply buy a second set of sheets. That way, you’ll always have a clean set while the other one is in the wash.

Replace wire shelves with wooden ones.

If you’ve ever had wire shelving in your pantry, you know all too well how items tend to topple over or slip through the cracks. By replacing wire shelves with wooden ones, you’ll not only gain a sturdier surface, but also a more stylish storage system to boot. 

However, some readers took umbrage with this shelfie makeover, pointing out it was more for aesthetics than practicality. They felt it took away precious storage space by converting the U-shaped wire shelves into straight wood shelves. Another reader found the project to be too expensive (estimated between $300 and $500) and shared she had simply covered her wire shelves with a plastic material specifically designed to make their surface level — for the bargain price of $35.

Decant pantry items from their original packaging.

A pro organizer shared a tip to transfer pantry items from their original packaging into clear containers. By ditching the boxes and bags, it reduces visual clutter and maximizes storage space. It also allows you to see how much is left of certain products. 

Alas, many readers shared their trials and tribulations with decanting products, stating that quite often not all of the items fit into the containers, so they were left with the container plus the original packaging. Other issues brought to light with decanting were that it’s easy to mistake ingredients like sugar for salt, and not know when certain foods expire. 

Roll your towels instead of folding them.

When you’re the only one maintaining the linen closet, it’s fairly easy to keep it looking nice and tidy. But add kids into the mix, and things can get a little “topsy turvy.” By rolling your towels instead of folding them, your linens have a more organized look because the ends of all the variously-sized towels come out looking the same. It also saves time from folding, maximizes space, and keeps your linen closet looking great because you don’t have to unstack folded items and stuff them back in. 

Some readers disagreed that it saved any time from folding, though, and others said they preferred the visual look of folded towels over rolled ones. One opinion that seemed to be universally shared? Rolling items saves space, whether you’re storing it in a linen closet or a suitcase.

Credit: Getty Images | Anikona

Don’t put grocery bags on your table or counters.

Much like handbags and Amazon packages can harbor dirt and bacteria from being placed on the ground, unsavory germs can also hitch a ride on your grocery bags. Not only are they handled by others, they are also presumably transported to your home in the trunk or on the floor of your car. It stands to reason, then, that they have no business being placed on the same surfaces where food is prepared — at least, that’s what this story had to say. 

Many readers did not agree, though. They felt it created an extra physical hardship to unload grocery bags from the floor, when you could just easily wipe down the table or counters to disinfect them after you’ve finished putting things away. 

Use Comet to clean your kitchen sink each night.

In most households, washing the dishes (or loading the dishwasher) after dinner is a signal that the chores of the day are done. But if you were to take it one step further, the job isn’t really finished until the kitchen sink itself is clean. Scrubbing it with a powdered cleanser like Comet can help eliminate grime and prevent tough stains from setting in. 

Readers, however, argued that this type of cleanser was too harsh for sink surfaces like stainless steel, and could potentially scratch it. One reader cautioned it was unhealthy to breathe in powdered cleansers like Comet on a regular basis. And many agreed you could simply use the same soap and sponge you used to clean the dishes to clean the sink as well.  

Use a collapsible hanging shelf organizer in your closet.

Keeping an organized closet is simple if you have a designated space for everything (and actually put things where they belong). But if square footage is one thing your closet is sorely lacking, it’s easy for things to become jumbled. Adding a collapsible hanging shelf organizer can offer extra closet space to store your folded items, and it’s easy to flatten and transport should you move to a new space. 

Readers were dubious of its sturdiness, though, claiming they preferred more durable containers like baskets or bins. They also felt this type of organizer can easily get overstuffed and weighed down by too many items, and one reader recommended a narrow standing unit would be more tidy.