If you've ever felt like you're not cleaning enough, you might have overcompensated by cleaning on overdrive. Unfortunately, you can actually do more harm than good if you're cleaning certain things more than you should be. According to experts, the one thing in your house that you're probably cleaning too much are your carpets. Read on to find out why carpets can't be cleaned too often, and for more intimate cleaning advice, find out which One Body Part You Should Never Clean, According to Doctors.
"Over-cleaning your carpets is definitely a problem most people do not know about," says Tal Shelef, a home expert and co-founder of Condo Wizard. "By constantly cleaning and wetting your carpets, you're increasing the risk of mold and water damage, as well as wearing your carpets down quicker."
According to Shelef, vacuuming once a week is the best way to make sure your carpets are always looking pristine. However, when it comes to deep cleaning with water and other products, he says you should realistically only be having this done once or twice a year. And it's something that should probably be done by a professional.
Shelef does note that for households with pets or children, this deep cleaning may need to be scheduled a little more frequently "to ensure that no dirt or bacteria interferes with their health." But this should occur with months in between cleanings—not each week, like you would vacuum.
"When pets have an accident on the carpet, many people make the mistake of soaking the carpet with water in hopes of being able to prevent any nasty smells from forming later on," he says. "The problem is that if you don't treat the stain properly, you will just ruin your carpet. All the water will spread the stain on a larger area, and if it does not dry up quickly enough, mold may start to form."
Clayton says that instead of overusing water in these situations, pet owners should spot clean their carpets with an enzyme cleaner. This will "break down the urine, ensuring that your carpet is kept intact while the nasty stain is completely removed."
"The older they are, the easier it is to grow mold and mildew," he explains. "Carpet fibers have had a longer time to absorb moisture and molding agents, allowing each to soak deeper and deeper into layers. You'll have a harder time thoroughly cleaning your carpet."
If you're not sure whether mold or mildew has already found its way into your carpets, Jane Wilson, cleaning expert with Fantastic Cleaners, says you should look out for prolonged dampness, carpet discoloration, musty smells, or even, random allergies.
"Children are usually quite vulnerable when it comes to allergic reactions from mold and mildew, so if you have kids and they start showing symptoms out of nowhere, you might have problems," she explains.
But your carpets may not be the only thing you're cleaning too much. Keep reading for more items you need to stop over-cleaning. And for more cleaning tips, discover which Cleaning Mistake Could Be Ruining Your Home.
George Pitchkhadze, kitchenware expert and chief marketing officer at Thrive Cuisine, says people often over-clean their ovens. While you can use a warm, microfiber cloth to get rid of grime, he says you should only be using cleaning product inside your oven one to two times a month.
"Oven elements heat up to very high temperatures. They're also hard to rinse after you clean them with cleaning solutions. Therefore, you're cleaning your oven on the inside, then cooking in the same oven, which can heat up and release the washing solution you used into the air," Pitchkhadze says. "This is mostly quite safe, since oven-cleaning solutions are mostly free from dangerous chemicals, but it can lead to your food tasting like whatever you used to clean your oven." And for more kitchen help, find out which Surprising Staple in Your Kitchen Could Be Toxic.
According to David Foley, founder of Unify Cosmos, cleaning your wood furniture too often can tarnish it. He says you should use a wood cleaner only once or twice every three to four weeks. And your cleaning agent has to be specifically for wood.
"If you frequently use a generic cleaner, you're going to ruin your furniture," Foley says. "It can lead to a build-up of dust and dirt, which tarnishes your furniture's appearance. Before long, you'll have to throw it out and buy a new piece." For more cleaning habits that may be causing harm, discover the Cleaning Hack That Will Actually Ruin Your Clothes.
Laundry stripping is the latest internet craze, which involves soaking clean laundry in a tub of cleaner and water for hours to strip away even more grime. However, this craze could be hurting your clothes over time if you do it too often.
"Stripping laundry once in a while is great and can help you remove all of the build-up that often times just stick to our clothes," says Ty, owner of The Sparking Clean Home Instagram account. "However, over-stripping your clothes can weaken fibers over time, and should not be done more than one to two times a year." And to find out more about this cleaning technique, check out "Laundry Stripping" Is the Latest Viral Cleaning Trend—But Does it Work?
According to Carolyn Forte, director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab, you only need to deep-clean your windows once or twice a year. The experts at Rocket Homes say that while you certainly can spot clean in-between, deep cleaning any more than this can "lead to streaking and dirt buildup." And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.