Have you been using cleaning products wrong all this time?

We performed a new study which has revealed that 72% of Brits are cleaning wrong. 

The survey asked the general public how long they leave cleaning products on a surface once applied and shockingly 72% of the people that responded all said less than 5 minutes. 

Alan Wakeling, founder of Hydrus Hygiene commented saying “Typically a cleaning product should be applied and left for 5 minutes or more, this way you are giving the disinfectant a chance to do its job and kill the bacteria. However, the survey we performed shows that 72% of people are not doing this. By applying disinfectant and then wiping straight away, 9 times out of 10 all that you are doing is spreading bacteria. The correct way would be to apply to cleaning product, wait 5 minutes and then continue to wipe the surface. There are some cleaning products such as Hydrus which only require you to wait 2 minutes but typically it’s 5 minutes or more. Some mainstream brands can even recommend 15 minutes wait time.” 

But this is not the only way people are cleaning wrong. Here are some of the main mistakes people make when it comes to cleaning their homes:


– Not dusting under the bed. Even if you vacuum thoroughly every day, small amounts of dust gather under the bed. That space is not easily accessible, and this is why many people neglect it and then are shocked when they see the amount of dirt that has gathered there. It’s not good to neglect this part of the bedroom because it’s not only general dirt that gathers there, it’s also hair, dead skin cells, decomposing insects, dust mites and their excrements, and many other nasty things. They get attached to the bottom of the mattress too and contaminate it. It’s good to lift the mattress or move the bed at least twice a month, to vacuum the space and keep things under control.

– Not washing pillows. 16 species of fungi can live in the average pillow, and the stuffing attracts dust mites. The recommended frequency of cleaning for pillows is 3 to 6 months. You can wash them on the gentle cycle, using hot water and a liquid detergent, because the powder can leave residue. You can dry them in the dryer, but on the lowest setting for around 2 hours. After that, you should check for moisture by pinching it in a few places.

– Not changing bedclothes enough. Just like the mattress, the bedclothes we use also gather dust and sweat, and you’d be surprised how many people fail to change them often enough. Studies show this cleaning mistake can cause us asthma, eczema and rhinitis. This is why it’s healthy to change the sheets at least once a week.


– Using dirty sponges. Everyone thinks that the toilet is the dirtiest place in the house, but it’s actually the kitchen sponge. We use the sponge to clean all kinds of food and grease off plates, and even if you rinse it thoroughly with water, some of the dirt settles inside the pores, and bacteria starts to grow over time. All that spreads all over the plates when you use the contaminated sponge. Good ways to disinfect the sponges are to boil them, put them in the dishwasher or place them in some water and microwave them for a couple of minutes. It should be done at least once a week, and the sponges need to be replaced every two months or so, depending on the usage. 

– Spraying detergents directly on surfaces. This is a mistake most people make. Not all surfaces benefit from large amounts of acidic detergents, and the direct spraying can leave streaks and smudges, as well as residue. You should avoid spraying directly things like electronics, electrical sockets, wooden surfaces and porous tiles. Instead, spray a small amount of the detergent onto a microfibre cloth and wipe the surface this way. 

– Using paper towels for everything. Paper towels are very practical, easy to use, and they are a part of every kitchen. But using paper towels to wipe everything around the kitchen is not the most practical choice, because they tear easily, they can leave lint on some surfaces, and they can be heavy on the budget. Instead, you can use some more sustainable alternatives, like microfibre cloths for most surfaces, old newspapers for the windows, reusable towels, old T-shirts and others. 

– Improper maintenance of cutting boards. The cutting boards, especially the wooden ones, need special care to be disinfected properly. First, it’s good to use one cutting board for all the vegetables, and one especially for meat and fish. Second, the sponge and dish detergent are not efficient enough to clean your meat cutting board, because small particles get stuck inside the cut marks, they breed germs, which afterwards get transferred onto your food. Using the dishwasher is also not an option, because the wooden cutting board will crack, and the plastic ones can melt in the hot water. Instead, you should soak the cutting boards, in a hydrogen peroxide solution (1 spoon of hydrogen peroxide, 2 litres of water) for a few minutes, then rinse thoroughly and dry completely.


– Using harsh detergents without ventilation. Many bathrooms don’t have windows, and the ventilation systems in them are not efficient enough to deal with harsh chemical smells. So, unless you have a window in there, it’s not good for your health to use harsh cleaning products in the bathroom. The smell can linger for days, causing coughing and throat irritations. It’s also not healthy to step barefoot on a floor that has chemical residue. So, avoid bleach and any other smelly substances unless it’s a very critical situation, aim for milder cleaners in everyday use. 

– Using 1 product to clean everything. Even though using multipurpose cleaners for everything saves money, it’s not the best thing for all your surfaces. The different bathroom surfaces require different care. The tiles need a mild abrasive, which will take care of the slime, soap scum and mould. The sink and the bathtub need a mild non-abrasive cleaner because the enamel scratches easily and is difficult to repair. The toilet gathers the most germs, so it needs something highly antibacterial. And the mirror and any glass doors or surfaces could use a window cleaner for a streak-free finish. 

– Not caring for the toilet brush. Putting the toilet brush right back into the holder after usage is a big mistake. The moisture and the fact that the brush has not been washed causes bacteria to grow very fast. After using the toilet brush, rinse it in the clean toilet water and place it in a container, which lets it sit in the air and dry. 

– Underestimating hidden surfaces. Such hidden surfaces are the space behind the toilet, the space under or on top of cabinets (depending on how your cabinets are located) and various shelves for shampoos and other products. They often get neglected during regular cleaning and the dirt gathers. In the case of shelves, mould and limescale starts growing on them. And the dirt under the cabinets moves around every time you open the door and spreads onto the clean floor. Pay attention to the spaces you don’t see too, in time you will notice that the bathroom gets dirty slower if you do it. 

If you want a disinfectant that has been proven to kill more bacteria in a much faster time than most disinfectants on the market, then go over to our Hydrus Hygiene products page or if you would like to find out more about our products and would like a chat click here to get in touch.


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