Read this before you invest in marble countertops.
A clean home can lead to better health and may boost your mental, physical and psychological well-being. However, keeping up with cleaning can be a chore, especially if you spend hours scrubbing, dusting, or vacuuming, only for your space to look dirty again the next day. But there are ways to make matters easier on yourself and streamline your cleaning routine—and a lot of it depends on what you keep inside your home.
To get an insider’s perspective, we asked professional cleaners for their lists of things they would never want to keep in their house. They shared things that get easily scratched, stained, and are just a pain to get clean. Replacing or rethinking a few things on this list could help you significantly reduce your cleaning time and help you get more satisfaction out of your chore days.
White furniture and décor
Although white furnishings can provide sophisticated style and a modern look, some professional house cleaners shy away because of the potential hassles. “Anything white can show more dirt and require more frequent cleaning,” says Amanda Day, a 25-year veteran home service professional with Molly Maid. In addition, as these furnishings may soil more easily, there are other implications. “Frequent cleaning can also lead to faster wear and tear of these items,” Day explains. “For example, it can be a struggle to keep white kitchen cabinets clean and pristine; however, the paint may be damaged if scrubbed down too often.”
Black furnishings and design accents
Black home furnishings and accents are another common choice for that sleek, modern design look. But, be aware there can be cleaning roadblocks for this style preference as well. “On the other side of the spectrum [from white], black items can show more streaks, fingerprints, and oil,” cautions Day. Instead of black or white décor, she recommends choosing furnishings in between the two, "like a neutral beige, which is a nice middle ground.”
Too many knick-knacks
We know, those figurines, picture frames, candles, collectibles and other eclectic knick-knacks can hold a lot of value, but they can be a headache to clean. If your shelves, mantle, coffee tables or table tops are saturated with tchotchkes, these treasures can clutter your home and become dust magnets. “When there are a lot of items in the home, there are more things to move around to dust behind and under,” Day says. In order to streamline your cleaning routine, Day offers an alternative solution. “Putting your favorite heirlooms in an enclosed cabinet, where they can still be displayed but are out of the general circulation of air, is a great idea," she says. "It lowers the amount of dust and requires less frequent cleaning."
Carpet in bathrooms
It may be surprising, but there are homes that still have carpet in the bathroom, Day says. “If anything, for obvious reasons, it would be helpful to at least remove [carpet] from around the toilet," she adds. "It’s unsanitary, easy to damage, and a breeding ground for bacteria and mold.”
White shag carpet
Like white furniture, Days says white carpet discolors over time and is difficult to maintain. “When it’s also shaggy, it’s more difficult to remove stains from and can also easily hide earrings and other smaller valuables that get caught up in the vacuum,” Day says.
White tile flooring
Although white flooring can be appealing, it’s a constant challenge to keep it in tip-top condition day in and day out. “I would never put white tile flooring in my home,” says professional cleaner turned area representative Alyssa Landrum with Two Maids in Nashville, Tennessee. “As beautiful as it is, white tile shows every hair and spec of dirt on it and doesn't stay looking clean and fresh for long after cleaning.”
Sliding-glass shower doors
Another bathroom-cleaning quandary to avoid, per Landrum, is sliding-glass shower doors, which may save space and prevent water leakage, but come with cleaning disadvantages. “I would never have a sliding glass shower door,” says Landrum. “The tracks are incredibly hard to clean and tend to build up with mold and mildew.”
Although marble countertops are in high-demand, some experts say cleaning them can be a challenge. “I had put in a lot of elbow grease to save several marble countertops from stains, but sadly some of them are beyond salvageable,” says Arthuza Ip, a professional house cleaner with Cleanzen Cleaning Services in Boston, Massachusetts. “Unlike other materials, marble is delicate and porous. Due to this, it's more prone to scratches, stains, and damage.”
If marble countertops become too discolored or stained, Ip explains they're also quite expensive to replace. “I just think it's not cost-efficient, especially since accidents and spills are daily occurrences in the kitchen,” she continues. “I have a laminated countertop at home and not only is it easy to maintain, but it is also far cheaper than marble. It also comes in different colors and patterns. In terms of cleaning, I just use my dishwashing soap and a microfiber cloth, and it looks good as new.”
Faux fur pillows, throws, and blankets
While faux fur can be soft, warm, and overall a nice type of material to snuggle in, Ip shares it can also be difficult to clean and maintain these accessories. “First and foremost, faux fur accumulates dust and other debris easily, which I don’t like,” she explains. “Crumbs of food, pet dander, hairs, and dust particles get stuck in between the fibers and don't easily come off even if you wash them.”
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