Spring cleaning mistakes - 6 common pitfalls to avoid during your spring clean

 Cleaning equipment against a green wall.
Cleaning equipment against a green wall.

Spring cleaning is a wonderful opportunity for us to breathe new life into our homes.  Some of us may eagerly await the annual spring clean and embrace it with rigour, where others might want to get it over and done with as quickly as possible. Whichever camp you fall into, you could fall prey to the common spring cleaning mistakes.

Spring cleaning mistakes can hinder us, and stop our cleaning from thriving in all its potential glory. As the most important date in the cleaning calendar, we need to make our spring cleans as productive and efficient as possible, which is why being aware of the common spring cleaning mistakes is crucial.

'Spring cleaning is a rejuvenating ritual that promises a fresh start, but common mistakes can hinder its effectiveness,' says Natasha Brook, Dr. Beckmann.

Like knowing the top five rules for successful spring cleaning, knowing the most common spring cleaning mistakes is going to make a world of difference. Your house will sparkle and shine without any hiccups, and you'll thank yourself for pausing for a moment before jumping straight in.

The 6 most common spring cleaning mistakes

We spoke to a range of cleaning experts so we could find out what the most commonly committed spring cleaning mistakes are, and how to avoid them. Before you grab your feather duster, here are six things you need avoid in your spring clean this year.

1. Trying to tackle the entire house in one

Victorian property revamp monochrome hallway
Victorian property revamp monochrome hallway

When we think of spring cleaning, we tend to envision scrubbing the house from top to bottom, and being done within a day or two. But, 'tackling the entire house at once will lead to burnout and lack of attention to detail,' Natasha explains.

Spring cleaning is an opportunity to deep clean aspects of our home that are usually neglected in our regular cleaning schedule. Jobs like cleaning the washing machine and cleaning the oven take time, so attempting to do everything at once isn't going to produce the best results - and, you're going to be exhausted at the end.

'It’s important to start with one room at a time and don’t start another task until you have completed one,' says Felicity Judge, Senior Brand Manager, Zoflora. 'I’d also recommend handwriting your to-do list - a physical check list will help to keep you focused and it always feels incredibly rewarding when you tick items off!'

2. Using the wrong products

Open shelf used to store cleaning supplies and a cleaning caddy
Open shelf used to store cleaning supplies and a cleaning caddy

One of the most common spring cleaning mistakes is trying to do multiple different jobs with the same (small) collection of products. Different surfaces and items will clean better with products and tools that are specifically designed with them in mind. The bathroom for example will probably need something that tackles soap scum and limescale, whereas cleaning the kitchen cabinets is easily done with a regular disinfectant spray.

Cleaning with vinegar and baking soda can have great results, but Laura Harnett, Founder of Seep eco tools, warns why you shouldn't rely on this combination for everything. 'When combined, baking soda and vinegar create a fizzing reaction that can help remove some stains and odours, but they are not suitable for all cleaning tasks. For example, they are not effective for cleaning grout, and they should be avoided on natural stone or wood surfaces, as the acidic vinegar can damage them.'

Stocking up on a range of versatile products before starting your spring clean will ensure you can do a thorough job across all areas of your home.

3. Forgetting to clean cloths and sponges

Corner of kitchen with washing machine, sink and shelving
Corner of kitchen with washing machine, sink and shelving

Attempting a spring clean with tools that aren't clean themselves is futile, and yet many of us are guilty for reusing grubby cloths and sponges. While it's good to try and get a longer shelf life out of our cleaning tools, they need to be washed if they have any chance of performing a successful spring clean.

'Before you start any cleaning task, ensure your cleaning cloths and sponges are disinfected to avoid spreading bacteria and dirt over your home,' says Felicity from Zoflora. 'Wash any cleaning cloths, scrubbing brushes, and mop heads using a disinfectant.'

Most microfibre cloths are machine washable, so there's no excuse not to freshen them up before you start cleaning. Throw your tea towels in the washing machine as well, as these come in handy when cleaning the kitchen.

Zoflora floor wipes
Zoflora floor wipes

Biodegradable Floor Wipes

To remove the surface level layer of dirt and grime from your hard floors, these floor wipes from Zoflora are perfect. With crisp citrusy notes, they'll leave your whole home smelling fresh.

Seep eco cleaning cloths
Seep eco cleaning cloths

All-Purpose Bamboo Cloths

This 3 pack of bamboo cloths from Seep will serve you well in your spring cleaning. They're machine washable, so can be used time and again to wipe surfaces, floors, and even fabrics.

Flash dust magnets
Flash dust magnets

Flash Dust Magnets

These dust magnet refills are a gamechanger when it comes to spring cleaning. Trap and lock dust, dirt, grime and hair in all of the hard to reach places, including blinds and shutters. Pair with the extendable handle for extra ease.

4. Not decluttering first

Kitchen fitted with white cupboards, grey worktop, grey tiled floor with rattan mat, drinks trolley with glasses and cocktail shaker
Kitchen fitted with white cupboards, grey worktop, grey tiled floor with rattan mat, drinks trolley with glasses and cocktail shaker

While you may be keen to start tackling your spring cleaning to do list, jumping straight in isn't the best strategy. The experts say that one of the more common spring cleaning mistakes is starting to clean without taking stock of everything you have and having a good declutter first.

'Attempting to clean around unnecessary items not only wastes time but also hinders the sense of renewal that spring cleaning aims to achieve,' says Natasha from Dr. Beckmann. 'This not only streamlines the cleaning process but also contributes to a more organised and serene living space.'

Decluttering doesn't have to drag out your spring cleaning regimen for long. There are a lot of decluttering methods to make the task easier, for example try the 10 minute declutter method, which can have a remarkable effect on your space in a short space of time. Clearing away unused clutter will not only make the spring clean easier, it will result in a more refreshed feeling at the end of it.

5. Starting with the floors

A hallway with Victorian mosaic tiled flooring
A hallway with Victorian mosaic tiled flooring

The floors in our home should definitely get some attention during spring cleaning, as they bare the brunt of dirt, dust and debris every day. But one of the most common spring cleaning mistakes is to try and tackle the floors first.

Though it's tempting to get the floors over and done with at the start, there's no point learning how to clean a carpet effectively if you're going to wipe the surfaces afterwards. Anything that was sitting on shelves, bookcases or tables will inevitably fall right back on the floor when you clean them.

'The floors should be at the end of your cleaning checklist,' says David Wilson Homes. 'As many professional cleaners will tell you, you should always start up high and work your way down. Otherwise, crumbs and dust can fall onto your newly cleaned floors, undoing all your hard work.'

6. Keeping the windows shut

A yellow kitchen with a cafe curtain on the window
A yellow kitchen with a cafe curtain on the window

It's surprising how many of us will forget to open the windows before we start cleaning. Yet not doing so will lead to a less fresh space at the end, as well as trap any cleaning products and chemicals inside the home.

'While it may seem obvious, many of us refrain from opening windows during the winter, fearing a chill entering our homes,' says Camilla Lesser, Development Manager, Essential Living. 'Opening windows throughout the home should therefore be an essential part of your spring cleaning routine. You don't have to keep them open for long periods, but inviting fresh air indoors can effectively dispel lingering odours.'

Spring cleaning is all about refreshing the home, and the easiest way to do this is simply by opening the windows. Letting fresh air in can be a good reminder to clean the windows themselves while you're at it too.


What are the common mistakes performed during cleaning process?

One of the most common spring cleaning mistakes is trying to tackle too much, too soon. Though the idea of blitzing the house in one day is appealing, it's not going to produce the most thorough clean, and you're more likely to neglect aspects that require time and attention.

To avoid this, experts recommend making a plan before you start. 'Before you start your annual spring clean, start by visiting each room in your home and make a list of the rooms and tasks that need some TLC,' says Felicity from Zoflora. 'So, when it comes to tackling your to-do list, you will remain focused and ensure you don’t miss off any jobs - and remember to not add too much pressure on yourself to complete everything at once.'

Think methodically about the best order to do things in. The kitchen tends to take the longest, making this a good place to start. Leave all the floors until the end, so you don't have to redo them after wiping the surfaces.

Another common cleaning mistake is not opening the windows to let fresh air in. The cleaning products you use need space to breathe, otherwise they'll linger in the home and create a stuffy atmosphere.

How long should it take to spring clean a house?

How long a spring clean takes depends on a number of factors, such as the size of your house, and how often you maintain a good cleaning schedule throughout the year.

'Depending how much you have to do, spread it over a few weeks but certainly by the time May comes you will want to have completed the whole house,' Laura from Seep says. 'We have a calculator on Seep’s website which will work out how long it’ll take to clean your house so you know when you need to start.'

If you feel overwhelmed at the prospect of a spring clean, it's OK to call in professionals to help. Mobile cleaning services like Wecasa are great for providing an extra pair of hands during deep cleans, or for taking the pressure off you completely.

The commonly committed spring cleaning mistakes can often be the culprit for not getting the most out of our spring clean. But now you know what they are and how to avoid them, you can clean your way to a happier home. Time to get cleaning!