After doing menial tasks like laundry and dusting for so long, we get going on autopilot and don’t stop to think if we’re doing them wrong. You might be surprised to find that you’ve been doing some of these chores wrong all along! Here are some friendly tips to get the most bang out of your chore buck.
10 Household Chores You Might Be Doing Wrong
1. Using too much laundry detergent
Most of us overdo it when it comes to how much laundry detergent we use, which actually does more harm than good. Excessive detergent leads to skin irritations, dull colors, and stiff clothes. Each load of laundry only needs 1-2 tablespoons of detergent.
If you have soft water, use 1 tablespoon. If you have hard water, use 2 tablespoons. That’s less than half that the cap tells you. Save money and your clothes by using less.
2. Drying your towels with your sheets
Like most of you, I wash towels and sheets together and then stuff them in the dryer like they’re one big happy family. As it turns out however, towels and sheets are more like the Hatfields and the McCoys—they don’t like each other.
Towels produce lots of lint that in turn sticks to your sheets. That’s no bueno when you want to snuggle up and night and come up covered in lint balls. The correct way to wash linens is to keep towels with towels and sheets with sheets.
3. Loading the dishwasher all wrong
Just ask my husband, I’m a tad OCD when it comes to dishwasher loading. Bowls mixed with plates with a few measuring cups haphazardly thrown in and I’m in the corner breathing through a paper bag.
For a more correct and efficient way to load your dishwasher, cups and small bowls on top, plates and large pots on the bottom. Make sure the water temp is at least 120 degrees to dissolve stains, and switch to pod detergents which are much more effective than liquids or powders. Also, don’t separate your silverware into same compartments (i.e. forks with forks and spoons with spoons). Although it seems like a stellar idea, spoons and forks can, well…”spoon” together and prevent gunk from getting washed all the way off.
4. Dusting your ceiling fans improperly
I know, I know – I’ve been doing it, too. Taking a duster to the fan and spraying the entire room with dust particles. I’ll vacuum later, I usually justify.
Want a better way to dust your ceiling fans? Take an old pillow case and cover each fan blade and gently sweep the entire blade. The dust will be trapped in the pillowcase!
5. Cleaning glass shower doors the wrong way
Glass shower doors are a big pain to clean. But that’s probably because you’ve been cleaning them wrong. Instead of a paper towel and vinegar, try getting a dryer sheet wet and scrubbing away. You’ll get the soap scum right off and even prevent more scum from sticking!
6. Getting angry at your duvet cover
Every time you have to wash that dang duvet cover, it ends up being an awkward wrestling match that you never come away winning.
Instead of stuffing that down-filled comforter into your duvet, first flip the duvet inside out. Lay your comforter on top of the inside-out duvet and then starting at the bottom, pinch both together and slowly pull them until the right side is on top and the duvet is snugly in the middle.
7. Storing peanut butter the wrong side up
We all know that oily film that accumulates at the top of the peanut butter jar. It’s kind of annoying, right? Who knew we’ve been storing our peanut butter wrong all these years? Start storing your peanut butter upside down, with the lid facing down. This will evenly disperse the oil and keep it from puddling up.
8. Boiling eggs all wrong
I’m still trying to master the perfect boiled egg. So much is required—perfect temperature, time, and tapping each egg with a magic wand beforehand. I’m just kidding about the last one, but it seems I’ve been boiling my eggs wrong all along.
To make the shells slide right off, add baking soda to your water before boiling. It’s amazing how easily the shells just slip off!
9. Washing your chicken
There’s a definite debate over this one. It seems 50% of you wash your chicken before cooking and 50% don’t. Actually, washing raw chicken can increase your risk of food poisoning and can splash bacteria onto work surfaces and your kitchen sink.
Don’t worry about washing. The heat from cooking poultry will kill off any bacteria that could harm you.
10. Loading your fridge inefficiently
You just come home from an epic grocery shopping trip and your sister calls on the phone and your toddler is doing a major potty dance. You quickly stash the goods in the fridge and move on to more pressing matters. But did you know there is a more efficient way to stock your fridge?
Items should be stored according to the temperature they need to be cooked. For example, foods like leftovers that need no cooking to be safe to eat can rest safely at the top, or warmest part of the fridge. Condiments that require no cooking are also safe in the fridge doors which are also warmer than the rest of the fridge. Raw meats like ground beef or bacon need to be towards the bottom or coldest part of the fridge.
So just remember, up to down. Foods that don’t need to be cooked can be up, foods that do need to be cooked go down.
So, how did you do? I definitely learned a few new things today—things like I’ve been using way too much detergent and loading my fridge all wrong. Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Speaking of new tricks, feel free to share yours below!