Jill Nystul is the cleaning mastermind behind the popular blog, One Good Thing by Jillee. Check back on PEOPLE Home for her quick tips and expert advice for keeping your spaces in tip-top shape.
If your window cleaning technique comes directly from Mr. Miyagi, you’ve probably been creating more streaks than you’re eliminating.
Don’t worry, grasshopper. Home cleaning expert Jill Nystul has rounded up nine of the most common mistakes you might be making — from using a stain remover stick on your carpet to the one surface you shouldn’t clean with vinegar — to take your tidying up routine far beyond wax, on-wax off.
1. DON’T mix ammonia with bleach.
“The combination of these two cleaners could be lethal, so be very careful when mixing any cleaners that contain ammonia or bleach.”
2. DON’T scrub your carpets, but blot them instead.
“You could damage the carpet by scrubbing too hard, and a gentle blot will do the trick!”
3. DON’T wash windows in a circular motion.
“Instead, move the paper towels back and forth horizontally, and then vertically. Wiping in little circles is more likely to leave streaks. Speaking of washing windows, DON’T do it on a hot, sunny day. The heat will dry the cleaner too quickly, leaving streaks. It’s much easier to get clean windows on a cool day.”
4. DON’T use dish soap to wash the car.
“The soap meant to wash pots and pans is a little too heavy-duty for your car. Instead, buy a car wash soap.” Jill recommends this one.
5. DON’T use a laundry stain stick on the carpet.
“Stain sticks for dirty clothes are meant to be washed out, so leaving them on carpets is no good! Check out my favorite method for cleaning stains on the carpet.”
6. DON’T hurry!
“Allow your cleaners to sit and do the work for you.” Her cookie sheet miracle cleaner only works if you let the solution sit for a couple hours.
7. DON’T use vinegar on granite countertops.
“Vinegar, lemon juice or any other acid will eat away at the granite.”
8. DON’T dust with a dry rag.
“You’ll just push the dust around. Instead, use a dusting spray and reusable rags.” Check out Jill’s DIY dusting spray hack.
9. DON’T use soap to clean cast iron.
“When you cook with cast iron, you develop a ‘seasoning’ that makes the pan naturally nonstick. Soap removes the seasoning, so you should only wash with soap once—the very first time!”