We all spend a lot of time cleaning. And an argument can even be made that we spend too much time on it. The reason is that many of our cleaning habits are actually counterproductive. It’s a good idea to instead spend a few minutes considering how you can clean up your cleaning habits. There’s a few particularly important cleaning habits that you should stop doing.

1. Get rid of the paperwork

The dream of the paperless office was big news for quite some time. But people didn’t get the memo when it came to their home. It’s not at all uncommon for people to think that they’re cleaning by just tossing tons of papers into a box.

But it’s not really cleaning if it just builds up clutter over time. And large piles of paper, even somewhat well organized, eventually become all but unusable. It’s much better to simply recycle those papers. Of course the natural counter to that is that you might need the information on there. But there’s a wide variety of ways to just digitize that information.

2. Watch out for miracle cures

Cleaning products that seem too good to be true often are. It’s fairly common for home cleaning tips to focus on items which can function in multiple ways. For example, it’s fairly common for them to praise magic erasers.

But the fact is that cleaning agents powerful enough to work on almost anything are often caustic to everything. The above mentioned home cleaning tips often forget that magic erasers also take off paint or finish from walls or furniture. And this is a general rule for powerful but non-material specific cleaners.

This isn’t just about chemical based cleaners either. Even natural products, such as vinegar, fall under this general rule. For example, vinegar’s high acidity can even damage stone.

3. Speeding through the laundry

Many people feel that promptly doing the laundry is a virtue. And to be sure, the idea of clothing piling up in a hamper can be rather disquieting. But it’s important to remember that every load uses a similar amount of soap and water. Estimates show that you’re using up around ten to twenty gallons of water per load. As well as the electricity to run the process.

And while soap will vary per load, it still doesn’t scale up very cleanly. You’re much better off running larger loads than several smaller ones. This is one of the more surprising realizations when considering cleaning habits that you should stop doing. Sometimes cleaning too much actually messes things up.

4. In the end some care goes a long way

In general it’s simply best to consider the long term ramifications of any cleaning project. Don’t just clean in a single way because you’re used to it. Ask yourself why you’re doing things the way you are. And if you don’t have a good idea than some research will often shed light on whether it’s the best way to go about things.