10 Housekeeping Habits Your Parents Taught You That Are Actually Wrong

While this was once a common practice, newspaper ink can smear and leave streaks on windows, leading to a less-than-clean finish.

Using newspaper to clean windows

Hot water can actually exacerbate clogs by melting substances further down the drain, causing them to solidify again and create a more stubborn blockage.

Pouring hot water down the drain to unclog it

Putting too many dishes in the dishwasher can prevent proper water circulation and lead to poorly cleaned dishes.

Overloading the dishwasher

Spraying cleaner directly onto surfaces can lead to overuse and waste. It's more effective to spray onto a cloth or sponge first.

Spraying cleaner directly onto surfaces

While bleach is a powerful disinfectant, it's not suitable for all surfaces and can damage some materials over time.

Using bleach to clean everything

While hot water can help remove stains, it can also cause clothes to shrink, fade, and wear out more quickly. Using cold water can be just as effective for most laundry loads.

Washing clothes in hot water

Vigorous scrubbing can damage surfaces and spread stains further. Instead, it's better to blot stains gently to lift them without causing additional damage.

Scrubbing stains vigorously

Making the bed right away can trap moisture and create an ideal environment for dust mites. It's better to leave the bed unmade for a while to allow it to air out.

Making the bed immediately after waking up

Fabric softener can leave residue on clothes and reduce their absorbency, especially for towels and athletic wear. It's not necessary for every load of laundry.

Using fabric softener on all laundry

While it may seem more efficient, vacuuming in straight lines can actually leave behind dirt and debris. Instead, try vacuuming in overlapping, crisscross patterns for a more thorough clean.

Vacuuming in straight lines