9 Things in Your Home You’re Cleaning Too Much

If you're someone who hates housework (and aren't we all?), your chore list is about to get a lot shorter. These are the places in your home where, when it comes to cleaning, less is more.

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Cast iron skillet on rustic wood table.; Shutterstock ID 370808516
Arina P Habich/Shutterstock

Cast-iron pans

First things first: Never, ever put your cast-iron pan in the dishwasher or let it soak! Here’s how to clean it properly. Before you put it away, be sure to dry it completely.

Here’s what to make with your cast-iron skillet.

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Pile of dirty clothes in a washing basket; Shutterstock ID 410632486


OK, those sweaty gym leggings and underwear should obviously be tossed right in the laundry bin. But those jeans you wore one day for two hours? Keep them out to wear again (and even again). Washing and drying your laundry too often makes them wear and fade much faster.

Speaking of laundry, here’s the secret technique for how to keep your towels extra soft and fluffy.

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Special Rug, Carpet, Seat on the Carpet ; Shutterstock ID 1099592000; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOH


Fun fact: You don’t necessarily need to vacuum the entire house top to bottom every week. Rugs in rarely occupied rooms (like the formal living room you use twice a year) or rugs under furniture like couches can be vacuumed just once a month to save time.

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Lace curtain; Shutterstock ID 109605329


While most fabrics around the house (like sheets and towels) need to be washed regularly, your curtains only really need to be washed once a year since we don’t come in contact with them often. Before you toss them in the washer, make sure they’re machine washable—some are dry-clean only.

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Furniture restoration. Hand cleaning a wood furniture with a cloth; Shutterstock ID 766459951; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOH

Wood furniture

Spraying gobs of polish and cleaner onto your wood tables and chairs can cause unwanted buildup (and wasted product) and even damage the finish. Do a full cleaning once a month with the product of your choice and each week, just lightly dust the furniture with a cloth.

This is our favorite wood cleaner.

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Cleaning,; Shutterstock ID 128594162

Tile grout

You should be cleaning your tile floors, backsplashes and shower walls every week. But scrubbing hard to reach grout can be a monthly task. Just don’t forget to do it: Neglecting your grout can cause mildew and mold which can even spread to the surrounding tiles.

Here’s how to keep your grout sparkling clean.

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vacuuming; Shutterstock ID 113707672; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOH


Vacuum weekly but be wary of overusing carpet cleaners and sprays. Dousing your carpet too often can damage the fibers and actually attract more dirt. Get your carpet professionally cleaned at least once a year and only use products at home to remove stains and spots as necessary.

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Young woman cleaning refrigerator with sponge and spray at home; Shutterstock ID 338967302


Put down the sponge! You don’t need to sanitize your fridge every single week. Getting rid of old food (like those moldy leftovers, yuck) and quickly wiping up any crumbs or spills is a good habit to get into. You can save the full scrub-down for a monthly task.

Here’s how to organize your fridge the right way.

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Hand in rubber protective glove cleaning baseboard on the floor from dust with microfiber rag at the wall. Early spring cleaning or regular clean up. Maid cleans house.; Shutterstock ID 664596868


Save your hands and knees: Running a vacuum or duster along the baseboards of your home once every three months (that’s just four times a year!) is typically enough to keep your floorboards clean and remove dirt and other buildup.

Next, follow our ultimate spring cleaning checklist.

Amanda Tarlton
Amanda has more than a decade of media experience, specifically in product testing in the cooking and lifestyle space. As a freelancer for Taste of Home, Amanda writes mostly about foodie finds, home and lifestyle goods and cooking and baking utensils that make life easier (and more fun!). Outside of freelancing, Amanda is the executive editor of commerce at Field & Stream.
When she's not working, Amanda is on the lookout for the best pizzas in town or testing out secret menu items at restaurants and coffee shops.