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The 3 things mistakes you're making when mopping the floor — and how to fix them

We hate to break it to you, but most of us are doing common household chores wrong.

HGTV’s Sara Peterson is here to help. She stopped by Studio 1A Tuesday to help clarify how we’re really supposed to be cleaning, so you can get the job done efficiently and move on to better things!

How to really mop a hardwood floor

Oh mopping, the worst of all chores. But with a few simple rules, you can get the job done in no time.

  1. Clean before you mop. Mopping isn't a one-stop shop for cleaning the floors. Always sweep, dust mop or vacuum to remove large pieces of debris and stray hair.
  2. Mop in sections. Don't set out to clean the entire floor at once. Place the mop in bucket, wring out semi dry and no matter what kind of floor you have, tackle it in sections. Mop a small area, rinse your mop completely, wring it out, then do another block. Repeat.
  3. Remember that different floors require different types of cleaning. Not all floors can be mopped with the same solution. Here's what to keep in mind:
  • For sealed hardwood: minimal hot water, no soap/cleaner.
  • For unsealed wood: Don't mop at all! Just sweep, dust mop, or vacuum instead.
  • For laminate floors: Use only hot water, nothing soap-based and have a very dry mop.

RELATED: Slow-motion vacuuming? 7 cleaning tips you haven't heard before

How to dust a table

When it comes to dusting, here are the three things to keep in mind:

  1. Use microfiber cloths. Throw away that feather duster and grab some microfiber cloths. These cloths are available everywhere and trap dust and dirt.
  2. Spritz furniture polish. You can use the cloths as is or spritz furniture polish on the cloth and wipe to dust
  3. Wipe one direction only. Never use a back and forth motion. the proper dusting technique is single swipes, from left to right. Pick a direction and stick to it.

How to dust a lamp shade

For a lamp shade, use a lint roller or the microfiber cloth for a once-over. And don't forget the bulbs! Give the bulbs a one-cover with a cloth as a dirty bulb emits 20 percent less light. (If your lamp shade is pleated, you'll have to use the brush attachment on your vacuum.)

RELATED: No straight lines! Here's the 1 pattern you should make when vacuuming

How to vacuum

Congrats, you made it to vacuuming! This should be the last chore on your to-do list so you can pick up any dust or dirt that dropped to the floor when you were cleaning. Now, just rememeber the following:

  1. Clean before you vacuum. Before you start, pick up anything big enough to jam the beater head brush, like coins, paper clips, cat litter, and Legos. Your machine can handle small items like cracker crumbs, dry mud, and tracked-in grass just fine.
  2. Check your bag. If your vacuum has a bag, replace it if it's more than two thirds full-the machine will operate more efficiently if the bag isn't packed. If it's the bagless kind, empty the canister. Use a seam ripper to remove strands of hair from the beater head brush.
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