The 12 worst things you can have in your house, according to a professional cleaner.

If you are someone who is currently looking for a new place to move into, or perhaps you're renovating, there are a few key things to consider from a cleaning perspective. Namely, there are design choices in a home that are far harder to clean than others... and we have all the insider expert info you need.

For well over a decade now, Kate and Jack Croukamp have been the owner-operators of their own cleaning, carpets and pest businesses on the Gold Coast. And prior to this, the couple lived in Dubai and were first-class cabin crew supervisors for Emirates.

Watch: 4 cleaning hacks to make your life easier. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

Having cleaned thousands of homes, they've certainly seen a thing or two when it comes to *cleanliness issues*. But what they love most about the job is this - educating people about all things cleaning (as well as pointing out a few items you may regret having in your house).

"Not everyone was taught how to clean growing up, and we also love helping to remove the stress. After 16 years, we have obviously also tried hundreds of different cleaning chemicals, some great, some not so great, some harsh, some non-tox, some cheap, some expensive. It can be a thankless job/profession, but imagine a world without cleaners," Kate tells Mamamia.


"With this experience though, we've certainly narrowed down what items in the home are the hardest to clean. So avoid them, if you can."

1. Glass louvered windows.

"They take three times longer to clean because they are so fiddly. They also need more repairs compared to regular windows due to multiple working parts and they also don't allow for security screens either," notes Kate.

2. Mirrored splashbacks.

"These should be illegal! Especially when there is a stovetop and/or sink that backs onto them. They constantly need wiping and cleaning. The tiniest little water splash or oil spit cannot be unseen. Nothing can be hidden on a mirrored splashback. Plus, when cleaning you have to ensure they are streak-free."

@cleanlikeapro I’m ready for all the “I love my high gloss tiles” comments. This is just my opinion. You don’t need to agree with it. After cleaning thousands of homes over the past 16 years, these are the things I hate the most when it comes to cleaning. #cleantok #cleaninghouses #professionalcleaner #homedesigntips #cleanlikeapro ♬ original sound - Clean Like a Pro

3. Pull-out spice racks.

Now this is a unique one that not a lot of us would consider. But Kate says that among cleaners, spice racks built in pokey kitchens are an age-old irritation.

"Pull-out spice racks built into small, narrow kitchen cabinets drive me nuts. Since posting my TikTok many people have highlighted that you can unclip or unscrew these and remove them to clean. It must be a secret to many people though because I've never come across a house with these racks where they didn't need a major clean behind them, as if they had not been cleaned in months or years," notes Kate.

"This tells me that people either don't know how to remove or unclip these racks or that it's harder than some people make out."

4. High gloss tiles.

"Don't let anybody convince you otherwise, do not get these in your house," Kate tells us.

Yes, high gloss tiles look lovely. But only for so long, because they are a nightmare to keep sparkly.


"High gloss tiles are the floor version of a mirrored splashback. Again, these should be illegal. Every single little speck or water droplet stands out like you know what. They are so unforgiving and when the light shines on them at a certain angle, it shows everything."

5. Dark cabinetry.

Dark cabinetry appears to be all the rage lately - just look at The Block and the design choices so many of the contestants make. It can look ultramodern. But from a cleaning perspective... it's a no.

"Especially in kitchens dark cabinetry looks great, but only when no one touches them. Fingers marks, oil, streaks everything shows. They can be difficult to clean. Wiping them with some cleaning agents will leave them streaky and require extra cleaning."

6. Soft-closing cabinetry.

This ultimately comes down to the quality of the mechanisms.

Kate says she's seen a lot of broken 'soft touch' cabinets. These cabinets also have no handles, so again, lots of finger marks on the actual cabinetry, and when the mechanism breaks - you have to pry them open with your fingernails or a butter knife.

Soft-closing cabinetry can also go from one extreme to the other, some being so sensitive that just the slightest brush against them and the cabinets will fly open. How annoying.

@cleanlikeapro Replying to @Amirah the last bin is my worst nightmare. Hope these suggestions help #cleanlikeapro #designtok #cleaningtips #cleantok #designfail ♬ original sound - Clean Like a Pro

7. Baths with a small gap between them and the wall.

"This area is impossible to clean. There is often no allowance made to access this tight space so over the years you will get a build-up of hair, dust, water, soap, rubber duckies and everything else. You will be able to see it when you peer into this annoying void, but trying to get to it, can be near impossible."


8. Vertical blinds.

Now this one might ruffle some feathers.

"Vertical blinds are just gross, sorry to say. I have them in my own home and hate them. They get dirty so easily, the chains break just looking at them, the weights on the bottom constantly fall out and they look horrible too," says Kate.

"Plus, cleaning them is painfully slow. To give them a proper clean you need to remove them blade for blade while trying your best not to break any cords or brackets. You can hire a company to come out and take them away to clean off-site but this is costly."

9. Venetian blinds.

Staying in the blinds space, Venetian blinds can also be super irritating.

"They are just massive dust gatherers and like vertical blinds they can break easily too, especially if you have kids trying to open and close them. They need weekly dusting and even hand wiping. We've seen a lot of these blinds with mould too."

10. Built-in kitchen bins.

Kate says her beef with built-in kitchen bins isn't so much the bins themselves, but rather the hardware that holds the bins. In particular, the hardware that is bolted to the base of the cabinetry.

"All sorts of food and rubbish gets trapped in the hardware and it looks gross and it can be difficult to give these areas a really good clean unless you unscrew and remove the entire frame," she notes. "A bin that can be removed is so much easier and does the same thing."

11. Trends drains or channel drains in the shower.

Who really wants to be lifting their drains and cleaning them out on a weekly basis? Not me! Well, this is how often you would have to clean these sorts of drains out, especially if the people in your household have long hair.


"If you don't do this, the drains become clogged and the water doesn't drain. Many of these drains can also be difficult to clean, requiring tools and two people. We have cleaned many very heavy trench drains in our time."

12. Large oversized free-standing ovens with gas cooktops.

Last, but certainly not least, we have Kate's least favourite thing to clean in a home... ever.

"Large oversized free-standing ovens with gas cooktops are the worst. Firstly food and spills fall easily down the sides and back and end up gathering underneath. There are so many bits to it also. Knobs, burners, burner caps, removable grates - these all need cleaning often," says Kate, also noting these bits and bobs tend to get greasy quickly.

"I find these stovetops never look completely clean after a while. As far as the actual oven is concerned, it's just so big and bulky and awkward to clean. I understand some people who love cooking prefer large ovens, I recommend two normal 600mm size ovens side by side rather than these 900mm ovens."

If you have any of these 12 items in your home... we're sorry.

For more from Kate Croukamp, you can follow her on TikTok @cleanlikeapro, or visit the business' website Mates Rates Cleaning.

What's your least favourite thing to clean in your home? Share with us in the comments below.

Feature Image: Supplied/Mates Rates Cleaning.

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