You're Accidentally Putting Too Much Wear & Tear On Your Home If You're Doing Any Of These Things

If these walls could talk, they’d say, “ouch.”

Written by Julie Peck
Originally Published: 
You're Accidentally Putting Too Much Wear & Tear On Your Home If You're Doing Any Of These Things
We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

It seems there are two schools of thought when it comes to home upkeep: One is to do a little bit every day, and the other is to just leave it all until Saturday. (Or the morning before your mother comes over.) Whatever your strategy is, I can guarantee there are some things you’re inadvertently doing that are putting too much wear and tear on your home in between maintenance sessions. To make life a little easier, I’ve detailed small missteps that can end up being hard on floors, appliances, and more. But don’t worry — I’ve included fixes, too.


Walking Into The House Without Wiping The Mud & Dirt Off Your Shoes

Fix: This Doormat With Tough, Natural Fibers That Capture Debris

If you notice that your floors look like a pigsty anytime it rains outside, it’s way past time to get yourself a coir doormat. The natural-material fibers are tough and grippy, working to remove debris and gunk from the bottoms of your shoes. The mat has a heavy-duty, nonslip rubber backing, so it stays put while you wipe your feet. Choose from a range of fun and understated styles.

  • Available sizes: 2
  • Available styles: 13


Eating & Drinking In Bed Without Protecting Your Mattress

Fix: A Mattress Protector That Guards Against Spills & Even Dust Mites

Enjoy a glass of wine under the covers while you stream your favorite thriller, or treat yourself to breakfast in bed — without having to worry about spills — once you have this mattress protector. Waterproof and dust mite-resistant, it features a cotton terry surface that’s soft and comfortable. Plus, the protector is noiseless and breathable, and won’t interfere with the feel of your mattress.

  • Available sizes: 6


Using Your Dryer Without Deep-Cleaning The Vents Regularly

Fix: A Vent Cleaner That Helps Boost Dryer Performance & Lower Energy Bills

You may be peeling the lint off of your dryer filter between loads, but did you know that there is so much more lint built up in the vent? This dryer vent cleaner features a flexible rod that extends up to 40 feet, making it possible to reach deep into the vent, where the brush head loosens and collects fuzz. Not only will deep-cleaning the vent help your dryer work more efficiently (hello, lower energy bills,) but it will also help prevent any potential fire hazard.


Leaving Big Holes In Your Drywall When You Hang Stuff Up

Fix: These Sturdy Claw Hangers That Cause Way Less Wall Damage

Hanging anything that weighs more than a feather on drywall can be very tricky, requiring an anchor that generally leaves a big hole behind. This drywall picture hanging kit from 3M has a new take. The brand’s trademarked Claw hanger can be pushed into drywall with just your thumbs — no drill or hammer needed — and holds up to 65 pounds. The set comes with spot markers, so you can see where you’re going to hang each item, and — best part — the claws won’t leave huge holes behind if you remove them.


Keeping Your Knives Loose In A Drawer Where They Get Dull Fast

Fix: An In-Drawer Knife Block That Accommodates Knives & A Sharpener

If you’re keeping your knives all together in a drawer, they get real dull, real fast. You can still keep them in your drawer with this blade-protecting in-drawer knife block, and they’ll look a lot tidier. This clever bamboo organizer even comes with a spot in the center for your knife sharpener.


Storing Kitchen Items Without Protecting Shelves

Fix: The Shelf Liner That Resists Stains & Protects Wood

Bare kitchen cabinets can see damage from heavy-duty cookware, as well as set-in stains from foods like oil and vinegar. You can prevent all that with this shelf liner. BPA-free and waterproof, it has a bumpy surface to create traction and can be trimmed to size with household scissors. Use this to line drawers and refrigerator shelves, too.

  • Available roll sizes: 8


Scooting Chairs Across Wood Floors & Leaving Scratches Behind

Fix: These Chair Leg Protectors With Felt Bottoms That Are Soft On Floors

Hardwood floors are gorgeous, but you have to be careful how you treat them. One easy way to protect them is by equipping your furniture with these chair leg protectors. They’re made from flexible silicone to conform to your furniture legs (regardless of their shape) and finished with felt bottoms, so chairs glide right effortlessly and silently across the floor — leaving no scratches behind.

  • Available sizes: 2
  • Available colors: 4


Washing Cookware Without A Sink Protector To Prevent Chipping & Scratches

Fix: This Mat That Protects Both Sinks & Cookware From Damage

Chances are, not everyone in your household places their dishes down into the sink gently, and even when they do, dishes have a way of building up and falling over. The result? Chipped cookware and scratched porcelain sinks. This silicone dish mat provides a barrier to prevent that kind of damage, replete with raised, nonslip feet that help promote air circulation. It’s dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning.


Allowing Your Cat To Use The Couch As A Scratching Post

Fix: These Shields That Protect Upholstery From Feline Claws

Cat-human peace in our time really is a possibility with these scratch-deterring shields that provide a barrier between kitty’s claws and the upholstery of your favorite furniture. The self-adhesive shields can be trimmed to size with scissors, and the flexible design means you can cover the corners. Cats don’t like the feel of the plastic under their paws, so they’ll move on to a more appropriate target — like a nice scratching post.


Showering Without Protecting The Drain From Hair Clogs

Fix: A Drain Protector That Captures Hair Strands

Slowly, over the course of days or weeks, you notice water rising from the shower floor, until you’re standing ankle-deep in water... and you have to call the plumber. You can prevent that scenario with this stainless steel drain protector. Simply insert it into your drain, and hair will wrap around the cylinder, while the holes will allow water to flow freely. Take it out periodically and dispose of the hair strands.


Slamming Your Cabinet Doors & Marring The Wood

Fix: These Bumpers That Provide Cushioning & Dampen Sound

If you have a “heavy cupboard closer” in your home, there’s a good chance the cabinetry is seeing some damage. These silicone cabinet door bumpers create a soft surface that prevents marring, and since they’re self-adhesive, you can just stick them on. Just as good, they’ll dampen any noise, too. You can also use them as protective bumpers for framed art, vases, and other objects that might scratch walls and tables.


Letting Pills & Fuzz Build Up On Your Upholstery

Fix: A Fabric Shaver That Removes Pills & Loose Threads Safely

If your sofa, favorite chair, or throw pillow is covered in pills, get this rechargeable fabric shaver that can restore it to like-new condition. The ultra-sharp blades create a close shave that cuts right through loose threads, while the mesh shield provides protection. It’s rechargeable, and can be used on sweaters, pants, and jackets too.


Neglecting To Squeegee The Shower & Letting Mildew Build Up

Fix: This Squeegee That Makes It Easy To Prevent Mildew Growth

If you dread deep-cleaning your bathroom, you can make it a less arduous chore by doing a little quick maintenance every day. For example, use this all-purpose squeegee to wipe away excess water after you shower — this will help prevent mildew buildup, so you won’t have to do any industrial-strength cleaning on the weekend. Made from rust-resistant stainless steel, it comes in three sizes — opt for the large one, and you can make quick work of the shower walls before getting on with your day.

  • Available sizes: 3
  • Available colors: 4


Forgetting To Protect Your Couch From Your Furry, Muddy Pets

Fix: A Fan-Favorite Slipcover That Stands Up To Paws & Pet Hair

I love to cuddle with my pets on the sofa — but it turns out, the sofa doesn’t love it as much as I do. Not only do they shed hair all over the upholstery, but their paws can leave all kinds of dust, mud, and debris behind. This best-selling slipcover offers protection, and is made from a stretchy fabric for a snug fit. It’s machine-washable and comes in a range of sizes — everything from a chair to an oversized sofa.

  • Available sizes: 7
  • Available colors: 37


Letting The Bottom Of Your Oven Turn Into A Crusty Mess

Fix: These Oven Mats That Catch Crumbs & Drips — & Wipe Clean

I can’t think of anything I’d rather do less in the kitchen than clean the oven, yet crumbs and baked-on sauces just keep showing up there. These oven liners keep the bottom of your oven clean even when your cake overflows or the mac and cheese bubbles over. Made from nonstick materials, they simply wipe clean and can be reused over and over again.

  • Available colors: 4


Giving Up On Damaged Leather & Vinyl Furniture

Fix: The Kit That Seamlessly Repairs Rips In Leather & Vinyl Items

If your favorite leather recliner has a rip in the armrest, don’t assume it’s time to say sayonara: Get this leather and vinyl repair kit that can repair just about any defect. The kit includes backing fabric, a mixing jar, brush, and repair compounds in a variety of shades that make it easy to get an exact match. It’s also suitable for use on vinyl, and can be used to repair car seats, handbags, and apparel as well.


Leaving Your Couch Unprotected From Stains & Pet Messes

Fix: This Couch Cover That’s Chic & Doubles As A Blanket

Some couch covers can be difficult to get on and off, making them that much more difficult to use. This one doubles as a chic blanket when it’s not in use, and covers an entire 118-inch couch (there are multiple sizes you can chose from. And while other couch protectors may look like what they are, the chic geometric print of this one is so stylish in any room. It comes in a bunch of patterns and colors.


Not Protecting Your Under-Sink Cabinets From Leaks & Spills

Fix: These Drip Trays That Catch Any Moisture

I shove so much into the cabinets underneath my kitchen sink that I didn’t realize there was a leak until the water made it out onto my kitchen floor. Avoid that potential damage with these under-sink trays with raised sides that catch moisture, so it doesn’t have a chance to damage your floor or cabinetry. The trays are versatile, too — use them for muddy boots in your entryway.


Accidentally Banging The Door Against The Wall When You Open It

Fix: A Magnetic Door Stopper That Protects Your Wall

Swinging the door open can mean damage to the wall if there isn’t something there to create a buffer — that’ll mean repairs and painting down the line. Enter this door stopper that affixes to your door and wall with the included 3M adhesive or mounting hardware. It gets better: Each of the two pieces is magnetized, so the stopper also doubles as a way to prop the door open.

  • Available colors: 2


Letting Your Wheeled Bed Frame Scratch Your Wood Floor

Fix: These Bed Stoppers That Prevent Movement & Damage

If you have a bed on wheels — or any other piece of furniture on wheels — you know that it’s prone to shifting and scratching up the floors. These bed and furniture stoppers prevent that from happening by cradling the wheels and keeping them in place. They’re made with nonslip rubber and are safe to use on hardwood, carpet, and tile.

  • Available colors: 2


Allowing Paint Nicks To Build Up On Walls & Doorframes

Fix: Some Paint Pens That Make Quick Touch-Ups Easy

Walls and doorframes can get scuffed up and chipped, just in the course of everyday life. You don’t have to completely repaint, though — just use one of these touch-up paint pens. Simply load the pen with matching paint, then “write” over any marred areas with the brush tip. The pens are compatible with any latex paint, and a syringe is included to make filling easy.


Letting Cat Litter Get Crunched Into The Floor

Fix: A 2-Layer Mat That Captures Litter For Later Disposal

There’s a good chance your kitty tracks litter all over the house because it sticks to his paws — and if you walk on top of that litter, you’re likely to crunch it into the floor, which could cause damage. Place this two-layer litter trapper mat outside the box. Litter falls through the top layer, where it’s sandwiched until you dump it back into the box or throw it away. If your cat sometimes misses the box, you can insert a puppy pad in between the layers to soak up the mess.

  • Available sizes: 4
  • Available colors: 2


Burning Real Candles That Drip Wax Everywhere

Fix: These Flameless Candles That Are Totally Mess-Free

Candles are great at setting the mood, but the wax they drip all over your table or fireplace mantel is a pain to clean. These flameless candles have all the ambience and none of the melting wax, and the “flames” even flicker realistically. They can be controlled via a remote that offers a variety of timer settings and dimming options.

  • Available colors: 21


Setting Hot Baking Dishes Directly On The Counter

Fix: The Trivet That Expands To Hold Even Big Baking Dishes

Hot serving dishes and pans can scar your countertops and tables terribly if they’re put down without protection. This expandable trivet is what you need to avoid those marks. Made from silicone that resists heat up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s big enough to handle even extra-large baking dishes, but contracts for compact storage.


Doing Laundry Without Removing Gross Residue In The Machine

Fix: The Tablets That Freshen Up Your Entire Machine

You don’t spend much time thinking about your washer, do you? I know I don’t — I just go down there, load it up, and expect it to do its job. But after a time, it can acquire soap residue, grime, and a nasty smell. Pop one of these tablets into the machine and run an empty cycle. It’ll thoroughly clean the entire system, from the hose, to the tub, to the pump.


Letting Your Dog On The Bed Without Protecting Your Comforter

Fix: A Waterproof Blanket That Also Stands Up To Claws & Dirt

I sleep with all of my dogs and they leave a lot of hair behind — that’s why this waterproof bed cover is so helpful. It protects my nice comforter from hair, mud, and yes, I’ll say it — slobber. Made from soft microfiber, it’s reversible and machine-washable. It also works great on the couch if that’s where your pup prefers to curl up.

  • Available sizes: 7
  • Available colors: 20


Wasting Energy Because You’re Not Setting Schedules For Your Lights

Fix: This Smart Plug That Helps You Monitor Energy Usage

Watch the utility savings build up when you plug a light or appliance into this smart plug that lets you set schedules and timers, as well as monitor energy output. It can be controlled via a free app (so you can ensure you turned the coffee maker off, even if you’re not home), and it’s also smart assistant-compatible if you want to utilize voice commands.


Not Sealing Your Shower Door & Letting Water Pool On The Bathroom Floor

Fix: These Door Seals That Keep Water *Inside* The Shower

If you have a glass shower door and often step out to find there’s water all over the floor, you need these bottom door seals (because no one wants to deal with water damage down the line). They’re made high-quality vinyl to create a sturdy barrier while still making it easy to open and close the door. You can trim it as needed with a utility knife, and each installs easily by simply sliding it on.


Walking Into The House With Dirty Shoes On Your Feet

Fix: A 4-Tier Shoe Rack That You Can Place In The Entryway

Walking into the house with dirty shoes will quickly ruin your rugs (and make it necessary to mop and vacuum more frequently, too). Place this four-tier shoe rack in the entryway, and you can avoid that hassle by kicking your footwear off the minute you walk in the door. It assembles easily, and the top shelf doubles as a catchall for keys and mail.


Jumbling Your Pots And Pans Around In Your Kitchen Cabinets

Fix: This Pot & Pan Rack That Makes It Easy To Grab What You Need

Unstacking each and every pan to get to the one you need usually means you’re banging hard metal against your cabinet interior. This rack is a better way to go about things, since it has eight adjustable tiers that make it easy to slide out the pot or pan you need, without a lot of racket. It looks great, too — which means you just might want to keep it out on your counter.


Neglecting Your Wood Floors & Leaving Them Unprotected

Fix: A Floor-Conditioning Formula That Restores Shine & Resists Stains

Hardwood floors are beautiful, but they’re easy to scratch and tend to dry out over time. This floor conditioner makes upkeep easy, nourishing the wood, filling in scratches and dings, and restoring its natural luster. The formulation bonds to the existing finish to resist stains and spills, all without creating a waxy buildup. Application is easy and drying time is less than an hour.

  • Available sizes: 2


Using Metal Utensils On Your Nonstick Cookware

Fix: These Silicone Utensils That Go Easy On Nonstick Surfaces

The quickest way to damage nonstick cookware is by using metal cooking utensils with it. This 11-piece set of silicone cooking utensils is a safer bet that can withstand heat up to 480 degrees Fahrenheit. The super sturdy set includes just about everything: spatulas, turners, a ladle, pasta server, tongs, and a whisk.


Standing On A Chair To Reach Things In The Back Of The Cabinet

Fix: This Lazy Susan That Makes It Possible To Access Hard-To-Reach Items

You know that chair you always stand on in order to find the spices and condiments at the back of the cupboard? Give it a break and use this bamboo turn table instead. The rotating design means you can always see — and reach — what you need. The raised sides help ensure nothing falls off when you spin it, and the dividers let you organize items as you like.


Failing To Fend Off Stale Smells In Your Closets

Fix: Some Cedar Blocks That Fend Off Moths & Musty Smells

Sure, your clothes smell nice and fresh when they come out of the dryer, but how about when they’ve been in your drawers or your closet for a while? Sometimes they can get a little stale, but not when you store them with these cedar blocks. Made from 100% natural red cedar, the set includes discs that slip onto hanger hooks, as well as balls that are ideal for putting into drawers. Most importantly, they work to fend off moths, too.


Forgetting To Hydrate Cutting Boards & Chopping Blocks Until They Dry Out & Split

Fix: This Mineral Oil That Rehydrates & Protects Cutting Boards

Wooden cutting boards and butcher blocks tend to dry out and crack over time, but this food-grade mineral oil is exactly what you need to keep them conditioned and in good shape. Odor-free and tasteless, it infuses wood with long-lasting moisture and provides protection against cracking. Simply rub down any board every 18 months or so with a small amount of this oil, then let it sit for several hours before using again.


Storing Cooking Tools Loose In A Kitchen Drawer

Fix: The Dividers That Keep Everything From Sliding Around

Storing cooking utensils all loosey-goosey in your drawer can mean those utensils bang up against each other, damaging each other as well as the drawer. These bamboo drawer dividers help keep everything in order, so items aren’t sliding around. They extend from just over 17 inches to 22 inches to suit any drawer, and have nonslip pads on the ends that are gentle on wood surfaces.


Allowing Mold & Mildew To Build Up In Bathrooms & Closets

Fix: The Mini Dehumidifier That’s Perfect For Small Spaces

Mold and mildew are annoying smelly, but large dehumidifiers can be costly and tend to take up a lot of room. This cordless mini dehumidifier, though, covers up to 333 cubic feet, making it useful in the dampest areas of your home — i.e., bathrooms and closets. It uses moisture-absorbing silica gel beads which change color when the unit needs to be recharged (about every 20 to 30 days). The hook on top makes it easy to hang from a closet rod or towel rod.


Setting Drinks Down On Your Coffee Table Without A Barrier

Fix: These Wood Coasters With Raised Sides That Capture Moisture

Stop letting cold drinks leave condensation on your coffee table — and letting hot coffee leave heat rings — and put these wooden coasters to work. Made from 100% wood with natural striations, these coasters have raised sides to contain any drips or spill-over. They’re finished to a natural sheen and sized to accommodate larger mugs, big water bottles, and the like. The set comes with a holder to keep them organized.


Ignoring Rust Until It Gets Out Of Control

Fix: The Rust-Dissolving Gel That Works On All Kinds Of Surfaces

Let’s face it, rust just isn’t a good look — but it can be extremely hard to get rid of. This rust dissolver gel from the experts at Rust-Oleum, however, turns corrosion removal into a walk in the park. Just spray a light to medium coat of this formulation onto the rust spot and let it sit for about 30 minutes before wiping down and rinsing off. The surface you’ve treated will be rust-free and protected for up to 12 months. Use this on steel, chrome, porcelain, tile, glass, and more.


Not Keeping Track Of Any Potential Pipe Leaks In Your Home

Fix: A Wi-Fi Water Sensor That Alerts You Of Any Leaks

Whether you have old pipes or live in a cold climate where pipes are prone to bursting, do yourself a favor and pick up these Wi-Fi water sensors that alert you to any leaks. Place them in areas of particular concern, like your laundry room and bathroom, and pair them with the accompanying phone app. The sensors will alert you to any water activity by sounding an alarm in your home or sending a notification to your phone.

This article was originally published on