The No. 1 Grossest Home Cleaning Mistake You’re Making

Typically, we clean how our parents cleaned. We might learn a few different tips and tricks along the way, but mostly we fall into their same routine. As the years go by, though, we learn more and more about how to clean and what’s most important to clean.

Are you making any of these gross, age-old mistakes when it comes to cleaning your home?

7. Forgetting to clean the remotes

hand reaching for the off button on a remote to turn off the TV
You touch this a lot. | iStock/Getty Images

You may not think about cleaning your TV remotes during your normal routine, but, when you think about it, they’re some of the most frequently touched items in your house. Not only are they covered in fingerprints, but, chances are, there are crumbs between the buttons as well.

Ideally, you should disinfect your remotes at least once a week. Simply give them a good wipe down with a disinfecting wipe or spray them with Lysol for the weeks you’re in a hurry.

6. Not washing your reusable bags

four reusable shopping bags filled with grocereis
They can get pretty dirty. | iStock/Getty Images

Reusable bags are growing exponentially in popularity (partially because it’s the law in some states), but they’re still a relatively new tool for some of us. Groceries, especially things like unwashed fruits and vegetables and boxes of food that were sitting in a warehouse, can be pretty dirty.

So, it’s important to wash your reusable grocery bags just as much as you’d wash any other piece of fabric frequently used. Simply toss them in with the rest of your laundry every week or so.

5. Using a feather duster

Feather duster
It isn’t particularly effective. | Newnaux/iStock Getty Images

According to Good Housekeeping, your feather duster isn’t as effective as you think it is. Instead of picking up dust, it just spreads it around. Good Housekeeping advises using a microfiber cloth instead. A microfiber cloth really grabs every dust particle. Just be sure to give your cloth a good soak sometimes to wash off all the dust and dirt it’s collected.

4. Not cleaning your sponges

Sponges are full of bacteria. | iStock/Getty Images

Keeping your sponges clean and bacteria-free is important. You want to make sure the plate’s you’re eating off of are completely devoid from potentially harmful organisms.

But if you search “how to clean a sponge” on Google, you’ll get multiple articles telling you to put your sponge in a bowl, pop it into the microwave, and nuke it on high for about a minute. However, The New York Times says that although that may kill the weakest bacteria on your sponge, the strongest of the bunch will survive and continue to grow. If you don’t want to throw out your sponge every week (their safest suggestion), they suggest running your sponges through a laundry machine at the hottest setting using a powder detergent and bleach.   

3. Failing to clean your trashcan

Clean kitchen
Clean up any leakage. | Jupiterimages/iStock/Getty Images

If you have a funky smell coming from your kitchen that persists even after giving the entire room a thorough scrub down, there’s a good chance it’s because your trashcan is dirty.

People often forget to clean their trashcans. Take out the trash? Check. Scrub the trashcan itself? Not so much. Be sure to rid your trashcan of bacteria and wipe up any leakage that might have occurred about once a week to keep your kitchen smelling clean. 

2. Putting your toilet bowl brush away damp

Toilet brush
Let it drip dry before you put it away. | AndreyPopov/iStock/Getty Images

Cleaning the toilet isn’t the most glamorous of tasks — so it’s no wonder we typically try to rush through it. But it’s important to let your toilet cleaning brush dry all the way before putting it back in its container, otherwise it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. Good Housekeeping suggests setting it across the toilet seat so it can drip-dry over the bowl completely before putting it away. 

1. Not cleaning frequently touched surfaces

Close Up door handles in kitchen
Wipe them down daily. | Brizmaker/iStock/Getty Images

The grossest cleaning mistake you can make is forgetting to clean the high-traffic surfaces in your home. Think about all the dirty hands that touch your faucets, handles, and door knobs. These are some of the dirtiest places in your home, and yet they’re rarely cleaned. Good Housekeeping suggests wiping them down with a good disinfectant wipe on a daily basis to keep the germs at bay.

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