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7 Cleaning Mistakes That Leave Your House Germy

Your cleaning routine is supposed to make your house healthier, right? Not always.


Mistake: You don’t have a cleaning routine game plan

Strategize the order that you clean a room so you aren’t running back and forth, which can spreading dirt to the places you just cleaned. For instance, if you start by mopping, then wipe off the countertops, you could be getting food bits right back onto your fresh floor. Cleaning top to bottom, and left to right is a more efficient routine. Don’t miss these housecleaning tricks.

sponge in kitchen sink under running waterasadykov/Shutterstock

Mistake: You use dirty sponges

Your sponge could contain 320 million disease-causing bactera. When you’re cleaning, that bacteria could transfer from the sponge to your hand, then to your mouth or eyes and make you sick. To kill the germs before you start your chores, nuke a wet sponge for two minutes. Your sponge is just one of many surprisingly germy kitchen items you never think to clean.

Top view of unmade bedding sheets and

Mistake: You don’t clean your mattress

Mattresses are breeding grounds for dust mites that could irritate your allergies, but you probably rarely (if ever) clean it. Once a month, throw your mattress cover in the wash using the hottest water setting. Before replacing it, wipe down the top of the mattress with hot water. Make sure you know these everyday items that are dirtier than a toilet seat.

plastic cutting boardMr. Meijer/Shutterstock

Mistake: You don’t disinfect your cutting board

The average cutting board has about 200 times more fecal bacteria than a home’s toilet seat. To get rid of those nasty germs, start by cleaning your cutting board in the dishwasher. After it’s washed, spray it with 5 percent vinegar and leave it overnight. In the morning, disinfect it with alcohol or bleach. If you notice these smells in your home, don’t ignore them. 

Washing machine in the Laundry roomEarth9566/Shutterstock

Mistake: You transfer germs in the laundry

One Belgian study found that families’ regular laundry transferred bacteria to new, unworn T-shirts when cleaned together on the cold setting of a washing machine. Use the hottest water setting to kill the most germs, and use rubber gloves when doing laundry. This is how professional housekeepers clean their own homes.

Trash on home porch. Smelly garbage bin outside for removal from house. Room for copyspace.Travis Wolfe/Shutterstock

Mistake: You don’t clean your trash cans

Of course you take your trash out regularly, but germs could be left behind long after you replace it with a fresh garbage bag. Scrub out the insides of your trash cans regularly, especially those in the bathroom and kitchen.

Open dishwasher with clean glass and dishes, selective focus, Clean after washing in the dishwasher. bright colorful dishes.Markik/Shutterstock

Mistake: You rarely clean your dishwasher

Just because your machine cleans your dishes doesn’t mean the appliance itself is getting clean. The edges of dishwasher and refrigerator doors can be a breeding ground for mold and mildew, so clean off any fungus that could be hiding there. Next, check out the secrets of people who always have a clean house.