30 gross mistakes you don't realize you're making around the house

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ByMadison Barber
Originally Published: 

Whether you’re working from home full time, taking care of younger kids, or just are a total homebody, chances are you spend a ton of time in the house. And that means it’s important that you’re not sitting around in a yucky environment. Oftentimes, the areas you’re neglecting to tidy up in your home are areas you didn’t even realize needed to be cleaned. For instance, did you know the washing machine that cleans your clothes needs to be cleaned too? Other times, however, laziness takes over and you can’t always get to those carpet stains and dust bunnies right away.

Even though cleaning is a chore, and isn’t always an easy one, Amazon has made it easier than ever to remedy the gross mistakes you’re making around the house. Things like this toilet deodorizing spray (otherwise known as the cult-favorite Poo-Pourri spray), these absorbent dish cloths, and this instant carpet stain remover help your home smell better and look better — all without breaking the bank, either.

Get ready to have the squeaky-clean home you’ve always dreamed of maintaining. I’ve laid out the 30 worst mistakes you’re making to maintain the cleanliness of your home, and provided you with the best products to fix them quick.


Mistake: You clean with dirty mops

Solution: Wipe up with these reusable mop pads that work on most surfaces

Ditch your old fashioned mop for one that works with these reusable pads. These pads are compatible with popular mop models like the Swiffer Wet Jet, and their looped, microfiber material is thick enough to clean and soak up any size mess in your home on wood, tile, laminate, and other surfaces. These will save you money in the long run, too, because they’re reusable and machine-washable, which is much better than wasteful, single-use mop pads.


Mistake: Your water bottles are moldy from improper cleaning

Solution: Wash them with these brushes that get into even the narrowest bottles

It’s typically a tricky task trying to clean out reusable bottles, but with these special bottle brushes it doesn’t have to be. This set comes with five brushes of different shapes and sizes, each one useful for cleaing everything from vases to reusable water bottles, baby bottles, reusable straws and everything in between. The microfiber bristles are sturdy and dishwasher-safe, so you can use these brushes again and again with no problem.


Mistake: Dust builds up in the nooks & crannies of your home

Solution: Clean cramped spaces with this skinny, flexible duster

Not all vacuum cleaners or dusters can reach every single nook and cranny of your home, which is why this flexible microfiber duster is a great investment. This duster is bendable, allowing for better mobility when you’re getting into tight corners and narrow cracks. Plus, the expandable pole gives you a greater reach range when you’re cleaning the areas underneath the bed or your couches. This duster can be used wet or dry to get everything from the gap between your stove and wall to your shutters nice and clean.


Mistake: You let oil stain your counters & backsplash

Solution: Use this splatter screen to keep oil in the pan

If you’re always frying up delicious meals on your stovetop, make sure you use this fine mesh splatter screen to prevent any oil stains from getting on your kitchen backsplash or countertops. This screen is heat resistant and has resting feet that keep your countertops mercifully clean. This screen is a best-seller on Amazon with over 25,000 five-star reviews. It’s available in four sizes to best suit your personal frying pan.


Mistake: You put dirty dishes in a clean dishwasher

Solution: Flip this magnet to keep track of what’s in your dishwasher

Nothing is grosser than accidentally putting dirty silverware next to clean dishes in the dishwasher — a frequent problem that this magnet can prevent. One side of this magnet says “clean,” while the opposite says “dirty,” making it easy to signify the state of cleanliness of the dishes inside. It even works on non-magnetic dishwashers, thanks to the included adhesive.


Mistake: You let unpleasant odors stink up the bathroom

Solution: Spritz a toilet spray that prevents odors before you go

Prevent any unpleasant odors from stinking up your bathroom with this sweet-smelling toilet deodorizer. Poo-Pourri is so popular for a reason (it has over 93,000 five-star reviews) — it works wonders stopping odors before they even begin, and the non-toxic coconut freesia & citrus scent is delightful and not too perfume-y. This 2-ounce spray bottle will yield 100 uses.


Mistake: You have grimy baking pans from not using a non-stick surface

Solution: Line sheet pans with these non-stick baking mats that are easy to clean

Not only will these silicone mats keep your countertops and baking trays clean, but they’ll also prevent you from ever buying parchment paper ever again. This four-pack of mats are non-stick and come in different sizes to accommodate different sheet pan sizes, leaving sticky sauces and greasy messes all over your nice pans a thing of the past.


Mistake: Hidden pet accidents ruin your carpet & furniture

Solution: Get rid of stains with an enzyme spray & urine-detecting flashlight

If you have a pet and don’t have this carpet cleaner and UV flashlight, you’re seriously making a mistake. This enzyme cleaning spray has a great citrus scent and can both mask odors from pet urine, feces, or vomit and eliminate any stains — even hidden ones. The attachable UV flashlight helps you identify stains that you don’t even know are there. It doesn’t only work on carpets, either, try it on your hardwood or tile floors as well.


Mistake: You don’t clean the hair out of your tub drain

Solution: Install an easy-to-clean device that catches hair before clogs form

If you don’t have this hair catcher for your shower drain, you’re just asking for your drain to clog all of the time. This mushroom-shaped device sits right into your tub or shower drain, forcing hair to wrap around its cylindrical base and preventing future clogs. Just remove your TubShroom and wipe away the trapped hair into the trash once it gets too full.


Mistake: Your desk is covered in crumbs & eraser shavings

Solution: Clean up your mess in no time with a mini vacuum cleaner

This desktop vacuum cleaner is the perfect little gadget to ensure you have no crumbs from lunch or eraser shavings from scribbling meeting notes crowding your workspace. Just charge it up with a USB for two to three hours, and you’ll get 400 minutes of vacuuming. This high-suction, high-capacity cleaner will give you the mess-free desktop you need for your best work.


Mistake: Your countertops are stained with sauce & oil

Solution: Prevent messy counters with this spoon rest that’s easy to clean

No kitchen counter is complete without a spoon rest — not only because it’s a chic decor piece, but mostly because it protects your countertops from sauce and oil stains. This ceramic spoon rest has a simple design that suits any kitchen aesthetic and has a large enough surface to hold even your bigger utensils (like ladles). It’s even dishwasher-safe, a smart feature that helped get this essential a 4.8-star rating on Amazon.


Mistake: You don’t protect your mattress from bugs & fluids

Solution: Keep your mattress safe with a best-selling waterproof protector

If you’re not properly protecting your mattress, chances are you’re letting bacteria (or worse) permeate your sacred sleeping area. This premium cotton mattress encasement protects against bacteria, sweat, urine, dust mites, or other allergens thanks to its super breathable and waterproof membrane-like coating. This is a simple yet effective solution with over 184,000 five-star reviews on Amazon.


Mistake: You leave your toothbrush uncovered

Solution: Keep everything organized & protected with this holder

There’s nothing ickier than leaving your toothbrushes uncovered on your bathroom counter, which is why this holder with a built-in cover is a necessity next to your sink. This toothbrush holder can keep up to four toothbrushes upright underneath its convenient cover (that doubles as a tumbler), and even comes with an additional compartment for your toothpaste and floss.


Mistake: Clogging your sink pipes with food & dirt

Solution: Using a sink stopper if you don’t have a garbage disposal

Clogged pipes (or worse, dropping something down your kitchen sink accidentally), can be a costly mistake in the kitchen. That’s where this simple sink stopper comes into play. It easily plugs over your sink so that you won’t have to worry about items falling in that might damage your pipes.


Mistake: There’s a mess on your floor from your pet’s feeding area

Solution: Keep your pet’s area clean with a silicone mat with raised edges

If you dog or cat gets way too excited when it comes to meal time, make sure it doesn’t mean you sacrifice the cleanliness of your floors. This silicone mat is ideal for placing underneath your pet’s feeding and drinking station to keep the area spill or mess-free. In addition to having raised edges, this mat is waterproof and easy to wipe clean, so you’ll never have to get on your hands and knees to scrub your floors after your pet’s dinner time ever again.


Mistake: Your trashcan stinks from food scraps

Solution: Eliminate gross smells with this stick-on charcoal deodorizer

No matter how often you take out your trash, the stenches from past dinners can linger for a very long time. Eliminate any unpleasant trash can odors in your kitchen or bathroom with this charcoal deodorizer that sticks right onto the bottom of your trashcan lid. It’ll stay in place no matter what and absorb moisture and odors to keep your trashcans smelling fresh no matter what. If your trashcan smells alright, you can also pick up charcoal deodorizers for litter boxes, fridges, and shoes.


Mistake: Your countertops are covered in spills

Solution: Clean again & again with these absorbent Swedish dish cloths

If you’re letting spills sit on your countertops all day, you’ll definitely benefit from having a few of these Swedish dish cloths around. This pack of 10 cellulose and cotton-based cloths will not only replace your single-use paper towel rolls forever, but they’re more absorbent when it comes to mopping up spills, drying dishes, or even getting drips off your hands after washing them. Throw them in the wash to use them again and again.


Mistake: You let pet hair build up on your furniture

Solution: Get rid of hair in seconds with this reusable lint roller

Pet-covered couches are inevitable when you have a shedding dog or cat, so make sure you always have this effortless pet hair-removing tool around. This reusable roller captures pet hair with one glide over your surface, and can be emptied easily just by opening the chamber and disposing of its contents in the trash. “I've had [this] in my possession for like 2 hours and I've cleaned everything,” wrote one reviewer. “The couch, the blinds, the cat tree pad, the chair, I'm obsessed. I feel like this thing should win an award for being so awesome.”


Mistake: You let grime & water damage build up in your kitchen sink area

Solution: Install a mat that absorbs water around your faucet

Prevent any visible signs of water damage by your sink by adding this absorbent sink mat at the base of your faucet. Made from protective microfiber that soaks up moisture in seconds, this sink mat keeps your sink area dry no matter what, and can even be machine washed or dried so it won’t get gross and mildewy. It also has a snap button closure so it won’t ever slip or slide around.


Mistake: You don’t clean your Keurig regularly

Solution: Reduce buildup & have better coffee with these K-Cups that clean for you

If using your Keurig for your morning cup of coffee is what gets you through each day, make sure you’re cleaning your beloved machine regularly with this cleaning K-Cups. These pods help remove residue from countless brews and subsequently extend the life of your Keurig by removing any buildup that breaks down your machine overtime, all while and helping your coffee taste fresher. This pack of six rinse pods will give you approximately three months of deep cleans.


Mistake: Your syrup or honey container is gooey

Solution: Prevent sticky messes in your pantry with this no-drip dispenser

If you’re frequently reaching for the syrup or honey containers in the A.M., chances are they’re covered in sticky residue. This no-drip dispenser will become your new best friend during breakfast time — just add up to a cup of honey or syrup into the glass and use the quick-stop handle to drizzle it. The glass container has a cap and bowl to collect extra food and keep the contents fresh.


Mistake: Your washing machine reeks of mildew

Solution: Make your washer smell fresh again with these cleaning tablets

Did you know that you actually have to clean the washing machine itself every once in awhile? Make this task easy with these washing machine cleaning tablets, which work for both front load and top load washers. This set of six tablets remove residue and grime from your washer that cause unpleasant, mildew-like odors — just place one in an empty washer once a month, run a “Clean Washer” cycle, and voilà!


Mistake: Your toilet bowl has rings

Solution: Remove stains & buildup with these pumice toilet bowl cleaners

Don’t let hard water, limescale, and calcium deposit stains ruin the look of your toilet bowl. Instead, use these pumice stone cleaners to remove build up and make your bowl look as good as new. With extra-long handles that make it comfortable to scrub, these non-toxic, odorless pumice stone cleaners are abrasive enough to remove even the most stubborn stains.


Mistake: You don’t change your sheets as often as you should

Solution: Give your bed the refresh it needs with a fade-resistant sheet set

When it comes to your bedding, it’s time to make a change — literally. This soft microfiber bed sheet set feels super luxe, soft, and breathable, but is cheap, making it an ideal swap for those times when your other sheets need a good washing. This set comes in all the traditional bed sizes (from twin to California king) and seven neutral colors. Plus, you get everything you need including four pillowcases, a flat sheet, and a deep pocket fitted sheet.


Mistake: You have stains on your carpet

Solution: Clean spots effectively & quickly with this carpet stain remover

If you don’t have this carpet stain remover in your cleaning supply arsenal, it’s time you added it to the mix. This water-based, odorless spot remover works on everything from red wine to pet accidents, and actually does its job instantaneously. One of the 57,000-plus five-star reviewers wrote: “The memory smudge of food, footprints, dog vomit. Gone. It even worked SOMEWHAT on the decade old mystery stain left behind by the previous owners that professional carpet cleaning couldn't remove. How does it work? I don't care. What are the ingredients? Pixie dust and incantation. Where did all the stains go? Away.”


Mistake: There’s nowhere to wipe your feet before you enter your home

Solution: Get the dirt & debris off your shoes with these mats

Doormats are an essential for any entryway to prevent any houseguests tracking outdoor debris into your home. These 29.5-by-17.5-inch mats are the best around given their dirt-trapping, non-slip, ultra-absorbent, and waterproof design. Plus, the dark gray will look good on the outside of any home, no matter the porch aesthetic.


Mistake: You don’t scrub the smaller areas of your kitchen & bathroom

Solution: Clean stovetops & sink drains with this deep cleaning brush kit

These small scrub brushes are a great addition to your cleaning supplies because they can get in the nooks and crannies of areas that regular sponges or brushes can’t reach. This set comes with two brushes, one smaller option with a wiper on one end, and another with a larger brush head, both of which are ideal for scrubbing grout, sink drains, stovetops, and other tricky areas.


Mistake: Your grill is covered in gunk

Solution: Get everything off before your next BBQ with this grill brush & scraper

Before your next barbecue, make sure you use this grill brush and scraper to ensure your grill is squeaky-clean. This 18-inch brush has sturdy, stainless-steel bristles that work hard to remove residue or char, and it has a 360-degree head that is awesome for cleaning large areas of your grill efficiently. The long wooden handle also protects your hands from getting too close when the grill is hot.


Mistake: Your cat is tracking litter all over the house

Solution: Use this mat to trap gross litter before it ruins the floors

With this thick, litter-trapping mat, you won’t ever have to worry about your kitty dirtying up your floors with stray pieces of litter. This mat is made with deep grooves and thick mesh that traps litter from your cat’s litter box once Fifi steps out, and is even urine-proof to protect against any unfortunate accidents outside of their designated bathroom area. Just stick this non-slip mat under your cat’s litter box, and pour the trapped litter back into the box or the trashcan.


Mistake: Dust & contaminants are permeating the air

Solution: Get a cleaner environment with this compact HEPA air purifier

This small-but-mighty HEPA air purifier can purify an area up to 160 square feet, eliminating 95% of airborne pollutants like pet hair and smoke as well as odors from your space using its four-layer filtration system, which includes a pre-filter, nano silver coating, carbon filter, and HEPA layer. It’s even compact enough to sit on a desktop without taking up too much space, making this great for bedrooms or offices.