35 hygiene mistakes you don't realize you're making around your home

These quick fixes will help make your home a healthier one.

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Unless you’re someone who is inherently a neat person (if so…I’m jealous), the best methods for keeping your space clean and tidy aren’t always intuitive. Even when you have the best of intentions, it’s easy to make mistakes around the home. Just like it’s important to know what to do, it’s just as important to know what not to do, which is where this list comes in handy.

Consider these 35 hygiene-related mistakes you could be making around the home — and their simple solutions. Some of these may require a quick purchase, and some you can complete with what you have at home, but either way, plan to give yourself some time this weekend to make a few quick fixes that your future self will appreciate.


Mistake: Failing to properly clean & maintain the washing machine

Solution: Tabs that do the hard work for you

No judgment, but when you have concerns that your washing machine isn’t in the best shape to thoroughly wash your clothes, something should probably be done. Thankfully, these washing machine cleaner tablets are readily available, and they clean the machine’s basin as well as internal parts like the pump and filter. Just pop one in monthly on a cycle for optimal results.


Mistake: Letting your cutting board succumb to bacteria-trapping cracks

Solution: Treating & protecting your board with food-safe mineral oil

Keeping your cutting board in great shape not only helps it last longer, it helps keep things more sanitary. This food-grade mineral oil works to restore and protect cutting boards from cracking and drying, and it can also be used on butcher block counters and wooden utensils. A single bottle can last for years, and it’s backed by an overall 4.7-star rating and more than 3,400 five-star ratings.


Mistake: Not lining the fridge so shelves get icky

Solution: Protective liners that keep your appliance neat & tidy

Few things are more tedious them emptying a section of your fridge to remove and wash one of the shelves. Thankfully, these silicone refrigerator liners can prevent such a travesty; just wipe them clean as needed. They’re easy to cut for a perfect fit, and the textured surface keeps food and containers in place, too. Roll them up when you don’t need them, and they’re waterproof and heat-resistant, too.


Mistake: Masking unwanted odors instead of eliminating them

Solution: This multipurpose odor eliminator spray that even works for skunk scents

Attempting to cover up an unpleasant odor with a heavily-fragranced product generally results in, well, the scent of unpleasant odor blended with heavy perfume. Get rid of unwanted scents for good with Zero Odor’s household odor eliminator. The non-toxic, biodegradable formula works on a molecular level to eradicate embedded scents in places like diaper pails and shoes, and works for stubborn smoke odors as well.


Mistake: Tracking dirt & mud into your home

Solution: Keeping a sturdy, dirt-trapping mat inside the door, too

That dreaded trail of muddy footprints in your home is easy to avoid when you have a classic doormat. Available in six practical colors to match a variety of home and decor styles, this versatile and low-profile choice can be used indoors or out. Plus, it’s waterproof and easy to clean to boot.


Mistake: Letting honey or other sticky fluids drip on your counter

Solution: A no-drip container to keep messes at bay

Not only does this honey dispenser give off classic diner vibes, it’ll keep your table clean, too. The included stand holds it in place, and the bottom pour spout means gravity’s on your side. Use it with honey, syrup, or even sugar to sweeten your favorite foods and drinks without making a sticky mess.


Mistake: Using a rough or abrasive exfoliator to fight razor bumps

Solution: A soft, silicone scrubber that naturally smooths skin

Razor bumps don’t have to be a necessary evil when shaving. Turns out, there are gentle, inexpensive, and easy ways to combat them — start by using this silicone exfoliating brush. It comes in a set that also features two small silicone face scrubbers. Your skin will thank you.


Mistake: Having pet food scattered across the floor

Solution: Protecting your pet’s eating area with a mat

Have you ever stepped on a loose morsel of dog or cat food? Wait — you don’t actually have to answer that. You don’t need to experience such a mess to know that it’s worth avoiding. This pet feeding bowl mat slides right underneath your furry friend’s favorite water or food bowl, and it has a raised edge to prevent such messes. Yes, please.


Mistake: Overlooking your pet’s dental care

Solution: A simple finger toothbrush for easy oral care

What’s better than snuggles with your sweet pet? Snuggles with your sweet pet who has good breath. Not only that, but keeping your pup’s teeth clean is great for their overall health, too. The brushes in this dog dental kit are made with soft, BPA-free silicone bristles — just add a few drops of water and the silicone expands to fit larger fingers while creating a seal to prevent slip-off on smaller fingers. The clever design allows you to brush quickly and thoroughly from any angle, so you can get back to cuddles.


Mistake: Letting your fridge get too crowded

Solution: A simple fridge organizing system with a place for everything

Stop spending your time moving boxes, bottles, and jars around to see what’s behind them; use these storage bins to organize your kitchen instead. The transparent acrylic material gives you a clear view of contents, and you can use them separately or stacked together to categorize items and save space. They’re safe for use in your fridge or freezer, as well as your cabinets or cupboards.


Mistake: Not washing greens before eating

Solution: Using a salad spinner to easily wash & dry greens & herbs

If you’ve ever dabbed wet lettuce with a paper towel, please know that there’s a better way. This salad spinner can dry your greens (or fruits, or pasta) in seconds, helping you prep your food faster. So washing your leafy greens won’t feel like such a chore — and you’ll actually do it. Plus, it’s dishwasher-safe, so it’s a breeze to clean in between uses.


Mistake: Not staying a step ahead of your shedding pet

Solution: A deshedding tool that demystifies regular fur care & coat maintenance

When your pet sheds you want to have a trusty brush at the ready. This comb and deshedding tool has two sides so you can tackle their undercoat, mats, and fur. With a comfortable rubber handle and a flexible neck that allows you to stay close to your pet’s fur without applying too much pressure, both of you will appreciate its efficiency.


Mistake: Cat litter being tracked all over the house

Solution: A mat that traps loose litter & prevents messes from spreading

A litter box is one of those products that you want to rely on. If you’ve set yours up to the best of your ability and your pet still manages to make messes, this litter trapper mat can help. It catches litter pellets that overflow from the box, or that come with your pet’s paws, preventing further spread. It also holds puppy pads, too.


Mistake: Getting up close & personal with the litter box

Solution: A litter-scooping gadget with an extra-long handle

Finally, tending to that litter box doesn’t have to involve squatting down inches from the mess. This stand up scooper makes it possible to scoop and sift in seconds, but the best part? It has a handle that adjusts from 24 to 34 inches, letting you stay an arm’s length away — or more — from the box.


Mistake: Opting for straws or water bottles that are hard to clean

Solution: A set of soft reusable straws that are dishwasher-safe

If you want to switch from plastic straws but don’t love the hard metal options out there, you need these reusable silicone straws. They are easy on your mouth, easy to use, and easy to wash — just pop them in the dishwasher and you’re good to go.


Mistake: Never cleaning your hamper liner

Solution: A divided hamper with a machine-washable liner

No need to struggle through your laundry sorting; this double hamper has an included liner with two compartments, allowing you to divide and conquer your dirty clothes as you go. That means lights can be separate from darks, or delicates from regular clothes. A rope handle makes it easy to tote, and its inner liner is easily removable for tossing in the washing machine to keep things fresh.


Mistake: Using subpar reusable cleaning supplies

Solution: Machine-washable dish cloths that make it easy to clean up messes

These highly rated Swedish dish cloths do many of the same things that paper towels do, and then some. Seriously, they’ve earned over 30,000 five-star ratings. That’s because you can wash and reuse them, you don’t have to constantly repurchase them, and they’re super absorbent. Use them wet or dry depending on your needs.


Mistake: Tracking in dirt & grime from boots

Solution: A durable mat that scrapes shoe bottoms clean

This half-round rubber doormat is more than meets the eye. Not only does it make for an elegant greeting at your front door, but it’s durable enough to withstand harsh winter weather. Plus, the textured surface doubles as a boot scraper. Choose from three versatile colors to best suit your space.


Mistake: Touching the soap dispenser with germy hands

Solution: A hands-free dispenser with a motion sensor

We make a big to-do about washing hands, but if the dispenser itself is gross that makes the whole endeavor a bit more questionable. Enter this automatic soap dispenser — it has an infrared sensor that detects when hands are near for a more sanitary hand-washing experience. Reviewers especially liked it for the kitchen, especially after handling meats.


Mistake: Forgetting to floss regularly

Solution: This convenient water flosser that makes the task easy

Many of us are probably in the “floss just before and after the dentist” club, but that need not be. This Waterpik flosser can be just as effective as traditional string floss and is also a lot more fun. Use it for just a minute a day, and you may find yourself in awe like this shopper who commented, “After 6 months use 2 or 3 times daily, my hygienist and dentist praised the improvement in my gum and dental health. I was amazed how many small particles this thing flushes out even after flossing and brushing.”


Mistake: Not getting those nether regions clean as can be

Solution: Adding an easy & effective bidet attachment to your toilet

Still not convinced about the usefulness of a bidet attachment that rinses you off, cleans your most sensitive parts, and significantly cuts down on your toilet paper bill? Just peruse the reviews of this model with over 10,000 five-star ratings. Buyers swear by it, with one even claiming, “I’m in love with my toilet now.” Plus, it’s easy to install, so you’ll have it working in no time.


Mistake: Using the same loofah forever

Solution: This set of four loofahs for just $10

It’s a good idea to refresh your loofah before it gets all loose and worn, and this set of four shower puffs makes it easy to do. These are luxuriously soft while still lightly exfoliating skin, create a rich lather, and have sturdy tabs that make it easy to hang dry them (also better for hygiene!).


Mistake: Not properly disposing of cooking oil

Solution: This brilliant, plant-based oil solidifying powder

Cooking or frying things in oil is so tasty, but cleanup can be messy. This clever oil-solidifying powder makes quick work of spent grease. Just sprinkle a packet of the 100% plant-based, non-toxic powder into hot oil and stir to dissolve. When the oil cools down it will magically solidify so it can be easily scooped into the garbage, and even in some composting systems.


Mistake: Not caring for your hands when gardening or working

Solution: Protecting them with versatile outdoor gloves

While a wise man once said that every rose has its thorn, that doesn’t mean you’re destined to scrape or scratch your hands when you work with them. These practical bamboo gardening gloves are great for — you guessed it — gardening, and also for general home maintenance and care. Choose from five sizes to fit a range of adult hands.


Mistake: Not fully cleaning pet stains on the carpet

Solution: This stain & odor eliminator that comes with a stain-illuminating UV flashlight

Furry friends are a beloved part of the family. But their stains and smells? Not so much. This pet-odor eliminating kit helps you fully vanquish messes on carpet and hardwood floors, even on textiles and clothing, and outdoors. The UV flashlight helps you suss out even the sneakiest odor-causing stains and the spray leaves behind just the sweet smell of citrus.


Mistake: Not cleaning your tongue

Solution: This tongue brush & scraper that helps you keep a fresher mouth

This ergonomic tongue cleaner is designed to break through tongue plaque, reaching nooks and crannies in a way that regular toothbrushes can’t. Containing zinc, which can neutralize the tongue’s sulfur gas that causes bad breath, the low profile of the brush and wide, circular head helps clean all parts of the tongue. The benefits of regular tongue-cleaning span from fresher breath to foods tasting better, too.


Mistake: Not regularly (& effectively) bathing your furry friend

Solution: Using tools to make bath time easier for everyone

Unless your pet is one of those magical unicorns that loves bath time, you’re probably inclined to get it done as quickly and as smoothly as possible. Consider this handheld grooming brush, which you can use wet or dry to clean and collect loose fur. The rubber bristles are pleasant for your pet, giving them the feel of a massage, too.


Mistake: Not getting into corners & crevices when cleaning

Solution: A deep-cleaning brush set that gets into every nook & cranny

When giving the bathroom or kitchen a good scrub, there can be places a paper towel or sponge won’t reach. This deep clean brush set helps you tackle the detail work to get things their squeakiest clean. The set includes two brushes of different sizes, and one is capped with a flexible wiper blade to get into even the tightest spots.


Mistake: Letting damp spaces get too humid

Solution: A portable dehumidifier you can fit anywhere

From the bathroom to the closet, high humidity can leave walls, textiles, and everything else musty. The fix couldn’t be easier. This portable dehumidifier works in spaces up to 225 square feet and can pull out up to 9 ounces of water a day. Plus, it’s quiet and there’s a light that goes on when it needs to be emptied.


Mistake: Mosquitoes amok outside & gnats in the houseplants

Solution: These pet-safe pellets that nix bug larvae before they grow

These powerful bug bits pull double duty, helping keep outdoor areas mosquito-free and banishing pesky gnats from houseplants. Toss whole in standing water for the mosquitoes and dilute in water for an effective houseplant treatment. Reviewers raved about the quick work it made of gnat battles.


Mistake: Letting your cuticles get too dry

Solution: A healing cuticle serum that repairs & strengthens

Prevent uncomfortable cracks and bleeding from unkempt cuticles by treating the area with this luscious cuticle-conditioning serum. The rich formula is packed with nourishing ingredients, like Japanese seaweed, aloe vera, shea butter, and vitamin E, to deliver a potent concentration to the nail bed. Reviewers who deal with cuticle picking and hangnails rave about this tube, and you’ll love that the rich formula absorbs quickly.


Mistake: Cooking on a grimy grill

Solution: This wire-free scraper that cleans safely & effectively

Preparing food on a grill that’s covered in old food (or potentially dangerous bristle debris from scrubbers) is no longer a concern with this stainless steel grill scraper brush. The sturdy scraper side removes grime and burnt-on food and features side grooves shaped for grill bars. The durable scrub pad gets the rest without depositing bristle bits.


Mistake: Overlooking foot care in your bathing routine

Solution: A tea tree oil-based foot scrub & balm that helps treat & deodorize feet

How do soft, clean, and pleasant-smelling feet sound? The dream can be your reality with a mint-infused foot soak and softening balm. Even better, the formulas work to fight unpleasant ailments like athlete’s foot, rashes, nail issues, calluses, and more. The healing balm is a rich moisturizer with vitamins C and E to soothe dry feet.


Mistake: Not using the right beard-grooming products

Solution: Taming things with a luxurious beard kit

A well-kept beard never goes out of style, so a beard grooming kit is a great investment or gift for the beard-haver in your life. It includes multiple products to help you figure out your best routine, like beard wash, balm, and oil, along with a beard brush and a beard comb.


Mistake: Not giving your scalp enough attention

Solution: A shampoo scrubber that also massages

Fair warning: Using one of these scalp massagers might just change your life. They can be used wet or dry, and the silicone bristles are firm but not hard, making it easy to apply the perfect amount of pressure. If you’ve struggled with dandruff or build-up, or simply want to get your hair as clean as possible, then make room in your shower for one.