5 Kitchen Cleaning Mistakes That Could Be Doing More Harm Than Good

No matter how often you clean, these mistakes could be holding you back.

<p>Oleksandr Sytnyk/Getty Images</p>

Oleksandr Sytnyk/Getty Images

There's nothing quite like walking into a sparkling clean kitchen, without a speck of grease on the oven or a crumb on the countertop. However, whether we consider ourselves talented home chefs or mostly just use the microwave, keeping the kitchen clean can be challenging. Even if you're pretty good about giving your kitchen a weekly deep clean and a wipe-down after every meal, the space might not be getting as clean as you think. Or, your cleaning methods may be doing more harm than good. We consulted experts for five common kitchen cleaning mistakes—along with suggestions on how to fix them.

Related: 7 Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn't Cleaning Your Dishes Properly

Cleaning With Bleach

Many people use bleach to disinfect kitchens because it’s inexpensive and gets the job done. However, according to Lindsay Droz and Kristi Lord, cofounders of L’Avant Collective, which is a plant-based eco-luxury cleaning and laundry product line, using bleach can be risky.

The fumes are not only unsafe for people and pets to inhale but an accidental spray or splash will ruin your clothing. “When cleaning countertops, skip the bleach and reach for a natural multi-purpose cleaner, instead. L’Avant Collective’s Multipurpose Surface Cleaner uses the power of plants to gently yet effectively wipe down surfaces, and clean floors, removing grease, dirt, and anything else daily living leaves behind. Infused with a blend of essential oils like lemon, clary sage, and geranium for their relaxing scents and natural antifungal and antibacterial properties, you can spray this luxury multi-purpose cleaner on countertops, glass, and cabinets, then wipe away for a streak-free shine.”

Related: 8 Cleaning Products You Should Never Mix

Using Multiple Cleaning Products

A really good multipurpose cleaner can replace all of those bottles under the sink and help you save some cash. “The reality is that having a sink cleaner, glass cleaner and stainless steel cleaner get to be a lot and one cleaner should be able to get the majority of your cleaning done. L’Avant Collective’s Multipurpose Surface Cleaner was formulated to be used on multiple surfaces, whether that be mirrors, windows, countertops, wood, and stainless steel—they can all be tacked using this one cleaner,” explain Droz and Lord.

Spraying And Quickly Wiping Down

When it comes to cleaning countertops and other surfaces, most of us spray, wipe and we’re good to go—right? Wrong. According to Spencer Martin, Founder and CEO of Sonic Power, it’s important to let your cleaners sit for a few minutes before wiping. “Be patient and let the cleaner do most of the work for you. That said, don’t wait too long and let it dry!”

If you’re not sure how long to wait, read the label on the bottle.

Not Replacing Your Sponge Often Enough

According to Sarah Cook, President of Nanny’s & Granny’s , the kitchen sponge is a notorious breeding ground for bacteria. “This ubiquitous tool can quickly become a hygienic hazard if not properly managed. To mitigate this, we recommend disinfecting sponges daily and replacing them bi-weekly.”

Want to skip the sponge altogether? Cook recommends using microfiber cloths to clean instead.

You can also use a dish brush instead of a sponge to scrub dirty plates, pots, and pans. When it gets dirty, it can easily be sanitized in the dishwasher.

Forgetting To Clean Your Trash Can

Does your kitchen have that not-so-fresh feeling? Can’t tell where the odor is coming from? If you’ve cleaned everything, it’s time to give your trashcan a good sniff. Dr. Laura Haupert, Ph.D., the Chief Scientific Officer for OMI Industries, which is the parent company of Fresh Wave, tells me, “It’s essential to clean out your trash can from time to time as bacteria will proliferate, causing foul odors to occur.”

You can try using dish soap and hose your garbage can down in your backyard or use multipurpose cleaner and microfiber clothes to give it a food scrubbing. Just be sure the can is dry before replacing the bag.

For more Real Simple news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on Real Simple.