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Vacuuming, dusting, doing the dishes…every little bit helps, right? Well, even if your house looks sparkling, you might accidentally be spreading germs around or doing damage to your health without even knowing it. Keep an eye out for these seven cleaning sins.

RELATED: How Often You Should Wash Everything In Your Life

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Using an Old Sponge

Even after using it two or three times, bacteria will begin to grow in your sponge, and it can spread to every surface in your house (ick). Clean sponges every day by popping them in the microwave for one minute, or running them through the dishwasher with a dry cycle. Oh, and replace that guy altogether as soon as he starts smelling funky.

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Twenty20

Loading Your Silverware in One Direction

If you load all of your forks, knives and spoons handle-side up in the dishwasher, you’re keeping the hot water (which shoots out from the middle) from reaching the caked-on food. Instead, load spoons and forks handle-side down and knives handle-side up so you don’t cut yourself when taking them out.

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Mixing Cleaning Products

Bleach and Pine-Sol both clean your floor, so it can’t hurt to mix up a little of each, right? Nope, don’t even think about it. Cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that might cause dangerous reactions if you mix them together. You’re way better off using one according to its package instructions in a ventilated area.

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Putting Your Toilet Brush Away Wet

You know that little holder your toilet brush lives in? It’s the perfect place for bacteria to grow if you put the brush away while it’s still damp. Here’s what to do instead: After cleaning the toilet, sandwich the brush between the closed toilet seat and bowl to keep it in place until it’s totally dry (about 20 minutes), then put it away.

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Cleaning without Gloves

Remember that handy tip about not mixing cleansers? Well, imagine all the damage those chemicals do when you’re exposing them all to your skin on cleaning day. Wearing rubber gloves keeps your hands nice and soft, too.

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Spraying a Surface and Immediately Wiping It Down

We know, you don’t want that jelly spill to stain your white marble countertop. But before you start scrubbing, let the disinfectant sit on the counter for at least 30 seconds to help it really attack the germs. When in doubt, wipe the counter with disinfectant one more time after it’s clean.

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Using Glass Cleaner to Scrub Counters and Floors

Your trusty bottle of glass cleaner will clean up crumbs on the coffee table in a pinch, but don’t use it as your go-to. You’re better off saving the glass cleaner for your windows and using a disinfectant to clean up germy surfaces around the house. 

RELATED: The 7 Dirtiest Places in Your House

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