The Terrible Cleaning Habit You Should Never Do In Your Bathroom

Behind the kitchen, bathrooms harbor the home's hardiest germ communities, per Healthline. The room's constant moisture levels plus the frequent introduction of human waste combine to create the perfect environment for germs to thrive — on surfaces, towels, the floor — pretty much everywhere, especially if you leave the toilet seat up while flushing. Every time you do, says Time, the aerosol effect from your swirly sprays the room with a layer of waste, water, and other germs and microbes, which is something to consider when it's time for your weekly clean.

Now, we're all for hacks that cut bathroom cleaning time in half — vacuuming the shower (try it, seriously), mopping tiled walls (work smarter, not harder), and using a full-on power drill attachment to scrub the tub (yes, it's a thing). But there are a few corners that just shouldn't be cut when it comes to polishing — and more importantly, disinfecting — your bathroom. In fact, there's one thing you should definitely never do.

Stop using this to clean your entire bathroom

Everyone appreciates the convenience of a disinfectant wipe — especially during a pandemic. However, if you think you're actually killing germs while wiping your bathroom down with a single puny cloth, think again. To state the obvious, using the same wipe on multiple surfaces simply redeposits grime from one to the next, which totally defeats the task at hand. And secondly, to fully disinfect, most cleaners have to remain wet on a surface for a period of time — usually five to 10 minutes — before they're wiped away.

Ivan Ong, a microbiologist and vice president of research and development at Microban explained the issue to Apartment Therapy, saying, "the use instructions for Clorox's disinfecting wipes stipulates that you should 'Wipe surface, using enough wipes for the treated surface to remain visibly wet for four minutes. Let surface dry." Put simply, according to Ong, "the main issue with wipes that disinfect is they have to be used precisely as the label instructs." And if they aren't, you're wasting time, money, and effort. And not only that, according to cleaning and organizing professional Lily Cameron, "overusing of such wipes may expose your family to harmful chemicals without the germ-destroying benefit" (via Reader's Digest).

So if you are going to clean the bathroom with wipes, you should toss each one in the trash after wiping a surface down — basically meaning you'd need an entire canister to complete the job, which is both wasteful and cost ineffective. Next time you tackle your least favorite chore, it's best to save the cash, take time to scrub, and sleep soundly knowing you cleaned the bathroom the right way.