IT can feel like you're always cleaning your house – but is all that hard graft actually worth it if you're accidentally making any of these common mistakes?

A whopping 72 per cent of Brits have been making the same mistake when cleaning, a new study has revealed – by not leaving cleaning products on a surface for the time specified.

Alan Wakeling, founder of Hydrus Hygiene, says: "By applying disinfectant and then wiping straight away, nine times out of 10 all that you are doing is spreading bacteria.

"There are some cleaning products only require you to wait two minutes but typically it's five minutes or more.”

This isn't the only mistake people regularly make.

Speaking to Fabulous, Specialist Cleaning Supervisor Lily Cameron shares some of the most common errors she sees…

Sleeping with the enemy? 

We all change our bedding (hopefully), but one of the most common mistakes we make is forgetting to wash our actual pillows.

Disgustingly, 16 species of fungi can live in the average pillow and they attract dust mites, so the recommended frequency of cleaning for pillows is three to six months.

Lily recommends washing them on the gentle cycle using hot water and a liquid detergent, because the powder can leave residue.

You can dry them in the dryer, but on the lowest setting for around two hours.

After that, you should check for moisture by pinching it in a few places.

Mattress mites

Even if you vacuum thoroughly every day, small amounts of dust gather under the bed, and can be forgotten about.

It’s not only general dirt that gathers there – it’s also hair, dead skin cells, decomposing insects, dust mites and their excrement.

They get attached to the bottom of the mattress too and can contaminate it.

It’s good to lift the mattress or move the bed at least twice a month, to vacuum the space and keep things under control.

Getting dirty between the sheets

Next up is one of the most common household chore debates – how often do you wash your bed sheets?

According to some experts, including Fantastic Services cleaner Lily, you should change them at least once a week – and it's crucial for your health.

Just like the mattress, bedding also gathers dust and sweat, and you’d be surprised how many people fail to change them often enough.

Studies show this cleaning mistake can cause asthma, eczema and rhinitis.

What a sponger

Everyone thinks that the toilet is the dirtiest place in the house… but it’s often actually – horrifyingly- the kitchen sponge.

We use the sponge to clean all kinds of food and grease off plates, and even if you rinse it thoroughly some of the dirt settles inside the pores and bacteria starts to grow.

That spreads all over the plates when you use the contaminated sponge.

Good ways to disinfect the sponges are to boil them, put them in the dishwasher or place them in some water and microwave them for a couple of minutes.

It should be done at least once a week, and the sponges need to be replaced every two months or so, depending on the usage. 

Cutting board contamination

Kitchen cutting boards, especially the wooden ones, need special care to be disinfected properly.

The sponge and dish detergent are not efficient enough to clean your meat cutting board, because small particles get stuck inside the cut marks, they breed germs, which afterwards get transferred onto your food.

You can soak the cutting boards in a hydrogen peroxide solution (one spoon of hydrogen peroxide, two litres of water) for a few minutes, then rinse thoroughly and dry completely.

Money down the drain

Even though using multipurpose cleaners for everything saves money, it’s not always the best thing for all your surfaces.

The different bathroom surfaces require different care. The tiles need a mild abrasive, which will take care of the slime, soap scum and mould.

The sink and the bathtub need a mild non-abrasive cleaner because the enamel scratches easily and is difficult to repair.

The toilet gathers the most germs, so it needs something highly antibacterial.

Brushing up on toilet hygiene

Putting the toilet brush right back into the holder after usage is a big mistake.

The moisture and the fact that the brush has not been washed causes bacteria to grow very fast.

After using the toilet brush, rinse it in the clean toilet water and place it in a container, which lets it sit in the air and dry. 

Another popular hack suggested by a TikTok star suggested pouring washing up liquid in the toilet basin, before flushing the toilet with the brush in it.

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