5 Things You’re Not Cleaning Nearly as Often as You Should

(Image credit: Cynthia Brown)

If there’s one thing I’ve learned writing for Kitchn, it’s that I don’t clean anything often enough, or well enough. Right this very minute — and despite having interviewed experts on the subject — I have a gray-ish sponge sitting in my sink (which is the official sign that it needs to be tossed, which I promise I’ll do as soon as I finish this story). In the meantime, here are the top five things none of us are cleaning as often as we should.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

1. Your Sponge

While sanitizing it in the microwave might not be quite the solution we’ve all hoped it would be, one thing is clear: We’re not cleaning our sponges all that well. The best bet? To toss old ones after five or six days in favor of a new bacteria-free one.

More on Sponges

2. Your Dishwasher

This is one appliance you’d think would just stay clean — but the reality is that minerals in your water and debris floating about can build up over time. Give it some love!

See the steps: How To Clean a Dishwasher

(Image credit: Andrea Posadas)

3. Your Dish Towels

If you’re like me, you probably toss these into your weekly load of laundry — but really, you should be washing them about every other day!

More on Dish Towels

4. Your Lunch Box

If you use the same box or bag to bring your lunch to work (or to send your kid to school with lunch), you probably clean it just about never — but you should actually clean it every single day.

Clean Your Lunch Box — And Keep It Clean

(Image credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani)

5. Your sink

No, you probably don’t clean your sink every day. Yes, it has more bacteria than a toilet bowl. The next time you see a ravioli fall in there while you’re making dinner, think twice before you eat it anyway — and then clean your sink, please.

Some Sink-Cleaning Tips

How often are you cleaning these five germy things?