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13 Mistakes That Are Making Your Home Unhealthy

While we are spending so much time indoors these days, make sure to keep an eye on these mistakes to ensure you’re living in as clean of a space as possible.

1. Wearing Shoes Inside the House

Not only is wearing shoes indoors a health risk, but it can also increase allergens. Wet leaves bring in mildew, and pollutants from grass often get trapped on the bottom of shoes. Take your shoes off outside, or put them in a washable tray as soon as you walk in the door.

2. Not Wiping Down Your Bags

Just think about all of the floors that your backpack, briefcase or purse touches in the span of a single day. Gross, right? Instead of bringing all that bacteria into your home, sanitize your bag with a disinfectant wipe and then hang it up in your entryway or closet.

3. Forgetting to Change the Vacuum Filter

Changing the filter is an essential part of keeping dust out of the air and preserving the life of the machine. Change the filter once it’s showing wear and tear or every six months if you’re using a HEPA filter.

4. Forgetting to Change the AC Filters

Never run your heating or air conditioning system without filters, and be sure to change them at least every three months.

5. Letting Your Pet Sleep in Your Bed

Your favorite part of the day may be snuggling up to your fur baby, but pet dander traps allergens — which means you’re inviting those allergens to your bed. If you can’t resist the cuddles, then you should completely shave your dog. Just kidding — just be sure to bathe them once a week.

6. Not Replacing Your Shower Curtain Liner

Mold and mildew love to grow on our shower curtain liners. When yours is starting to look like it’s in bad shape, toss it in the washer or replace it with a new one.

7. Overlooking Your Shower Head

While you’re deep cleaning the bathroom, don’t forget to disinfect your shower head; several studies have revealed that dirty shower heads can host Mycobacterium avium, a bacteria linked to pulmonary diseases. We suggest filling a plastic bag with white vinegar, wrapping your shower head in the bag and leaving it to soak for about an hour.

8. Ignoring Your Bathmat

Think about it. You step onto your bathmat completely wet on the daily. To keep it fresh (and to keep mildew away), hang it to dry after every use, and stick it in the washer once a week.

9. Not Using the Exhaust Fan When Cooking

If you love cooking, all that steam from the stovetop will produce excess moisture. Turn the exhaust fan on to reduce it, helping to decrease the chance of mold.

10. Using That Sponge Over and Over Again

Sponges are porous, perpetually damp and notoriously pick up bacteria like salmonella and listeria like nobody’s business. Replace yours about every two weeks or, better still, switch to a plastic or silicone brush.

11. Not Cleaning Out Your Coffee Maker

As much as we hate to admit it, we’re all guilty of not cleaning our coffee makers on a regular basis. To prevent mold and bacteria from building up inside, wash removable parts with dish soap and then run white vinegar through the water tank.

12. Wearing Used Gym Clothes

Sure, you wanna rest around the house after a big workout, but doing so could make you sick. You can’t trust that everyone wiped down their bench after using it (or the very sweaty treadmill you just used), so why bring those germs into your home? Kick the locker room nasties and gym germs by taking off those clothes and get into something more comfortable instead of passing them around the house.

13. Clean Your Door Knobs

Don’t forget to clean one of the germiest spots in your house: the door knobs. Every guest and member of the household grabs them. And while hopefully they’re washing their hands, these spots will still pick up germs.

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