6 Household items you're not cleaning but HAVE to

Okay, so I have a really embarrassing confession to make. I don't wash my dishwashing sponges. It's gross I know, but I had no clue you even had to wash those things. After about a month or so I'd just throw it out and replace them with new ones. It was actually my mother who brought it to my attention after attempting to help me with the dishes one evening. I never realized how nasty kitchen sponges could become.

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If you wash dishes daily you should be replacing your sponges at least once a month, no ifs or butts about it. And it doesn't stop there either. Between replacements you should be washing your sponge to banish any bacteria that might be harboring in there. My mom likes to wash her sponges in hot water and a little bit of bleach. She's so neurotic about it. She literally boils a small pot of water, then adds the bleach and washes the sponge in it. If that doesn't kill off germs I don't know what will.

But just a heads up chica, your sponge isn't the only nasty thing in your house you might be neglecting. When was the last time you cleaned your skin drain or your refrigerator bins? That's right, there are a lot of household (especially kitchen) items and areas that can easily turn into germ-filled spots. Here are 5 things you're not cleaning but need to ASAP!

Refrigerator bins: As much as I hate doing it, wiping down your fridge at least once a month is a must. You'd be surprised at how much nastiness can accumulate in bins or door shelves. I usually just pop them out and wash them in the skin with hot warm and dishwashing soap. I'll spritz a little spray of bleach to help kill off any scary bacteria too.

Ceiling fan: I get a serious case of allergies during the springtime. But this year they were especially bad. My doctor asked me how often I clean my ceiling and I was almost too embarrassed to give him an answer because I knew damn well that I wasn't cleaning those ceiling fans. But it's actually a lot more important than you'd think, girl. Dust accumulates on top of ceiling fan blades which can lead to allergies and other problems as well. So make sure you dust those things off.

Broom: Who ever thinks about cleaning their broom, right? But if you don't clean these guys they accumulate dust bunnies and how can you get rid of dust bunnies with a broom that has dust bunnies? Catch my drift? I'm too OCD to take them out with my hands so I use a vacuum attachment to suck them all out.

Gym bag: I never ever thought to clean my gym big until I read they could be breeding grounds for bacteria. It's so bad you can catch a staph (bacteria found on the skin) infection just from not washing it. So make sure you wipe your gym bag down with anti-bacteria wipes after every gym trip.

Yoga mat: I definitely don't play around when it comes to my yoga mat. After all, I rest my body and face on it. I usually take a clean, damp cloth and add a little bit of all purpose-cleaner (without bleach) to wipe down my mat after every use.

Reusable grocery bags. I almost always take cloth tote bags with me whenever I do my groceries. They are practical and environmentally friendly. But just like most items made of cloth, these things need to be cleaned too. Depending on the material you can either throw them inside out in the washing machine or hand wash them. Just please make sure they get cleaned!

Image via Corbis Images 

Topics: cleaning