Bathroom countertops and fixtures

10 Times You Should Never Use Antibacterial WipesElena Elisseeva/Shutterstock

Your bathroom sees a lot of bacteria day in and day out, and a quick swipe with an antibacterial wipe isn’t doing much to keep bacteria growth at bay. “To kill bacteria effectively, a disinfectant needs to stay on the surface for about five to ten minutes,” Cameron says. “Cleaning with antibacterial wipes leaves the surface dry less than five minutes for sure. Overusing of such wipes may expose your family to harmful chemicals without the germ-destroying benefit.” Learn the 13 secrets of people who always have a clean house.

Hardwood surfaces

10 Times You Should Never Use Antibacterial WipesIvaylo Ivanov/Shutterstock

The chemicals and other ingredients in antibacterial wipes can do damage to some of your home’s surfaces over time. This includes hardwoods, which might lose their shine after repeated scrubs. They can also be damaged by moisture. “Wood surfaces need to dry quickly, but wipes leave the surfaces relatively wet,” says Alberto Navarrete, the General Manager of Frisco Maids in Dallas, “so that is counterproductive.”

Greg Shepard founder of Dallas Maids home cleaning, also in Dallas, says: “With wood, less is more. Wood floors, furniture, and wood trimming should not be cleaned often with products because with frequent cleanings the finish dulls over time. This goes double with bacterial wipes because they contain alcohol, which damages wood’s finish.”

Wiping down the whole kitchen

10 Times You Should Never Use Antibacterial WipesPhotographee.eu/Shutterstock

If you’re tempted to take out a wipe from the canister and quickly move from your stove to your fridge to your microwave to your sink—stop yourself. Antibacterial wipes are not meant to clean large areas. In fact, you may make a bacteria problem worse if you use them for multiple spaces. “Never use one antibacterial wipe to clean more than one surface,” Cameron says. “A dirty wipe has germs remaining on it and can transport bacteria to another location. Instead, use one wipe per surface, and then toss it. Here are 10 more cleaning mistakes that actually make your home dirtier.