You've been warned.
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Any person raised by a Southern mama knows that cleaning the kitchen is just one of those things that must be done. Dirty dishes must be washed, crumbs cleaned, floors swept. But exactly how you go about cleaning is a bit of a personal choice. You can clean your kitchen in ten minutes a day or in a solid hour of work on the weekends. You can tidy up with five easy, natural ingredients, pull out the Lysol and bleach for a sanitizing scrub, both, or outsource the entire thing. However you decide to clean, just don't make these mistakes while cleaning your kitchen.

Don't Clean Your Kitchen Sponge

A dirty sponge or cloth will just spread bacteria. There's no point in trying to clean your sponge in the dishwasher—and definitely don't microwave it! Instead, replace regularly or swap them out for rags that can be washed daily.

Don't Thoroughly Rinse Your Dishes Before Putting Them in the Dishwasher

Despite what you may have learned as a child, don't rinse every speck of food off of your plates before loading them in the dishwasher. Thanks to advances in technology, modern dishwashers work better when you skip that step entirely.

Don't Use Harsh Cleansers on Granite Countertops

Citric acid-based cleaners, vinegar, bleach, or other abrasive products can damage your granite countertops. Instead, follow our instructions on how to clean a granite countertop the right way.

Don't Skip the Degreaser

If you've been making hushpuppies, whipping up spaghetti sauce, frying chicken, baking with butter, or cooking almost anything else, you undoubtedly have grease on your appliances, counters, and cabinets. Here's how to get rid of the grime—and don't forget to get under your removable stove burners!

Don't Ignore the Inside of Your Dishwasher

Yes, you need to clean the inside of your dishwasher. Here's how to do it.

Don't Forget To Clean the Coffee Pot

Hard-water deposits, coffee residue, and other gunk can build up over time in your coffee maker. That crud can jam up the works of your coffee maker, slowing things down, and impacting the taste of your coffee. Here's how to clean a coffee pot.

Don't Clean the Kitchen Floor First

Instead, do the dishes, wipe down cabinets and appliances, clean the counters, and then clean up anything that has fallen onto the floor.

Don't Forget the Kitchen Sink

Your sink may look spick-and-span, but looks can be deceiving. Kitchen sinks are the germiest place in your house and they need to be scrubbed and sanitized. Here's how to clean your kitchen sink.

Don't Just Clean—Disinfect

Cleaning is important, but so is disinfecting. That's the important extra step that will kill germs, like bacteria and viruses. Here's how to sanitize your kitchen sink.

Don't Skip Knobs and Handles

You wash your hands in the kitchen, so be sure to also wash everything that your hands touch in the kitchen. The knobs on the stove, the refrigerator handles, and the sink faucet all need a good scrub and disinfecting.

Don't Put Knives in the Dishwasher

If you want to keep your knives sharp and your handles in good shape, don't put them in the dishwasher. Instead, hand wash and be sure to dry stainless or carbon steel right afterwards, as they need to be stored dry.

Don't Underestimate the Power of a Vacuum Cleaner

Whether you're cleaning your kitchen cabinets, getting crumbs out from under your stove, or tackling that spot behind the refrigerator, the vacuum cleaner, especially if it has a wand attachment for hard-to-reach spots, is a powerful tool.

Don't Rely Solely on Your Oven's Self-Cleaning Function

That self-cleaning oven function seems easy enough, but you may want to skip it. Even if you do occasionally fire it up, you still need to clean your oven (and that greasy oven door) on occasion. Here's how.