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There are some things you use (and have been using) almost every day of your life. Like your dishwasher, your freezer, and your phone charger, just to name a few. But prepare to have your mind blown—because chances are, you've been using all of those things wrong this whole time.

Below are 12 everyday products that you never knew you were misusing and how to use them the right way. 

1. Your dishwasher

Cotswold Journal: There's a method to the dishwasher organizing madness. Credit: Getty ImagesThere's a method to the dishwasher organizing madness. Credit: Getty Images

There are so many mistakes people make with their dishwashers that they don't even realize. Like overcrowding it with dirty dishes, placing utensils in upside down, or pre-rinsing plates and bowls before putting them inside (a major faux pas!). You also might not realize you have to clean your dishwasher regularly for it to function properly. If you don't, food debris can get trapped in the filter and prevent your dishwasher from draining or rinsing correctly and leading to dirtier dishes.

2. Your phone charger

Cotswold Journal: More charge = less battery life. Credit: Getty ImagesMore charge = less battery life. Credit: Getty Images

Every night, I plug my phone in when I get in bed and let it charge overnight while I sleep. And apparently, that's one of the worst things you can do when it comes to your phone's battery (whoops). Experts say that charging your phone for that long can make the battery age faster and that it's actually ideal to keep your battery between 30 and 50 per cent. That might be true but if you're still worried about your phone dying on you, consider a portable charger to keep it juiced up—but not too much!—during the day.

3. Cleaning wipes

Cotswold Journal: Killing germs and bacteria takes more wipes than you think: Credit: AmazonKilling germs and bacteria takes more wipes than you think: Credit: Amazon

One swipe of your go-to cleaning wipes is all it takes to sanitize your countertops, right? Wrong. In order to kill off germs and bacterias, your countertop (or table, etc.) should stay wet for 3 to 5 minutes after you wipe it. That means you'll likely need to use more wipes than you think and really saturate whatever surface it is that you're cleaning.

4. Your BBQ

Cotswold Journal: What you need to know before your next BBQ. Credit: Getty ImagesWhat you need to know before your next BBQ. Credit: Getty Images

Sorry, but you might not be quite the grill master that you thought you were. Don't preheat the grill? You'll have unevenly cooked meat. Think all spots of the grill are the same? False—you'll want to move food from high-heat to low-heat areas at the right time for the best results. Only putting food over direct heat (i.e. open flames)? You're likely to burn the outside—just like above, take advantage of indirect heat spots. Open the lid every few minutes to check your food? You're letting out precious heat and affecting your cook time.

5. Laundry detergent

Cotswold Journal: Choose (and measure) your detergent wisely. Credit: AmazonChoose (and measure) your detergent wisely. Credit: Amazon

Too much of a good thing is not a good thing. At least when it comes to laundry detergent. Using too much can not only make your clothes feel dirtier and greasier but it can also leave white spots and stains. Measure your detergent out carefully and make sure you're using the right kind for your laundry machine.

6. Your stainless steel pans

Cotswold Journal: Never scrub another burnt skillet again. Credit: Reviewed/Jackson RuckarNever scrub another burnt skillet again. Credit: Reviewed/Jackson Ruckar

Nonstick pans are ace—they're easy to use and even easier to clean. Stainless steel pans? Eh, not so much. Or so I thought. Apparently the trick to using stainless steel pans correctly (and effortlessly!) is to season them first, just as you would a cast iron pan. It just takes a little bit of oil and a little bit of patience and your stainless steel pans will be just as slippery as your favourite nonstick ones.

7. Your freezer

Cotswold Journal: Less is more when it comes to filling your freezer. Credit: HutchyB/Getty ImagesLess is more when it comes to filling your freezer. Credit: HutchyB/Getty Images

Imagine stocking your freezer full of prepped meals and food—only to open it up in a month and find them spoiled or freezer-burnt. Not good. But that's what will happen if you 1) overcrowd your freezer or block the vent and prevent air from circulating properly or 2) keep it at too high of a temperature. Your freezer should be set to 0 degrees, which you should check often with your own refrigerator thermometer (digital displays aren't always completely accurate).

8. Your stand mixer

Cotswold Journal: Better cakes are in your future. Credit: KitchenAidBetter cakes are in your future. Credit: KitchenAid

KitchenAid stand mixers are a home chef's dream come true˘—if you're using it correctly. And according to the popular brand, many people are not. It's all about properly aligning the beater. Too low and it will ding up the bottom of your bowl but too high and it won't mix your ingredients thoroughly. Fortunately, adjusting the alignment is super simple and just involves tightening or loosening the screw at the neck of your stand mixer to raise or lower the beater.

9. Your washing machine

Cotswold Journal: Laundry day just got a lot better. Credit: KenmoreLaundry day just got a lot better. Credit: Kenmore

You take the time to sort the whites from the darks—so clearly you know what you're doing when it comes to laundry. Or so you thought. There's a little more to it than that. Like choosing the right cycle (when in doubt, cold water is always a great option for saving water and protecting your clothes), not filling the drum more than 2/3 full, and leaving the door open after use to let the interior dry out and prevent mould.

10. Your Pyrex dishes

Cotswold Journal: That dish may not be as shatter-proof as you think. Credit: PyrexThat dish may not be as shatter-proof as you think. Credit: Pyrex

How many times have you taken a Pyrex glass dish straight out of the refrigerator and into the oven—or vice versa? Probably pretty often (after all, isn't the fact that they're oven and freezer-safe one of their biggest draws?!). And while that may be true, you run the risk of shattering or even exploding your casserole dish by exposing it to such extreme temperature changes. Instead, preheat your oven before placing your dish inside and always let your dish come to room temperature before placing it in the oven or refrigerator/freezer to protect it.

11. Your robot vacuum

Cotswold Journal: There's a time and a place for your robot vacuum. Credit: EufyThere's a time and a place for your robot vacuum. Credit: Eufy

So you replaced your regular vacuum with a robot vacuum. That was your first mistake. We love robot vacuums as much as the next person (especially the Eufy RoboVac!) but the truth is, they aren't meant to be a substitute for your upright vacuum—they're just meant to be an addition. A.k.a. your robot vacuum should merely be used to tidy up in between deeper cleanings.

12. Sunscreen

Cotswold Journal: Skin safety is key. Credit: Getty ImagesSkin safety is key. Credit: Getty Images

Fun fact: Most people only apply about 25 to 50 per cent of the sunscreen that they should. And not only are you likely using too little sunblock but you also probably aren't applying it enough. Doctors recommend reapplying sunscreen every two hours or after swimming or sweating. As for how much? Adults should use about a shot glass full of sunscreen while kids need about half of that.

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