For many people, sanitizing items around the house is part of a regular cleaning routine. However, even the most vigilant and cautious individual is bound to overlook certain items that don’t seem to need cleaning or are simply too small to think about.
While this may feel like a minor issue, many of these objects are infested with germs. Skipping their cleaning makes it easier for them to spread bacteria and viruses to anyone who comes into contact with them.
It might seem like a given to focus on cleaning door knobs since they touch tons of hands. However, are you cleaning every doorknob? Many people remember to sanitize the bathroom door but forget to clean the front door or cupboard knobs. These areas see just as much use as the bathroom door, if not more, and can easily spread contaminants to the rest of the house.
What device sees more germs, grease, chip dust, and overall grime than a game controller? Most controllers come in dark colors by default, so you may never know how dirty they really are. Clean them with a 50/50 mix of water and rubbing alcohol, using a soft cloth and an old toothbrush.
Make sure to only mist them with the mixture, as too much moisture can damage them irreparably, and your kids might never forgive you.
When you wear them every day, it's easy to forget that you're even wearing glasses until the lenses fog up or get too dirty. However, eyeglasses go everywhere you go and experience frequent contact. While they’re not necessarily the main culprit of bacteria transmission, you should still clean glasses every day to keep them germ-free.
More and more people opt for reusable grocery bags every day but probably aren’t cleaning their bags as often as they should. You should wash each bag after every use.
The styles and fabrics vary greatly, so make sure to check for any care instructions. When cleaning, focus on the seams to target nooks and crannies where bacteria might hide.
TV remotes often see multiple sets of hands every day, many of which are carrying bacteria, bits of food, and other contaminants. To clean your remote properly, remove the batteries and shake the device to dislodge any crumbs or loose debris.
Gently clean the device with a soft cloth, avoiding spraying liquids directly onto the remote.
Most people don’t think about it often, but how many dirty locations does your purse or bag sit? They go everywhere we do, and people place them in filthy shopping carts and on restaurant floors, store counters, and a whole host of other germ-ridden places.
Your purse is bound to be a germ carrier, so make sure to wipe it down whenever you get home and, in general, avoid setting it on your table or counter.
Few things experience as much hand contact as your keys. Plus, they also frequently come into contact with doorknobs that harbor tons of germs. Clean your keys at least once a week, as they can easily spread viruses and bacteria.
One good method is to let the keys sit in a bowl with dish soap and hot water for a few minutes before cleaning them with a toothbrush.
It’s common practice to clean and sanitize things that see frequent hand contact, but people often forget about the refrigerator. The door handles on refrigerators not only touch tons of hands, but those hands have often just touched raw food ingredients and other bacteria.
Experts suggest cleaning your handles at least once a week, but you may want to clean them more often during cold and flu season.
We take them everywhere, including the bathroom, but how often to we remember to clean our phones? Cell phones and cell phone screens are major hot spots for germs, and sometimes we put them against our faces!
Experts recommend cleaning your phone at least twice a week, though some people may need to follow a more frequent cleaning schedule.
Cleaning your cutting board properly is key to preventing cross-contamination and foodborne illnesses. Wooden cutting boards, in particular, can soak up contaminants and often aren’t dishwasher-safe. Wash cutting boards after every use and when swapping between ingredients.
Dish soap is effective in most cases, though you can also opt for natural options like lemon juice and salt.
You may clean things often, but what cleans the cleaner? Kitchen sponges can soak up all sorts of grime and bacteria, spreading them to everything you wash.
You can pop them into the microwave or dishwasher to sanitize them. Alternatively, soak your sponges in a mixture of ¾ cup of bleach and one gallon of water for about five minutes and then rinse them. No amount of sanitizing will keep your sponges safe forever, though, so replace them every few weeks.
Even if you shower every night, you still bring germs, oils, and other contaminants into your bed with you. While sleeping, there’s ample time for bacteria to travel from you to your bedding. All bedding, including pillowcases, sheets, and comforters, need weekly washing.
To prevent spreading potential illnesses, don’t shake out sheets before placing them in the washer and avoid hugging the bedding close to your body while moving it.
It’s common courtesy to wipe down equipment at the gym after you use it, but don’t forget that this extends to your personal equipment, as well. Whether you’re practicing at a studio or at home, your yoga mat touches your hands, feet, and body and catches a significant amount of sweat. Some people recommend taking your mat into the shower with you and then hanging it up to dry.
When you flush your toilet, germs can shoot from the bowl and settle on everything in the bathroom. This occurs even if the lid is closed. For many people, this means that toothbrushes and other dental care products are in prime locations for contamination.
Also consider all the bacteria that toothbrushes pick up from your mouth. Clean your toothbrush regularly and avoid storing family toothbrushes too close together.
Whether you work at your computer, use it for gaming, or are just a casual internet browser, your keyboard is a hotspot for germs. Not only do keyboards see frequent use, but they also have many hidden crevices for bacteria to thrive. And think how often you type and then rest your chin in your hand as you read!
Beyond standard keyboards, laptops can travel from surface to surface, picking up germs at each stop. Add your keyboard to your regular cleaning schedule to dodge potential illnesses.
Chances are, you clean your countertops pretty regularly. However, that’s likely not frequent enough to really fight disease-carrying bacteria. After all, kitchen countertops see all kinds of raw food and bathroom countertops can harbor really gross germs.
You should also sanitize your countertops, rather than just wipe them down. Store-bought cleaning products are great, but you can also opt for natural options or a simple mix of rubbing alcohol and water.
Most people wash their clothes every week or so. However, there are specific times where you should be much more cautious and wash them more often. During cold and flu season, you can carry bacteria and viruses into your home on your clothes. If you just throw them into a hamper, the germs can then spread freely.
Get into the habit of washing items immediately after returning home from high-risk locations.
When you think about how contaminants travel, it’s clear just how much of a risk makeup products present. Makeup brushes and sponges can easily carry bacteria from your face to your cosmetics, as well as the reverse. Many of these products come into close contact with your lips, nose, and eyes, making them prime culprits for illness.
Wash brushes with warm soapy water at least once a week.
When addressing cross-contamination and foodborne conditions, most people focus on cleaning cutting boards, countertops, and other prep areas. However, it’s easy to overlook kitchen hand towels. Not only do they have frequent contact with germ-covered hands, but they may even be used to wipe down dirty countertops.
Daily cleaning is often best for most hand towels.
It takes less than a second to flip on a light switch. However, that is more than enough time for contaminants to jump aboard. Plus, many people don't bother to deep clean their light switches, believing that a quick wipedown is all that’s necessary. Use a q-tip to properly clean all light switches, knobs, and buttons.