Take a look around your home right now. Is it clean? No, I don’t mean are the floors swept, carpets vacuumed, and counters wiped down. I mean those little things that you touch or use all the time but don’t really clean. Like your kitchen sponge or your pillow. Did you know there are 10 MILLION bacteria per square inch of a kitchen sponge? What about the fact that your pillow is as germy as a TOILET SEAT! Those are just two of the mind blowing (and scary) facts about common household items that are probably not getting cleaned as regularly as they should be. With that said, here are 20 items that you should give a little extra TLC to this weekend!
This one is surprising to many! I mean, how dirty could it be if members of your family are the only ones handling it? Good Housekeeping spilled the dirty truth on the Today Show by reminding us that while we know remotes are often the dirtiest item in a hotel room the same holds true for our homes. You should clean this, and game controllers, once a month with some rubbing alcohol and a q-tip for those hard to reach spots. If you want to just do a quick clean, use a disinfecting wipe to quickly wipe the remote down. This can be done once a week or more if you have a sick person in your home.
If you cook as often as I do, you tend to spill or have accidents every once and a while. Sure, we clean up the stove top after we’re done, but we don’t tend to get the stove knobs just below. Cleaning stove knobs can be a pain but it is an important part of keeping your kitchen free of icky germs we spread from handling food. For a quick clean simply pull off the knobs and soak them in a bowl of white vinegar. This should be done at least once a month.
Sometimes we forget to clean the things that clean. I mean, it’s always running hot water and soap through it, so it should be clean, right? Unfortunately, this is not true. Your dishwasher is prone to lime scale, soap scum, and food particles after every wash. Plus, your dishwasher might not be doing it’s job correctly if the water isn’t hot enough. Every four to six weeks you should check your hot water heater, clean the filter of food and debris, remove and clean the racks, and wipe down the inside with a dry cloth or sponge. Try not to use hand soap or dish detergent on those hard to clean spots. Instead, use white vinegar or baking soda on those tough spots. You’ll start to notice a difference in how your dishwasher cleans.
Think about it. What is a commonly touched item in your home that you touch all the time but rarely clean? Your light switches! And it’s something that everyone doesn’t think about wiping down all the time. You should wipe down those switches once a week with a disinfecting wipe. If you start to notice build-up in some corners or cracks, break out the rubbing alcohol and q-tips.
I think we are all guilty of forgetting this one…especially the doorknobs outside! Cleaning professionals recommend wiping down doorknobs with a household cleaner or disinfecting wipe about once a week. If you’ve got sick family members, clean those door knobs every day! If you have an ornate door knob, you might have to dust the little knocks and crannies.
Sure you take the trash out when the bag is full, but when was the last time you actually scrubbed the inside of the can? And how about the can(s) outside? Garbage cans should be washed at least once a month. If you spill or there’s a leak in the garbage bag, clean the can immediately. You’ll start to notice that the trash doesn’t smell as bad.
You may change your sheets every week (or every other week) but when was the last time you cleaned your comforter? Was that weird mark on the corner always there? And what is up with all of that pet hair? The experts at Good Housekeeping suggest cleaning it once a season. Be sure that whatever you do to clean it you check the tag first. You don’t want to destroy your comforter all for the sake of cleaning it. Most comforters are dry clean only, so take the time to make sure you get an experienced dry cleaner to make sure your comforter is cleaned properly.
Dust mites, pet hair and and dead skin. Gross, right? Yes, I agree. But sadly all of these things might be living in and on the place where you lay your head to sleep each night. Interior design expert Robin Wilson recommends washing your pillow cover every three weeks in the washing machine. Then, wash the pillow itself every three months. If you shower at night, try to make sure that your hair is not soaking wet when you lay down for the night. You don’t want to add mildew to the list of things that you have to eliminate from your pillow every night.
Is your morning cup of Joe contaminated? We hope not. To be sure experts recommend that a Keurig be cleaned (and descaled) every 3-6 months. Also, be sure that you turn off your Keurig when it is not in use. Bugs have been known to infest Keurig Coffee Maker’s because of the warm, moist environment within. If you’ve got a regular coffee maker, be sure to regularly (and thoroughly) rinse and wash the coffee maker. You don’t want a build-up of old stinky coffee to affect your fresh coffee.
Did you know that a kitchen sponge is actually 200,000 times DIRTIER than a toilet seat? I mean it makes sense. It’s the thing that cleans off the food particles from your dishes, and, in some cases, is the clean-all tool for every mess on your counter. If your sponge is over a month old then toss it. There is no need to keep a dish sponge for any longer than that. Even if your sponge looks okay, it’s hoarding a lot of germs that could be potentially harmful. Plus, it just makes your dishes smell funny.
Anything that has standing water in it tends to be…well…stinky. Especially if that standing water has been around for a while. Be sure you scrub down that drying rack every few days to avoid a slimy mess. If you use rags or old towels to dry dishes, throw them in the washing machine after each use.
Top of the Fan
Cleaning a ceiling fan can be a dirty, dusty job if you let it go too long. We suggest cleaning fans every other month if you use the fan year round. If you only use it in the summer, spend a lot of time cleaning it before you turn it on again. There is nothing grosser than seeing a big clump of dust flying off the fan and onto the ground.
We love our pets as much as you do, but their toys can get a little gross. They get dragged through the dirt, tossed around on every possible surface, and always stuck in their mouths for long periods of time. It is important to give their toys some regular cleaning as they often end up in their mouths. Although pets are tough creatures, we don’t want to inadvertently get them ill.
This is a super important tip to not only to keep your home clean but also safe! “The U.S. Fire Administration (part of FEMA) cites that there are 2900 home clothes dryer fires every year resulting in an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss. And the leading cause: failure to clean them.” Be sure to clean your lint trap before and after every dryer load. Why before and after? In case the person who used the dryer before didn’t clean it out after their load. You should also check to make sure that the dryer vents are cleared of any lint or other materials at least once every few months.
Much like the dishwasher, we tend to think that because we regularly use soap and hot water that the machine should be clean. You should still clean your washing machine about once a month. To clean your washer just run an empty load with hot water and bleach.
According to NSF International, this is one of the germiest items in a home. Pretty gross considering it holds the item you clean you mouth with. Regularly rinse the cup and wash it with warm water and soap every month.
According to thesweethome.com, you should be cleaning your sofa with a vacuum every 2 weeks and it should get a deep clean once a year. You should vacuum it more often if you or members of your family eat on the couch. Hey, the silver-lining is you may find some spare change while you are flipping those couch cushions over!
Toilet Bowl Handle
Think outside of the
box bowl. Use a disinfectant wipe and make sure to close the lid to avoid airborne germs!
Does your ice taste funny? There is a chance that may be from the ice tray being dirty and not actually your water. After every few uses, thoroughly wash your ice trays with warm water and soap.
Make Up Brushes
Brushing bacteria onto your face may not be your first thought you have as you apply powder, blush, or eye shadow to your face. But, if you aren’t cleaning them regularly, that is exactly what you are doing. Make sure to clean all of your brushes once a month. Clean the brushes that you use on a regular basis once a week. You can pick up a brush shampoo from whatever store you purchase your make-up from. Make sure to thoroughly rinse the brush after shampooing to prevent any brush clumping.
That’s all we have for now. Do you have anything you think should be added to the list?