You are not alone if you haven’t even thought about these spots in your home. These are some of the easiest places to miss, but also can make a huge difference to your health and happiness.
1. Knobs, Handles, and Switches
Door handles, shower knobs, sink fixtures, light switches, and the like are often touched by multiple people in a day. So they are some of the most germ-covered surfaces in our homes! Yet we rarely think to clean them. It is good to get in a habit of wiping these down with a disinfecting cleanser or white vinegar to keep them clean and germ-free. Just make sure to spray the rag first rather than the electrical switches directly.
2. Trash Cans
Mold and grime build up both on the inside and outside of our trash cans very quickly. Even those with liners can harbor nasty germs inside. Using a hose and some dish soap outside can help knock loose any debris. After they dry, a wipe down with disinfectant or watered down bleach helps make sure they are spotless. It is a good idea to do this every couple of weeks.
It is easy to miss cleaning the appliances that clean things themselves, but it can make a big difference to their operation and effectiveness. Use a cup of white vinegar on the top rack to remove soap scum and food debris. Baking soda can work too. Just run the machine at its hottest setting.
4. Washing Machine
You would think washing clothes would keep the machine clean too, but soap and grime builds up in the corners and crevices. So if you want fresh smelling clothes and brighter whites run the machine on the hottest setting with a cup of white vinegar. Then when it is done let it stay open for a few hours to dry out. It is also a good idea to scrub around the rubber seals too to breakthrough the build up.
5. Coffee Maker
Do you know your local coffee shop cleans their coffee machines daily? It keeps their java tasting fresh. Doing the same at home with your drip coffee maker can eliminate nasty flavors and keep the machine running for longer. Calcium deposits and oils can quickly accumulate as you use the machine. So every couple of weeks simply run equal parts white vinegar and water through the machine like you are making a full pot of coffee (minus the beans and filter of course). Then do it again with just fresh water to rinse the vinegar out.
6. Ceiling Fans
Often the ceiling fans can look just fine from the floor, but are really hiding a coating of dirt on top. All that dust spreads as your fan runs, aggravating allergies and contaminating other surfaces. One handy way to clean fans without dropping dust on your face is to use an old pillow case. Simply pull the case over the blade and then pull it off while wiping the fan. This way the dust falls in the case which can be easily cleaned in your washing machine.
7. Throw Pillows
Talk about a haven for all sorts of germs, these decorative accents love to collect dead skin and all sorts of stains over time. Make sure to read any instructions your pillows might have about cleaning them. If the cases can go in the wash that makes them easy to clean. But if not then you can use upholstery shampoos. Throwing your pillows in your dryer afterwards on low heat can help fluff them up too.
8. TV Remotes
This is another object that is used often and yet rarely cleaned. Depending on how long you have had it, a remote may need some extra scrubbing to get the grease and grime off. First remove the the batteries (if possible) and then give it a good going over with disinfectant wipes or a cotton swab. The less liquid the better when cleaning electronic devices. Make sure to let it dry before using it again.
9. Refrigerator Drawers
E. coli is no laughing matter and it can hang on to your refrigerator long after that old deli meat or fruit is thrown out. Chances are that sour smell that just won’t go away means you have some leftover food stuck to a surface. First empty out the food and then wipe down all surfaces with diluted bleach. If a drawer needs some special attention then try washing it out in the sink with dish washing soap and then disinfect it.
10. Sponges & Scrubbers
Whether you clean your dishes or the rest of the house with them, these are likely the most germ-covered objects in your home. But don’t worry! There are a few different ways to get them clean. Throwing them in the dishwasher in your next load on high heat to kill 99% of the germs. For the non-dish scrubbers letting them soak in diluted bleach is equally effective.
At the end of the day there is always more we can all do to better clean and take care of the places we call home. A simple schedule of goals can go a long way to helping each of us tackle these weekly routines without feeling overwhelmed. Each step and habit produces a more healthy environment for you and those you love. We hope this list gets you started on that healthier and happier journey!