You’re quick to sweep up accumulating dust and scrub the soap scum buildup in the shower, but what about all those other everyday household items that never get any attention? And how about the spaces and places that aren’t stained, stinky or seemingly dirty?
The fact of the matter is that there are many items in your home that you may not think to clean frequently — or ever — but actually warrant regular disinfecting. We list a few of them below.
Even though it is the room most associated with personal hygiene, the bathroom is a pretty yucky space. (And we’re not just talking about the toilet!) The toothbrush holder in particular is one of the most germ-infested spaces in your home, but it's also one of the easiest to clean with a few tools you likely already own: hot water, mouthwash and a bristle brush.
While all toys should be washed regularly, bathtub toys deserve special attention since they are continuously exposed to water, which can lead to the growth of bacteria and mildew. It’s recommended that you clean them monthly by soaking them in a large bowl of warm water and white vinegar (use a 1 gallon: ½ cup ratio) for 10 minutes and rubbing them gently with a sponge.
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Speaking of sponges, this all-purpose cleaning tool, used to wipe down surfaces and sweep up bits of food, is a breeding ground for bacteria such as salmonella, E. coli and staphylococcus. Keep your sponge clean by rinsing and wringing it out completely after every use and storing it in a well-ventilated area where it can air out. Replace sponges every few weeks.
When you’re de-germing your home, you likely prioritize bathroom surfaces and kitchen countertops, but have you ever wiped down your door knobs? If you’re like most, you probably haven’t. But door knobs, like the remote control, our phones and light switches, are surfaces we touch throughout the day, usually with hands that have not been washed. Depending on your door knob, use a simple cleaning spray of your choice. For brass door knobs, follow these steps.
Caring for curtains can be a headache, but it’s important to clean drapes frequently, as they trap dust, dirt and other allergens in their fabric. By cleaning them with either a vacuum, fabric steamer or washer and dryer, your home will be more sanitary and your respiratory health better.
Wooden cutting boards
The grooves in wooden cutting boards are ideal hiding spots for illness-inducing bacteria such as E. coli, especially if you’re handling raw meat. Rather than simply rinsing your board in the sink, or using a yucky kitchen sponge, wash it thoroughly after every use, occasionally rubbing it down with lemon juice and coarse salt to rid of any persistent odors.
The bottom of your oven
If you’re like many people, the bottom of your oven is covered in a thin film comprised of melted cheese, grease drippings, crumbs and other residues. Be sure to give your oven a deep clean every few months, using baking soda and vinegar as a simple cleaning mixture.
It should come as no surprise that the trash can gets dirty quickly because it’s used for, well, trash. Yet, many rarely clean it as much as they need to. For a clean, fresh-smelling can, hose it out and scrub it down with a clean toilet brush from time to time.