The Dirtiest Places in Your Home & How to Clean Them
Does your busy schedule prevent you from finding time to clean? Here are some tips to help you take care of the dirtiest places in your home.
We all know that the kitchen sink has more growing bacteria than we’d like to believe. To combat this, give it a good scrub with baking soda, and then follow up with a soak in white vinegar. Simply add a few tablespoons of vinegar to warm water, or saturate paper towels with vinegar and place them in the sink for about 15 minutes to thoroughly sanitize.
Coffee Maker Reservoir
Did you know that in addition to providing you with that glorious morning cup of joe, your coffee maker may also be full of microbes? The water reservoir is the culprit by being an incubator of germs — including staph, strep and the dreaded E. coli. To keep these germs at bay, remove the reservoir and wash it with hot, soapy water once a month. Keep it clean by flushing it regularly with vinegar.
Most people take the trash out on a regular basis, but the garbage can itself must be cleaned as well. With more than 400 germs per square inch living in the typical garbage bin, it definitely needs it. Using hot, soapy water to wipe the outside of the can once a week will effectively cut down on the bacteria. Then, once a month take the can outside and clean the interior with a bleach water mix, rinsing it out with the hose.
Refrigerator Handle / Oven Knobs
Cut down on germs by making sure the handles of your refrigerator and your oven knobs are cleaned regularly. Germs can live on refrigerator handles for two days or more, so it’s important to use a small amount of dishwashing liquid on a damp microfiber cloth to wipe away the bacteria on them every few days. Do not use bleach or other harsh chemical cleaners to avoid contaminating your food. For the oven knobs, pull them off and clean them with a 1:1 mixture of vinegar and water.
Your stair railing see a lot of hands, so of course they are going to harbor a lot of the usual suspects: staph, viruses, and E. coli. A monthly wipe down with a disinfecting cleaner will take care of them. If you have guests (company brings germs) or if a family member is sick, clean it more often.
Between dead skin cells, dust mites and sweat (among other things), your bed is full of a lot of not-so-nice things. Because of this, be sure to clean your mattress every six months. Vacuum it, spot clean the stains, and if possible take it outside for a good airing so that the UV rays can kill bacteria.
Shower curtains are a hotbed for mold, which is actually easier to take care of than you think. Using a 1:1 mixture of vinegar and water, spray your plastic shower curtain liners, and run fabric curtains through the wash once a month.
Every time you flush the toilet with the lid open, all nearby surfaces become contaminated. As a simple solution to a somewhat nasty problem, use hydrogen peroxide or your favorite all-purpose spray to wipe down the walls each week.
One of the dirtiest items in your home, light switches carry a ton of germs from hands. Luckily, they’re easy to clean. Just spray a cloth with that trusty 1:1 mixture of vinegar and water or an all-purpose cleaner, and gently wipe the switch and faceplate.
All the Walls
While you’re obviously not going to wash all of your walls daily or even weekly, try to give them a gentle scrub with an all-purpose cleaner every once in awhile. Wipe off any loose dust with a soft cloth first, and make sure your cleanser is safe for walls before using. Don’t forget about the molding!