The 21 Dirtiest Places You Should Be Cleaning


21 germiest

Are you a bit of a clean freak? Need that piece of mind that everything is deep cleaned at least once this year? We found a great article that contains a list of the 21 germiest places in your home that you should be cleaning. Some are more obvious than others, some you might not ever think to clean. The article makes a great argument for why these things need to be cleaned and just how to get them that way! Here are some of the highlights…

KITCHEN

Sponges: It’s easy for bacteria and food particles to get trapped in the crevasses of sponges, creating ideal conditions for bacteria to breed [1]. Moist, dark — what else could bacteria ask for?!

What to do: Try antibacterial sponges and dish soaps to limit the lesser of bacteria evils — but neither are very effective at controlling the spread of big name baddies like E. Coli and Salmonella [2]. Be extra safe by disinfecting sponges at least once a week by soaking in a bleach solution for 5 minutes, or microwaving on high for two minutes. (The microwave method has even been shown to kill 99 percent of bacteria [3]!)

Drip Coffee Maker: Even though coffee itself has some antimicrobial properties, coffee makers still need to be cleaned [4] [5]. Most home coffee makers don’t get hot enough to kill anything growing in the wet, dark environment of the water reservoir or the machine’s internal piping.

What to do: Running a 50/50 mix of water and white vinegar through the machine once a month may help inhibit the growth of mold and some bacteria. Let half the mixture run through the machine, then switch it off for an hour before finishing the cycle. And don’t forget to deep-clean the carafe!

BEDROOM

Pillows: Pillows aren’t just packed with feathers — turns out they can also be home to several types of allergy-inflaming fungi [7]. (Ick.) And all those hours spent sweating, shedding skin, and drooling like a sheepdog also create ideal conditions for dust mites, another potential allergy trigger.

What to do: In addition to regularly laundering bedding (specific instructions below), anti-allergen covers can help protect pillows from outside germs getting in and keep the sneezy stuff (down, anyone?) inside [8].

BATHROOM

Makeup and Makeup Brushes: People shouldn’t get diseases from getting dolled up, but cosmetics have been known to do just that [10]! Eye makeup seems to be the greatest cause for concern; one study found that within just three months of use, 40 percent of tested mascara tubes had some creepy crawlies growing in them [11] [12].

What to do: A good rule of thumb is to replace eye makeup every season; toss lotions and liquid foundation every six months; and get fresh power-based products, lipstick, and nail polish every two years.

ON-THE-GO

KeysAnyone who drives — or just plans on returning home at the end of the day — probably has a set in their pocket, but who thinks about keeping keys clean?

What to do: The fact that many keys are made of brass, a copper alloy, offers some protection because it’s naturally antibacterial [22] [23] [24]. But occasionally scrubbing keys with plain ol’ soap or using a disinfectant probably won’t hurt, and at the very least shining them up offers some aesthetic benefits.

Phone: Studies have repeatedly cited mobile phones as risk factors for infection, and we largely have our own unwashed hands to blame [25] [26] [27]. (One study found fecal bacteria on 1 in 6 phones!)

What to do: The clean up is simple: Power down the device once per week (more during cold and flu season) and wipe with a disinfectant cloth.

LIVING ROOM

TV Remote: A hospital hygiene study found that the remote controls were three times dirtier than anything else in the room, while another study found that nearly half of the remotes tested positive for antibiotic-resistant staph [35].

What to do: Wipe down remote controls with any hard surface disinfectant or a handy dandy antibacterial wipe regularly — and especially if it’s been used by a sick person recently!

 

Read the full article here.