10 Places You Should Disinfect Regularly
Even when your home looks spotless, germs often lurk in places you wouldn’t suspect. Here are some spots that tend to be germ magnets and should be disinfected regularly to protect your health.
1. Your Kitchen Sink
Most people think of the kitchen sink as a clean place, since it’s used for washing food and dishes. Unfortunately, germs and dirt from rinsing raw meat, poultry, fish and produce land in your sink and stay. When you wash dishes and cookware, even more germs from food remains go into the mix. Surprisingly, kitchen sinks on average have more germs than toilet seats!
To disinfect your sink:
- Scrub the sink with a mild soap.
- Follow up with a bleach solution soak or a bleach-based cleanser.
- Try white vinegar as a natural alternative that will remove stains and sanitize the sink.
- Rinse thoroughly after sanitizing.
2. Your Kitchen Sponge
Moist sponges and rags provide the perfect environment for bacteria and other germs to grow. To disinfect your sponge either run it through your dishwasher or wet it and microwave it for a minute or two.
3. Cutting Boards
After trimming raw meat, poultry and fish, lots of dangerous microbes that could make you sick end up on your cutting board.
To keep yours sanitary:
- Don’t use wooden cutting boards. Bacteria and germs get trapped in knife groves and become all but impossible to disinfect.
- Sanitize plastic cutting boards in the dishwasher, or by washing with detergent and hot water. You may also want to wipe your cutting board down with white vinegar or spray with a mild solution of bleach and water.
- Rinse cutting boards thoroughly after sanitizing.
- Wash and sanitize cutting board after each use.
- Replace any cutting board that gets deeply scratched.
4. Kitchen Countertops and Hard Surfaces
You may have just wiped your table and countertops, but germs often still remain. Disinfect hard surfaces regularly with mild bleach solution or a natural solution of white vinegar and water. Be sure to include your cabinet handles and faucets.
Everyone who touches the doorknobs in your home leaves behind some bacteria or viruses. Use anti-bacterial wipes regularly to quickly kill germs on doorknobs.
6. Your Pocketbook
Studies have revealed that woman’s purses are a surprising haven for all kinds of germs including salmonella, E. Coli and even fecal contamination. To sanitize your purse:
- Wipe it down daily with an alcohol-based sanitizer.
- If your purse is machine washable, run it through the wash every few weeks on the gentle cycle.
- While sanitizing your pocketbook, remember to wipe down items inside such as keys, which also collect germs.
Everyone who watches television gets their hands on the remote, leaving behind lots of germs. Sanitize your remote with vinegar and water on a soft cloth, or use anti-bacterial wipes.
8. Your Toothbrush
Whenever you flush the toilet, an invisible spray of germs is propelled around your bathroom, as much as six to 10 feet from the toilet bowl! Chances are some of that spray is reaching your toothbrush. As if that wasn’t bad enough, germs from your mouth are happily multiplying on that moist brush head. To keep germs at a minimum:
- Store toothbrushes as far away from the toilet as possible and keep them upright to encourage faster drying.
- Run toothbrushes through the dishwasher weekly to sterilize.
- Replace your toothbrush at least every three months.
- Never store toothbrushes in a communal container.
Any device you hold close to your face picks up germs that can grow. Shared phones accumulate even more germs. Clean your phones carefully with a microfiber cloth and some alcohol. Use as little moisture as possible and take care not to get your phone wet.
10. Your Washing Machine
Your trusted washing machine accumulates germs whenever you don’t use hot water or bleach. Sanitize your washer twice a year by running an empty warm wash cycle with five cups of vinegar.
You’ll never get your home completely germ-free so don’t drive yourself crazy. When you sanitize trouble spots regularly, you’ll be keeping germs at a manageable, healthy level.