Even if you already spend too much of your time cleaning the obvious things, such as the toilet, kitchen sink and floors, you might not realize that there are other things around your home collecting dirt and grime as well. These items might not look dirty, but they could in fact be teeming with germs. The next time you are cleaning, add a few of these items to your to-do list.
Toothbrushes are responsible for getting all of the bacteria and food particles off of your teeth. If the toothbrush itself does not get cleaned, those germs will go right on multiplying on the bristles. To clean your toothbrush, fill a glass with white vinegar and put your toothbrush in it for about 15 minutes. Rinse the brush with cold water thoroughly (vinegar + toothpaste = not pleasant).
- Dust Pans and Brooms
Dust pans and brooms collect all the dirt, cobwebs and dust from the floor. Sticky residue can cause the gunk to get stuck in the broom’s bristles and on the dust pan after cleaning and sweeping corners and hard to reach spots. Unscrew the broom head and place it and the dust pan in the dishwasher for a regular cycle. You can also stick the toilet brush in there. Don’t put any dishes in there with them, obviously!
- TV Remotes
If everybody’s sticky and dirty fingers are touching the remote, it can become a breeding grounds for all of the viruses and bacteria you can think of. You can get the bigger particles of gunk out of the buttonholes with an old toothbrush. A can of spray air will also do the trick. You can also use a well squeezed disinfectant wipe to kill the germs on the surface.
- Reusable Shopping Bags
The drippy raw chicken breasts, stinky onions and leaky package of fish can all make your reusable shopping totes a big, smelly mess. Not to mention the germ build up. Launder the fabric shopping bags in a hot cycle in the washing machine and then in the dryer or hang them on a clothesline in the sunshine. For plastic reusable shopping totes, turn them inside out and spray them down with a 10% bleach solution. Allow the bags to sit out in the sun and air dry.
- Light Globes
The glass globes around light fixtures such as pendant and ceiling fan lights tend to collect dead bugs and lots of dust. Remove the glass and wash it in your dishwasher just like any other dish!
- Reusable Straws
Reusable water bottles, sippy cups and thermoses are a great way to reduce waste and save money. A small pipe cleaner from the arts and crafts supply store will get out the gunk from the straws. Run them through the dishwasher standing up on a peg to finish off any germ build up.
- Vacuum Filters
Vacuums with high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters tend to get dirty quickly. Slip the filter out and put it into your dishwasher for a regular cycle. Feel free to pop the HEPA filter in along with your dust pan, broom head and light globes for maximum efficiency!
- Smartphones and iPads
Your smartphone and iPad could be covered with all sorts of germs and residue. To clean them, spray a microfiber cloth with a multipurpose cleaner. Rub the cloth on the device’s screen. Eye glass cleaner pads also work wonders on these devices, leaving them streak free and disinfected.
- Shower Poufs
Each time you run your shower pouf across your skin, it picks up dead skin cells. This debris is a great place for bacteria to grow. Once per week, soak your bath pouf in a solution of 10% bleach. Rinse it thoroughly in cold water and then it is ready to be used again.
- Bath Toys
If your kids like to play with rubber duckies and boats in the bathtub, chances are that the toys will get moldy and dirty. Once per week, take out the toys and soak them in vinegar for 30 minutes and then rinse thoroughly and let air dry.