As much as we’d all like to live in a completely sterile environment, it’s just not possible or particularly helpful. A certain number of bacteria is healthy as it helps us to build up immunity. However, there are some germs that we definitely don’t want to find in our homes, the kind that make us ill, including salmonella, E. coli, staphylococcus and mold! Here are the top spots you need to pay extra attention to, places that are often overlooked but can be the germiest!
#1 Door, Cupboard and Appliance Knobs
It’s so easy to forget about these but every day, many hands are grabbing these to open doors, cupboards and appliances such as fridges and dishwashers. Most housework won’t include wiping down knobs with antibacterial cloths or even removing knobs and washing in warm, soapy water. It’s a good idea to include these as part of your routine, even if it’s just once a week.
#2 Laptop and Computer Keyboards
Whether at home or work, a keyboard is touched a lot and often by multiple family members, colleagues or friends. Keyboards can harbor mold, yeast and staph bacteria so a daily wipe with disinfectant is a must, especially if someone at your workplace or home has been unwell recently with a virus. Keep some electronic safe wipes next to the keyboard and encourage everyone who uses it to wipe it down before and after use.
#3 Remote Controls
The same thing applies to remote controls. They are handled daily by multiple people and how often do they get a wipe down? Bacteria can thrive on such surfaces and the same goes for video game controllers, that are also held for long periods of time. Keep some wipes nearby and give them an occasional clean.
#4 Sockets and Switches
Electrical sockets and light switches are touched many times a day by many people but can you remember the last time you cleaned them? If the answer to that is no, then grab some wipes and get to it, at least once a week for those heavy traffic areas.
If you use a sponge for the dishes or in the bath, think about where it’s left when you’ve finished with it and when was the last time you replaced it? They sit on the side, still wet and become an absolute haven for germs! Most of us also use them for way longer than we should. Did you know you can heat your sponge in the microwave for two minutes to blast it clean? A bath sponge should also be ‘zapped’ and replaced every fortnight.
#6 Cell Phone
Most of us need to admit that we spend too long holding our phone, playing games, texting and checking social media. For something that is held so often and left on desks, counter tops and all manner of places – it needs to be included in the germ hotspot list. Both disinfectant and electronic wipes will work just fine and it’ll only take a second.
#7 Counter Tops
We prepare food on them, unwashed and raw so counter tops are a breeding ground for nasty bacteria, especially when handling raw meat. Your tops should be washed down every time you prepare food and a strong cleaner should be applied once a day to ensure you’re not cross-contaminating food and leaving germs to grow.
#8 Pet Bowls
Another easy item to overlook, pet bowls are often left with food remains and animal saliva, creating a lovely spot for germs to take root. Leaving food out can also attract unwanted pests, such as mice and flies. Most bowls are dishwasher safe or was with hot, soapy water at least once a week. Discard of any leftover food straight away.
#9 Kitchen Sink
Salmonella and E. coli love nothing more than hanging out in the dark, damp and warm confines of your sink and drain. If food is left in the sink then the germs can quickly end up on your hands and food so zap them before they zap you. Your sink should be scrubbed with a bleach and water cleaner once a day for ultimate protection.
Our busy lives mean that we tend to grab stuff we need on the go, slam the fridge door shut and forget all about it. If you think about the amount of times you open and shut the fridge during one day and the food that comes and goes, you realise that it could probably do with a more regular clean! Food particles will be attracting bacteria which can easily transfer onto other food stuffs on the same shelf. Give it a good wipe down once a week with disinfectant.
Now this is pretty gross but what do you touch to wash your hands after using the toilet? Yes, faucets in the bathroom are touched with potentially dirty hands, many times a day and possibly by multiple family members. For this reason, you’ll want to make sure you include all faucets in your cleaning regime. Using disinfectant wipes makes it a simple job and if every day is expecting a bit much, then at least once a week.
#12 Wet Laundry
We’ve all left wet laundry in the washing machine for a little too long after a wash but it takes just 30 minutes for bacteria to start growing. Even when dry, the clothes retain these germs so if you’ve left them for a while, your best bet is to wash them again which will disinfect the machine and garments. Nobody likes the thought of putting something next to their skin which has germs growing on it!