The 6 Germiest Things in Your Home (And How to Clean Them)

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By: Heather Boag
Published: February 6, 2014
Last Update: February 6, 2023

It’s flu season.  While those around you are falling helplessly into bed with a fever and chills, we want to help you do everything you can to stay healthy.  Of course, your Mom’s advice – getting to bed in good time, washing your hands regularly, and drinking plenty of water – is important to remember.  But when it comes to your home, we’ve got a few tips to ensure you’re getting rid of unwanted germs, keeping you and your family healthy.  Read our tips below to learn how to get rid of germs on some of the dirtiest things in your home: the dirtiest places in your home

1. The Kitchen Sponge

Despite popular opinion, often it’s the kitchen that’s the dirtiest room in a house – not the bathroom.  And the kitchen sponge that we use to clean our dishes is the worst offender.  That’s because a sponge should be disinfected frequently – ideally after each use – to kill leftover food particles and bacteria.  You can disinfect a sponge by soaking it in water and heating it in the microwave for one or two minutes, or by carefully pouring boiling water over it.  Before using it next, give the sponge a rinse with cool water. germ2

2. The Kitchen Counter

Since this is where we prepare our food, it’s important to give the kitchen counter some extra special cleaning attention.  Wiping it with your regular cleaning sponge means that you’re probably just spreading germs around.  Instead, wipe off disinfectant with a fresh paper towel to ensure your counter doesn’t just look clean, but actually is. germ3

3. The Door handles

Door handles are touched constantly by your family and visitors to your home, but they're rarely actually cleaned - making them the perfect places for germs to hang out, and be spread around your home.  Whatever room you're cleaning, it's not complete until you've disinfected the door handle, too. germ4

4. The Toilet Handle and Bathroom Faucets

These are the first things that people touch after they use the toilet, however, the toilet handle and bathroom faucets are often not given the same attention when cleaning as the actual toilet itself.  Remember to regularly give your toilet handle and bathroom faucets a good clean to stop the spreading of germs. germ5

5. The Electronics


Your household gadgets, like the TV Remote, computer mouse and keyboard, your smartphone and your tablet, are some of the dirtiest things in your home!  Remember the last time you gave them a clean?  Yeah, we don’t either.  That’s the problem.  Get rid of unwanted germs by cleaning these sensitive devices with a simple, non-toxic cleaning agent.  Mix a tablespoon of rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) with a tablespoon of water, and dip in a clean paper towel to use as a wipe. germ6

6. The Dog’s Toys

You may think your dog’s mouth is cleaner than yours, but that’s not necessarily the case.  Fido’s favorite toys can hold plenty of germs – and when you’re picking them up off the floor, those germs are getting all over your hands.  When your puppy’s asleep, use a disinfectant on rubber toys, or put them in the dishwasher.  Cloth toys can be washed in the washing machine. germ7

We’re all guilty of forgetting about some of these often-overlooked household items when it comes time to clean.  However, taking a few extra minutes to give things a thorough wipe can stop the spread of germs and help to keep you and your family healthy.