Ick ! 7 Germ-y Spots Around Your Home
It’s that time of year when we’re sharing more than each others’ company – We’re sharing germs!
Read ahead for 7 places where those pesky germs hide within your home and what you can do to help eliminate them and have a healthier Fall and Winter. (Thank you United Healthcare for sharing these tips.)
Check out what may need a good cleaning now
So you might have a guess or two about where germs tend to lurk in homes. See a few hot spots below — some may surprise you.
Prime places for germs
Of course, there are lots of objects, nooks and crannies in the average home that may harbor germs. In fact, there are too many to mention here. So, let’s focus on a few that you won’t want to miss.
Make a habit of regularly cleaning these items to reduce your exposure to germs, including those that can cause illness.
1. Kitchen sponges and dishcloths. They pick up germs and spread them. Since they’re often damp, they’re also perfect breeding grounds for bacteria.
Quick tips: You can actually zap a wet sponge in the microwave for one to two minutes to kill germs — or run it through the dishwasher. Use clean dishcloths or paper towels. Wash dish towels and rags in the hot cycle of your washing machine.
Quick tips: Scrub toothbrush holders with hot soapy water. If you use a cup or other freestanding holder, put it through the dishwasher once or twice a week on the hot cycle.
3. Pet bowls and toys. You don’t want to fetch bacteria, yeast and mold during playtime.
Quick tips: Wash bowls and hard toys with hot soapy water. If you have hard water that calcifies in the bowls, fill the bowls with white vinegar and let them sit on the counter for awhile. Scrub them out and refill with clean, safe drinking water for your pet. Toss soft toys in your washing machine on a hot cycle. And always wash your hands after playing with household pets — especially before eating.
Quick tips: Clean counter tops with hot soapy water, especially before and after preparing food. After each use, wash cutting boards. To avoid cross contamination, always use separate cutting boards for fresh produce and raw meat, poultry or fish.
5. Knobs and handles. Items people touch frequently tend to get germ-y.
Quick tips: Clean doorknobs, toilet handles, faucets, etc., often with hot soapy water or disinfecting wipes — especially if someone in the household is ill.
Quick tips: Follow the manufacturer’s directions for your coffee maker. Most advise cleaning every 40 to 80 brew cycles — or at least monthly.
7. Finally, the kitchen sink. It’s last, but certainly not least. The sink can harbor germs from all sorts of sources, from dirty sponges to grimy pans.
Quick tips: Wash the sides and bottom regularly with hot, soapy water. And don’t overlook the strainer in the drain— clean it too.
You can also use a mild water-bleach solution* or other sanitizing solution to clean some items, such as sinks, counter tops, cutting boards and pet items. Rinse in clean water — and dry.
*Use 1 tablespoon unscented, liquid chlorine bleach in 1 gallon of water. A safety note: Never use a bleach cleaner with an ammonia cleaner. It can form a deadly gas.