Something many of us hate to think about is the multitude of germs (virus, bacteria, and other yuck particles) hanging out in our homes on a regular basis. We don't want to think about the fact that we're sharing our living space with them, and we REALLY don't want to face the task of cleaning and sanitizing the germy areas in our homes. I hate to break it to you, folks, but these hygiene hotspots certainly aren't going to take care of themselves. With a little bit of effort and elbow grease, though, your house will be sparkling -- and sanitized -- in no time!
Common Household Hygiene Hotspots
Door Handles and Light Switches
Germs and bacteria always live and thrive on door knobs/handles and light switches,
because they are touched by multiple hands every single day -- especially in a busy household with many people coming and going. Also in this category are microwave oven handles, stove knobs, and refrigerator door handles. In order to cut down on the germs, we recommend wiping down all of these items with disinfecting wipes at least once a week.
Toilet Seats and Covers (and Other Bathroom Items)
The toilets in your home likely harbor many, many germs due to the nature of their job and because they meet up with all members of your household more than once a day. Keeping them clean and sanitized will require that you wipe them down with disinfectant wipes once a day in addition to giving them a good scrub (with an anti-bacterial cleaner of your choice) once a week. Another bathroom product to have on hand is an aerosol disinfectant spray that you can spray into the air and on surfaces once a day.
Other areas of your bathroom to watch out for are your towels and washrags, toothbrushes, drains, and faucets. As a general rule, it's a good idea to wash all towels and washrags at least once a week and to replace all toothbrushes every few months. When scrubbing your toilet every week, you can also give the faucets and drains on your sinks and showers a good scrub with a disinfecting product and a toothbrush or hard-bristled cleaning brush.
This next one is a no-brainer, especially if you have young kids in your home. Kids' toys often make their way into little mouths and dirty hands, so you'll want to be mindful of this when doing your weekly chores. Although it's a major pain to have to clean toys often, it will go a long way towards keeping your little ones healthy. Some toys can easily be wiped down with a disinfectant wipe (or a cloth sprayed with disinfectant). Others might need to run through the dishwasher or be washed by hand in the kitchen or bathroom sink.
The Kitchen Sink
Your kitchen sink, likely one of the most used and abused appliances in your home, sees a lot of bacteria and germs on a daily basis from grimy hands, food, and dishes.
In order to keep it clean and relatively free of germs, it's a good idea to scrub it down at the end of every day with a clean cloth and some disinfecting soap.
Cleaning Sponges, Cloths, and Rags
These next items are most often found in your kitchen and can hold and spread germs faster than we realize. Oftentimes, we fail to replace sponges and cleaning rags regularly and end up spreading -- rather than cleaning or preventing! -- germs. A quick tip for sanitizing your kitchen or bathroom sponges is to put them in your microwave when damp for about a minute. This will kill all bacteria and germs living on the sponges. You can also soak them (and any rags or cleaning cloths) in a quart of warm water with 1/2 teaspoon of bleach to quickly sanitize them.
Like door knobs and light switches, remote controls are a household item that likely see a lot of action every single day in a busy household with multiple inhabitants. Every time someone in the house turns on the television or changes the station, he or she leaves germs behind on the remote. We recommend that you quickly wipe down all remotes with a disinfecting wipe after doing your weekly sanitization routine of all household knobs and handles.
Carpet and Rugs
Many homeowners don't think about their carpet as something that needs to be sanitized, but in all actuality, it is one of the dustiest and dirtiest things in your home. This is especially true if you and your family members don't take your shoes off when entering the home. All carpets and rugs should be vacuumed at least once a week in order to keep the dust and grime to a minimum.
We hope this hygiene hotspot checklist helps to keep your home free of germs this Fall and Winter. Happy cleaning!