We are reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Despite all the wishing in the world, COVID-19 hasn’t disappeared, and now, the cold and flu season approaches. Is it time to do a thorough fall house cleaning? While it won’t discourage all germs, a little sanitization in the biggest problem areas can help reduce the spread of common colds.
To get the most from your effort, you need to tackle the grimiest chores. Believe it or not, while you wouldn’t want to eat out of it, your toilet is often not infested with the highest number of pathogens. Here are 10 of the germiest places in your home to tackle with your disinfectant.
1. Your Television Remote
When was the last time you cleaned your television or smart stick remote? If you replied, “Um, never,” you aren’t alone. However, think about it — everyone in your home touches this bad boy, often without washing their hands first.
To do a thorough job, make like MacGuyver and gather a cloth, cotton swab, toothpick and rubbing alcohol. Remove the batteries and wipe the device down with the fabric and solution. Use a cotton swab to get between buttons and use a toothpick to pry loose any embedded taco sauce.
2. Your Light Switches
Your light switches likewise see a ton of touches from filthy hands. Fortunately, you don’t need a huge time commitment to keep these bad boys sanitary.
All you need is a container of EPA-approved cleaner for the novel coronavirus. A spray bottle means one spritz and your job is done — for now. For best germ-busting results, frequently disinfect, such as before going to bed.
3. Your Dish Sponge
If you have used the same dishwashing sponge for the past year, please toss it in the rubbish bin. No matter how diligent you are about cleaning them, you should pitch them every two to three weeks — they don’t cost much.
In between changes, keep your sponges cleaner by soaking them in a bleach solution for five minutes. If you are lazy, get a small container for your sponge, fill it with disinfecting liquid and plunk the germy thing within when not in use.
4. Your Pet’s Food Bowls
Would you eat dinner out of a bowl that you did nothing but rinse for weeks? Of course, you wouldn’t — why do so to your pets?
Instead of merely refilling their bowls, take the time to wash them between feedings with warm, soapy water. Please do the same for their water, especially for kitties, who will avoid a dirty container and risk dehydration.
5. Your Countertops
Think of all you put on your countertops. It isn’t just raw chicken — your kids toss backpacks there, and you deposit keys and junk mail. Some grocery stores still disallow cloth bags because they might carry germs — why allow the practice in your home without sanitizing?
At a minimum, you should disinfect countertops every day, but you might want to go further on occasion. Always wipe down after handling raw meat — food poisoning is no joke.
6. Your Air Filters
Have you been maintaining your HVAC system? Now’s the time. Air filters should be replaced on a regular basis in order to keep the system working properly. 90 days is a decent rule of thumb, but if pet hair and other pollutants are floating around, aim to be even more frequent.
Bacteria and viruses can build up in your indoor air. Another way to breathe more comfortably is to add houseplants. According to NASA research, your ficus can clean toxins like formaldehyde and benzene.
7. Your Bath Towels
The Cleaning Institute suggests washing your bath towels twice a week — toss them in with the laundry if you do loads that frequently. If you live solo, make sure you have a few extras to rotate use.
Why? Bacteria and viruses can accumulate due to moisture. As a bonus, your skin might clear up when you get tidier. Acne-causing germs won’t transfer to your face after you cleanse.
8. Your Faucet
Your toilet handle gets plenty germy — but your faucet sees just as much nastiness. Think about it — after going number two, you have to grab the tap to wash your hands.
Fortunately, these take little time to clean. Dry them thoroughly and wipe or spray thoroughly with a disinfectant solution. You might want to keep a container under your sink for speedy cleanups.
9. Your Bathtub
Where there’s moisture, there are germs. The water that remains in your bathtub can breed bacteria. Fortunately, it’s a snap to sanitize.
All you need to do is put in the stopper, fill the tub with an inch or so of water and add a cup of bleach. Let it sit for five minutes and drain.
10. Your Carpet
Your rug may, well, roll out the red carpet for germs. As a porous surface that’s challenging to clean, pathogens can work their way into the nap. When your 2-year-old rolls around on the floor, illness can result.
The best way to keep your floors cleaner is to remove your shoes when you enter your home. Put a shoe rack by your front door as a visual reminder. Otherwise, nastiness like fecal matter transfers from sidewalks to your feet — and then, your home.
Shampooing or steam cleaning helps kill some germs — tackle this chore at least twice a year. If the maintenance becomes cumbersome, consider replacing rugs with hardwood or tile. As a bonus, it makes kitty-vomit clean-up a snap.
Make Sure to Clean the Germiest Places in Your Home
With cold and flu season on the way, fall is always a good time of year to sanitize your home. Please clean the germiest places in your home and enjoy improved health and a little more peace of mind.