We all — well, most of us, anyway — try to keep our homes clean. And, in the midst of a particularly nasty flu season, now it’s more important than ever to protect ourselves from germs, dust, and anything else that might cause a cold or aggravate our symptoms. Sure, you wash your hands regularly, but that doesn’t mean everybody else does!
As much as we pride a healthy and neat home, there are plenty of spots that are often left neglected. When was the last time you cleaned under your appliances or sanitized your electronics? Read on to discover some places you probably haven’t cleaned in a while.
1. Toilet Handles & Toilet Paper Holders.
It’s easy to overlook these germ and bacteria hotspots in the bathroom. After all, they don’t get nearly as grimy as the rest of the room. But think about it — most people flush the toilet, and reach for toilet paper, before they’ve washed their hands! Add these to your regular bathroom cleaning regimen, and try to wipe them down after guests come over.
2. Washing Machines.
On laundry day, avoiding hot water and bleach is a great way to be more energy-efficient, eco-friendly and thrifty. But will cold water and non-bleach detergent kill germs? Not necessarily. Luckily, though, this isn’t an either/or decision. You can help the environment and your health, as long as you regularly clean your washing machine. Here’s a great tutorial on how to do just that.
You can also choose to skip the dryer. If you dry your clothes outside, the sun’s ultraviolet radiation helps kill germs. No bleach necessary!
3. Ceilings & Ceiling Fans.
Out of sight, out of mind? Dust buildup on ceilings can seriously aggravate allergy sufferers. Check the corners for cobwebs, seriously wipe down ceiling fans, and sweep the ceiling with a broom. The allergy prone may want to wear a mask, or cover their face with a bandanna, if the ceiling hasn’t been cleaned in a while.
4. Light Switches & Door handles.
These spots are especially important in cold and flu season. Light switches and door handles are some of the worst offenders when it comes to germs and bacteria, and don’t get the benefit of a good cleaning as often as they should. Clean light switches and door handles once or twice a week; spray your regular household cleaner on a cloth or paper towel, wipe, and then buff dry. Don’t forget to wipe down the front door handle and the door bell!
5. The Remote & Other Shared Electronics.
Television remotes, shared telephones, and computers are major germ and bacteria hotspots, but too many of us forget to, or are apprehensive about, cleaning them. To clean a remote, remove the batteries first. Use a cotton cloth dipped in a little rubbing alcohol to wipe down the remote. Then, with a q-tip that’s been soaked in the rubbing alcohol, clean around the buttons. Dry with a lint-free towel before reinstalling the batteries. Cleaning keyboards, phones, and other electronics follows the same general principles: remove the power source, gently clean with rubbing alcohol, wipe down with a lint-free towel, and reconnect.