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Dirty little secrets your home is holding

Christine Bryant is a freelance writer based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and daughter. She writes for SheKnows, as well as several other publications that include newspapers and magazines. She writes on topics such ...

What your home is hiding may surprise you

If asked what the dirtiest place in your home is, would you say the toilet or trash can? Surprise! Experts say there are actually places in your home that are much more horrifying.

Woman surprised by dirt hiding under the rug

What your home is hiding may surprise you

If asked what the dirtiest place in your home is, would you say the toilet or trash can? Surprise! Experts say there are actually places in your home that are much more horrifying.

Dirty little secrets are often reserved for trashy novels and daytime soap operas. But these dirty secrets also exist in your home — often in places you never knew. Here's some of the dirtiest and germiest secrets your home is holding.

Refrigerator

The refrigerator is where you hold the food your family eats, but scientists have found that the refrigerator's vegetable compartments are some of the dirtiest places in homes.

A study by NSF International, an independent organization that tests products and systems, found these compartments often contain salmonella, Listeria, yeast and mold.

The organization recommends always storing produce separately, and to avoid cross-contamination, separate ready-to-eat and unwashed produce. Produce should always be stored on a separate shelf above meat to avoid raw juices dripping onto the produce.

Blender gasket

blender

Although blender jars can easily be washed, the gaskets inside them are one of the dirtiest places in the home. Researchers have found many homes' blender gaskets contain salmonella, E. coli, yeast and mold.

Before washing, be sure to completely disassemble the jar, removing the blade and gasket before washing.

Refrigerator water dispenser

Love that water dispenser in your fridge? Researchers with NSF International have found that while the dispensers aren't the germiest locations in your home, they can contain yeast and mold — a significant concern for those with allergies.

Refrigerator manuals come with cleaning instructions and often recommend using a solution of vinegar and water.

Mold

Mold is a hidden secret that can cause major health problems for you and your family. The Minnesota Department of Health advises homeowners to check moist environments and to keep your sense of smell at work. Mold has an odor, so if you smell it, check for visible mold growth.

Mold can be hiding anywhere — on walls, ceilings, in carpet and woodwork, beneath wallpaper and under the sink. Check out tips to remove mold here.

Laundry

washing machine

You put laundry in the washer and then move onto another task — only to forget it. No problem, right? Wrong. Wet laundry left in your washer — even for a short period of time — can be fertile ground for germs.

If your laundry has sat in the washing machine for more than 30 minutes, rewash it, experts advise.

Bathroom

When cleaning the bathroom, the obvious hotspots are the toilet, shower and sink. But how often do you forget to clean the floor next to the toilet or even the handle?

And that toothbrush that you have sitting next to the toilet? Studies have shown that when a toilet is flushed, particles fly 6 to 8 feet — possibly reaching that nearby toothbrush. The American Dental Association recommends switching toothbrushes every two to three months and selecting brushes with translucent bristles. Studies show these types harbor 50 percent less microbes.

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