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14 Germiest places in your home — and when to clean them

Whitney Coy is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She writes frequently for SheKnows, as well as several other websites. She writes on topics including parenting, pets...

Find out the dirtiest places in your home, and how to get them clean

No matter how much you clean your house, there are probably a few spots that are just plain gross.

Some of these places may be germ-ridden due to the nature of their use, and some may just fall off your radar when you're completing your floor-to-ceiling cleaning list.

Either way, these 14 spots need your attention, pronto.

Find out the dirtiest places in your home, and how to get them clean

The solution

So now that you're thoroughly disgusted, what are you going to do about it? Follow these steps to disinfect those well-used but germ-filled items.

1. The kitchen sink

Food particles left in your sink are a major breeding ground for E. coli and salmonella. Those bacteria quickly spread to your food and hands, so it's important to knock them out, fast. Scrub your sink with a bleach-and-water solution at least once a day.

2. Counter tops

Unwashed produce and raw meat leave a nasty trail on your pretty counter tops. Wash your counter tops with hot, soapy water every time you use them for food prep, and use a bleach cleaner at least once a day.

3. Doorknobs

This category doesn't limit itself to knobs on doors. We're also talking about cabinet pulls and the temperature-control knobs on your stove. You touch these knobs all day long, oftentimes with less than clean hands. For most of the knobs, a weekly wipe-down with disinfecting wipes will work. If the knobs are removable, soak them in warm soapy once a week.

4. Remote control

How much time does this thing spend in someone's hand? How often is that hand alternating between the remote and a bag of chips? It's no wonder your remote control is crawling with germs. Wipe it off with a disinfecting wipe at least a couple times each week.

5. Toothbrush

Not only do you use your toothbrush and then put it away wet, but you probably store your toothbrush on the bathroom counter. Do you think everything in that toilet is contained in the bowl when you flush? Nope — it goes everywhere. Do yourself a favor and keep your toothbrush in the medicine cabinet if possible, replace it frequently and close the toilet lid before you flush.

6. Keyboard

You sit at your computer while you eat, while you're sick, and in between the rest of your daily tasks. Trust us, that keyboard is gross. Vacuum away the crumbs and use electronics-safe wipes to clean both the keyboard and the mouse. To avoid the mess in the first place, wash your hands frequently and keep the food away from your desk.

7. Cell phone

That thing is in your hands all day. It's no wonder it's germy. Electronics wipes are your best solution, but most disinfecting wipes will probably work — just check the label on the wipes to make sure they don't advise against it.

8. Dish towels

Your dish towels wipe up dirty messes and sit around damp on your counters all day. Change dish towels frequently, and wash the dirty ones in hot water.

9. Sponges

Sponges are even more gross than dish towels because you leave them sitting out soaking wet (hello, bacteria!) and use them for long periods of time. At least once a day, place your wet sponge in the microwave for two minutes to zap germs, and replace it at least every couple weeks. Even better, swap your sponge for a washable dishcloth.

10. Cutting boards

Cutting boards deal pretty strictly with raw foods, so they tend to gather a lot of bacteria. Wash your cutting boards well between uses in the dishwasher (but not the wooden ones!) or with hot, soapy water.

11. Light switches

Think about how many times you touch these each day without even realizing it. Now think about how often you clean them. Gross, right? Use a disinfecting wipe on all of these at least once a week, too.

12. Washing machine

How often do you put a load of clothes through the wash, and then let it sit for days hours? If those clothes sit for more than 30 minutes, they become a breeding ground for bacteria (and the clothes stay germy once they've finally been dried). If they've sat wet for too long, wash them again to disinfect both the clothes and the machine.

13. Coffee reservoir

If you clean your coffee reservoir regularly, you are the exception to the rule. Most people tend to forget about it, and that's pretty gross when you consider that it holds you water you use to make your morning coffee. At least once a month, fill the reservoir with white vinegar, let it sit for a half an hour, then run it through a brew cycle.

14. Pet bowls

You know these things get covered in animal drool, but how often do you clean them? Run them through the dishwasher or wash them in hot, soapy water at least once a week.

Find out the dirtiest places in your home, and how to get them clean

Sources: National Sanitation FoundationWeb MD, Healthline

This post was brought to you by Clorox.

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