Think you have a clean home? Think again. While you might feel like you’re on top of your weekly clean, chances are you’re skipping over a few germ-harbouring surfaces.
It’s a fact: Germs can make you sick. Your immune system does a great job at protecting you against most everyday nasties, but there are a ton of different germs out there that are eager to get hold of you. Viruses — those nasty bugs that cause gastro — are experts at mutating into things your body doesn’t recognise, taking your immune system by surprise.
But now it’s time to beat them once and for all by giving these five uncommon surfaces a good clean.
Did you know that most people only clean out their fridge once or twice a year? Yuk! While you may have the latest mould-fighting model, a dirty fridge can spread germs faster than a sneeze on a crowded train.
To keep your fridge sparkling and germ-free, make sure your food is stored properly — put the meat on the bottom shelf and put all leftovers in a sealed container — and throw out anything past its use-by date once a week.
It’s a good idea to wipe down the outside of your fridge once a week too and remember to pay particular attention to the handles. Use an all-purpose cleaner that has an antibacterial agent to help prevent germs from spreading.
Finally, once a month you should take everything off the shelves and give them a wipe down to clear up any missed spills.
Hate cleaning? Find out how to keep your home clean in 10 minutes a day >>
Knobs, handles and switches
Your home might be clean but after a day out in the big wide world, you might not be! The first thing you do when you get home is open the door and switch on a light — but when was the last time you cleaned any of the doorknobs, handles or switches in your home?
Bust those germs right now by wiping over any knobs and switches with an all-purpose cleaner and a soft cloth. Change the cloth after a few wipes to help prevent any unwanted germs from spreading.
The TV control
The TV remote, your home-office keyboard and mouse and your smartphone are all common germ-harbouring surfaces that may be missed in your regular cleaning schedule. In fact, according to microbiologist Dr. Charles Gerba of the University of Arizona, the average office desk has 400 times more bacteria on it than a toilet seat.
Make sure you clean these surfaces each week by wiping them with an antibacterial cleaner such as Mr Muscle All Purpose Cleaner.
Blinds, curtains and rugs
If you or members of your family regularly get the snuffles, it could be less to do with hayfever than you think.
While dust mites are harmless to most people, they can cause allergic reactions in asthmatics and others who are allergic to their faeces.
Floor and window coverings are a major reservoir for indoor and outdoor allergens and while you might be vacuuming regularly, how often have you cleaned your curtains and blinds over the last 12 months?
Keep on top of dust mites by washing curtains once every few months, wiping down blinds every month with an all-purpose cleaner, and vacuuming area rugs — both front and back — at least once a week.
The kitchen sink
You just washed up in it so it’s clean, right? Wrong.
Food particles from plates left to soak or rinsed from dishes prior to washing them are excellent breeding grounds for bacteria such as E. Coli and salmonella. Rinsing your sink with water after you’ve cleaned up is like flushing your toilet — the germs might not be visible, but they’re still there.
Try to clean your sink once a day by washing it with an antibacterial all-purpose cleaner. Remove the drain plug and wash it too, as well as any sink strainers you may be using.