Unless you have a maid following your family all day and night, germs will linger and party in your home between cleanings despite your best efforts. Let’s open up to a little more scrutiny when it comes to the familiar places that the dangerous germs like to hang out in your home.
Ready to get squeamish? Let me tell you about an NSF International study back in 2011. In this study, they found that your kitchen is crawling with Coliform bacteria. That would be the family of bacteria that includes Salmonella and E. coli if you were wondering. These food prep areas are full of germs!
Your kitchen sink is where you are rinsing all of the waste from your hands and dishes “before” you clean them. Much of what you are rinsing is food particles that are leaving behind the germs you washed off to fester and multiply. Just a spray bottle of bleach or hydrogen peroxide between uses makes a huge difference. Ditto for your countertops, knobs, and light switches!!
Your dish sponges and rags were the most significant contributors of bacteria, especially if left damp with limited opportunity to dry completely. You can easily sanitize them every couple of days by microwaving wet or boiling for 30 seconds.
Your coffee maker needs regular cleaning too. Just send 4 cups of vinegar (without coffee) through the cycle for proper cleaning.
The bathroom is a wonderfully warm and humid environment. It’s like a spa for your everyday germs, and boy do they enjoy a good party. You probably already think of the surfaces, like your sink, counter, toilet, and tub. However, don’t forget about the other favorite party spots.
Bath towels are home to many germs if not given ample opportunity to dry. Provide them a place that has proper ventilation so they may dry completely between uses. If you like to keep a hand towel by the sink, change it daily. It is the busiest germ towel in the room.
The NSF International study found that 27% of toothbrush holders contain Coliform bacteria. If your holder is on the bathroom sink right next to the toilet, consider moving it to a new location, and don’t forget to put it on the list for more frequent cleaning.
As the wee ones like to put everything in their mouth and don’t stress over anything sticky, they also want to spread it throughout all of their toys. The playroom is full of germy surfaces, so even if a surface doesn’t look dirty, wipe it anyway. If the playroom has too many toys to keep up, it may be time for a purge.
Wash your pet bowls daily with warm and soapy water. Clean their toys regularly too with hot soapy water or run their soft toys through the washing machine.
You’re not off of the hook just yet. Think of all the questionable things you may touch through the course of a typical day, then think of the things you would likely touch afterward. I’m talking about your keys, the TV remote, and your cell phone. So many times we may set these aside as we clean the surface underneath. Instead of moving them over, go ahead and show them some cleaning attention too.