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Dirtiest Places in your home

Kitchen: Sink Area

Raw meat, raw fish, what’s left of dinner — the sink has plenty of growing bacteria. Give it a scrub with baking soda, then follow up with a white vinegar soak. Add a few tablespoons of vinegar to warm water, or place vinegar-saturated paper towels in the sink for 15 minutes to completely sanitize.

Kitchen: Coffee Maker Reservoir

Your morning cup of joe may have more than caffeine in it. It may also be full of microbes. That’s because the water reservoir on your coffeemaker is an incubator of germs that will make you sick - staph, strep, and the one everybody dreads, E. coli. Remove the reservoir once a month and wash it with hot, soapy water. Flush it with vinegar regularly to clean it.

Kitchen: Garbage Can

You take your trash out every day, but you need to clean the garbage can, too. The typical garbage bin has 411 germs per square inch living on it and in it. To give you an idea how dirty that is, a toilet seat has 295 germs per square inch. Bust the bacteria by wiping the outside of the can down with a hot, soapy sponge once a week. Once a month, take the can outside, spray the interior with a mix of bleach and water, and hose it out.

Kitchen: Refrigerator Handle

Germs can live on refrigerator handles for at least two days. Apply a small amount of dishwashing soap to a damp microfiber cloth to wipe away bacteria. Avoid using bleach or other harsh cleaners to prevent chemicals from getting in your food.

Kitchen: Cutting Boards

A clean cutting board is important since you place food directly on it. Using soap can wear down a wooden board, but vinegar will gently disinfect it. Scrub with a baking soda paste and salt for a deep clean.

Kitchen: Sponge

If the kitchen sponge smells, that's proof that it's harboring bacteria. Place a wet sponge into the microwave for a minute and a half to kill bugs, or run it through the dishwasher (and replace it regularly).

Kitchen: Garbage Disposal

The garbage disposal can also produce a foul odor if not cleaned regularly. Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain followed by a cup of vinegar. Let the mixture bubble for a few minutes; then pour a bucket of hot water down the drain to rinse. Grind half a lemon in the disposal for extra cleaning power and a fresh scent.

Family Room: Stair Railing

Lots of hands touch the stair railing, so, of course, the usual suspects live there: E. coli, staph, and viruses. Wipe it down once a month with a disinfecting cleaner. Clean it more often if someone in your family is sick or you have guests. Because company brings germs.

Living Room: Remote Control

Everyone touches the remote, often times while snacking. Use a cotton swab dampened with rubbing alcohol to clean germs without damaging delicate buttons. Tip: Use disinfectant wipes to clean the remote in a hotel room.

Bedroom: Mattress

This is going to keep you up at night: Your mattress is full of dead skin cells and dust mites that eat your dead skin cells. There’s also sweat, stains from the coffee you spilled when you had breakfast in bed, and other icky things. Clean your mattress every six months. Vacuum it, spot clean stains, and take it outside to air out because UV rays kill bacteria.

Bathroom: Toothbrush

Water alone won't sanitize months of growing bacteria. Put your toothbrush in the dishwasher, or use a UV cleaner for 10 minutes to get rid of bacteria.

Bathroom: Shower Curtain

Getting rid of mold on your shower curtains is easier than you think. Spray plastic shower curtain liners with a 1:1 mixture of vinegar and water, and run fabric curtains through the washing machine once a month.

Bathroom: Walls

Nobody wants to think about it, but when you flush with the toilet lid open, nearby surfaces get contaminated. Your favorite all-purpose spray or hydrogen peroxide is a simple solution to this nasty problem.

Home Office: Computer Keyboard

You touch your face. You type an email. You reach for your lunch. You type a report. You get the idea. To clean your computer's keyboard, unplug it first. Next, gently wipe with a 1:1 mixture of rubbing alcohol and water, but make sure not to get your keyboard too wet.

Every Room: Light Switches

Light switches are one of the dirtiest items in your home, which results in an abundance of germs. To clean, spray a cloth with all-purpose cleaner or a 1:1 mixture of vinegar and water. Gently wipe the faceplate and switch.

Every Room: Pet Toys

Your pup’s toys can be loaded with staph, yeast, and mold. All that drool and dirt can make a squeak toy a germ’s paradise. Keep the ick away by washing hard toys regularly with hot, soapy water. Throw the soft toys in the washer once a month. And when they get really gross? Throw them out and get your dog child new toys.


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