Every day we disinfect certain areas, surfaces and objects in our homes, to remove bacteria and germs, and lessen the spread of infections. However, some objects are easier to forget while cleaning the house. Some objects are touched or used multiple times a day. These ‘high touch’ items get dust, dirt, and germs built up without you noticing. Here are 11 things in your home that you may need to pay more attention to when cleaning your home to keep you and your family safe from germs and illness. Take a look at our other cleaning tips for areas of your home that may need to be cleaned.
- Kitchen handles
- Toothbrush holder
- Computer accessories
- Bannisters and door knobs
- Light switches
- Ice cube trays
- Water bottles
- Kitchen sponges, cutting boards, and dish towels
- TV remotes, phones, and electronics
1. Kitchen Handles
When making dinner in the kitchen, you’re probably constantly opening the fridge, and touching other handles. If these handles are left unclean, the fridge, freezer and oven handles can become big attractions for germs and bacteria. Scrub kitchen cupboard and appliance handles at least once a week, or right after preparing food with dirty hands. You can wipe them down with a cloth, a disinfectant spray, or a simple mix of 1 part hot water and 1 part white vinegar.
2. Toothbrush Holder
Although a toothbrush is used every day, your toothbrush holder probably isn’t much cleaner. An easy way to clean it is by placing the toothbrush holder into the dishwasher once a week or cleaning by hand with hot water and soap. During flu season, it’s recommended that you regularly clean toothbrushes too. This can be done by boiling the toothbrushes in water for 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Computer Accessories
Have you ever thought about the number of times you have coughed, sneezed, or blown your nose in front of the computer? Do you remember the last time you cleaned your computer keyboard and mouse? Probably not. Disinfect your desk and office items with disinfectant wipes to remove bacteria and prevent the spread of germs in your office. You can also remove your keyboard and mouse from the computer, dip a soft toothbrush in soapy water, and gently scrub each item. Read here if you want to know how to clean a mousepad.
4. Bannisters And Door Knobs
Regularly wipe down bannisters to avoid the spread of pathogens. For wooden bannisters, use a microfiber cloth dampened with a mixture of hot water and vinegar, or hot water and dish soap. Wipe dry with a polishing cloth, and for door knobs, you can follow the same procedure.
5. Light Switches
Unwashed hands touch light switches multiple times each day. They are easy to clean, with a disinfectant spray or a cloth lightly dampened with hot water and vinegar. Don’t forget to wipe them dry with a polishing cloth.
6. Ice Cube Trays
Ice cube trays are easy to refill for months without a second thought. These trays are susceptible to food residue and odours inside the freezer. It’s a good idea to clean plastic ice cube trays regularly. Every time the ice trays are empty, wash them with hot water and dish soap before refilling. Many can also be placed at the top rack of your dishwasher.
7. Water Bottles
Before you take another sip from your reusable plastic water bottle, let it soak in the sink for 5 to 10 minutes. Then use a bottle brush to scrub inside. For the mouthpiece, use a toothpick to get to the grime inside, then rinse the entire bottle thoroughly.
Taps are surprisingly one of the grimiest things in your home. Scrub the tap handles daily with hot water and dish soap, or disinfect them with a disinfectant spray. For stuck-on stains and watermarks, create a paste of baking soda and vinegar, then apply it to the taps and leave it to sit for a few minutes, followed by a rinse with warm water.
9. Kitchen Sponges, Cutting Boards, And Dish Towels
Cleaning and sanitising are crucial for the kitchen where food is prepared. All surfaces and utensils must be cleaned with soap and water before and after making food. Wipe down appliances, cutting boards, and utensils – this helps to prevent cross contamination that can take place between the cutting boards and surfaces and can cause food poisoning. Tea towels must be washed regularly in a high wash and dry setting. Sponges need to be replaced frequently as they become wet and porous. They are the best home for germs to build up and multiply.
10. TV Remotes, Phones, And Electronics
Remote controls and electronics are touched numerous times daily, causing a build-up of grime and germs. Some electronics, like smartphones, come into close contact with your face and ears, all of which are infection gateways. It has been proven that our cell phones can harbour 10 times the germs of a toilet seat.
Remote controls must be cleaned with a vacuum to remove dust and wiped down with a dry cloth, then wiped again with a disinfectant wipe. When cleaning electronics, be sure to unplug them, then you can follow the same cleaning method as for disinfecting a remote. Make sure that you have wrung out most of the moisture from a wipe before you wipe electronics to prevent moisture from leaking into the cracks and damaging them.
Read here to learn how to clean a TV screen.
As we spend a third of our lives in bed, it’s important that bedding and mattresses are cleaned and disinfected regularly. The best time to clean your mattress is on a warm sunny day to ensure it dries all the way through, and exposure to the sun is the best way for your mattress to be rid of bacteria. Read here to learn how to clean a mattress.
- When cleaning or disinfecting, always wear disposable or reusable gloves to protect your hands.
- Remember to clean surfaces before disinfecting.
- Use cleaning instructions on the labels of cleaning products.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- If possible, have ill family members use different bedrooms and bathrooms.
Cleaning surfaces and objects in your home is vital to prevent the spread of germs and sickness amongst you and your loved ones. Ensure that you regularly clean items that come into contact with many hands. And, don’t forget to read the precautions on cleaning products and solutions before using them.
If your home needs a deep clean, book with SweepSouth for your home to be professionally deep cleaned, for the build-up of germs and bacteria to be cleaned from your home and other things that you may have forgotten.