Five of the Germiest Places in Your Home and How to Clean Them
There is no question that germs live everywhere. You can clean every square inch of everything and you still won't be able to avoid the inevitable. Some places where germs gather are pretty obvious, but there are some areas of your house that you probably don't even think of. These areas happen to be some of the germiest in your home.
5. Stove Knobs
Type of Germs: The knobs on your stove contain mold and yeast and are sometimes neglected when you clean this appliance. It's easy to miss them when your main focus, understandably, would be the stove top.
How to Clean: It is recommended that you remove each of the stove knobs weekly and wash them in hot soapy water. Then you simply let them air dry.
4. Coffee Makers
Type of Germs: It's not uncommon for this to miss a cleaning in between multiple uses, especially in offices. Even though it is used just for coffee, which is a hot liquid, doesn't mean it stays clean. A coffee maker/pot contains coliform*, mold, and yeast. It's not just the pot, it's the actual coffee maker in which you put your water in to be filtered into coffee.
How to Clean: A common disinfecting method is to add up to 4 cups of undiluted vinegar to the reservoir, let it stand for 30 minutes and run the vinegar through the unit. Run fresh water through the unit until the vinegar odor is gone. It’s a bit of a pain, but it works. Most manufacturers recommend cleaning every 40-80 brew cycles, or at least monthly.
3. Pet Bowls
Type of Germs: Just because your pet isn't human doesn't mean it's not susceptible to illness due to germs and bacteria. You are at risk as well every time you pick up the dogs water or food bowl to refill it. These bowls contain coliform, mold, and yeast.
How to Clean: Place bowls in a solution of one cap of bleach in 1 gallon of water and soak for about 10 minutes once a week.
2. Toothbrush Holder
Type of Germs: You may clean your toothbrush after every use, but do you clean the device used to hold those toothbrushes? Anything that drips from your toothbrush or standing water can be a cause for concern. These containers usually contain coliform, mold, yeast, and staph**. It is essential to your health to make sure these are clean.
How to Clean: Hand wash the holder with hot, soapy water, and clean with a disinfecting wipe once or twice a week. This will prevent those nasty germs spreading to your clean toothbrush when you put it into the holder.
1. Dish Sponges
Type of Germs: It doesn't take long for a dish sponge to start to look dirty and grimy. That's because it doesn't take long for it to become dirty and grimy. This is probably one of the most germy items in your home. It can contain high levels of coliform, mold, yeast, and staph.
How to Clean: This is an item you must clean DAILY. Yes, everyday you should give this cleaning utility extra attention. Microwave wet sponges at high heat for two minutes once per day—seriously, every day—and replace every two weeks. They are really not that expensive and will cost less than the doctor's bills required to treat bacterial infection.
[Source: NSF via Realtor.com]
*coliform - Coliforms are a broad class of bacteria found in our environment, including the feces of man and other warm-blooded animals. The presence of coliform bacteria in drinking water may indicate a possible presence of harmful, disease-causing organisms.
**staph - any of several spherical bacteria of the genus Staphylococcus,occurring in pairs, tetrads, and irregular clusters, certain species of which, as S. aureus, can be pathogenic for humans (It's really dangerous).
So don't put yourself or your family at risk. These everyday areas of your living space need to be tended to regularly. A little extra effort will pay off in the end.