via Andrew Howard
There’s no denying it: the world is a dirty, dirty place. And unfortunately, your home is no exception. Even if you consider yourself a clean freak, germs and bacteria are sneaky little pests that can weasel their way into the most intimate of spaces despite your best efforts. Don’t believe us? It’s time to check the facts.
In the spirit of spring cleaning, we’ve assembled a list of gross home facts that will scare you into finally tackling the tidying, scrubbing and scouring that your home needs. Read on if you dare!
Related Article: The Lazy Person’s Guide to Keeping a Clean Home
It’s obvious that your toilet bowl needs to be cleaned regularly, but what if we told you there’s something else in your home that’s even dirtier? Your kitchen sink! Food from cooking and dirty plates builds up stealthily and breeds dangerous bacteria. In a recent study, the National Sanitation Foundation found that more than 75% of dish sponges and rags contained traces of Salmonella, E. Coli and even fecal matter (gag!).
Wash your kitchen sink with soap and water once daily, and disinfect it with a bleach and water mixture once a week. Put damp sponges in the microwave for one minute after each use to kill bacteria, and periodically soak them in a quart of warm water and half a teaspoon of bleach.
Okay, name the items in your home that you touch for hours on end, have sneezed on, eat around, and leave out in the open for debris to land on and fester.
Your electronics! According to the NSF, your computer and remote controls can house health-hazardous bacteria like yeast, mold, and staph. Since you can’t necessarily throw these toys in the wash, what do you do to bid bacteria bye-bye?
Develop the habit of washing your hands before using your computer or touching your remotes. Be mindful of not getting crumbs on your keyboard while eating, and periodically wipe down the keys and the buttons of your remotes with alcohol or bleach wipes.
Risky Bathroom Regions
Probably less surprising, but equally as gross is your bathtub. It’s no wonder that the basin in which you scrub the dirt and grime off your body gets pretty dirty and grimy itself. And while we’re in the bathroom, you should know that the walls around your toilet garner copious amounts of germs, and so do those bath mats.
After a bath, return the favor by cleaning the tub. Disinfect it with bleach or bathroom cleaner and be sure to dry it afterwards with a towel—lingering water breeds mold, fungi and staph. Wash the walls around your toilet with a deep cleaner and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping away with a damp cloth. Launder your bath mats in hot water with bleach once a week. Lazy Girl Cleaning Tip: Opt for wooden bath mats for an easier clean.
Handles, Switches, and Knobs—Oh, My!
Anything in your home that you touch repeatedly with your hands is unequivocally nasty. Drawer handles, light switches, and door knobs have gnarly levels of grime given how much we grab, push, and pull them. And while many assume the bathroom doorknob would be the dirtiest, the NSF studies proved others throughout the home are even more contaminated.
Wipe, wipe, and wipe some more. Use disinfectant and microfiber towels on these little guys several times a week.
That Ain’t No Fairy Dust…
If only eligible bachelors collected on your doorstep the way dust collects in your kitchen cabinets…Alas, your stoop remains vacant and there’s debris in the good china. Dust build-up doesn’t discriminate: no surface is too high or too obscure.
Be sure to dust surfaces from the highest to the lowest and then vacuum. Your vacuum’s brush attachment is your new secret weapon for picking up dust and crumbs lurking in crevices. For dusting that pesky ceiling fan, use a pillow case by slipping it on each of the blades one by one and wiping. Rub down wooden surfaces with a mixture of equal parts lemon oil and vinegar.
Carpets, sheets, pillows…we’re doomed. According to Chem Dry, a carpet can hold up to eight times its weight in dirt and debris. Pillows and sheets aren’t much better, breeding allergens and fungi as we drool and sweat up to one liter per night.
Launder and bleach your bedding regularly on high heat and consider using anti-allergen covers for your pillows.