How many of these bacterial hot spots do you clean on a regular basis?

| By Rachael Thompson | Journal

10 Spots in Your Home You May Be Forgetting to Clean

How many of these bacterial hot spots do you clean on a regular basis?

We all clean our homes regularly, making sure to wipe down kitchen benches after cooking, scrub the toilet, vacuum floors, and put away laundry. But even the most meticulous cleaner can accidentally overlook certain areas of the home and these spots can become little hubs for bad bacteria to thrive.

If you're already cleaning the below 10 spots regularly, kudos to you! And if not, you'd be forgiven. If you fall into the latter category, consider adding these easy-to-miss areas to your usual tidy-up routine or when you're getting stuck into a deep cleaning session.

1. Ceiling fans

Because they're high and out of reach, your ceiling fans can become a breeding ground for dust. They can accumulate a thick layer on their blades and once you turn them on all of that dust goes flying throughout the house. Aim to give them a clean once every month to prevent this.

2. Knobs and buttons on kitchen appliances

Cleaning our kitchen typically involves wiping down appliances and surfaces, but many of us don't even think to clean all of the knobs, buttons, and handles we touch while cooking. Given we're handling food in this space and it's a high-contact zone, ignoring these areas makes them a hotspot for harbouring unpleasant bacteria.

3. Light switches

Another high-contact area is all of the light switches we flick on and off. The safest way to clean these is with a paper towel or microfibre cloth dampened with a disinfectant cleaner.
You should never spray or wipe a detergent, disinfectant solution, or water directly on light switches.

4. Toothbrush holder

We all know the importance of replacing our toothbrushes every 3-4 months, but few of us ever think about the importance of keeping our toothbrush holder clean. If you're not thoroughly drying your toothbrush after each wash, it's left damp in the holder. This liquid can drip down the handle of the toothbrush collecting germs along the way and pool in the bottom of the holder. The result? A dirty and germ-filled toothbrush holder – not ideal.

5. Door handles

Like your light switches, you use your door handles so regularly that you almost just forget they exist and don't bother cleaning them. But because they get used so often, they are easily one of the dirtiest areas of the home. You can stick to disinfecting them once every few weeks, but the bathroom and kitchen ones could use a clean once a week, particularly if you or someone else has been unwell in the home.

6. Mattress

If you've never vacuumed your mattress you're not alone. Though often ignored, vacuuming your mattress is essential to keeping it clean as it's a hotbed for dust mites, dead skin, and allergens. Consumer Reports recommends giving your mattress a clean every six months.

7. The top of the fridge

Perhaps when we look at our fridges we're distracted by the contents within, joinery is in the way, or most of us just simply never think to look, but the top of this appliance is an easy area to neglect. This spot can harbour dust and oils from cooking, so ensure you give it a little look when you're next in the kitchen and add this surface to your cleaning routine.

8. Closet floors

Cleaning out our closets in something many of us do once a year or once every few years, but what about actually cleaning areas of the closet itself? The floor is usually hidden by shoes so it's an easy-to-forget spot. The floor can get dusty and dirty from the outside soil brought in by shoes so ensure you give it a good clean next time you're in there.

9. House plants

Like everything else in our homes, plants also accumulate dust. Not only is it important to remove this for your own health, but a layer of dust on plants will partially block sunlight and reduce their ability to photosynthesize. Wipe down leaves with a dry microfiber cloth or a duster. For medium to large-sized plants, you can pop them in the bath or shower and give them a rinse.

10. TV remote

There's a good chance you're only cleaning your television remote once in a while, if at all. It should be cleaned monthly, or after a family member is sick, to avoid the spread of germs.

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