When discussing the "germiest" places in your home, the most common things that come to mind are the trashcan and toilet. However, these aren't the problem areas that you need to worry about. After all, you're not likely to leap into your trashcan or wash your dishes in the toilet bowl. No, the germiest things in your home that you need to worry about are the items that you'd least suspect.
1. Kitchen Sponge
Most people would consider the kitchen sponge to be one of the least likely places to harbor germs or bacteria. However, numerous studies have shown that this common instrument for washing dishes is filled with foodborne pathogens, molds and yeasts that wreak havoc on your body. Just think about the amount of moisture a sponge can absorb and the fact that it is commonly left out in the open, for all kinds of germs and bacteria to cling on to it. The United States Department of Agriculture recommends tossing your kitchen sponge in the microwave for several minutes to remove any germs or bacteria.
2. Kitchen Sink
Speaking of germiest things in your kitchen, the sink is probably the next place you should be worrying about. Remember, dirty dishes aren't the only things that go into the kitchen sink. Bacteria clinging to leftover food remnants, washed produce and even uncooked meat can easily find their way into or around your kitchen sink. Make sure you clean your sink with an antibacterial spray on a regular basis to eliminate any germs or bacteria that may be living there.
3. Vacuum Cleaners
While most people typically clean out the innards of their vacuum cleaners, like the vacuum bag and filter, they are likely to skip out on cleaning the vacuum brushes and attachments. These are the parts of the vacuum that come into the most contact with dust, dander and other pathogens responsible for allergies and sickness. When performing routine maintenance on your vacuum cleaner, make sure you properly clean the brush and attachments, and don't forget to unclog or remove hairs and carpet fibers that may get tangled in the vacuum brush.
4. Remote Controls
The TV remote control is probably one of the most commonly touched items in the average household, but how many people actually think about cleaning the thing? The fact that the remote control passes from different hands on a regular basis, plus it is hardly ever cleaned, makes it one of the germiest things in your home. Now grab a sanitary wipe and clean that filthy, smudge-filled remote.
5. The Toothbrush
It's hard to accept that something you regularly insert into your mouth can actually have a fair amount of germs on it, but it's true. Just think about that porcelain bowl that sits at such a close proximity to your toothbrush. When you flush the toilet, there is the possibility that germs can spray and fly out of the toilet, finding their way onto your toothbrush. To prevent this from happening, either keep your toothbrush in the medicine cabinet or always flush with the toilet seat down.
6. Bed Sheets
Your bed is a cozy sanctuary where you can rest comfortably after a busy day at work or school. Now think of how many times you've plopped on your bed without changing into some clean pajamas. Yes, all the germs and dirt that have clung onto your clothing are now relaxing on your bed with you. And on top of that, there's the dead skin, sweat, drool and hair that get sloshed into the mix as well. A good rule of thumb is to change and wash your bed sheets once a week to minimize the germs. This is also a great way to check for bed bugs and prevent them from biting you while you sleep.
Whether they're door handles or refrigerator handles, these items tend to be amongst the germiest things in the common household because they are hardly ever cleaned, yet receive a fair amount of hand traffic. To protect your family from germs and bacteria, make sure to wipe all the handles in your home regularly with disinfectant spray and a clean towel.
From handbags to laptop bags, and backpacks to luggage, these are items in your home that you carry and set down all over the place. Just think about how often you set these items down in public places that aren't clean. Now think about all the times you've tossed these items on the sofa or on your bed without even thinking twice about it. Make sure you occasionally give your bags a good cleaning with antibacterial wipes. And in case you didn't know, bed bugs are commonly transferred from one area to the next by hitching a ride on bags that are tossed onto beds.
- Health Magazine
- Family Education
- ABC News