If you consider yourself a pro at deep cleaning your house, think again, because there are probably some common household items you are forgetting to clean.
While you may think you’ve mastered the art of getting into every nook and cranny with a sponge and sanitizing your bathroom in a matter of minutes, there is still a good chance your seemingly flawless house cleaning routine needs some major improvements.
Of course, we all make sure to dust off all visible surfaces, change bed sheets and pillow covers, vacuum the living room and wipe fingerprint off glass objects. In fact, cleaning a messy house might even be therapeutic for some of us.
However, in your haste to get a spotless home, you are probably guilty of ignoring few commonly-used household items and area that can essentially become breeding grounds for bacteria and germs if not thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis.
Here are a few objects in your house that you might be forgetting to wipe and disinfect on a regular basis.
1. Doorknobs, light switches and handles
Have you ever asked yourself what could be the dirtiest object in your house? If you’re thinking of the toilet, you are wrong. While most people clean their bathrooms quite frequently, they tend to ignore the things that are touched the most in the house — like doorknobs, light switches and cabinet handles.
Doorknobs are literally the first thing you touch while entering your home and the last thing you lay your hands on while leaving. Your guests are likely to grab these too when they visit your place. Needless to say, most people don’t even think about cleaning the doorknobs, which probably hold more germs than any other surface in the house.
Light switches and cabinet handles are some of the other household things that people forget to clean.
The best way to clean these objects is by using disinfectant wipes, which are easily available in the market. However, if you don’t want to use those, dip cotton balls into a liquid cleaning product and scrub the surface. You can also use Q-tips to clean between the switches on board.
2. Remote control
If you like to watch TV while having dinner, you are in for a rude awakening.
Your remote control is likely covered with food crumbs, grease and dust particles – and the fact that you keep changing channels in the middle of your meals is an actual health concern. Remote controls and other such devices, like cell phones, are among the most-touched objects in every household. This means every time you decide to deep clean your house, you need to clean your TV remote too.
While you can always use anti-bacterial wipes to do the job, the proper (and the most thorough) way would be to remove the remote’s batteries and then clean the entire surface with a cotton ball or a cotton cloth dipped in a cleaning agent.
Make sure to use a toothpick to get rid of the grime inside the buttons and carefully dry the device with a clean piece of towel. Once it’s completely dry, re-install the batteries. You need to make this a part of your house cleaning routine.
3. Computer accessories
How many times have you sneezed or coughed while watching or typing something on your laptop? The answer is probably more times than you can count or care to remember.
Even if you regularly clean the food crumbs that accumulate between the keys and wipe fingerprints off the surface, your keyboard is more than likely covered in bacteria that could be harmful to your health. The same goes for your mouse, headphones and other computer accessories.
Make sure you don’t forget to clean your keyboard and other items with a lint-free cloth that has been sprayed with any common household cleaning product. If possible, buy a silicone cover for your keyboard as it would be much easier to clean on a regular basis.
4. Water bottles
You may occasionally pop your water bottles into the dishwasher or give them a good rinse once in a while, but that’s not enough – especially if you have one of those bottles with long caps that double as glasses.
Next time, before you refill the bottles and place them back in the refrigerator, soak them in warm, soapy water for a few minutes. Then, take a bottle cleaning brush and scrub their interior. Don’t forget to clean the mouthpiece and the inside of the cap as well. Rinse the bottles several times to make sure they don’t smell of soap anymore.
Tip: Replace plastic water bottles in your house with glass ones as they are less likely to contain harmful chemicals and are more eco-friendly.
5. Toothbrush holder
Most dental professionals recommend replacing your toothbrush after every 3 months or even sooner if the bristles begin to fray or you get sick. While most people change their toothbrushes quite frequently, their toothbrush holders usually just sit on the bathroom counter without being cleaned or replaced.
Believe it or not, your toothbrush holder is filled with germs and probably even mould that you can’t detect with a cursory glance. The bacteria festering in the holder can also infect your toothbrush, which is about as unhygienic as it gets.
To make sure your toothbrush holder is completely clean, fill it with hot water and soap. After letting it soak for a few minutes, scrub it inside and out before rinsing it thoroughly. Instead of wiping it with a cloth, it’s better to just leave it out to air dry. Make sure to include this in your cleaning routine the next time you take on the task.
Just like doorknobs and light switches, handrails are one of the most common breeding grounds for bacteria in a house. The reason is pretty simple: while you may pay special attention to cleaning the stairs, the handrails are mostly ignored. At most, you probably just wipe them off with a dry cloth to get rid of any dust that could have gathered on the surface. That’s definitely not enough.
Since strong cleaning products can damage the paint on your handrails, it might be better to clean them with a mild sanitizer or a colourless disinfectant. Anti-bacterial wipes are also an option.
For a better cleaning routine, make sure to wipe the handrails every time you deep clean your house.
7. Ceiling Fans
If the blades of your ceiling fan are covered in dust, they’ll send small particles of dirt flying around the entire room as soon as your turn on the fan. So, unless you want random dust bunnies to unceremoniously land on the surfaces that you’ve just cleaned, include dusting the ceiling fan in your house cleaning routine.
You can use a duster, an old pillowcase or even piece of towel to clean the fan blades.
Similarly, your light fixtures also need some attention. Therefore, the next time you are cleaning your house, remember to use a lint-free cloth to wipe the dust off all pendant lights and lampshades.
8. Washing machine
It might sound a little absurd to some, but your washing machine requires regular washing as well. If your laundry has started smelling like mildew, it probably means the detergent residue, cloth fibre and dirt buildup in your appliance is getting worse.
The easiest way to clean your washing machine is to fill it up with hot water and pour a mixture of four parts white vinegar and one part baking soda. Simply turn on the machine for a few minutes and then let it drain. Repeat the same process twice before using clean water to rinse it properly. In addition to that, don’t forget to clean the filter and the detergent drawer.
9. Cleaning appliances and tools
With spring just around the corner, you might be planning to deep clean your house from top to bottom. Unfortunately, you can’t do that if your cleaning tools are dirty. There is no point using a dust-filled cloth to wipe off surfaces as you would only be pushing the dirt around.
The same goes for mops and brooms. In fact, even your vacuum cleaner needs to be cleaned properly if you want it to actually suck the dust off your carpet.
You can soak your mop in a mixture of water and bleach and regularly clear your vacuum filter for a cleaner and more sanitary house.
Changing the garbage bag is only a job half done. Regardless of the fact your dustbin appears clean or smells of rotten eggs, you need to properly wash it every time you are cleaning your house. The remnants of leftover food and other trash are the perfect place for bacteria and germs to breed in. It’s also extremely unhygienic. However, bins are one of the top things people forget to clean.
In order to thoroughly clean your bins, you need to remove the garbage bag and wash the bin with hot water and detergent. Use paper towels to dry it and then spray a disinfectant all over its surface and the interior. After 10 to 15 minutes, rinse it again and leave it to air dry. Only place a new bag once the bin is completely dry.
Just remember, the more detailed your cleaning routine is, the less likely you are to fall sick. If you have children in the house, you need to be even more careful.
Moreover, if you have tile floors in your house, here are a few easy and budget-friendly ways to clean your floors and restore them to their former glory.