Cell Phone-You take it everywhere, set it down, breath on it, touch it frequently. You even allow others to touch it when you show them photos and messages. If you had any idea how much bacteria this item contains, you’d probably save on your data plan! This is by far the dirtiest item you own and use on a daily basis. There are great alcohol based wipes that are safe for electronics to sanitize your phone. Your phone should be cleaned at least once per day.
Keyboard-Most of us use a computer on a daily basis. Many of us sit at one for the majority of our day. You cough and sneeze on it. You wipe your nose and continue with your work. You eat and drink while working at your computer. Those germs transfer from you to your computer keyboard and remain there. Just like your phone, your keyboard should be cleaned with an electronics-safe sanitizer at least daily.
Purse-We take it everywhere. We often set it down on the floor of restaurants, bathroom sinks, and shopping carts. This item often then gets set on your kitchen table or counter. The bottom of our purses are highly contaminated with bacteria. First avoid bringing your purse into your kitchen. Secondly, clean the exterior at least daily, especially after running errands with it.
Sink handles-You are probably washing your hands several times a day. You may think you are being healthy, but unless you are using a disposable towel to turn the faucet off after washing your hands for at least 20 seconds (seems like a long time), you may be re-contaminating your hands. Think about it. I like to keep cleaning wipes handy and try to wipe my sinks down daily or every other day for this reason.
Door handles & Steering wheels-These are items that are often neglected when you clean. But they are also items that are touched numerous times on a daily basis. Again, often with dirty hands and often when eating. These items can harbor bacteria for an extended period of time. Again take a cleaning wipe to handles and steering wheels on a daily basis.
Shoes-It’s very difficult to avoid getting bacteria on your shoes. We walk into public restrooms, outdoors where animals defecate, visit hospitals, etc. Again probably one of your dirtiest items! It’s next to impossible to keep your shoes decontaminated. It is wise to removed them as close to the door as possible. If you like to wear shoes in the house, buy a pair or two dedicated to indoor use only.
Gloves-Winter time is tied to gloves and runny noses. People often wipe their dripping noses with their gloves, sneeze into their hands and touch door handles and steering wheels. But they rarely wash their gloves. Thus contributing to a large bacteria load. Gloves and scarves should be tossed in the washer and dryer on a weekly basis.
Towels-We dry off with a towel at least daily after a shower and then hang it back up. In theory we are clean when we use the towel, therefore the towel should be clean right? Wrong. The moisture on the towel contributes to bacteria growth. Towels should be washed at least twice a week.
Dish cloths/sponges-Similar to the towel theory, they are used to clean and covered with soap, but again the dampness breeds bacteria. Dish clothes should be exchanged for clean ones daily and sponges should be put in the microwave damp and microwaved for 2 minutes to disinfect.
Loofah-This is made of a plastic material and thus a little more resistant to bacteria growth than fabric. However the mesh allows a perfect network of dead skin cells for bacteria to munch on. Again they are hanging in a humid, warm, low air-flow environment that allows bacteria to grow. Loofahs should be allowed to completely dry between uses and cleaned at least weekly in microwave, or dipped in a diluted bleach solution or put in the washing machine with your towels.
Sheets-We spend more time in bed than anywhere else in our homes. That’s a long time for skin cells, sweat, and drool to accumulate. Our body heat also warms up the materials and we often pull those blankets up in the morning to make our beds look so pretty. But we are trapping bacteria! One excuse to not make the bed unless you are expecting company. But also a reason why sheets should be washed on at least a weekly basis.
Okay, now that I have totally grossed you out as you think about your daily living environment, get cleaning! I’m sure there are items that I forgot to mention, so feel free to remind us in the comment section!