The floors are mopped, the counters are organized, the laundry is always done, and the dishes are spotless. By anyone’s standards, your house is clean as it can be. But is it really? What about the germs hiding in your keyboard? The thick layer of filth in between heavy furniture? The millions of bacteria under your shower door?
There are a lot of things in your house that you may not realize are actually gross. And if you continue to not clean them, they can harbor all sorts of disease-causing pathogens that can harm you and your family.
To ensure that your house is truly clean, here are seemingly unscrupulous things in your house that you need to be cleaning:
Air ducts collect a lot of dust, grime, and debris over time. As such, they require periodic cleaning to avoid harmful effects on your family’s health, particularly respiratory problems (chronic coughing, sneezing, runny nose). To determine if you need air duct cleaning, here are the warning signs to look out for:
- Unexplained increases in your electricity bill
- Air filters that get dirty too fast
- Signs of pest infestation in air ducts
- Mold growth
- Inconsistent airflow between rooms
- Unexplained respiratory problems
- Dust around vents and registers
This can come as a surprise, but your phone is actually dirtier than your toilet seat. Don’t believe us? Take a look at this study that suggests that the average phone harbors 25,000 germs per square inch. That makes it dirtier than a public toilet, the soles of your shoes, and money!
Why is this so? Well, touching your phone without washing your hands is a major factor. Apart from that, our phones are usually warm to the touch, making them a great habitat for bacteria to thrive. Luckily, getting rid of germs on your phone can be done simply by sanitizing it every day with an alcohol wipe. Moreover, you should also avoid using your phone without washing your hands, especially after eating and going to the bathroom.
When you’re cleaning the house, sanitizing the doorknobs might not be always part of your checklist. This makes it easier for germs to move from place to place since people are touching doorknobs everywhere they go. As a result, bacteria can spread rapidly on various surfaces of your house, making your family more susceptible to contagious illnesses.
That said, make it a point to regularly sanitize your doorknobs, especially those used the most (knobs on front doors, bedrooms, bathrooms).
After cleaning your windows to the point that you can see your reflection on them, don’t forget to clean your windowsills, too. Why? Windowsills collect dust and moisture, which makes them conducive to bacterial growth. So every time you clean your windows, give your windowsills a good wipe as well.
Your toothbrush holder can house harmful bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella, which can easily spread to your toothbrush, and, of course, your mouth. To avoid germs from spreading all over your toothbrush, clean your toothbrush holder at least once a week. Furthermore, keep toothbrushes separate and place them as far away as possible from the toilet and shower.
Between large appliances
The spaces between appliances and counters collect a lot of dust, dirt, and debris that might go unnoticed for months–sometimes even longer. But just because you don’t see the grime doesn’t mean it’s not there. If you pull back the refrigerator from the wall, there will be a lot of icky stuff underneath and around it. The same goes for spaces around the stove, washing machine, freezer, and other large appliances.
That said, you must clean the spaces around your appliances at least once a month. If you spill something and it gets into that narrow space, it’s better to clean it right now instead of waiting for the spill to crust up and possibly even stain surfaces.
You’re not touching the inside of the ice maker, so it should be clean, right? Wrong. Ice makers constantly have moisture in them, and the impurities in the water can accumulate inside it. As a result, you might be putting dirty ice cubes in your drinks without even realizing it.
If your ice cubes start to come out dirty or weird-tasting, it’s time to sanitize your ice maker. Better yet, be proactive and clean out your ice maker at least two times a year to prevent any bacteria buildup.
These are just some of the dirtiest things in your house that oven get overlooked, so you can imagine just how much dirt you are likely missing when you clean your house. But now that you know the unsuspecting things you have to clean, you can make your house more germ-free than ever.