Sometimes, the household objects we touch most often are the ones we clean the least. Here are some things you should think about cleaning more often.
Appliances, lampshades, drapes—we don’t often think about cleaning things like these in our homes. They’re a part of the household landscape, yet they seem to fade into the background. Perhaps it’s because we use them every day, or maybe because we haven’t touched them in months. Either way, there are things you should clean more often lurking all around your home.
Everyone in your house handles these handy zappers, and sometimes guests do, too. Recent studies about germ-coated TV remotes in hotel rooms may have grossed you out, but the problem extends to the home environment as well. If you’ve trained Fido to fetch the remote, or your kids fight over it routinely, even if it has simply been left out on a table or fallen on the rug, the remote needs a good—and regular—cleaning. Use antibacterial wipes or cotton swabs dipped in non-toxic disinfectant to wipe down your remotes. Don’t soak them because moisture could cause damage to their electronic parts; just be sure you’ve given them a good going over more often.
Hands are a prime source of dirt, oils, and germs, and hands touch doorknobs often. Wipe your doorknobs down every few days with a disinfecting cloth in order to reduce the germs that stick around to this frequently touched surface.
Washer and Dryer
It seems counterintuitive, because you use water and detergent in your washer frequently, but washing machines can suffer from a buildup of detergent, mildew, and germs. Check your owner’s manual to see if the manufacturer recommends any particular cleaning product and if your machine has a cycle just for cleaning the washer itself. Clean your dryer’s lint screen after every cycle, and have a professional clean out the dryer vent at recommended intervals to reduce its fire risk.
You may not have realized that you can wash most bed pillows in a washing machine. Check the tags and clean your bed pillows. They harbor dust mites, allergens, pet dander, and oils from your hair and skin.
Since they’ll probably end up in a baby’s mouth, make sure you clean your baby’s plush toys regularly. They may need special and gentle care and, of course, you’ll want to use non-toxic detergent to clean them. These much-loved items go everywhere with the children who love them and can get very dingy. Pets have been known to mistake them for their own, so you want to keep these clean and sanitized.
Overall, anything your hands touch often, like phones and your steering wheel, should be on your list of things to clean more often.