If you dust, vacuum, and call it good, many objects in your home could still contain a coating of grime and germs. Your family could get sick more often, passing the bug to everyone in the household.
What should you pay more attention to when making your weekly chore list? Here are 10 household items you really should clean more.
Every night, you lay down to rest on a bed of dust mites. These microscopic creatures don’t drink, drawing water from the air instead. Ironically enough, these critters can’t thrive in dry, dusty regions like the southwest. Instead, those in humid areas can wake up with awful allergy symptoms if they don’t clean.
Where do they hide? Soft furnishings and bedding are their favorite place, as are pillows with their mountains of feathery space to inhabit. You should wash these at least every few months, or more often if you’re prone to allergies.
How do you clean them? You can throw most pillows in the washer, adding a few tennis balls to prevent clumping. Those made from memory foam or gel require spot treatment – please keep them out of machines.
2. Remote Control
What do you do when you take a sick day? You probably pick up the remote and tune into the latest hit series. All those germs go from your hands to your device, and you might not be as quick with the sanitary wipes as you were at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
You can clean your remote by removing the batteries and wiping the surface with rubbing alcohol and a clean cotton cloth. Use toothpicks and cotton swabs to pry loose any gunk or crumbs stuck under the buttons.
3. Air Filters
Indoor air quality also became a mainstream concern during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, you might have gotten a bit lax here, too. Don’t beat yourself up, but do take action – especially with springtime pollen flying like so much tickle dust.
The folks at Energy Star advise changing your filters every three months. However, you might need to do so more often if you have pets or smokers in the home. Dander and ash clog these surfaces more readily, and failure to change them often enough could result in HVAC system damage.
4. Your Refrigerator
Do you occasionally open a container in your fridge only to discover the contents resemble something from Alexander Fleming’s laboratory? Leaving your refrigerator uncleaned can have severe health consequences for you and your loved ones. Bacteria can flourish, causing illness.
That’s not the only reason you should take everything out and wipe down each surface every few months. When it starts to decay, food emits gasses, speeding up the chemical reaction in newer, fresher items. Those strawberries you picked up only a few days ago could turn to mush before you eat them if you let conditions get out of control.
5. Your Pet’s Dishes
Do you know why scientists sometimes use animals in lab experiments? Their biology shares many similarities with humans, meaning they can get sick from the same organisms.
Salmonella and E. coli can thrive in your pet’s food dish. After every feeding, you should scrub them using hot, soapy water like you would for any other plates or spoons.
Furthermore, it helps to keep dry food in a sealed container rather than a bag. Why? Mites can enter – they’re too tiny to see, but they can sicken your pet.
Your kitchen and bathroom sponges are regular bacteria factories. Martha Stewart recommends swapping them out every two weeks. But what if your budget doesn’t allow for that?
You can throw an old sponge in the dishwasher or even microwave it to remove some germs. However, you’re better off going with a germ-free option. You can now find silicone sponges that don’t harbor bacteria and safely clean most dishware.
7. Keyboards and Cellphones
Your fingers constantly fly over your computer and cellphone keypads. When was the last time you wiped them down to rid them of germs?
You can buy special clothes for these devices. However, you’re equally safe using a clean rag and a light dab of rubbing alcohol to kill nasties without damage.
8. Light Switches and Doorknobs
Light switches and doorknobs also see a lot of fingerprints – and germs. Fortunately, you can disinfect them with alcohol and a cloth.
However, you might find it easier to spray these items with a disinfectant. Choose your version with care, ensuring it won’t do more harm than good by filling your home with chemicals.
Experts recommend changing your toothbrush every few months. Think about it: your brush probably sits on your sink. Every time you flush the toilet, you emit germs into the air, some of which may land on the bristles.
Fortunately, you can clean your toothbrush in between changes. Fill a clean glass with hydrogen peroxide and let the bristles soak for at least 10 minutes.
The insides of your appliances can get dirty and even develop mold. However, many people never clean these devices.
Fortunately, you can quickly clean your dishwasher with a bit of vinegar run through the cycle. You can also use the same trick on your washing machine.
Household Items You Should Clean More
You might vacuum and dust every week. However, that doesn’t mean your home is clean. Pay more attention to these 10 household items that you should really clean more. Doing so protects your health and your family’s and visitors’ well-being.
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