Updated: Oct 29, 2020
In our experience, there are lots of places that get overlooked when you're cleaning the house. But there are germs lurking in a few places you might not expect!
1. Your Toothbrush
We bank on these bristles to keep our teeth shiny and clean, but have you ever wondered who cleans the toothbrush? The mere fact that your toothbrush resides in your bathroom, where millions of tiny droplets filled with bacteria, spray into the air, covering anything within a twenty feet radius. All this bathroom bacteria in the air settle down on the surface of toothbrushes. What to do? Allow your toothbrush to dry completely, you can also clean it with antibacterial mouthwashes such as Listerine every few days, or put it through a dishwasher cycle. Store your toothbrush in a closed cabinet rather than leaving it on the bathroom sink and purchase a new one every 3 months.
2. Your Children's Toys
Due to the high level of use that computer game controllers receive and the type of small people who are likely to be handling them, these (and toys of any kind) are definite germ-magnets. What to do? This one is obvious – give controllers a regular clean with an anti-bacterial wipe and immerse washable toys in warm water and disinfectant, every 6 months.
3. Your Kitchen Tea Towels
50-80% of food-born illnesses are caught from within the home. It will therefore be of little surprise to find that your kitchen is the most popular place for germs to hide. If you wipe your hands on a tea towel after handling raw meat for example, the bacteria will spread to the towel. If you then use that same towel to dry the dishes, the bacteria is then transferred to the plate. What to do? Make sure you wash your cloths regularly on a 90⁰ cycle. This is the only way to ensure that all germs are killed.
4. Your Wallet or Purse
A recent Swiss study showed that flu germs can remain on paper money for as long as 3 days. If the germs are mixed with mucus, this can increase to 17 days! What to do? Use credit/debit cards as often as possible to avoid contact with real life money!
5. Your Make-Up Bag
Mascara in particular, is a definite source of infection. Every time you pump the wand into your mascara bottle, air causes it to dry out, creating a dark breeding ground for bacteria. When the wand is transferred from the bottle to your eyelashes and vice versa, the bacteria goes with it. Take extra care when using brushes and any kind of applicator as the same rules apply. What to do? Change your mascara every 3 months and clean make up brushes once a week. If you’ve never considered cleaning your actual make up bag – do it now! The dishwasher is an ideal temperature for cleaning your make up bag, especially if it is made from canvas. Alternatively, put it in the washing machine on a 90⁰ cycle.
6. Your Shower Head
Due to the moist environment and design of most shower heads, they are unfortunately a breeding ground for bacteria. As soon as the shower is turned on, the force of the water dislodges the bacteria, spraying it directly onto your skin. What to do? A recent study showed that just using bleach does not remove all bacteria. As an alternative, why not try this natural remedy? Fill a plastic bag with white vinegar, tie the bag to the shower head, making sure that the whole head is submerged and secure it with an elastic band. Leave it for at least an hour. This will also unclog your shower head from any limescale build up.
I don’t know about you, but I’m off to scrub my house from top to bottom!