No matter how clean you keep your home, there are probably a few key places that you could be cleaning more often. Even a self-professed neat freak like myself can guilty of overlooking certain cleaning tasks. Here’s a quick reminder of 10 key spots that you really shouldn’t be overlooking.
- Bath Mats – You get out of the shower and step on the bath mat dripping wet, then it sits on the floor all day with little to no opportunity to dry properly. The bathmat can quickly become a damp collection of mildew and bacteria. Avoid this potential germ-trap by hanging your bath mat to dry daily, and washing it weekly.
- Makeup Brushes – Every time you use your makeup brush, tiny bits of makeup, oil and dirt get trapped in the bristles. This gunk is then transferred to your face, which can lead to clogged pores or breakouts. Protect your investment and your skin by adding makeup brush cleaning to your daily routine.
- Garbage Cans – Trash cans are made for one thing only: filling with dirty, stinky garbage. Inevitably, something messy is going to miss the bag and stick to the inside of the can. Ideally, you should be wiping down the inside of the can every time you change the bag. If that’s not realistic, do a trash can round-up once a month, and give them all a quick washing with soap and water, especially the ones in your kitchen/bathroom.
- Door Knobs/Handles/Light Fixtures – These are some of the surfaces in our homes that we interact with the most. The higher the traffic in your home, the more often these areas should get wiped down and disinfected. Door knobs are great places for germs to hang out, waiting to transfer to their next flu victim - don’t let that victim be you!
- Keyboards (and your desk in general) – the more people sharing a keyboard/desk, the more often you should be wipe down and disinfect these areas. You should also strongly discourage yourself and family members from eating near the keyboard; it’s all too easy for crumbs and dirt to get trapped beneath the keys! A few times a year, give your keyboard the intense scrub down that it deserves. The same advice also goes for your keyboard at work, especially at shared work stations!
- Phones/Tablets – You touch your phone all day, every day, and not just with your hands, it touches your face too. Give your phone a daily wipe-down with a microsuede cloth to prevent a build-up of fingerprints, dirt and bacteria. For a more thorough cleaning, use cotton swabs and rubbing alcohol to gently clean around buttons, edges and around your phone case. As a general rule: If you aren’t willing to lick your phone, why are you willing to let it touch your face?
- Loofahs – It seems counter-intuitive that something you use to clean yourself would also need cleaning, but it’s true; loofahs are notorious for trapping and holding germs. Given that most loofahs don’t really get a chance to get completely dry every day, you should be replacing them every month or two at most. Between replacements, rinse your loofah as well as possible, and hang them wherever they stand the most chance of drying properly.
- Your Purse – Purses go where you go: work, shops, restaurants, public transit, the floor of your car, etc. Chances are, you sling it off your shoulder and onto the ground or nearest surface, where it gets exposed to all sorts of dirt and bacteria, both inside and out. Once a week, completely empty your purse, pull out the liner and shake it to remove any crumbs, hair or other nasties. You’ll be surprised at what your purse can collect over the course of a week. For leather purses, use a disinfecting wipe to clean the outside - pay special attention to the handles, as they tend to pick up the most grime. If it’s a cloth purse, check the washing instructions, and if possible, run it through the laundry machine.
- Remote Controls – everyone in your household is going to touch the remote controls at some point or another. Since people often snack while watching TV, remotes can become a haven for food grease, dirt and bacteria. A scrub down with rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs once a week will keep them nice and clean. Make sure to be extra diligent in cleaning when someone is home sick watching TV!
- Coffee Makers – Your coffee maker is a dark, damp environment, perfect for cultivating germs. If you're not looking to brew up more than just a pot of coffee, these easy instructions will help you clean your coffee maker once a month. Your coffee will also taste better afterwards because you'll remove leftover coffee oils, hard water deposits, and any other potential impurities during cleaning.
Any other places you think we should have mentioned? What are you favourite cleaning tasks to “overlook”?