11 Things You Aren't Cleaning But Should Be
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Grime Time1 of 12
By Jane Dagmi
While we know regular cleaning and disinfecting reduces sickness and the spread of germs, we tend to focus our energy on the usual suspects: toilets, sinks, countertops and floors. But there are parts of our homes that may be dirtier than even your toilet seat. Here, 11 areas of your home that you need to start cleaning today.
Dirty Work2 of 12
Not only does a messy desktop make it harder to get work done, it's also pretty gross—especially if you're someone who dines al desko. According to a study completed by the University of Arizona the average desk has more than 400 times more bacteria than a public toilet seat—ewww! Time to get some disinfecting wipes so you can de-grime your desk and equipment after each eating.
Blind Spot3 of 12
Those window blinds offer multiple surfaces for dust to collect, increasing the potential for allergy attacks. "Maintaining blinds is fast and far easier than playing catch up," says Debbie Sardone, leading home cleaning expert at The Clean Team. "Dust every two weeks with a lambs wool or microfiber duster."
Up the Wall4 of 12
Speaking of dust, we often forget that it also resides on walls and doors. Starting from the top of your room, dust crown molding, walls, then baseboards. Have wood paneled walls? Sardone recommends spritzing on wood cleaner and wiping them down with a long-handled mop such as the Sh-Mop.
It's a Wash5 of 12
Unfortunately front-load washing machines can be a breeding ground for mold. To keep it clean, wipe down the drain and door regularly, and leave the washer door open in between loads so it can dry out. Run a hot cycle with bleach to disinfect the machine once a month.
Trash Talk6 of 12
According to The American Cleaning Institute (ACI), you should wash indoor trash bins monthly to combat germs and bacteria. Simply fill bins with hot water and dish soap. After an hour, rinse, and then wipe dry. Before inserting a new trash bag, always spray the inside with a disinfectant.
Take Control7 of 12
The TV remote is a hotbed for germs. ACI suggests wiping the remote down several times a week using electronics wipes. This also applies to other parts of the house that are consistently pulled, flicked and turned such as handles, knobs and light switches. For hardcore gunk, loosen particles with a damp toothbrush and then wipe off.
Lights Out8 of 12
Sadly, bugs find their way to lamps and end up dying in the shade—particularly the bowls of up-lit torchers, floor lamps and overhead lights. To de-bug, unplug the fixture, gently turn it on its side to shake out loose remnants and swab lightly with a duster.
Got You Covered9 of 12
Dust mites can cause a range of problems—not just limited to sneezing—including sinus pain and pressure, eczema and asthma attacks. If you suspect you might have a dust mite allergy, talk to your M.D. to confirm the diagnosis. To minimize your exposure, The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology suggests using dust mite-proof casings on pillows and mattresses. Wash cases if they become soiled—otherwise, vacuuming them monthly with an upholstery attachment is sufficient.
Comfort Me10 of 12
When is the last time you thought to wash your comforter? If you or your partner is sneezing or coughing in the middle of the night, those germs are landing somewhere. To be safe, launder your comforter monthly. In between, spritz with Clorox 4-in-1 Disinfecting Spray. It works on both hard and soft surfaces, killing allergens, viruses and bacteria.
Shower Power11 of 12
While you jump into the shower to get clean, that area of black mold growing on your curtain liner could cause problems for your health. To prevent spores from forming, properly ventilate your bathroom, whether by leaving a window open or fan on both during and after your shower. Also, invest in a mildew-resistant version and wipe down any spots you see with bleach or white vinegar.
Cold Case12 of 12
Bob Vila counts cleaning the refrigerator coils amongst the five chores every homeowner should know how to do. Dust-covered coils, typically located in the back or behind the base grille, do not release heat as efficiently as they should, making the compressor work overtime. If this happens, your refrigerator won't maintain it's cool temperature, which means food could go bad. To avoid a fridge malfunction, brush-off dust and vacuum the coils biannually.
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