As a housewife, cleaning is a big part of my everyday routine. I have certain cleaning tasks that I accomplish on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis and then each day I designate one room that I “deep clean.” With that being said, I am still human, and there are areas of my home that I should probably clean more often than I do. I can almost guarantee that you don’t clean these items as frequently as you should either.
- Sponges & Scrub Brushes. Chances are you use your sponge longer than you should before cleaning it, that is if you clean it at all. We use sponges to clean dirty dishes, counter tops, sinks, etc. More than likely your sponge is harboring some nasty bacteria. There are a few easy ways to clean your sponge. You can soak it in water and toss it in the microwave for a couple minutes or you can soak in vinegar or a water/bleach mixture. Be sure to clean and dispose of them pretty regular as well. Same goes for your scrub brushes. An easy way to disinfect is a nice soak in vinegar or bleach water.
- Dishwasher. Your dishwasher is constantly getting loaded up with dirty dishes, pots and pans and plates with stuck on food. Many people seem to think since it is designed to clean dishes it just cleans itself right? Unfortunately that is not the case and just like any other appliance, it needs to be cleaned on a regular basis, at least once a month or whenever you notice your dishes not coming out as clean. All you need is some baking soda and vinegar. Place 1 cup of vinegar on the top shelf of your dishwasher and run on your hottest cycle. Next sprinkle some baking soda on the floor of your dishwasher and run on your shortest cycle. This helps to prevent mold and mildew from growing and kills any yucky smells that might be occurring.
- Washing Machine. Chances are you never gave a second thought about cleaning your washing machine. It may be designed to clean items but it needs a cleaning itself every once in awhile. Think about it…we throw muddy clothes, jeans with grass stains, baby outfits with spit up, soiled linens and dirty rags and rugs into our washing machine. With all that mess going in, it is easy for smells to occur and the inside of your machine to get a little dirty. All you need to clean your washing machine is some good old vinegar. Run your machine on the hottest cycle with about a cup or two of vinegar. Good to go!
- Trash Cans. We use our trash can every day, multiple times a day and fill it with all kinds of things: raw meat, kitty litter, soiled items, moldy leftovers and so on. But how often do you think about cleaning the trash can itself? Chances are, not nearly as much as you should, or even at all. A trash can comes in contact with some of the grossest things imaginable and can become a breeding ground for bacteria, smells, etc. Clean both the inside and outside of your trash can at least twice a month. All you need is some hot soapy water and a small amount of bleach and you are set!
- Mouse & Keyboard. You might not think about cleaning your keyboard too often but studies have found that they harbor a good amount of bacteria. Think about it. Any type of bacteria your hands have come into contact with throughout the day is now transferred to your mouse and keys. Plus dirt, crumbs, and other debris tend to find their way into the nooks and crannies. Make sure to vacuum out the crumbs or give your keyboard a good spray with canned air at least once a week. A quick wipe down with a disinfectant is also recommended.
- Tooth Brush Holder. You might be surprised how much gunk can accumulate in the bottom of your toothbrush holder. Water drips down into the holder, dust particles and so on. You should clean this out once a week to prevent build up of mold and mildew. An easy way to clean is simply toss in your dishwasher on the top rack and be sure to wipe down the outside of the holder on a regular basis.
- Kitchen Utensil Holder. Even if you are putting away clean utensils there is still a chance the bottom of your utensil holder contains dirt and grime. Every time you are cooking there is a chance for small particles of food and debris to find its way into the bottom of your holder. No one wants to put clean utensils in a dirty jar. Make sure to wipe the outside of your holder down weekly and empty any crumbs that may have fallen to the bottom as well.
- Broom. Brooms are great for sweeping floors and getting rid of dust buildup but they also can trap dust, dirt and grime in its bristles. In order to clean your broom, simply toss the broom into a bucket of soapy water to help remove anything that may have gotten stuck. You should be doing this at least twice a month.
- Re-Usable Bags. Many of us have switched from using plastic bags to taking our own when we go shopping. We use them for groceries as well as to carry other items from place to place. However, most of us don’t wash our bags after each use but we should! In order to stop contamination from vegetables or raw meat it is important to clean our bags after each shopping trip. If you have a cloth bag, you should be able to simply toss it into your washing machine but if it is a plastic or vinyl material just give your bag a wash down with some warm soapy water.
- Purse. Your purse can be a minefield when it comes to germs. How many times have you tossed a candy bar wrapper, or a used tissue back into your purse. Not only does the inside of your purse catch all the crumbs and random bits and bobs but any other item you toss in there will now be contaminated with those germs. Your keys, phone, and wallet can also carry germs. But that is just the inside of your purse. Studies have found that the bottom of a woman’s purse generally contains traces of E Coli and other bacteria. This comes from placing your purse on the ground in a bathroom stall and so on. Make sure you are giving the outside of your purse a wipe down every so often and remember to empty the contents of your purse and dump out any crumbs that may have fallen to the bottom of your bag.
What are you waiting for….go clean! Also, I am curious to know, how many of the items on this list have you forgotten to clean on a regular basis?