Germs are everywhere — including your home. In fact, a recent study by the University of Boulder suggests that there are over 9,000 various species of germs lurking in the average home. The most common household germs include fungus, microbes and bacteria.
From beds to the corners of your baseboards, germs can hide in every spot in your home. It isn’t enough to do surface and spot cleanings. You must disinfect your home to get rid of these germs. Here are 7 easy ways to eliminate household germs.
- Wash Your Towels Regularly.
Reusing your towels is a good way to reduce your laundry load. However, there is a limit to how many times you should reuse a towel. As a rule of thumb, use a towel a maximum of three times before sending it to the laundry basket.
Wet and soiled towels can harbor all types of bacteria and germs. Not only do wet towels promote the growth of mildew, but they can also make you sick. When washing your towels, be sure to add bleach to white towels. A color-safe bleach is effective for dark or colored towels. It’s also a good idea to include a stain remover in the wash.
- Disinfect Your Bathroom.
It doesn’t take long for your bathroom to get dirty. This is especially true if multiple people use it each day. That’s why it is important to disinfect your bathroom on a weekly basis.
Your toilet bowl is one of the dirtiest fixtures in your home. Always clean your toilet bowl even if you don’t have time to clean the rest of your bathroom. A toilet-safe cleanser or bleach are effective cleaning solutions.
Use a toilet brush to clean the rim and the inside of the bowl. Then, allow the cleaning solution to sit in your toilet for up to 5 minutes. When the time is up, flush the toilet. Be sure to put the lid down before you flush. You don’t want to spray toilet-bowl germs around your bathroom.
- Wipe Off High-Touch Surfaces.
High-touch areas include tables, desks, keyboards, light switches, appliance handles and door handles. Anything that you touch often is considered a high-touch area. Many people overlook these areas when disinfecting their homes.
The first step is to use a soapy solution and a sponge to remove grimy or greasy substances. Next, rinse the area with water and dry it. Then, spray a disinfectant on the area to get rid of the germs.
For your safety, it’s a good idea to use moist disinfectant wipes to clean light switches and other electronic devices. This can reduce the risk of electrocution and keep your devices working properly.
- Change Your Bedding Frequently.
Bed sheets can get soiled in a matter of days. Skin dander, bodily fluids and hair can make your sheets an attractive place for germs. It’s essential to change your sheets every week. If you’re sick with a cold or flu, be sure to change them more often.
Wash your sheets in hot water to get rid of dust mites, bacteria and other germs. Include your pillows, comforter and pillowcases in the load. Dry your bedding thoroughly to prevent mildew and moisture. Resist the urge to put damp bedding on your mattress.
- Remember to Clean Your Flooring.
You may not know this, but carpet holds more germs than your toilet seat. If you have carpet or any other flooring, it’s essential to clean, vacuum and sanitize it every week, and then schedule regular professional cleanings as well.
Eli Rodriguez, Owner of Lightning Carpet Care in Orlando, Florida, has been a carpet cleaning professional in Central Florida for a decade. We asked Rodriguez how often your flooring should be cleaned.
“To keep your space performing at its best, I recommend that carpeted rooms and area rugs be professionally cleaned every 12 to 18 months. And don’t forget about having upholstery professionally cleaned, as well – germs can hide in all sorts of soft surfaces,” says Rodriguez.
- Wipe Your Electronic Devices.
Would you believe that cell phone users touch their phones an average of 2,617 times a day? That’s a lot of opportunities for germs to collect. Other electronics that can get germy are keyboards, remote controls and tablets. Unfortunately, most people don’t think about cleaning their electronics that often. If you haven’t cleaned your electronics in a while — no worries — you can start now.
Here’s a word of caution. Using too much cleaning solution can destroy your electronic devices. Be sure to dampen the cloth with a small amount of cleaning solution. Unplug your devices before you wipe them. You can also buy disinfectant wipes that are formulated for electronics. These wipes are sold online, in grocery stores or at general merchandise retailers.
- Tackle Your Kitchen Sink.
You may wash dishes in your sink regularly. But you shouldn’t be fooled into thinking that it’s a germ-free zone. Kitchen sinks can collect bacteria from raw meat and other food residue. Use a clean sponge, brush and an all-purpose cleanser to clean the sink.
Keeping your home clean is the best defense against common germs. Apply these tips throughout the year regularly to eliminate germs that can make you sick.