Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spring Cleaning: 10 Hot Spots

I apologize in advance because parts of this post are going to gross you out... but when I read "Wipe Out the 10 Worst Germ Hot Spots" (courtesy of Alyssa Shaffer, of Prevention at MSN.com) today, I had to spread the word. And when I say spread... I mean fast, faster than the laundry list of bacteria that are multiplying in my house as we speak. I can't get home fast enough to start cleaning!

For those of you who don't feel like reading the nitty-gritty, here's a run-down of the 10 Hot Spots that you must tackle when you start your spring cleaning this season:
  • Kitchen Faucet - namely, the metal aeration screen where the water comes out... full of germy germs that continue to live as a result of the constant moisture. Clean with a diluted bleach solution once a week, or as often as you feel necessary.


  • Garbage Disposal - the rubber stopper, seriously, we all know this is just teaming with unhealthy stuff. Clean with a diluted bleach solution since hot water and soap can't handle this kind of germ-i-ness.

  • Welcome Mat - the first things these mats welcome are bacteria from your shoes, which includes fecal bacteria, which makes me ill. If you've had your welcome mat for a while, you might want to think about replacing it. Or if it's new and you want to clean it, try a disinfectant spray that is safe for fabrics.



  • Vacuum Cleaner - you might think this is like a bar of soap, self cleaning... wrong. Think about all of the places your vacuum cleans, chances are the bathroom floor is one of them. Need I say more? To clean your vacuum, Alyssa suggests replacing the bag often or using an antibacterial bag and cleaning the bag cavity with a bleach solution. I have a tendency to be a germaphobe, so every once in a while I actually soak the attachments in a bucket of diluted bleach. Be sure to let them dry completely before running the vacuum on carpets, you don't want to accidentally bleach your rugs, etc. (Of course, don't soak any moving parts just in case.)



  • Dish Towel - basically these can contain a type of staph infection, which you know isn't good for anyone. So try to use them only to dry clean pots and dishes. Replace them often and launder frequently. To wipe up counter top spills, stick with paper towels.
  • Car's Dashboard - mold spores and bacteria can cling to the dashboard, yuck. I'm assuming your steering wheel is just about as dirty so you might as well clean them both with disinfectant wipes whenever possible.
  • Soap Dispensers - this one seems pretty obvious, it's the first thing you touch when you wash your hands... therefore it's the last place for bacteria before it's washed off. The article suggests that you use hot, soapy water to get your paws good and clean. I'd take it one step further and use a disinfectant wipe on the soap pump too.
  • Restaurant Ketchup Bottle - Luckily this isn't on my list of spring cleaning items so I'll skip the details.

  • The Refrigerator Seal - In a survey of 160 homes, 83% of refrigerator seals contain common molds which can be spread every time you open the door. Ewww! Double eww! To clean, wipe seals with diluted bleach (once a week if possible but who has that kind of time, or memory?)
  • Your Cell Phone - This one might be a surprise to some... or an obvious one. For most people, cell phones are almost a permanently in our hands, so germs are inevitable. But just so you know, they can harbor bacteria that causes skin, eye, and stomach infections. To clean, wipe your cell phone down with a disinfectant wipe once a week.

Starting to see a pattern? Constantly clean items that are frequently touched or often exposed to moisture with diluted bleach or disinfectant wipes. Happy spring cleaning!

1 comment:

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