The average American spends well over an hour a day scrubbing, mopping and dusting our homes clean. And in a study on household cleanliness the United States had high scores nearly across the board.
In other words, housework is a bit of a national obsession.
But regardless of whether you’re a Messy Marvin or a Neat Nancy your home can be harboring sickening germs in some unexpected spots.
And when you find out how dirty some objects actually are, I guarantee you’re going to want to pull out your cleaning supplies and get to work.
4 germ magnets in your home you should clean right NOW
Following are four of the filthiest spot in your home. No matter how good a housekeeper you are, these germ magnets may be infested with invisible ugly bugs.
1. Your computer keyboard:
Researchers say 25 percent of us NEVER clean our computer keyboards. Which is probably why when scientists tested a number of them here in the USA they found staphylococcus aureus (staph) bugs on 11 percent of them.
And one consumer organization in the U.K. found that keyboards could be up to five times as filthy as the average toilet seat!
Staph is a common culprit behind food poisoning. So if you don’t make a regular habit of cleaning your keyboard, you’re going to want to change that starting today. All you need is a bottle of isopropyl alcohol, a couple of soft cloths, some cotton swabs and a can of compressed air.
Disconnect your keyboard from the computer and start by using the air to blow off any dust or food particles that have collected on the surface. If you don’t have any compressed air around simply turning the keyboard upside down, and gently shaking it to loosen any debris, will work in a pinch.
Next, dip a cotton swab into some of the alcohol and gently swipe around the outside of all of the keys. Grab and dip more swabs as you need them.
Now it’s time to give the keys some attention. Dip a soft cloth into some of the rubbing alcohol. (You want it just slightly damp, NOT dripping.). And then gently swipe across each key, removing any dirt. And while you’re at it give your mouse a quick once over too.
Finish up by lightly wiping down and polishing the keyboard with a soft dry cloth.
2. Your bathtub:
I bet you thought the toilet would be the dirtiest spot in the bathroom. But it turns out the bathtub is the real culprit.
Researchers say our tubs are swimming in germs. And the worst spot of all is the seal line where the tub meets up with the tile. In a stomach churning 40 percent of the tubs, that caulk line earned a rating of either “unsatisfactory” or, even worse, “heavily contaminated.”
If you’d like to go give it scrub right now, I don’t blame you. I’ll be waiting right here when you get back.
A paste of two parts baking soda and one part hydrogen peroxide works well. Let the paste sit for about a half an hour, apply some elbow grease and rinse well.
For in between scrubs fill a spray bottle with a mix of half water half white vinegar and spritz regularly. The vinegar will help discourage mold and other fungus from moving in.
3. Your kitchen towel:
Your kitchen towel is a real workhouse, drying dishes, hands and surfaces several times every day. And all that work, and wetness, can really take its toll.
Researchers found that 15 percent of the kitchen towels they tested were either unsatisfactory or heavily contaminated with germs.
Use a brand new towel every day and toss the used ones in the wash. (Just make sure they’re dry before dropping them into the hamper.)
Wash your dish towels in hot water on the heavy duty setting. And add some non-chlorine bleach, such as 7th Generation Chlorine-Free, to kill off any bacteria hiding in the towels.
4. Your dishwasher:
You might want to brace yourself. Odds are your dishwasher is growing fungi at this very moment.
In a study, a full 62 percent of dishwashers tested positive for growing some type of fungi such as a yeast or mold. And the researchers say 56 percent of those were dangerous black yeast.
The warm, moist environment inside your dishwasher looks like home sweet home to these bugs. And your dishwasher soap, which contains “yummy” salts, looks an awful lot like a tasty meal.
Most folks don’t realize you even need to wash the dishwasher. But you should be giving it a thorough cleaning once a month to keep the fungus at bay.
Pull out the inside racks, scrub them down with warm soapy water (dish soap is fine) and dry them completely. Wipe down the interior with a hot soapy rag. Be sure to give extra attention to the rubber door seal. Fungus like to set up camp there. Then return the racks to the machine.
Next, grab a small bowl, fill it up with white vinegar and put it on the top rack. Run the machine through a cycle on the hottest setting. Remove the bowl, sprinkle a cup of baking soda onto the bottom of the dishwasher and run it through a second hot cycle.
Finish by wiping down the inside walls with a mix of hot water and non-chlorine bleach.
They say cleanliness is next to godliness. I don’t know about that. But I do know that I’ll be paying special attention to these four germ magnets in my home from now on.