Germs and bacteria are everywhere. They’re a natural part of life, and they cover everything. You’ve even got some bacteria in your body, working for you, right now!
But there are certain germs, bacteria, and viruses that can make you and your family sick – and many of them might just be lurking in spots around your home right now, without you even realizing it.
But which household surfaces or areas are the most likely to have harmful germs and bacteria, or nasty traces of mold and mildew?
According to studies and research, here are five of the germiest areas in the average home – along with some thoughts on what you can do to clean them the right way!
5.) Knobs, light switches, and handles
When you think about the parts of your home that you use the most, what comes to mind? Maybe your bed? Or a favorite sofa? This may be true. But there are other places in your home that you probably touch multiple times every single day, without even thinking about it. We’re talking about home features like light switches, door knobs, and faucet handles. Throughout your home, these areas can be a hotbed for harmful germs and bacteria, getting on your hands when you least expect to be contaminated.
What to Do: You can clean many of these overlooked features with a solution you probably already have on hand. A little bit of dishwashing liquid and a microfiber cloth make for a great, effective way to clean refrigerator door handles, light switches, and more. In other cases, a gentles solution of vinegar and water may be enough to work as a potent disinfectant.
4.) Kitchen countertops
A lot of prep work gets done on kitchen countertops – and it’s not always food related! Sure, you probably chop, wash, and mix on your counters and cutting boards. But in many households, the kitchen is also the spot for bathing newborns, completing arts and crafts projects, and so much more. In studies, 18 percent of kitchen cutting boards were found to have harmful bacteria, as were 32 percent of kitchen counters.
What to Do: Be sure to regularly wipe down your countertops with your favorite cleaning solution. Be aware of what of kitchen surfaces you have! In some cases, letting a spill go uncleaned, or using the wrong solution, could mean causing significant damage to your countertops. For more, check out our guide to cleaning new household surfaces the right way.
3.) Pet bowls and toys
Pets love to wander around your whole house, and many even take frequent trips outside. Unlike a person, a dog or cat doesn’t know when it’s tracking in dirt or bacteria. As a result, pers can be a major source for germs in a home, and pet-friendly areas are some of the dirtiest spots around. In one study, 45 percent of pet bowls were found to be harboring mold and yeast, and 18 percent contained coliform bacteria, which can make humans sick.
What to Do: Taking care of your fur babies can help take care of you! Regularly clean pet food and water bowls with soap and water, occasionally disinfecting with bleach treatments, as well. Do the same with pet toys, and be sure to wash “soft” fabric toys that can go in the washer/dryer. During the rainy and muddy seasons, be sure to regularly wipe down your pet’s paws when they go from outdoors to indoors, and be vigilant for hairs, stains, and other side effects of having a furry friend around.
2.) Bathroom surfaces
Your bathroom is where you go #1 and #2, so it only makes sense that it winds up on a list of five dirty places, right?
All joking aside, your bathroom, when left untreated, can be a breeding ground for germs and bacteria, and some of the worst offenders might be places you never expected. For instance, shower curtains can be a major source for mold and mildew. Bathroom walls and sink faucets can harbor secret bacteria. And your toothbrush and toothbrush holder may just be among the dirtiest objects in your whole house, according to studies.
What to Do: It’s important to make bathroom cleaning a routine part of your cleaning regimen. Focus on treating your shower for mold and mildew. Regularly scrub your countertops and surfaces with your favorite disinfectant cleaner, and polish your faucet. Regularly swap out your disposable toothbrush, and wash your toothbrush holder in the dishwasher (if it’s dishwasher safe), or clean it by hand using hot water and dish soap.
1.) Kitchen sink
Your kitchen sink is full of leftover water, food and beverage residue, and lots of other nasty stuff. No wonder it’s one of the germiest spots in your home! In fact, according to one study, 45 percent of sinks tested positive for harmful bacteria, and 27 percent contained one or more types of mold. At the same time, your kitchen sink is home to one of the grossest items in any home – the sponge! According to one study, 77 percent of kitchen sponges or dish rags percent hosted coliform bacteria, 18 percent held harmful staph bacteria, and 86 percent contained yeast and mold.
What to Do: Make sure you regularly sanitize your kitchen sponges and rags. Dish rags, for instance, can be tossed in with your laundry, and should be done at least once every one to two weeks. Regularly switch out your sponges. Disinfect your kitchen sinks regularly using your favorite multi-surface disinfectant.
Looking for Help?
We know that waging war with germs and bacteria can feel like a full-time job. When you’re ready to call in the reinforcements, Sweeping Dimensions Cleaning Service can help!
Here at SDCS, we always make a sweeping effort to make life less stressful. Whether you’re looking for a deep clean, routine housekeeping, or service for a special event, we can help! With a professionally trained and uniformed staff, all of our cleanings are fully customizable to meet your unique needs. We bring all of the cleaning supplies and equipment needed to clean your home, with a focus on green, environmentally sound cleaning products.
We’re so confident that you’ll love our service, that we offer the Sweeping Dimensions guarantee! If our cleaning services should ever fail to meet your expectations, you can call us within 24 hours of your cleaning and we will send out a supervised crew to correct anything that needs attention.
Ready to stay on top of your household’s dirtiest areas? Get in touch today for your free estimate!