Keeping your home clean is essential for creating a healthy and comfortable living environment. We often focus on cleaning visible areas like floors, countertops, and bathrooms, but there are several hidden spots in our homes that tend to accumulate dirt, grime, and bacteria. These areas are often overlooked during our regular cleaning routines, allowing the buildup to become unhygienic over time.
In this article, we will explore the 12 dirtiest places in the home and provide helpful tips on how to effectively clean them. By paying attention to these often neglected areas, you can ensure that your home remains a clean and safe haven for you and your family.
It’s important to note that even if you stay on top of your regular cleaning tasks, these areas can still harbor gunk and bacteria. Therefore, it’s crucial to incorporate these cleaning practices into your routine to maintain a healthier living space.
So, let’s dive into the 12 dirtiest places in your home and learn how to clean them properly!
- Coffee Maker:
Your coffee maker is one of the germiest places in the home. As you brew your daily coffee, mold, yeast, and other bacteria can build up inside the reservoir and pot. To deep-clean your coffee maker, fill the reservoir with a 50-50 solution of white distilled vinegar and water. Run a brewing cycle without any beans, stopping halfway through to let the vinegar solution soak for at least 30 minutes. Finish the cycle, then repeat with clean water to flush away any lingering vinegar scent.
If you work from home or frequently spend time on the computer, your workstation is probably a breeding ground for germs. This is because the desk surface, keyboard, and mouse are all high-touch surfaces rarely cleaned. Regularly use disinfectant wipes to clean each of these surfaces. Consider wringing out excess liquid from the wipe before cleaning electronic items to avoid dripping moisture into the openings. Wipe down each surface every few days to keep germs at bay.
While you might wipe down the handles frequently, the part where the water comes out is often overlooked. Over time, it can accumulate black, mildewy grunge. Every couple of months, remove the faucet aerator by twisting it counter-clockwise and soak it in vinegar for at least 15 minutes. Gently brush all parts with an old toothbrush to remove any remaining residue, then screw it back on.
- Handles and Switches:
Often overlooked in cleaning routines, refrigerator door handles, light switches, and toilet flush handles are high-touch areas that can harbor germs. Use a microfiber cloth dampened with your favorite cleaning product to wipe down these handles and switches during your regular cleaning routine.
- Above Your Kitchen Cabinets:
The space between your kitchen cabinets and the ceiling is often out of sight and out of mind. Over time, it can accumulate years’ worth of dust, rodent nests and droppings, long-forgotten food, and even dead plants. To clean this area, use a stepladder and your vacuum’s hose attachment or a wet/dry vac. A small hand broom and dustpan can also do the trick. Cleaning this area once a month or so will help keep the buildup under control.
Any standing water that lingers after a shower or bath can become a breeding ground for mold, fungi, and bacteria. To minimize bacteria growth, make a habit of drying off the tub or shower surface after each use. Additionally, disinfect regularly by lightly misting a dry tub with a product that contains at least three percent hydrogen peroxide.
- Walls Around Your Toilet:
The walls around your toilet can accumulate grime and organic material, making them a dirty spot in your home. To clean these walls effectively, choose cleaners that contain enzymes to break down the dirt and grime. Spray the walls and let the cleaning solution sit for a few minutes so that the enzymes can work. Then, wipe down the walls with a damp towel.
- Under, Alongside, and Behind Your Stove:
The area between your stove and the counter is prone to collecting spills and debris that often go unnoticed. This space, combined with the ambient heat from the stove, creates an ideal environment for germs to thrive. To clean this area, pull the stove away from the wall and use a plastic putty knife to scrape off the buildup. Spray the sides of the oven with oven cleaner and use a good all-purpose cleaner on the adjacent cabinets and floor.
- Inside Your Toothbrush Cup:
Toothbrush holders can harbor bacteria, especially if they are positioned near the toilet. To effectively clean the cup, soak it in warm water mixed with a little bleach for half an hour. Rinse it thoroughly, then soak it in clean water for another 30 minutes to remove any bleach residue. Alternatively, consider using a cup that is easy to clean or can be tossed in the dishwasher.
- Inside the Refrigerator:
The inside of your refrigerator can accumulate sticky takeout containers and long-forgotten leftovers, making it a breeding ground for bacteria. To clean it effectively, avoid using chemical cleaners. Instead, fill your sink with hot water and dishwashing liquid. Remove items from one refrigerator shelf, then remove the shelf itself and wash it in the sink. Dry it with a microfiber cloth and replace it in the fridge. Repeat this process for the remaining shelves.
- Kitchen Sink:
Due to food particles and moisture, the kitchen sink can harbor more bacteria than your toilet after flushing. To keep your sink clean, wash it with soap and water daily and disinfect it with a kitchen cleaner once or twice a week. Pay special attention to the drain and faucet handles.
- Remote Controls:
TV remotes are one of the germiest surfaces in your home, as they are frequently handled with dirty hands. To clean them effectively, use disinfectant wipes or a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. Pay attention to the areas between the buttons, where dirt and grime tend to accumulate.