Certain areas of your home make a good scrub down obvious. Some objects, however, tend to be a bit more forgettable, and dirt, dust, and germs build up without us noticing them. But not anymore! Banish bacteria, dust, and grime on common household objects with these quick and clever tips.
1. Kitchen Handles
Need a hand during dinner prep? You're likely using one to open the refrigerator door -- even if you just finished handling raw meat. If left untreated, refrigerator, freezer, and oven handles become a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. Scrub handles down once a week with a mix of 1 part hot water and 1 part vinegar.
2. Toothbrush Holder
Keep your pearly whites clean and your toothbrush holder cleaner. Throw the dirty bathroom accessory in the dishwasher once a week, or sterilise it by hand with hot water and soap. It's also a good idea to sterilise individual toothbrushes, especially during flu season. Boil brushes in water for two to three minutes.
3. Computer Accessories
Think of all the times you've coughed, sneezed, or blown your nose at your desk. Now think of the last time you cleaned your mouse and keyboard. Time to banish bacteria and prevent germs from spreading in your office. Detach your computer's keyboard and mouse, then dip a soft-bristled toothbrush in soapy water and gently scrub.
4. Place Mats
Place mats are great at protecting wood finishes from food stains, but they get filthy fast. Rinse plastic or vinyl place mats with warm water and soap. Let dry completely. Fabric mats can be thrown in the laundry machine with like-color linens, but be sure to hand-wash anything embroidered.
Keep your balance without picking up any pathogens. Use damp paper towels soaked in hot water and vinegar to scrub down railings. Wipe dry with a polishing cloth. Give doorknobs the same disinfection.
6. Light Switches
Grimy hands touch light switches and lamp knobs every day. Disinfect with a slightly damp cloth soaked in hot water and vinegar. Wipe dry with a polishing cloth.
7. Reusable Shopping Bags
Reusable shopping bags are great: They hold a tonne and provide an environmentally friendly alternative to plastic. However, the bags can start to smell and become a breeding ground for bacteria and mould if not cleaned regularly. Wash cloth grocery bags in your laundry machine, or invest in plastic bags that can easily be wiped down.
8. Ice Cube Trays
It's easy to just refill ice cube trays without a thought, but trays are susceptible to picking up food remnants or odours inside your freezer. Each time they're empty, give the trays a thorough wash with hot water and dish soap.
9. Water Bottles
Put down the bottle. Before you take another sip, draw a hot, soapy bath for it. Let soak for five to 10 minutes. Use a bottle brush to scrub the interior, and utilize a toothpick to get inside the mouthpiece. Rinse thoroughly.
Faucets are hands-down the dirtiest thing in your home. Scrub handles daily with hot water and dish soap. For a shiny surface, make a paste with baking soda and vinegar, apply it to the faucet, let sit, then rinse off.
11. Cup Holders
Latte spilt during a rough commute? We're here to help you out of this sticky situation. Use a rag soaked in hot water and dish soap to scrub the inside of a cup holder. Then use a toothpick to pick off any remaining gunk. Use a clean rag to towel dry.
This article originally appeared on Better Homes and Gardens US.