Germs Are Hiding In More Places Than You Think.
When you think about your disinfecting routine chances are you're only thinking about those big ticket items, counter tops, appliances, and door knobs. But there are other household items that you use regularly and other places you touch frequently where germs can lurk and that you may not think to clean. Some need just washing, others can be sanitized or disinfected, but all could benefit from a little more attention at this crucial time.
To really round our your disinfecting hit list, we're calling out 10 sneaky spots that you're likely forgetting to disinfect on a regular basis!
Better Homes & Gardens suggests, that even if you're carefully considering the high-touch surfaces inside your home, you may be forgetting the ones outside your house. In the car, wipe down anything you're likely to touch, particularly the steering wheel, turn signal, center console, gear stick, radio buttons and knobs and even your seat. Keeping an extra pouch of disinfecting wipes in your car can make quick wipe downs even easier.
Video Game Consoles and Controllers
This is a big one especially if you have kiddos! If your kids often play video games, have friends over, and snack while they play, make sure to wipe down their video game controllers and consoles regularly. To disinfect safely, use disinfecting wipe or if you use a disinfecting spray, spritz a clean cloth first to avoid getting liquid inside the controller.
Keyboard and Mouse
Science shows that bacteria love breeding on computer keyboards, especially when they're used by more than one person. And according to Wired, viruses can cling to glass surfaces for up to 96 hours, multiple days’ worth of potential infection. To reduce your risk of getting sick, make sure you regularly clean your computer keyboard! The best way to disinfect your keyboard is to make sure your computer is fully off, and any external devices are disconnected. Then carefully, using a disinfecting wipe, gently wipe down your keyboard and mouse. If you find that your disinfecting wipe is extra moist, follow up with a microfiber to remove any remaining liquid and make sure your keyboard and mouse are fully dry before turning your computer back on.
Car Door Handles
Just as you might be forgetting your steering wheel, you're likely forgetting your car door handles. When you head to the store, to work or to pick up your kiddos, you probably touch a million different surfaces, then touch your door handle. It's likely packed full of bacteria, viruses and other not so nice germs. When you clean your steering wheel, make sure you do a quick wipe down of your door handle (both interior and exterior!). Don't forget it's not just your driver side door handle that needs to be wiped down, if you have a big family or regularly have a full car—every handle (including the trunk) needs regular disinfecting.
Chances are you use your remote controls almost daily, but how often do you clean them? Remote controls are one of those items people typically skip over or completely forget about when they clean. As it's a hotbed for germs and bacteria, make sure you add it to your regular list of surfaces to hit when you disinfect your home! To avoid damaging your remotes with liquid, use a disinfecting wipe and wipe each button, the sides and back!
Phone and Tablet Chargers (And Other Accessories)
If you're constantly plugging your phone in, using a stylus on your tablet or other have other accessories for your electronics, you should start disinfecting them ASAP, especially if you share them! While you're probably being careful about washing your hands and staying diligent, you can't be sure your friends and family are doing the same. Using disinfecting wipes or spray on a microfiber cloth, wipe down charging ports, cords, plugs and other accessories you use for your phone or tablet!
You carry your purse with you everywhere, so chances are it's pretty gross. If you have a habit of placing your purse on the floor in a restaurant or even worse, in the ladies' room, never rest it on your kitchen table or countertop.
- Finished leather purses can be quickly wiped down with a disinfecting wipe. Pay special attention to the handle or strap, zipper pulls, and the bottom. Once dry, follow up with a pass of a leather conditioning wipe.
- Fabric bags can't be disinfected, but they can usually be cleaned with a cloth dipped in a mild sudsy solution and rinsed the same way. Test this method on a hidden spot first, for safety.
- Unfinished leather bags should be professionally cleaned.
Think about how often you handle your keys. Yes, you use them to open your doors, but you also drop the on the ground, set them on counter, pass them off to friends or family members. Let's face it, your keys get around and they're constantly collecting germs, and bacteria. To help keep them (and ultimately your hands) clean, give them a once over with a disinfecting wipe, or for a deeper clean spray them down with disinfecting spray and let sit for 10 minutes. Be sure if you have electronic keys, to carefully wipe them down to prevent them from being damaged.
These everyday essentials get handled by lots of people and germs can lurk in the crevices around the numbers. Give debit and credit cards a quick cleaning. Wipe down with a disinfecting wipe and let them air dry before placing them back in your wallet.
We don't regularly handle our trash cans, but it's important to remember they are home to countless germs, bacteria and viruses— especially E.coli and Salmonella! While you don't need to disinfect your trash cans daily, once or twice a week doesn't hurt. Simply empty your can of all its contents, and liberally spray the interior and exterior down with a disinfecting spray. Allow the spray to sit for up to 10 minutes, then wipe off any excess liquid.
How often should you be cleaning?
If no one in the house is sick, there's no need to go crazy. Depending on the size of your household and how often everyone goes in and out, every other day or two to three times a week should be adequate for cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting highly-touched surfaces. If someone in your house is ill, it's recommended to keep them isolated and to clean surfaces and surroundings daily.
Before you get cleaning, remember to check the labels on your disinfectants. "Sanitizing" significantly reduces the number of germs and can take a fraction of the time of disinfecting, which kills more germs than sanitizing does. Disinfecting can up to 10 minutes, so be sure you know how to use your products correctly.