While trying to make your home germ-free, you probably have invested in dozens of disinfectants and cleaning products to help you in cleaning. However, there are specific spaces and items in the house that are usually overlooked.
Here, we try to highlight some mistakes that you might be making while cleaning the house, to ensure you tackle germs, especially in the commonly overlooked areas.
1. Not cleaning the washing machine
Bacteria and mold spores can spread to your clothes if you do not clean your washing machine properly. These can be harmful to people with asthma and allergies. Dirt particles can be in the drum or the compartments for detergent and fabric softener, which is why it is advisable to wash your machine once every fortnight.
You can run a washing cycle with no clothes at the highest temperature available, using bleach or citric acid, or place your kitchen towels in the machine and wash them in 100ml of bleach. The compartments can be cleaned at the same time but make sure you dry the drum afterwards. It may be hard to remove mold spots if they affect the seal on the door.
2. Keeping the toilet brush in a sealed container
You can reduce how much bacteria live on the dirtiest object in your home if you dry and disinfect it regularly before storing it. Sealing the toilet brush might be supporting the growth of bacteria which then spreads to the rest of your bathroom when you use it.
3. Rarely disinfecting sinks
We normally forget to clean the drain when we are doing the dishes or cleaning the sink. Food particles and dirt often stay in the drain and this can make bacteria start to grow and when you pour water at a high pressure, these bacteria may make their way back up the drain and into the sink.
You can use a tablespoon of baking soda to clean the sink properly, then pour some vinegar after and let it sit overnight. Afterwards, pour hot water into the drain for bacteria-free sinks.
4. Neglecting the toothbrush holder
The toothbrush holder houses more than 100 million different kinds of harmful bacteria. In addition to the bacteria from your mouth, toothbrush holders can get dirty from bacteria in the sink and the toilet when you flush. These can cause diseases such as dysbacteriosis, cystitis and disorders of the large intestine.
To decrease these effects, you need to store your toothbrush on the shelf above the sink and avoid using a toothbrush cap since bacteria grows faster in a closed environment. If you can store the toothbrush in closed cabinets then would be even better. You should clean the toothbrush holder regularly by disinfecting it in mouthwash for 30 seconds or boiling it in water for 2 minutes.
5. Using cold water to clean
Lukewarm and cold water are not effective in cleaning. You need to use water that is 10 degrees higher than room temperature or hot enough for your hands to withstand. You can also use alkaline cleaners since they can kill more bacteria and fungi.
6. Loading the dishwasher incorrectly
Since the dishwasher disinfects itself, there is not much cleaning involved. It however needs daily drying or else mold will grow inside. Remember to place your dishes correctly and according to the instructions given so that your dishes are washed properly.
7. The shower curtain and shower head
The shower curtain is rarely cleaned since we often assume it gets clean while we shower, but this is not the case. Black mold usually grows in the space between the bathtub and the wall. Using vinyl or fabric curtains is better because they can be placed in the washing machine monthly or soaked in a salt or citric solution, then they should be wiped dry.
For the shower head, you should let the water run for at least a minute before taking a shower to avoid black mold and staphylococcus bacteria which can cause tonsillitis, otitis and sinus infections. You can also soak the shower head in a solution of baking soda and vinegar every 1 or 2 weeks.
8. Not cleaning exhaust fans
Since an exhaust fan is connected to the air shaft which often has the feces of rodents and birds that make their way into the house, it might be one of the most dangerous hideouts for bacteria.
It can be cleaned every 2 weeks by removing the grate and using vinegar and a cleaner to wash it, then it should be dried afterwards. When you are done, make sure to remove dust from the fan assembly with a vacuum.
Do you have additional tips for cleaning the house? Please feel free to share them with us.