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7 Germiest Places in Your Home to Keep Clean This Flu Season

This Old House Magazine
Healthy Living
January 15, 2013
Flu-proof your home
Flu-proof your home

Have a touch of the cold? Catch the flu? You probably did it to yourself...because you're gross. Truth is, even the most diligent OCD cleaners among us are likely to overlook these cesspools for ick. According to the Hygiene Council, here are the nastiest parts of every home. Get disinfecting, folks! - Elizabeth Lilly & Tabitha Sukhai


1. Kitchen sponges. Wiping up all that spilled milk and all those cookie crumbs can add up to lots of disgusting bits lodged in the nooks and crannies of your favorite cleaning companion. If you don't want to spend on replacing your sponge every week or two, nuke it in the microwave for a few seconds or run it through a cycle in the dishwasher (along with a full load) to antibacterialize.

2. Kitchen faucets. The spout may help you wash up, but it holds on to its own fair share of yackiness. Give your kitchen faucet routine wipe downs with anti-bacterial wipes or some good- old-fashioned vinegar on a paper towel. See 10 Uses for Vinegar to find more clever ways to put the stuff to work in your old house.

3. Tub and shower. Perhaps you're noticing a trend: All the places where you clean things (including yourself) are prone to accumulating dirt. No one likes cleaning the shower but stop being a slob and just do it. Especially if you've got kids who tend to use the space as a toilet replacement in a jam. Check out 10 Ways Your Bathroom is Making You Sick for more DIY solutions for dirty homes.

4. Pet-feeding area. Fido can bring in (and leave behind) all kinds of drool, food particles, and grossness after mealtime. So, keep your dog clean and consider building a pretty dog feeding station to keep feeding-time germs contained.

5. Microwave touchscreen/ controls. Did you hit defrost on the microwave after handling raw chicken? Wash your hands between steps? Didn't think so. Make sure you clean the inside and outside of your machine.

6. TV remote. Taking in your favorite primetime programming (cough This Old House cough) with a chicken-parm sub in hand? Food particles and other bacteria will stick around (and degrade) on and in your clicker. We recommend sanitizing your remote control (and telephone, for that matter) during cleaning sprees.

7. Light switches. The first thing you do when you walk in a room is flip that switch. But you can't remember the last time you wiped the thing down, can you? So get on that, will ya?


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