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Top 5 surprisingly grimy places you forgot to clean

No matter how methodical we are when cleaning our homes, we may miss some common and bacteria-laden areas. Read on to find out what areas of germs you might be overlooking!


Bucket with rubber gloves beside toilet

Don’t overlook:

  1. Pet bowls and pet bedding need to be cleaned regularly to prevent the build-up of germs, hair and dander.

  2. Of course, bathrooms require regular attention – but don’t overlook items such as toothbrush holders, which are regarded as the third most germ-infected area in the home.

  3. When the rubbish goes out, the bin itself should be washed and disinfected too.

Some everyday items in the home can be far dirtier than we realise, especially when they are used by lots of people all carrying different bacteria. It’s easy to forget that some of these areas need cleaning:

  1. Doorknobs: As hands touch doorknobs they transfer bacteria, so make sure to wipe doorknobs & handles with anti-bacterial products to remove grease and germs. While you’re at it, don’t forget light switches, plus any buttons in constant use.

  2. Bath mats: The bathroom is a haven for bacteria, so all towels, non-slip mats and face towels need regular washing to stay hygienic.

  3. The washing machine: Often forgotten, this appliance needs some attention to boost its cleaning performance and to make it last longer. Take a look at the detergent drawer – it can be full of soap build-up and even mould. The machine will also be more efficient if limescale is removed and the filter is clean. For a full guide to cleaning the washing machine.

  4. Keyboards: These provide endless nooks and crannies for grime and dust to gather. This is also true for all other frequently used electrical gadgets, such as mobile phones, tablets and remote controls. See the expert rundown on how to clean a laptop computer.

  5. Cutting boards: Kitchen and food hygiene is extremely important. Researchers at the University of Arizona discovered the average cutting board can harbour 200 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. How dirty your chopping boards are can depend on whether they are made of wood or plastic, and if they were used for preparing vegetables or slicing raw meat. Grooves in cutting boards provide a home for bacteria, so deep scratches may mean it is time to replace them. However, you may be able to sand back a wooden board for continued use. Washing your own hands between different tasks – especially after handling meat or poultry – is one of the best ways of preventing the spread of bacteria.

Research shows sponges can harbour billions of bacteria. Effective cleaning needs efficient tools, so brushes and sponges need regular attention.

The Poll

What’s most important to you when it comes to cleaning?

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Originally published