When it comes to cleaning, most of us assume that we have a pretty good idea of the tasks we need to be doing. In most homes though, there are a whole host of neglected chores, many of which could have a detrimental impact on the overall cleanliness and hygiene of the house. In fact, some of the dirtiest places in your house are likely hiding in plain sight, right beneath your nose.
This isn’t always the case though - there are also plenty of germ hotspots that are tucked just a little out of sight. When it comes to cleaning though, out of sight should not mean out of mind.
Here we’ll be rattling through 10 hotspots for germs that you might not think to clean - either because they’re right in front of you, or just that little too far out of sight for you to worry about.
Either way, make sure to work these into your cleaning routine to keep your home hygienic and germ-free.
N.B the majority of the below areas could be sufficiently tackled with a bottle of anti-bac spray and a microfibre cloth, although we'll let you know if further equipment or products are required.
1) The handle and seal of your fridge/freezer
Think of all the food that goes in and out of your fridge every week. You probably open the door 5 or 6 times a day on average. Every time you grab that door, you’re depositing and transferring germs. It’s therefore absolutely essential that you clean this regularly to keep a clean and hygienic environment - after all, cooking dinner’s the worst possible time to be unhygienic.
2) Door and window handles
Again, you’re touching these so many times throughout the day, that germs are bound to be passed to and from on a daily basis. Leaving and entering the house shouldn’t be an exercise in transferring germs. All it takes is an anti-bac spray and a microfibre once a week to make the house a clean, hygienic environment.
3) Your electronics
This includes them all - your laptop, tablets, phones, video game controllers...the lot. A shocking study found that there were more germs on the average iPhone than there were on a toilet seat… tenfold :O You’re using these all day, every day, so it’s essential that you’re aware of the germ-trap that these can become, and that you act to counter this!
4) Light and lamp switches
Your bedside lamp might well be the first thing you touch when you wake up in the morning (with your germ-infested phone quite likely the second item your mitts will touch). Ending or starting your day in an unhygienic way could be detrimental for your immune system and wider health so it’s essential that you get these cleaned up.
5) Your washing machine, vacuum and dishwasher
That’s right… your cleaning equipment could, in fact, be the dirtying equipment. When you think about it, it actually makes sense - how could you expect to clean your cloths, plates or floors with neglected equipment? If you’re guilty of this one, don't fret - there are easy fixes. Vacuums can easily be dismantled and sprayed/wiped, while it normally only takes an empty run once in a while to clean your white goods. Don’t forget to wipe down the fronts and handles too, and check the seals are nice and clean for that germ-free finish.
6) Mains sockets
These are absolute dust magnets. Anything that juts out of the wall, like a light switch or mains socket will inevitably catch settling dust and provide a platform for it as it falls. Surprisingly though, we often walk right past these when cleaning, particularly in landings or other communal areas. We’ve already spoken about germs around light switches, but this goes for mains sockets too. N.B. It should go without saying, but you must never clean these with anything damp - a dry clean microfibre will do the trick just fine.
7) The dish rack
There’s no feeling worse than the suspicion that your cleaning efforts are in vain. To ensure that this isn’t the case with your washing up, make sure to give your dish rack a frequent and thorough clean. Soak, spray or wipe it, it doesn’t really matter too much - just make sure it’s fresh and clean! Also make sure to wipe beneath it, as stagnant water can settle here leaving an unpleasant aroma and a germ-fest where it ought to be clean!
Most of us can remember the emphasis put on hand-washing when we were children. Although we should avoid becoming obsessive about this, it’s worth reminding yourself from time to time just how important hand-washing is. Over 1 in 10 of us have ‘grossly contaminated’ hands that are dirtier than a toilet bowl, according to this grizzly study from a few years back. Making sure that you are clean and hygienic is the first step to maintaining a healthy home, so don’t take this one for granted!
We’ve spoken a lot about the wonders of microfibres of late, but these can get dirty too! Failure to keep these fresh and clean can result in the contamination of areas that you think you’re cleaning! Luckily, they’re super easy to clean, and you can chuck them into your washing machine on a 40-degree cycle to ensure they’re good as new. Some people recommend detergent while others go without; either way, all parties agree that any hotter than 40 degrees celcius will damage the fibres, so don’t wash them too hot!
10) The banister
If you've got staircases in your house or flat it's absolutely essential that you remember to disinfect and wipe your banister. You'll likely come in contact with the banister many times a day so you can't afford to let it become a haven for germs. When spraying and wiping make sure to get all the way around to ensure there's nowhere for those pesky germs to hide!