The Dirtiest, Grimiest Places In Your House That You Never Thought To Clean

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If you are looking to avoid getting sick this winter, you have tons of obstacles ahead — most of which you don’t even know about! Sure, there’s the usual flu or common cold germs, but your home is hiding tons of other dirty secrets.

In fact, here are some of the most bacteria-ridden places in your house that you wouldn’t even think to clean. Check them out and learn where you are most at risk.

1. Bath mats are wet and usually placed in a dark bathroom, which is the environment that bacteria thrives on. Because of this, they’re one of the most contaminated items in your house.

Use bleach to launder bath mats and kill bacteria in its tracks.

2. Remote controls are notoriously dirty. This is especially true if you and whoever else holds it doesn’t wash their hands before use.

Give them a good scrub with disinfectant wipes and get rid of that pesky bacteria.

3. You spend all night drooling, sweating, and sleeping on your pillows. If you don’t clean them regularly, bacteria is bound to start growing there.

Frequently run pillowcases through the laundry. Also, give your actual pillows a good wash with these instructions.

4. Gym bags are regularly stuffed with sweaty socks, shirts, shorts, pants, etc. That dark and damp space is a perfect habitat for bacterial growth.

Most gym bags can (and should) go through the washing machine and dryer just like the stinky clothes they carry.

5. If your toothbrush is anywhere near the toilet, guess what — studies have shown that flushing can launch bacteria into the air, landing right on that brush. Add that to the fact that you put your toothbrush in the dirtiest place on your body every single day.

The FDA urges people to replace their toothbrushes every three to four months and to rinse them thoroughly after each use.

6. Makeup brushes can carry a ton of bacteria on them and you are rubbing it all over your face.

Replace your makeup brushes and other accessories every season or so. In the meantime, here’s how to clean them.

7. Shoes pick up and carry around loads of bacteria.

Cleaning your kicks is annoying (though often doable in the washer), but an easy fix is to institute a no-shoes policy in your house.

8. You put your bare feet on them, you sweat on them, dead skin lives on them — I’m talking about yoga mats, people. They can even house the debilitating ring worm and staph bacteria.

If you scrub yoga mats with dish soap and water every month or so, you should keep your mat nice and clean.

9. Using headphones for as little as one hour has been shown to coat them in bacteria from your ear.

Clean your headphones with soap and water and a toothbrush, but be careful not to get any in the speaker, which will damage it.

10. Coffee makers are, unfortunately, a common place for bacteria growth. The dark and moist confines make it an ideal spot.

In order to avoid this contamination, run a 50/50 mix of water and white vinegar through the machine once a month.

11. Bed sheets become contaminated with sweat and dead skin cells. They also soak up other bodily fluids you may produce overnight.

Wash them regularly on the highest heat available for both the wash and dry cycles.

12. Reusable plastic bottles can house E. coli if you don’t wash them properly.

Rinse them regularly with soap and water, and if you really want to get it clean, soak it in a watered-down bleach solution for two minutes every week.

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13. Kitchen sponges have loads of bacteria on them from scrubbing off food particles.

Replace sponges every month or so, but if that’s not possible, soak yours in a bleach solution for five minutes about every week or microwave it for two minutes.

14. Kitchen knobs and handles are rife with bacteria because while you prepare a meal, you end up touching them along with your uncooked food.

To kill this bacteria, disinfect these areas with disinfectant sprays or wipes.

15. It seems silly that something you pat your clean body with is so dirty, but bath towels are filled with dead skin and all kinds of other bacteria you wipe off when you’re done showering.

Wash them in the laundry at a high temperature to kill the bacteria.

16. If you put your dirty clothes in a laundry basket, then you should know that it’s covered with bacteria.

Use surface disinfectants for hard laundry bins and run cloth bags through the wash with your clothes.

17. Everything you touch during the day can be transferred to your keys if you don’t properly wash your hands before using them.

Scrubbing keys with soap and water should do the trick.

18. Unfortunately for contact lens wearers, studies show that around 80% of lenses are contaminated with bacteria, regardless of what kind of solution you use.

Clean your contact lens case carefully with boiling water, and make sure to replace the case every month or so.

19. If you own a cutting board, it is contaminated with tons of food particles that stick on the surface when you cut up food.

Wash plastic cutting boards with near-boiling water and microwave wooden ones for a short time to kill bacteria.

20. Purses house many of the things on this list (makeup brushes, headphones, keys, etc.). Add to that the fact that they’re dark and sometimes moist, which is perfect for bacterial growth.

Use disinfectant wipes to clean out purses regularly and make sure to completely empty them every so often.

21. Cell phones have been shown to be some of the dirtiest things we touch all day. A study showed that there is even fecal matter on one in six phones.

Wipe yours down with a disinfectant wipe at least once a weak while it is powered down.

(via Greatist)

Well, it would appear that no place is safe. But at least with these tips, we can curb the bacteria temporarily…until the next cold rolls around.

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