Top 5 Dirtiest Spots in Your Home to Clean This Spring

By Guest Writer - March 19, 2024

Spring is in the air and with it comes the urge to refresh our living spaces. While many of us focus on decluttering and dusting, certain spots often get overlooked and harbor a surprising amount of germs. As we prepare for the change of the season, let’s dive into the dirtiest spots to prioritize in your home when doing your spring cleaning.

Despite being used as a cleaning product, sponges can be a breeding ground for bacteria if not properly maintained. Researchers recommend replacing sponges every week or two, especially if they show signs of damage or odor. You can also extend the life of your sponge by cleaning it in the microwave, dishwasher or with cleaning products. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, microwaving sponges kills 99.99999% of bacteria on them, while dishwashing kills 99.9998% of bacteria. Before microwaving sponges, ensure that the sponge does not contain any metallic material and is soaked in water as a dry sponge can catch on fire. Try to clean your sponge at the end of every day, if used, and ensure it dries appropriately after each use to prevent bacterial growth. Using different sponges for cleaning dishes and surfaces can also prevent cross-contamination. 

When we think of faucets, we often think of handwashing. Faucets can also harbor a plethora of germs, especially on the handles, which are the most touched parts. It’s recommended to clean faucets weekly. Cleaning methods vary depending on the materials your faucet is made from. Start by cleaning the sink first, then clean the handles, fixtures, the faucet and the nozzle. Pay special attention to the nozzle, as mineral buildup can occur there. White vinegar can be handy for breaking up mineral deposits.

Coffee Makers
For many of us, a freshly brewed cup of coffee is the perfect start to the day. However, neglecting to clean your coffee maker regularly can lead to bacterial growth and even affect the taste of your coffee. Aim to clean your coffee maker about once a month, or sooner if you notice visible buildup or your coffee tastes off. Clean the inside and outside of your coffee maker according to the manual. Pay close attention to components like filters and drip trays, as these are hotspots for mold and yeast growth.

Remotes and Keyboards
In today’s digital age, remotes and keyboards are constantly in use, yet they are often overlooked when it comes to cleaning. These items can become dirty with food, oils from fingers and dust if not cleaned regularly. It’s important to clean remotes and keyboards once a week or at least every other week, depending on usage. Most can be cleaned with an alcohol-based disinfectant or rubbing alcohol and microfiber cloth. Don’t forget to remove any dust or particles in crevices. 

Toilet Bowl and Around the Toilet Bowl
Last but certainly not least, the toilet bowl and its surroundings are notorious for harboring germs and bacteria. It’s important to clean your toilet weekly, paying attention to the handle, seat, lid, tank base and surrounding floor area. Using a bleach-based cleaner can effectively kill harmful bacteria and keep your bathroom hygienic. Replacing your toilet brush and equipment used to clean the toilet regularly is also important as they can harbor harmful pathogens. Additionally, remember to flush your toilet regularly, even if not in use, and close the lid when flushing to minimize the spread of bacteria into the air.

By prioritizing the dirtiest spots in your home, you can create a healthier and more hygienic living environment for yourself and your loved ones. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your cleaning supplies and let’s tackle those germs head on this spring!

Board-certified infection preventionist Isis Lamphier, MPH, CIC, contributed to this story.


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