11 Things You Should Be Cleaning But Probably Aren’t

things that should be cleaned but aren'tWhen it comes to cleaning your home, your office, and your car, you’re a pro. You dust like a boss and dust mites don’t stand a chance when you break out the vacuum. You know how to make the kitchen floor sparkle like new and how to wash windows to let the sun shine in. But more than likely, you’re not cleaning everything that you really should be cleaning.

Here are the 11 items in your home, at the office, and in your car that really need to be cleaned but are probably forgotten:

Your Toothbrush Holder – The often overlooked, unsung hero of toothbrush holding is usually not cleaned very frequently. If not cleaned every once in a while, the toothbrush holder can get moldy and gross, especially since it’s drenched in a warm water a few times a day. Depending on what it’s made of, you can either throw it in the dishwasher for a good cleaning or clean it with a microfiber cloth and solution.

Trashcans – It’s ironic that we don’t tend to clean the very things that contain our trash. Even if you line your cans with clean trash bags, they are still covered in germs and will need to be cleaned once in a while, even the big ones outside. Every two weeks, scrub down the trashcan in the tub with some bleach and water to make it like new again.

Remotes and Controllers – Think about where your remote controls and game controllers wind up – on the floor, under your sleeping dog, wedged in the filthy cushions… these hard working devices need some extra care, for sure! To clean them, remove the batteries and use microfiber clothes and toothbrushes with rubbing alcohol. Do this about weekly to keep your remotes and controllers clean!

Your Cell Phone – Probably in greater need of a scrub-down is your cell phone. It lives in your pocket, in your bags, on the many desktops and countertops, and for many people, in the bathroom, too. Get rid of all the germs with an antibacterial cloth every once in a while.

The Car’s Steering Wheel and Buttons – Your hands, which may or may not be clean all the time, are all over the steering wheel and all the buttons that are placed in or around it. Make sure they’re clean! If your steering wheel is leather, opt for a leather cleaner. If it’s made of plastic, you can wipe it down with a disinfecting wipe to get the job done. Make sure to get everything that your hands routinely touch, including the gear shift and the knobs and buttons to your radio, air conditioning, and heater!

Pillows and Duvets – You probably clean your pillow sheets, but what about the pillows themselves? They contain a lot of really gross stuff like dead skin cells, mites, and more. Most pillows can be machine-washed and –dried – just make sure to check the label first! Set the washer on the gentle cycle and wash the pillows in hot water with a mild detergent. You can throw two regular-sized pillows in together to keep the load balanced, but you should really only wash one king-sized pillow at a time. Put them through the rinse cycle twice to get the soap out, and place them in the dryer with two clean tennis balls on low heat.

Ceiling Fans – You might not be able to see the dust that’s been collecting on the top of your ceiling fan blades, but it’s definitely there. Wipe it down with a duster or a damp microfiber cloth to prevent dust from swirling around in the air.

Bathroom Exhaust Fan – If you have one of these in your bathroom, you might not realize how dusty and dirty it gets over time. Remove the vent and wash it with warm soapy water regularly to keep it squeaky clean.

A/C and Heating Vents – Just like your bathroom exhaust fan, it’s a great idea to clean these vents frequently. You won’t just breathe easily, but you’ll also help improve the efficiency to your system!

Reusable Grocery Bags – Many of us have switched to bringing our own bags with us when we go grocery shopping, but very few of us clean them. According to a study from the University of Arizona and Loma Linda University, about 97% of us never wash our bags, and about 50% of the bags had tested positive for coliform (fecal) bacteria while 12% contained E. coli. Throw your cloth bags right into the washer and dryer after each use, and wipe down your recycled plastic bags with hot soapy water or with a disinfectant spray to keep things clean and to avoid cross-contamination.

Computer Keyboards – According to a 2008 study from the U. K., our keyboards are dirtier than toilet seats! Make sure to give your keyboard a good cleaning every few months by spraying between the keys with compressed air and lightly cleaning the keys and surrounding areas with an alcohol-soaked cotton swab.

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