The hidden spots in your home which are actually really filthy – from door handles to the kettleAugust 17, 2021
YOU wouldn’t eat your lunch off of your toilet seat, but your chopping board could be harbouring many more germs.
It’s not the only overlooked corner of our homes where bacteria, viruses and fungi could be lurking.
In fact, there are several bacteria-breeding hotspots that never get blitzed with bleach, zapped by Zoflora, or even mingled with a Minky cloth.
The Sun spoke to Henry Paterson, Senior Operations Executive at Housekeep, to find out the most common germ-ridden areas that most people don’t think to clean – and how best to get them sparkling.
One in 10 Brits have never cleaned their bathroom door handle, according to a study last year by DBS Bathrooms.
The fact that 12% of UK adults don’t wash their hands after using the toilet should be all the motivation you need to give your doorknobs a good scrub.
In fact, you should be cleaning all the door handles in your home once or twice a week.
Henry says: “A quick spray with a multi-surface cleaning spray, followed by a wipe with a clean microfibre should be all that’s needed.”
Light switches are another common touchpoint and should be wiped down once or twice a week, using a small amount of disinfectant sprayed onto a clean, dry microfibre.
Henry advises using as little moisture as possible and not spraying any cleaning product directly onto the light switches themselves.
7.2 million Brits have never cleaned their kettles, according to a recent survey by Wren Kitchens.
If you’re one of them, it’s time to give this overlooked item some elbow grease.
Henry says you should be using a multi-surface spray and a clean, damp microfibre cloth to wipe the outside of your kettle, as well as the outside of other appliances like the microwave and oven, every week when you clean your kitchen.
On the inside, regular descaling also prolongs the life of a kettle and keeps it ticking over.
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Cloths and tea towels
If you’re not changing your kitchen tea towels at least a couple of times a week, you’re spreading germs rather than killing them.
Henry says: “If not washed regularly, the cloths & tea towels in your kitchen could be a huge contamination risk.
“Make sure to machine wash microfibre cloths between every use at a high temperature (ideally 60C+) to prevent the spread of germs.
“You should change and wash your tea towels daily if you’re using them to dry dishes and wipe surfaces.”
If you’ve got stairs at home, your bannister is probably handled dozens of times each day by everyone in the house.
You know what that means: It’s due a clean!
Henry advises wiping it down as part of your weekly cleaning routine to ensure that it’s kept hygienic.
It’s likely that every homecooked meal will come into contact with your butcher block – but you might be getting a whole lot more than just chopped veg off it.
Studies have shown that the average chopping board is home to many more germs than a toilet seat.
Henry says: “It’s critical you’re washing these regularly to prevent cross-contamination.
“Use hot soapy water and a clean sponge after every use, and be particularly thorough if you’ve had raw meat on there.”
Electronics that get used by multiple members of the home – such as remote controls and gaming controllers – should be cleaned at least once a week.
“With electronics, it’s best to clean with a small amount of rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol), as this dries quickly and is less likely to cause damage,” says Henry.
“Look for 60-80% concentration for the most effective disinfection.”
He also advises that if someone in the home falls ill, you should clean these right away.
Your mobile phone
Studies have shown that the average smartphone is covered with more bacteria than toilet seats, the bottom of shoes and pet's food dishes.
Because even though we take our phones everywhere, most people don’t think to clean them as often as they do virtually everything else.
Henry says: “You should clean your phone at least once a week.
“Remove your phone from its case and use alcohol cleaning wipes or some isopropyl alcohol on a microfibre cloth to wipe the outside of your phone.
“Don’t forget to wipe the inside and outside of your case too.”
Under the sofa cushions
Your sofa is another hotbed for bacteria that could be harbouring more germs than your average toilet seat.
Henry recommends vacuuming your sofa at least once a week as part of your routine, but warns not to forget to lift up the cushions too!
All sorts of dirt can bed into the cracks between your cushions and fester underneath, so he advises removing any larger debris by hand first before vacuuming and reassembling the sofa.
He adds: “If you have detachable covers, you should remove and wash these according to the instructions every few months.”
Laptop, mouse and keyboard
Similarly to TV remotes and gaming controllers, your home office is likely to be used by several people in the household, which makes it a perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
Henry advises cleaning your set up at least once a week, or more often if you’re bringing your laptop in and out of the house.
He says: “To clean these items, you should use a small quantity of rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) applied to a microfibre cloth, or some alcohol cleaning wipes.
“Alcohol evaporates quickly, and doesn't leave behind any excess moisture which can damage electronics.”
For more cleaning hacks, cleaning mad woman reveals how to blitz your microwave in minutes using white vinegar.
And we also revealed you've been washing our towels all wrong – here’s how you should really be cleaning them.
Plus woman shares easy hack for stopping dust collecting on her skirting boards & all you need is fabric softener.
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