6 Germiest Things in Your House & How to Clean Them

black dog eating out of a red bowl

If you think the toilet is the germiest place in your home, think again. This fixture has a dirty reputation, but it doesn’t even rank among the top six! This might have you questioning whether you’re spending time cleaning in the right places. Rethink your priorities with this list of the six germiest things in your home and how to clean them.

Kitchen Sponges

This is the single germiest item in the whole house. According to a study from the National Science Foundation (NSF), 75 percent of kitchen sponges test positive for coliform bacteria, an indicator of fecal contamination.

To clean sponges, wet them and place them in the microwave for two minutes. Do this daily and replace your sponges every two weeks. Better yet, trade out sponges for washcloths you can toss in the laundry and scrub brushes you can run through the dishwasher.

Kitchen Sink

It’s an oft-forgotten place to clean, but the kitchen sink is easily one of the germiest places in your home. NSF researchers found coliform bacteria in nearly half the sinks they tested, and yeast or mold was present in 27 percent of cases.

Disinfect your sink once a week by scrubbing with an all-purpose cleaner or natural cleaners such as baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, or lemon juice. Also, sanitize the drain with one teaspoon of white vinegar diluted in one quart of water.

Bath Towels

It only takes 20 minutes for a damp towel to start harboring mildew and bacteria. Each time you use a contaminated towel, you increase the chance of developing rashes, allergies, or infections.

To ensure a clean, fluffy towel every time, hang it up immediately after each use. A wall-mounted rack is better than hooks on the back of the door. Wash your towels every three or four uses in hot water to kill bacteria.

Toothbrush Holder

You may use a toothbrush holder to keep the bristles clean, but the moisture inside the holder harbors bacteria growth. You’re far better off skipping the holder altogether.

If you insist on using one, wash it by hand or run it through the dishwasher once or twice a week. You can even pop your toothbrush in the dishwasher on occasion! Then, remember to replace your toothbrush every three months and after you’ve been sick.

Cell Phones & Other Electronics

Cell phones and tablets gather germs out in the world and bring them into your home. Shared electronics such as remote controls, video game controllers, and computer keyboards also harbor thousands of bacteria.

Wipe down electronics with wrung-out disinfecting wipes once a week. Use cleaners designed for touchscreen surfaces to prevent scratches.

Pet Dishes & Toys

Pets are dirtier than we would like to admit. The NSF ranks their bowls and toys high on the list of the germiest things in your home.

You should disinfect your pet’s dishes daily. Either put them in the dishwasher or scrub them by hand under hot, soapy water. Then, clean your pet’s toys once a month. Scrub hard toys with a mild dish soap and water solution and put soft toys in the wash on a hot water cycle.

Fight the Germs in Your Home with Help from Molly Maid

If you need help cleaning the germiest places in your home, look to the housekeeping professionals at Molly Maid. We can provide one-time deep-cleaning, occasional help around the house, or routine assistance with household chores.

Let us know how we can assist you! Contact your local Molly Maid to request a free in-home estimate for professional house cleaning services near you.