Door handles are one of the most common places where harmful germs and bacteria live. That's why one of the surest ways to prevent household illness is to disinfect door handles and knobs. As you go about your day at home, take a few minutes to wipe the doorknobs clean with a disinfectant wipe.
It can take hours for brass handles to effectively sanitize and the brass coating decays and wears off as the years pass by.
If someone is sick or you're in the midst of cold and flu season bumping this up to once a day can't hurt!
You can clean kitchen sponges by either dropping them into boiling water or leaving them in the dishwasher, but these inexpensive and brittle items quickly lose their shape and effectiveness.
We suggest using kitchen scrapers -- easy cleaning plastic pieces that can knock all food remnants off dishes, pots, and pans. Then, replace your primary kitchen 'finishing sponge' once a week for items not going directly into the dishwasher.
Researchers in Germany found that icky RG2-related bacteria (the kind that can cause foodborne disease) stays on your sponge even if you clean it in the microwave or in boiling water.
“From a long-term perspective, sponge sanitation methods appear not sufficient to effectively reduce the bacterial load in kitchen sponges and might even increase the shares of RG2-related bacteria,” the researchers wrote in the paper.
They went on to suggest we should be changing our sponges every week, adding that it’s an easily affordable option for staying hygienic. We do as well.
Luckily, cleaning it is super easy and goes hand in hand with washing your sheets -- take those off and toss them into the washer/dryer and vacuum the top of the mattress. Take some baking soda and spread it across the mattress and rub it in. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes and then vacuum it all back up.
This will have your mattress smelling fresh.
For a deeper clean, add cleaning vinegar to a spray bottle and spray it across the top of the mattress. Use a thick bristle brush to rub out locked in dirt and grime. Vacuum the mattress and let dry for at least an hour. Then sprinkle your baking soda on.
Many people just don't wash their sheets often enough. A 2017 survey found that only 44 percent of the 1,000 Americans surveyed wash their sheets once or twice a month. Just 11 percent get around to it around once a season and 5 percent decrust their sheets only once or twice a year.
So just how often should you wash your sheets? Well, it depends on the circumstances.
Our experts say you should wash your sheets -- and other bedding -- at least once every two weeks. If you have night sweats, or just sweat a lot in general, bump washing up to once a week.
If you're allergic to dust mites, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America recommends washing your bedding at least once a week. You'll need to wash them in water that is at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit (54.4 Celsius) to kill the dust mites.
Now, if you're sick with something contagious, the rules change. Sheets and other bedding need to be changed as soon as you feel better to prevent contracting the illness again. The water will need to be between 140 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit (60 to 65.5 Celsius) to kill the germs, so select the sanitize option on your washer. If your washer doesn't have a sanitize option, use the highest heat setting on your dryer.
Don't to forget to wash pillows!
You can clean the different parts of the toilet in any order you like, but, if you're in a hurry, you may find that it's smartest to start with the bowl. This way, if you splash any dirty water out of the bowl while you're cleaning it, it won't get parts of the toilet that you've already cleaned dirty. Use a toilet brush to scrub away any stains or mineral deposits you see. You may need to apply some pressure to eliminate caked-on stains. For added cleaning power, drop a little toilet cleaner or all-purpose cleaner into the water, then dip the brush in it.
Now that you've cleaned the bowl, it's time to clean the main points of contact - the top and bottom lids. Use all-purpose cleaner and rags/paper towels (or disposable sanitary wipes) to give both the lids a quick but thorough cleaning on both sides. If you want to, use an old toothbrush to scrub the hard-to-reach spots between the lid and the body of the toilet as well as the hinges.
Finally, it's time to give your toilet's porcelain a squeaky-clean shine. Using a spray bottle, mist the exterior of the toilet with an all-purpose cleaner. Use a rag or paper towel to wipe down the toilet's porcelain, paying special attention to the handle. Alternatively, you may simply dip a rag or paper towel in cleaning solution or warm water, re-dipping the rag or towel when it is soiled.
Once a week, toss the bathroom rug in the washer. Wash it on the gentle cycle in warm water and let it air dry (especially if it has a no-slip grip on the back) before putting it back. Always follow the washing instructions on the tag if you're unsure.
You can also spritz them with white vinegar weekly to kill bacteria without damaging the mat. But, like your carpet, the detergent will help bring the bounce back to your mats.