Germ-a-phobes unite! If you really want to get grossed out, be sure to learn what these 20 items are in your home that are dirtier than your toilet – AND how to clean them. There are a few spaces outside of your home too. You will be shocked at the number of bacteria lurking in these unexpected places!

Germ-a-phobes unite! If you really want to get grossed out, be sure to learn what these 20 items are in your home that are dirtier than your toilet - AND how to clean them. There are a few spaces outside of your home too. You will be shocked at the number of bacteria lurking in these unexpected places!

After a double whammy of breast cancer and an Autoimmune Disease, I became a wee bit of a germ-a-phobe. I had to. With a weakened immune system, I not only had to watch my diet and lifestyle, but also be extra cautious of the world around me. And you know what… it worked. Aside from autoimmune and chronic fatigue flare-ups, I never get sick. Ever.

Enter 2020 and the Rona and all of a sudden, people care about what they touch both in their homes and out and about. Hello, my new friends, welcome to my world! My slightly germ-a-phobic routine was so ingrained into my lifestyle, that when everyone started to change their habits, I just kept on keeping on.

 

20 Items In Your Home That Are Dirtier Than Your Toilet

I don’t know if I would ever want to be the person in all of these studies who take samples and figure out which items in your home are the germiest. Gross. But it is a wake-up call to start cleaning those forgotten items… a wee bit more often!

Here’s the other thing. With latent chronic fatigue, I also needed a sanitation lifestyle that I could accomplish with zero effort. So these tips and tricks to clean up the 20 spaces in your home that are dirtier than your toilet are just that… EASY.

I’m covering electronics, kitchen, bathroom, and other items around the home. And because we all live in… life… I’ve added a few items for when you go out and about. And not to fret… I am not just scaring you with all of the germs. Each item gets a quick tip and tutorial on how to clean it!

 

Electronics

These five electronic items are dirtier than your toilet:

 

1. Smartphone or Tablet

Raise your hand if you take your phone with you to the toilet. Be honest! I won’t tell! Cuz guess what… you are in company with over 75% of Americans. And speaking of, a 2013 study found 75% of phones and tablets to have more staphylococcus than a toilet seat. Coinkydink? Hummm…

How to Clean. Whether you have an iPhone or Andriod, chances are, you don’t clean it regularly. Or at all. Cleaning your smartphone it’s quick, easy, and doesn’t require anything more than what you already have in your home!

READ: How to Clean Your Smartphone

 

 

2. Computer or Laptop

Can we continue on with our fun habits? Whether you work in an office or work from home, raise your hand if you eat lunch at your desk. Yep. Busted again. It’s ok – we all do it! But keep this in mind. Keyboards may have up to five times as many germs as a toilet seat.

How to Clean. Shut down your computer. Give the keyboard a few easy shakes to get out the crumbs. While compressed air is effective, I am not a fan of breathing in its toxic fumes. Use a soft, damp cloth followed by alcohol wipes. Remember – your computer is a sensitive electronic – don’t use water and be very careful when cleaning! Oh and PS – don’t forget to wash your hands often – this will help too!

 

 

3. Remote Controls

When was the last time you cleaned your remote control? Are we 0 for 3? As you can guess, lots of hands, lots of germs, and lots of food come in contact with your remote control/s every day.

How to Clean. Again, remember this is an electronic device. Gently clean with a disinfectant wipe or alcohol wipe.

 

 

Psst… want easy to follow instructions on how to make all of your favorite household cleaners… the all-natural way? It’s eezy peezy! Click below…

 

 

Kitchen and Bathroom

These seven kitchen and bathroom items are dirtier than your toilet:

 

4. Kitchen Sponge

Gross. Gross. Gross. Whether you use your kitchen sponge for dishes, countertops, or both, it harbors bacteria such as Salmonella or E.coli – up to over 400 times more than a toilet seat. And then every time you use it, these germs attach themselves to those surfaces you thought you were cleaning. FUN!

How to Clean. Sponges are cheap. You can afford to purchase plenty of them and change them out often. My favorite method is to use 2 sponges at a time. One gets used for a day and then put on the top shelf of the dishwasher while the second one is being used. And then every day they swap back and forth. I then change my sponges out to new ones every other week.

 

 

5. Dishtowels

Sniff… sniff… what’s that smell? Oohhhh it’s your dishtowel harboring lots of bacteria like Salmonella or fecal bacteria. It’s used not just to clean dishes, but to dry our hands and wipe up messes.

How to Clean. Keep 10 dishtowels on hand. Use one a day (more if needed), and toss in the washing machine at the end of the week. I’ll let you in on a little secret. You can do the same thing for dishcloths too! I have one drawer dedicated to rolled-up dishtowels and dishcloths.

 

 

6. Cutting Board

Raw foods, unwashed produce… hello bacteria breeding ground! A study by the University of Arizona found that the average cutting board has 200 times more fecal bacteria than a toilet seat. Should we pull a Kramer from Seinfeld and prepare our food in the shower now LOL!?!?!

How to Clean. Not to fret – it’s easier than you think. AND – you can use everyday all-natural items you already have in your kitchen. One of my favorite kitchen hack is to keep a separate red cutting board for meat. It’s easily identifiable next to the wooden ones.

READ: How to Care for and Clean Your Cutting Board

 

 

7. Bath Towels

As we venture into the bathroom, another popular spot for germs and bacteria to hang out is your bath towels. Yes, that smell is your lingering body funk.

How to Clean. Keep 2 or 3 sets of bath towels so you can easily rotate them as needed. Wash them in hot water every 2 days.

 

8. Toothbrush and Holder

We all know to automatically replace our toothbrushes every 3 months. But what about the holder? Have you ever cleaned it? An NSF study found that toothbrush holders were actually one of the germiest items in your bathroom.

How to Clean. If you can, keep your toothbrush and holder in the medicine cabinet so it’s further away from the toilet splash zone. Once a week, wash it in the dishwasher if it’s dishwasher safe, or if not, use hot, soapy water and a disinfecting wipe.

 

 

9. Doors and Handles and Light Switches

The door handles and light switches are germy all throughout your home, but the kitchen and bathroom are the worst! Also, think about the kitchen and bathroom faucet handles. These handles and switches may have 21 times the bacteria of your toilet seat, and twice that on your kitchen faucet and sink!

How to Clean. Keep a container of disinfecting wipes in each bathroom and in the kitchen for easy daily wipe downs.

 

 

10. Laundry

UGH! What is that smell in your laundry room? Trust me, you aren’t alone. Washing machines are notorious for collecting gunk and funk and weird smells. Bacteria is left behind from your underwear… pause… snicker snicker… I just punned. Plus don’t forget all of the moisture. It’s definitely a breeding ground for unwanted bacteria.

How to Clean. Here’s a step-by-step guide to clean your washing machine inside and out – for High Efficiency (HE), top loader, or front loaders – and using all-natural products. Oh and PS – don’t forget to clean your hampers too!

READ: How to Clean Your Laundry Machine

 

 

Psst… want easy to follow instructions on how to make all of your favorite household cleaners… the all-natural way? It’s eezy peezy! Click below…

 

 

Around the Home

These other four items around your home are dirtier than your toilet:

 

11. Carpet

Here’s another one – there are 700 times more bacteria per squarer inch on your carpet compared to your toilet seat, including E.coli, staphylococcus, and Salmonella. This is from dirt and bacteria on shoes, plus food, pet dander, and even dead skin cells.

How to Clean. Obviously, use your vacuum, but it won’t reach the bottom of your carpet. Hire a professional to do a deep clean once or twice a year.

 

 

12. Office Desk

We’ve made it full circle back to the office desk so this one needs no introduction. Other than at 400 times dirtier than a toilet seat, your desk is home to over 20,000 bacteria and viruses. Your hands are their favorite carriers.

How to Clean. Make it a part of your workday routine to use a disinfecting wipe after lunch and at the end of the day. Conduct a deeper clean once a week.

 

 

13. Pet’s Food Bowl

As a new pug puppy parent, I was shocked to learn about this one. But think about it – dogs drink toilet water, and eat pretty much everything on the ground that they can, including poop. Your pet’s food bowl can harbor over 2,000 bacteria per square inch. And who wants our beloved pet babies to lick up that? Think of it this way… would you use the same fork every meal and every day without cleaning it?

How to Clean. Wash your pet’s food and water bowl daily with hot, soapy water.

 

 

14. Purse, Handbag, Backpack

Yes, ladies. It is true. Purses can be 3 times dirtier than a toilet seat. Whether you use a purse, handbag, or even backpack, they go everywhere with us, and we place them everywhere, including the floor. And then they land on the countertop. GROSS. Do you use public transportation and keep your bag on your lap? The handles are still picking up bacteria from everything you touch.

How to Clean. First of all, NEVER EVER place your handbag on the floor. Depending on the material, use a disinfecting wipe not just for the bottom, but the entire bag and handles. Always check the directions of the material and use a small spot first to ensure no damage, especially to pricier bags. For leather bags… yeah… you don’t want to ruin them with a wipe so maybe just say a prayer?

 

 

Psst… want easy to follow instructions on how to make all of your favorite household cleaners… the all-natural way? It’s eezy peezy! Click below…

 

 

Out and About

It doesn’t end when you are out and about! Here are eight more items that are dirtier than your toilet:

 

15. Cash Machines and Point of Sale Pads

Those Point of Sale and cash machines can contain over 1,000 germs including cold and flu viruses, and E. coli. They get touched a gazillion times a day and are way dirtier than your toilet.

What To Do Instead.  Use a stylus instead of your hands or the provided pen. Worst case if you have to touch something, use your pinky on your non-dominant hand. Follow up with a big ole dose of hand sanitizer.

 

 

16. Reusable Grocery Bag

Let’s play the game once again – how often do you clean your reusable grocery bag? While they are good for the environment, not so much for your health with spillage from leaking meat and unwashed produce. If you keep them in your trunk, the heat will encourage the growth of even more bacteria.

What To Do Instead. Designate certain bags for your produce and meat. Either color code them or remember which one is which. If the bags are washable, throw them in the laundry machine on the gentle cycle.

 

17. Shopping Cart

During and after the Rona, many stores had someone wiping down the shopping cart before you used it. But don’t count on it. Shopping carts don’t just have your typical germs from everyone’s hands, they have meat, unwashed produce, diapers, and even bird poop if they are kept outside.

What To Do Instead. Many stores now have a sanitizing station, but don’t ever take that availability for granted. Bring your own disinfecting wipes along. Wipe down the handle of course, but also the seat, and all around the cart… how many times do you touch the side or front when maneuvering it? Follow up with a dose of hand sanitizer after your shopping trip and wash your hands when you get back home.

 

 

18. Gas Pump

If you live in New Jersey, go ahead and skip to #19 and consider yourself lucky. Gas pumps (and the Point of Sale) are touched like a gazillion times a day. And who knows where those hands have been! Over 70% of gas pumps contain bacteria! I personally think it’s 100% but that’s me.

What To Do Instead. Another best practice during and after the Rona – gas stations added plastic pumping mitts near the pump. YAY! I use one mitt for my “dirty hand” that touches everything (gas pump, Point of Sale) and then use my clean hand to handle my credit card or open the car door. Throw away the mitt and douse with hand sanitizer when you are back in the car. Wash your hands thoroughly at home. I also keep a few medical gloves in my car just in case the mitts are not available.

 

 

19. Door Handles and Elevator Buttons

More items that get touched a gazillion times a day. Public spaces like office buildings have door handles and elevator buttons that are touched many, many times a day.

What To Do Instead. For elevator buttons – use your elbow or the pinky of your non-dominant hand. For door handles, I like using one of those door opener tool thingies. I am not sure if they have an official name but they look kinda like a key. Be sure to get one with a larger opening for thick handles. Bonus points if it has a stylus on the end (but I always carry an extra style just in case). You can also use your shirt or a wipe. If it’s the office that you work in, you may want to elect yourself the Sanitation Mayor and wipe these down daily.

 

 

20. Steering Wheel

And finally, after being out and about and touching everything under the sun, we open our car door and touch our steering wheel. Where do you think these germs then transfer to? And in the heat… they are going to multiply!

What To Do Instead. Just like the advice above, use a disinfectant wipe, and be sure to use a hand sanitizer and wash your hands when you get home.

 

 

Top Resources to Help You Stay Clean

Stylus Pen

No Contact Door Opener

Thieves Cleaning Spray

Thieves Wipes

Thieves Hand Sanitizer

 

 

Germ-a-phobes unite! If you really want to get grossed out, be sure to learn what these 20 items are in your home that are dirtier than your toilet - AND how to clean them. There are a few spaces outside of your home too. You will be shocked at the number of bacteria lurking in these unexpected places!

 

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Love, hugs, and coming clean.

 

 

 

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