7 dirtiest places in your home -- and how to clean them the right way

Make sure these hidden, often-overlooked places are spotless

Stock image. Pixabay (Pexels)

Safe to say, a lot of people really buckled down when it came to cleaning over the past couple years, given the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why were disinfecting and sanitizing such a focus?

Many people had more time on their hands, and cleaning became essential to making sure the risks of contracting COVID-19 were reduced.

So, even now, what are the spots in the home that need to be cleaned the most?

Here are the seven dirtiest spots in a house, according to the website Clean My Space.

1. The sides of your appliances

Overview: Whether it’s hidden spots behind a refrigerator or stove, it’s hard to tell there’s a mess there. But pull out the refrigerator and stove, or even find some spots on the side of a microwave, and you probably won’t like what you see.

Cleaning solutions: Dab a degreaser onto any greasy spots and allow it to soak for a few minutes. Spray down the sides with an all-purpose cleaner and begin to wipe with a non-scratching sponge. Dry well with a cloth before pushing the appliance back into its spot.

2. Pet items

Overview: Pet beds, leashes, dishes, toys and even blankets can be filled with germs and bacteria.

Cleaning solutions: Wash dishes in hot, soapy water and the run them through the dishwasher once a week. For fabric toys and beds, wash on the sanitizing cycle of the washing machine. Hard toys should be washed in soapy water and then the dishwasher, if it’s safe to do so. It’s also important to regularly vacuum and clean upholstered furniture.

3. Your bathroom mats

Overview: Germs, mold and mildew can easily get on bathroom mats and stink up your bathroom.

Cleaning solutions: Put mats in a laundry machine, using regular laundry detergent and a cup of white vinegar to help get rid of the bad smell.

4. High points of contact

Overview: These are items that are touched by hands often, such as knobs, handles, light switches, railings, tablet screens and remote controls.

Cleaning solutions: For doorknobs, handles on cabinets, sink handles and toilet flushers, spray with all-purpose cleaner and wipe with a clean cloth. After that, use a disinfectant, but be sure to follow the instructions. For items such as light switches that can’t get wet, spray a cleaning cloth with all-purpose cleaner and wipe down the switches. Repeat with the disinfectant. Screens of tablets or phones can be cleaned with a flat-weave microfiber cloth and remote controls can be cleaned with an electronics cleaner sprayed on a cloth or cotton swab.

5. Coffee machine reservoir

Overview: The warmth of reservoirs and other areas make this a haven for germs.

Cleaning solutions: Take as many pieces apart as possible and wash them in hot, soapy water before running them through the dishwasher. A cleaning toothbrush can be used to scrub away stains, mineral deposits or trapped grounds. On a brew cycle, use white vinegar to empty any pods or grounds.

6. Toothbrush holders

Overview: Toothbrushes are in mouths often, so it’s obvious that germs build up here.

Cleaning solutions: Scrub with hot, soapy water and then run them through a dishwasher if they are removable. If not removable, spray down with an all-purpose cleaner and let it sit for a few minutes. Wipe with a clean cloth. Baking soda can also be used to clean any additional dirt.

7. The dish sponge

Overview: It may be a cleaning tool, but it can be arguably the dirtiest spot, as a result.

Cleaning solutions: At the end of every day, rinse the sponge well to get out the traces of soap. Wring it dry, then microwave the sponge for three minutes. It may be hot once done, but it will be sanitized.

This story was first published in 2020. It has since been updated.

About the Author:

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.