ESCONDIDO – What do you think is the dirtiest place in your house? Whatever your answer is, just the thought of it likely made you scrunch your face. Thinking about cleaning it likely seems a little daunting. Here are the dirtiest spots in your home, plus we’re sharing tips on how to make cleaning them up easier to stomach.
Kitchen counters and handles
We place produce, leave crumbs, and spill liquids on countertops. Also, when you’re cooking and reaching over to open a drawer, you are transferring bacteria from food on the handles. Stop the spread of germs and keep your kitchen clean and healthy by wiping down these spots with a disinfectant everyday.
Still in the kitchen, let’s talk about how this thing we use to clean can be dirty – sponges. If you start to notice a mildew or musty smell every time you walk into your kitchen, it may be your kitchen sponge becoming home to bacteria! Run it through the dishwasher weekly, and ideally, replace it every month.
Dishwashers and washing machines
You might think these places are clean. However, these are areas where buildup is more likely going to happen. Clean them with warm water, mild soap, and a cleaning cloth every month. Use an old toothbrush to get into all the grooves and crevices.
Tap water can contain minerals, like calcium, which will cause a hard, crusty buildup on the faucet screen and surrounding components. Clear the buildup by scrubbing under the faucet with a grout brush. You can also put some orange essential oil on an old toothbrush, apply it to the bottom of the faucet and allow it to sit for 15 minutes to break up the buildup. Then scrub with a stiff grout brush. Rinse the area thoroughly. Do this weekly.
The whole toilet bowl
The toilet harvests bacteria and stains from daily use inside the bowl. Make sure to clean both inside, outside, and if possible, behind the bowl. Weekly wiping with a dry cloth or paper towel first (since wet dust and hair can be harder to pick up) and then following with an all-purpose or bathroom cleaner.
Bathtubs and showers
Much like dishwashers, regular use of bathtubs and showers leaves with soap scum, water stains, hairs, dirt, rust and grime over time. Bathtubs can be prone to drainage backups and discoloration. Cleaning the tub from top to bottom with a bathroom cleaner and a scrub should do the trick for everyday dirt. For tough stains, you can spray bleach at the top, let it sit for about 10 minutes. Then come back to rinse, followed by scrubbing with the bathroom cleaner and rinsing again. Don’t forget to wear a mask and gloves while doing this to protect yourself from harsh chemicals.
The rug absorbs all sorts of gunk-water, dust, hair, lotions and others, which can be attractive to germs. Wash them weekly.
Keyboards, remote controls, light switches and others are one of the dirtiest places in your home for the fact that you get your hands (and other family members) on these things a lot of times. To clean, you can use a mixture of 1/3 water and 2/3 rubbing alcohol lightly sprayed on a cloth.
General cleaning tips for gross things
Now, let’s talk about how to handle nasty stuff like spoiled food or clogged drains. Here are general tips on cleaning gross things around your house:
Dress for the occasion. Wear old clothes when doing heavy duty cleaning. Don’t forget to wear gloves especially when you’re using strong cleaners. When removing mold or cleaning anything that releases airborne particles, like dust from overhead fixtures or dirt from gutters, wear a respirator and eye protection.
Gear up. Make sure you have all the things you need for the job like your brushes, detergents, garbage bags, wiping cloths, and more.
Mask the scent. Apply some strong-smelling lotion or perfume under your nose and in the crook of your elbow and hide your face in your arm when you’re trying to avoid the stench. You can also choose to plug your nose completely with facial tissue. (Don’t pinch your nose with clothespin like in cartoons, it just hurts)
Let the air out. Open a window or turn on the exhaust and allow the smelly stuff to be gone with the wind.
Pour it down the drain. Dealing with leftovers? Put the container in the sink and turn the faucet on full blast. The water will carry much of the nasty stuff down the drain. Follow with a handful of ice cubes and lemon peels to remove residue from the garbage disposal blades and leave a citrus scent behind. Or better yet: take all leftovers outside to the trash so that you do not ruin the kitchen drain pipes.
Pay someone to do it for you. For some jobs you just can’t handle, feel free to contact a deep clean professional to do it for you.
For more cleaning tips, visit https://servingsandiegocounty.com/blog/.
This article first appeared on Broadpoint Properties’ website, https://servingsandiegocounty.com.
Submitted by Elisabeth Hartig Lentulo, broker associate, who can be reached at 760-532-1057, [email protected] or http://www.ehlentulo.com. CalBRE #01904564