The average American family spends 659 dollars on cleaning supplies every year. We do our best to keep bacteria and fungi out of our homes yet there are spots we miss. Spots we do not even think about. We wash our dishes yet do we think about where that residue goes? We clean tubs and toilets with sponges but what about the germs transferred to that sponge? Once you realize the potential hazard of the less precarious areas in your home, it is simple to clean them. All you need is bleach, antibacterial wipes, and a blend of vinegar and baking soda.
Cleaning our cleaning supplies sounds a little redundant but it really is not. Sponges, because of their moist tendencies, are prone to bacterial growth. It is best to use an antibacterial sponge but even those cannot stop e coli or salmonella. Toothbrushes are the same way. Both can contain leftover food as well, that will grow bacteria and cause potential health risks. Experts say you should soak your sponges in bleach for five minutes to get rid of even strong germs. For toothbrushes, combine the bleach with equal parts milk before soaking and be sure to rinse thoroughly afterward. Sponges can be microwaved as well. Putting them in the microwave for two minutes has been shown to kill 99% of bacteria.
Hairbrushes are another cleaning device that does not get cleaned nearly as much as it should be. The maintenance on brushes should go further than removing the excess hair it collects. Once it is free of debris, you can soak your hairbrush in shampoo diluted with water. Scrub it with a toothbrush, then rinse it off. Soak it in vinegar mixed with baking soda for six to eight hours. The chemical reaction between the vinegar and baking soda will break up oil residue and kill germs. It is effective and natural. This process will take care of dirt and grime from the handle to the spaces in between bristles.
Many other handles in your household may be neglected during cleaning time. While making meals we open cabinets and drawers without thinking about what is on our fingers: spices, chemicals, raw meat. Germs are held there, out of sight. Polishing your handles, doorknobs, buttons, and similar switches may not be enough. Experts say it is a good idea to wipe down high traffic areas multiple times a day, with antibacterial wipes.
Another item we do not realize the dirtiness of is our sheets. We use them to keep our mattresses clean but what about the sheets themselves? Studies show that the average person sweats a liter of fluid every night. Between sweat, skin shedding, and slobber, you already have a health hazard. Let alone the dozens of other substances that may be coming into contact with your sheets and by transference, your skin. Experts suggest that you use bleach on your sheets, in the washing machine. Not only will this kill the bacteria on your linens but it will also clean out the inside of your washing machine.
If you do yoga you sweat on your mat as well. Yoga mats have been known to spread staph infections, ringworm, athlete’s foot, and even herpes. It is recommended that you never share one, and that you invest in a yoga towel to minimize the amount of fluid getting absorbed by the mat. When you are done with your workout, hang the mat by its middle over a shower rod. This will allow both sides to completely dry. It should be cleaned regularly with dish soap and water. Between cleanings, wipe your yoga mat down with disinfectant wipes to kill germs you do not want to catch.
After cleaning the house you probably wash your hands. After cleaning the dishes do you wash the kitchen sink? The drain is a breeding ground for yeast, salmonella, and mold. Pour boiling water down the drain, followed closely by baking soda. Let it sit for ten minutes, then add a decent dose of vinegar mixed with more boiling water. The chemical reaction is strong enough to tackle most clogs, and is certain to kill deadly bacteria.
You put a lot of effort into keeping your house free of germs and allergens. Take it one step further and make sure that the tools you are using to clean are not causing more of a problem.