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10 common household items that need regular cleaning but are often overlooked

Keeping a clean and hygienic household is essential for maintaining a healthy living space. While we often focus on regularly cleaning obvious areas such as floors, countertops, and bathrooms, there are many everyday household items that often go overlooked.
In this article, we will be exploring 10 common household items that require regular cleaning to ensure a clean and germ-free environment. From kitchen appliances to electronics, we will delve into the importance of maintaining these items and provide you with practical tips and tricks to keep them in top-notch condition.
1. Toothbrush holder
A toothbrush holder is an essential item in most households, but it is often overlooked when it comes to regular cleaning. However, it is important to clean the toothbrush holder regularly to maintain good hygiene and prevent the buildup of bacteria. Research shows that toothbrush holders can harbor harmful bacteria such as E.coli and staphylococcus. These bacteria can easily transfer to your toothbrush and then to your mouth, potentially causing infections or illnesses. Therefore, it is crucial to clean the toothbrush holder at least once a week using hot water and soap or a disinfectant solution to ensure a clean and germ-free dental routine.
2. Remote control
We constantly handle remote controls, exposing them to bacteria and germs from our hands. A study conducted by NSF International found that remote controls had higher levels of bacteria than other commonly touched surfaces, such as doorknobs and light switches. Neglecting to clean remote controls regularly can lead to the spread of illness-causing germs within the household. To keep remote controls clean, it is recommended to wipe them down with a disinfectant wipe or a cloth dampened with a mild cleaning solution regularly.
3. Kitchen sponge
The kitchen sponge is an essential household item that requires regular cleaning due to its high potential for harboring bacteria and germs. As a kitchen tool used for cleaning and scrubbing dishes, countertops, and other surfaces, sponges are constantly exposed to various types of food particles and moisture, creating an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. Studies have found that sponges can contain millions of bacteria per square inch, including potentially harmful pathogens like E. coli and Salmonella. To maintain a clean and hygienic kitchen, it is important to clean and disinfect the sponge regularly by soaking it in a mixture of hot water and bleach or microwaving it for a short period to kill the bacteria. Failing to clean the kitchen sponge can result in cross-contamination and the spread of harmful bacteria throughout the kitchen.
4. Cutting board
The cutting board is an essential kitchen tool that needs regular cleaning due to its exposure to raw meat, vegetables, and other food items. Bacteria can easily accumulate on the surface of the cutting board, posing a health risk if not properly cleaned and sanitized. Research has shown that cutting boards can harbor harmful pathogens such as Salmonella and E. coli. Therefore, it is crucial to clean the cutting board thoroughly after each use. For example, using hot soapy water and scrubbing the surface with a brush can help remove any debris or residue. Additionally, it is recommended to disinfect the cutting board by using a diluted bleach solution or other food-safe sanitizing agents regularly. By keeping the cutting board clean, we can ensure the safety of our food and prevent cross-contamination in the kitchen.
5. Bathroom exhaust fan
The bathroom exhaust fan plays a crucial role in maintaining good indoor air quality and preventing the accumulation of moisture and odors. Regular cleaning of this essential household item is necessary to ensure its optimal functioning. Over time, dust, dirt, and debris can accumulate on the fan blades, causing it to become less effective in removing moisture and odors from the bathroom. Additionally, neglecting to clean the fan can lead to the growth of mold and mildew, which can be harmful to one’s health. By regularly cleaning the bathroom exhaust fan, homeowners can keep their bathrooms fresh, reduce the risk of mold growth, and extend the lifespan of the fan.
6. Shower curtain liner
The purpose of a shower curtain liner is to provide an additional layer of protection against water damage and to prevent the shower curtain from becoming dirty or moldy. Over time, the liner can accumulate soap scum, mildew, and hard water deposits, making it unhygienic and unsightly. Regularly cleaning the shower curtain liner not only helps maintain the overall cleanliness of the bathroom but also extends the lifespan of the liner. By wiping it down with a disinfectant or laundering it in the washing machine, you can prevent the buildup of grime, promote good hygiene, and keep your bathroom looking fresh.
7. Computer keyboard
Over time, dust, debris, and food particles can accumulate between the keys, affecting its performance and overall hygiene. Regular cleaning of the keyboard not only ensures its longevity and functionality but also helps prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. Research has shown that keyboards can harbor more bacteria than a toilet seat, making it crucial to keep it clean. Furthermore, a dirty keyboard can hinder typing speed and accuracy, leading to a less productive work or gaming experience. By regularly cleaning the computer keyboard with compressed air, isopropyl alcohol, or specialized cleaning wipes, users can maintain a clean and germ-free workspace.
8. Bed pillows
Regularly cleaning bed pillows is crucial to maintain a healthy and hygienic sleeping environment. Pillows tend to accumulate sweat, oil, dead skin cells, and dust mites over time. Failure to clean them can lead to various health issues such as allergies, respiratory problems, and acne breakouts. Additionally, an unclean pillow can disrupt sleep quality. Therefore, it is essential to wash bed pillows every few months or as recommended by the manufacturer to ensure a clean and comfortable sleeping experience.
9. Trash can
Trash cans can quickly become breeding grounds for bacteria and unpleasant odors if not cleaned regularly. Research has shown that certain bacteria found in trash cans, such as E. coli and Salmonella, can survive for extended periods and potentially contaminate other surfaces in the kitchen or bathroom. For instance, a study conducted by the University of Arizona found that the average kitchen trash can harbors more bacteria than a toilet seat. Therefore, emptying and disinfecting the trash can frequently, using a mixture of warm water and mild detergent or a disinfectant, is crucial in maintaining a hygienic living environment.
10. Washing machine lint trap
The washing machine lint trap is an essential component that aids in maintaining the efficiency and longevity of your washing machine. This filter, typically located either inside the agitator or near the drum, captures loose fibers, lint, and other debris generated during the laundry process. Regular cleaning of the lint trap is crucial to prevent clogs and blockages that can impair the machine’s performance and potentially lead to costly repairs. Neglecting to clean the lint trap can also result in lint accumulation on clothes, reducing their cleanliness and leaving them covered in lint particles. Therefore, regular cleaning of the washing machine lint trap is necessary for optimal machine functioning and ensuring clean, lint-free garments.
Credit: Cooktopcove

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