Germaphobes beware – you may not even want to know what’s on the list of the dirtiest things in your house and, after compiling it, we can honestly say we don’t blame you.
After all, what do you do after you find out the place you call home could use a little deep cleaning – with napalm? The answer: You get cozy with the fact that there was very little you could do to stop it, and there’s very little you can do to change it.
<strong>10. Pet Areas</strong>
Perhaps unsurprisingly, your pets’ feeding and sleeping areas are dirty – but actually one of the <em>least</em> dirty places when compared to the rest of the nightmares on this list.
Nevertheless, they deserve extra attention when it comes to deep cleaning.
<strong>9. Doorknobs & Light Switches</strong>
Coming in at #10, doorknobs are usually pretty clean, but still possibly contaminated because you put your filthy hands on it. No judgment: All our hands our filthy, although vigilant scrubbing can help cut down on this quite a bit.
It’s no secret that one of the biggest risks in hospitals is caused by the <a title="New York Times" href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/29/nyregion/hospitals-struggle-to-get-workers-to-wash-their-hands.html?pagewanted=all" target="_blank">infection spread by the staff that are not washing their hands</a>. Take that as a lesson and get strict about hand washing at home.
<strong>8. The Top of (Fill in the Blank)</strong>
It could be the refrigerator, the vanity, the TV stand or the curio cabinet – if it’s up high it’s probably getting neglected in the cleaning routine.
The problem with that is the whole concept of a breeding ground. Things hang out up there, start families, start … <em>colonizing</em>. Next thing you know, you’re not the only Sheriff in town and the new gunslinger isn’t afraid of resorting to chemical warfare.
<strong>7. Wooden Cutting Surfaces</strong>
Wood is porous and so it absorbs <em>all. the. things</em>. And, that includes the bacteria that lives in meat blood, chicken juice (yum!), fish guts and the normal everyday stuff that crawls all over your vegetables.
It’s the kind of thing that might make you think twice about those big, fancy cutting-board counters people are bragging about on Pinterest.
<strong>6. Toilet Base</strong>
We can assume the hoop and the inside are as clean as any average <a title="Toilets" href="http://www.atgstores.com/toilets_533.html" target="_blank">toilet</a> because we scrub it with some frequency, but chances are we’re not attending to the area underneath as well as we should.
You know what’s down there? Let’s call them “missed opportunities,” and they can accumulate pretty rapidly, especially if someone in the house suffers from poor aim. A redoubling of efforts, both in targeting and cleaning, may be in order.
<strong>5. Home Office</strong>
Your computer keyboard, mobile devices, landlines and anything else with a button on it are all contaminated with your funk. Even if your hands were clean before, you probably just flipped on the light and picked up about a trillion new microbes, so now the dance can start again.
If you’re the hypoallergenic type, store disinfectant wipes nearby so you can keep these items clean. Well … cleaner, anyway.
<strong>4. Kitchen Sink</strong>
This ranks up there among the dirtiest places in the house – far dirtier than your toilet, even, which doesn’t even really make this list. <a title="Kitchen Sinks" href="http://www.atgstores.com/kitchen-sinks_466.html" target="_blank">Kitchen sinks</a> are exposed to far more bacteria-packed things far more often than any other item in the home.
<strong>3. Dish Sponge</strong>
This thing is just foul. And, it should be, but it really is far more bacteria-laden than you probably realize. And, there’s not much you can do about it. You have to use it to clean stuff, but there’s really no way to clean <em>it</em> so you’re just kind of stuck with this bacteria trap.
You could throw each one away after a single use, <em>a la</em> Jack Nicholson and his soap in <em>As Good as It Gets</em>, or you can do what the rest of us do and just keep using it until you can’t stand the sight of it.
You’ve probably already heard the news, but every time you flush your toilet the air in your bathroom gets a micro-spritz of toilet water – and that water settles on just about everything. What makes it worse for your toothbrush is that it’s already been in your mouth, where it’s even dirtier …
<strong>1. Your Mouth (and Hands)</strong>
Oh, you didn’t see that one coming did you? Well, it’s true. People get hysterical about dog bites, mosquito bites and tick bites, but the real killer is a human bite. Have you ever seen how medics respond to a human bite? It’s a blue-light biohazard kind of affair.
The same goes for your hands. You’re touching things and not even thinking about it. And, that’s a good thing, because if you knew what was on half that stuff you’d never pick it up, especially considering <a title="USA Today" href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/12/16/fda-antibacterial-soap/4038907/" target="_blank">what we now know about so-called antibacterial soaps</a>.
The good news? A lot of these bacteria are only poisonous to others and are actually helpful to you. Even so, clean deeply and spare yourself a doctor bill or two.