Whether you are a mom of four, elementary teacher, or a college student, the items we, as women, use daily can contain more germs than our toilets. YUCK! You read that right. There are 11 items we use every day that can carry all sorts of bacteria and germs.
We can’t wait until the flu, stomach bugs, or a nasty cold hit our homes before we do a good cleaning.
To help combat some of those nasty germs hanging around, be sure to add these 11 everyday items to your household cleaning routine.
1. Steering wheel
Okay, friends, how often do you touch your steering wheel? Your hands go on that wheel after touching your car door handle usually covered in pollen, after grabbing the bottom of grocery bags, wiping your kiddos nose, and more. Plus, think about how often you eat or drink in your car and then touch your steering wheel. Our steering wheels are a hotbed of bacteria. Our vehicles need some TLC.
Tip: Do not clean your steering wheel with anything slippery. Check your owner’s manual to find the material of your steering wheel and their recommendations for cleaning them. Whatever cleaning solution you use, spray it on a microfiber cloth FIRST and wipe gently to prevent rubbing off any of the colorings of the steering wheel. Always wipe dry afterward.
For the longest time, I never thought about cleaning my keys. They touch our hands, our counters, the bottom of baby bags, lunch tables, and more. Other than our phones, our keys are one of the other items we take with us everywhere, and we touch every day. So why are we not cleaning them?!?!?
Tip: Remove any nonmetal items from your keychain. Place keys in a bowl that includes apple cider vinegar + liquid dish soap with water. Using a toothbrush, scrub away any dirt or debris, rinse and dry. It’s just that simple!
Oh, ladies!!! Your purse can have more bacteria and germs than a toilet seat.
Yes ma’am, that Michael Kors or Coach you are rocking is one of the direst items you are carrying EVERYWHERE. Many of us are good at cleaning inside of our purse; we forget the outside needs love too. Just think about how dirty the handles of your purse can get.
Tip: Avoid placing your purse on the floor or your bed. Wipe your purse down daily. Cleaning your purse will depend on the material. Check the care suggestions found on the inside of your purse.
4. Tv remotes/game controllers
Remote controls and game controllers are touched and used by every member in your home but are often overlooked unless someone gets a stomach bug, flu, or any other sickness. With all these different hands touching one item, you bet our remotes are a hotbed of bacteria (especially in between those buttons). When was the last time you cleaned your remotes?
Tip: Be sure to wipe down game controllers, especially after your children have guests. You can use good ole’ fashioned rubbing alcohol or my recommended vinegar/water mixture. (I use this a lot.) Remember to wipe with a soft microfiber cloth, NOT paper towels.
Now you know iPhones and tablets were DEFINITELY going to be on this list.
Just think more than 75% of Americans admit using their iPhones and tablets while on the toilet. It makes you think about borrowing someone’s phone. Let’s not even consider all of the germs that make their way to your phone when you have kiddos or pets.
Tip: Cleaning your smartphones and tablets is very similar to cleaning your remotes. Use a microfiber cloth to clean your items. It is best to use a new cloth and not one you have been using on other items. A small cotton ball with rubbing alcohol or spraying the cloth with the vinegar/water mix will help clean your technology. Be sure to clean those cases too!
6. Reusable bags
I love my reusable bags. Even though they are designed to be a better option for the environment, failing to clean our reusable bags properly can lead to all sorts of health problems. One of the main issues that can arise is cross-contamination. When we choose to pile foods into our reusable bags, there are numerous opportunities for bacteria to enter our foods.
Tip: For cotton and reusable canvas bags, put them in the washing machine. Mesh bags should be washed by hand. Insulated bags and polyester bags should be cleaned by hand using a vinegar/water mixture (as you can see, I use this mixture often.) At a minimum, your bags should be cleaned weekly. If you purchase any meat, I recommend wiping it down after use.
7. Washing machine
I had no idea a part of adulting was realizing the inside of my washing machine needed cleaning. The interior of your washing machine is a breeding ground for bacteria. Sounds pretty yucky, right?
Tip: Most washing machines now have a sanitize option. Most washing machines can be cleaned using vinegar and baking soda. No harsh chemicals needed. Be sure to read your manual BEFORE using cleaning supplies.
As someone who works from home and uses my computer often, it’s important to disinfect your keyboard regularly. Just think how often we might eat around our keyboards (shhh, I won’t tell). Be sure to take a moment to clean those keys.
Tip: Run a soft brush, like a makeup brush, in between the keys to remove crumbs out of the nooks and crannies of your keyboard. Use rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab, wipe it across your keys, then wipe dry with a microfiber cloth.
9. Makeup brushes
While many women spend time and money focused on doing everything right to take care of their skin, there is one crucial area we often overlook. Properly cleaning our makeup brushes and sponges can prevent a buildup of dirt and bacteria, which contributes to facial breakouts. Ladies, we must take out time to clean those brushes.
Tip: Clean makeup brushes and sponges at least once a week. For brushes explicitly used for liquid cosmetics like foundation or concealer, it should be cleaned daily. A simple, non-toxic way to clean your brush includes an apple cider vinegar + liquid dish soap method. Combine one tablespoon of pure apple cider vinegar with a half teaspoon of NON-toxic dish shop with one cup of water. Place your brushes in the mixture to help break down the buildup on your brushes. Then rinse well.
Whether you are sweating from your workout or checking an incoming text, our watches are used daily. Think about how often you touch the screen on your watch or all the germs that get on your watch band. Many of us wear our watches when we cook, play with the kids on the playground, or play with the dog. All sorts of bacteria are hanging out right on your wrist.
Tip: Wipe your watch down daily, particularly after exercise, work in your garden, or after cooking. Using a cotton ball with a vinegar/water mix or alcohol are simple ways to clean your watch. It’s easy to add to your regular cleaning routine.
11. Wedding band
If you are like me, I rarely take off my wedding ring and band. Like my watch, I wear it when I workout in the gym, help my kiddos with homework, or even putting on my makeup. I often forget I have it on. Our wedding rings are another everyday item that we don’t clean regularly and carry all sorts of germs. Something so pretty can be absolutely yucky.
Tip: Take off your ring before cooking and before using cleaning, hair, or makeup products. Cleaning your band will depend on the type of material. As always, check before you do anything to avoid damaging your jewelry. I keep an old toothbrush to help clean out any debris that may be trapped under my rings.
There are numerous non-toxic cleaning options for every item on this list. Whatever cleaning option you chose, you must create a cleaning routine that works and one you can do regularly. Keep your cleaning supplies near your items to make it easier to clean while working it into your morning or evening routines.
What would you add to the list?