10 Worst Germ Hot Spots
Surprising dirty surfaces that harbor viruses and bacteria—and how to make a clean sweep
Win the War on Germs!
1. Kitchen Faucet
That metal aeration screen at the end of the faucet is a total germ magnet.
Keep It Clean: Once a week, remove the screen and soak it in a diluted bleach solution–follow the directions on the label. Replace the screen, and let the water run a few minutes before using. If you are unable to remove the screen, spray the diluted bleach into the spigot and onto the screen.
2. Garbage Disposal
Bacteria from last night’s dinner could end up on today’s food and utensils if you’re not careful.
Keep It Clean: At least once a week, clean the disposal’s rubber stopper with a diluted bleach solution–soap and water aren’t enough.
3. Welcome Mat
It serves to greet not only your guests but also all the bugs on the bottoms of their shoes.
Keep It Clean: Spray the doormat once a week with a fabric-safe disinfectant (such as Lysol Disinfectant Spray). Leave shoes at the door, and avoid resting bags and groceries on the mat, too.
4. Vacuum Cleaner
It’s all in the bag—including spreadable germs.
Keep It Clean: Change your vacuum bag frequently, and do so outdoors to avoid the cloud of bacteria that filters into the air. (Vacuum bags that feature antibacterial linings are best, and are available for many major brands.) Clean the cavity of a bag less vacuum with diluted bleach and let it air-dry.
5. Dish Towel
You know a sponge can harbor nasty germs, but dish towels are just as dangerous.
Keep It Clean: Stick to paper towels to clean counter tops, and save the dishrag to dry just-washed pots and plates. Change towels or launder at least twice a week in hot water and bleach.
6. Car Dashboard
This is your vehicle’s second-most-common spot for bacteria and mold.
Keep It Clean: Regularly swipe the inside of your car with disinfecting wipes. Be more vigilant during allergy season—about 20 million Americans are affected by asthma, which is caused in part by an allergic reaction to mold.
7. Soap Dispensers
About 25% of public restroom dispensers are contaminated by fecal bacteria.
Keep It Clean: Be sure to scrub hands thoroughly for 15 to 20 seconds with plenty of hot water–and if you have an alcohol gel disinfectant, use that, too.
8. Restaurant Condiment Bottles
Those condiments on the tabletop are grimier than you think.
Keep It Clean: Squirt hand sanitizer on the outside of the bottle or use a disinfectant wipe before you grab it. Holding the bottle with a napkin won’t help–they’re porous, so microorganisms can walk right through.
9. Refrigerator Seal
Do you scrub the inside of your fridge? It’s not enough.
A University of Arizona survey of 160 homes in three US cities found that the seal around the fridge tested positive 83% of the time for common molds. The mold can spread every time the refrigerator door opens–exposing anyone who’s susceptible to allergies and potentially contaminating the food.
Keep It Clean: Wipe fridge seals at least once a week with a diluted bleach solution or disinfectant.
10. Cell Phone
Drop your cell any place that’s convenient? Read this first.
Several studies on cell phones and PDAs found that they carry tons of bacteria, including staph (which can cause skin infections), pseudomonas (eye infections), and salmonella (stomach ailments). Many electronic devices are sheathed in leather or vinyl cases, which provide plenty of creases and crevices for germs to hide.
Keep It Clean: Use a disinfecting wipe a few times a week, and be conscious of where you rest personal items
*Executive Maids does not carry bleach. We disinfect your homes with pleasant smelling hospital strength disinfectant.