20 Items You Should Be Cleaning Way More Often Than You Are.

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Steering Wheels

If you're a bit of a germaphobe, this might make you a bit queasy, but it's important that you read it. It seems like everything around us can harbor some sort of bacteria, and unfortunately, most people don't realize how harmful this can actually be. If you're the type of person who does the bare minimum of cleaning in their home, then keep reading, because you're about to change your ways once you've read what we've got to share.Just like your keyboard, you may keep your car cleaned, but that doesn't mean that it is. According to a study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, steering wheels can be four times dirtier than a toilet seat in a public restroom! That's horrifying, but it can be taken care of by simply disinfecting your steering wheel as often as you can!
JESHOOTS

Water Bottles

The human body is made up out of 60% water, so it's obvious that we need to consume water on regularly. While reusable water bottles are much better for the environment, they can also come with a bunch of nasty bacteria if they're not cleaned regularly. Even if you're the only person who uses it, you have to make sure that you wash it every day or you could risk getting extremely sick. If you're unsure if it's clean or not, give it a good whiff and you'll definitely be able to tell if you need to clean it.
Houston Max

Remote Controls

The remote controls in your home are one of the most commonly used items, which means they can harbor a disgusting number of germs. For every square inch of a remote control, 70 bacteria can survive, so make sure that you're disinfecting it on a regular basis.
Tampatec / YouTube

Trash Cans

This one seems pretty self-explanatory, considering that a trash can's one purpose is to literally hold trash. Household trash cans get stuffed to the brim with old meat packages, dirty diapers, rotting food, and who knows what else! So it's imperative that you clean your trash can once a week. Using a disinfectant spray, scrub off any of the gunk that's stuck to the sides and dry it thoroughly before you put a new bag in.
simplehuman / YouTube

Toothbrush Holder

The ADA recommends replacing your toothbrush once every three or four months, so as long as you're doing that, you don't really need to worry about disinfecting it. On the other hand, the holder for your toothbrushes is a completely different story. According to researchers at the NSF International's Applied Research Center, a new bacterium in the same family as E. coli can form on a toothbrush holder. At least two or three times a week, sanitize your holder with hot soapy water or throw it into the dishwasher. Also, wipe it with a disinfectant a few times a week, as well.
Daily crux / YouTube

Can Openers

Can openers are one of the less frequently used items in your kitchen drawer, but they definitely come in handy from time to time. Even though they don't get used as much as other things, think about what you're using them for when they do get taken out of the drawer. Every time you use your can opener, you're exposing it to the food or liquid of the can that you're opening, which can be pretty gross. Can openers are another one of those things that you should wash after every use because stinking tuna fish water isn't something you want sitting on your gadgets for long periods of time, that's for sure.
tori032309 / YouTube

Washing Machines

Clothes tend to build up an incredible amount of germs, especially when it comes to teenagers or small children. And of course, all of those germs end up in your washing machines. According to an interview with ABC News, microbiology professor from the University of Arizona, Charles Gerba, stated that fecal matter is the biggest problem when it comes to bacteria in the washing machine. To kill the bacteria floating around in your machines, run your washer with a load of bleach and water every so often.
Ruthy1950 / YouTube

Kitchen Sponges

These helpful cleaning tools are one of the most disgusting things sitting in your kitchen. According to a study conducted by microbiologists at Furtwangen University in Germany, a used sponge can contain 362 different species of bacteria with a "density of up to 45 billion per square centimeter." Every day or two, stick your sponges in the microwave or dishwasher to kill the bacteria using heat. Then, after a week or two of use, trade it out for a new one.
Marco Verch / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Vacuum Filters

The filters in a vacuum protect the people in the home from dirt, dust, and other harmful allergens that could be floating in the air, which is especially dangerous to those that suffer from asthma. While it might come as a surprise, the filters are actually filled with nasty bacteria, and when they're not cleaned regularly, the bacteria can be spread throughout the house. To prevent this from happening, replace the filter regularly and it will work just fine.
Shark Cleaning / YouTube

Refrigerators

It goes without saying, that your fridge can be absolutely disgusting from time to time. It's easy to forget to throw away that rotting casserole or veggies in the bottom drawer, but it's something that needs to be done on a weekly basis because it can be extremely harmful to your health. On the list of potential dangers are E. coli, salmonella, listeria, yeast, and mold, so make sure that you're disinfecting your fridge regularly.
Home Design and Interior Ideas

Keyboards and Mousepads

You may keep your desk nice and organized, but there could definitely be harmful bacteria lurking underneath the surface. Keyboards and mouse pads contain high levels of bacteria, so it's important to clean them as often as possible. Use disinfectant wipes on the keyboard and mouse, but make sure to wipe off any excess moisture.
Negative Space

Kitchen Sinks

The kitchen sink is where all the nastiness goes down in the kitchen. It's where you thaw meat, clean grimy hands, and rinse produce, so it's pretty obvious that things can get a bit gross in there. At the end of each day, you should give your sink a good sanitizing by soaking it with bleach and hot water before you scrub it all down. This should also be done if something extremely unsanitary has been done in the sink, such as wash blood off of meat.
Milly Eaton

Salt and Pepper Shakers

You may tell your family members to wash their hands before they get to the table, but that doesn't mean they're going to stay clean. Between hands touching food, and people touching their mouths, there are plenty of germs to go around for everyone. This is why it's absolutely essential to wipe down any of the condiment bottles you use on a regular basis inlcuding the salt and pepper shakers you leave on the table.
The Kitchn

Pillows

Pillows may give you comfort while you're sleeping, but they most certainly won't give you comfort once you hear this. While you're sleeping, you drool, you sweat, you shed skin, and it's all going onto your pillow. According to Consumer Reports, pillows should be washed and aired out regularly, and professionally laundered two times a year. Make sure to read the instructions on the tag before you put them into your own washer and dryer.
Burst

Coffee Makers

Even if you regularly wash your coffee maker with vinegar and water, it doesn't mean that it's clean. Because of the damp conditions, coffee makers are excellent breeding grounds for yeast, mold, and harmful bacteria. Using a paper towel after use to wipe it out can be helpful, but if you've had one for quite a long time, you might just want to consider getting a new one.
Lisa Fotios

Purses

If you're the type of woman that keeps your purse cleaned and well-organized, then that's great, but you're not exempt from this one. Women take their purse everywhere, including public restrooms and doctor's offices. This means that your purse is exposed to nasty bacteria on a pretty regular basis. Always make sure to clean off the handles and the bottom, and if your bag can be machine washed, then throw it in the washer at least once a week!
Lum3n

Pet Toys

Dogs are adorably fun, but they can bring bacteria into your home along with their toys. Those balls, ropes, and squeaky toys can carry bacteria, mold, yeast, and dirt, so it's important that you wash them regularly. Most soft toys can just be thrown into the washing machine, but damaged toys should be thrown out and replaced immediately because they can be harmful to your pet.

Light Switches

Most people don't think twice about turning their light switch off and on, but those people should be thinking about what they're doing a lot more often. Light switches and doorknobs are an ideal place for bacteria and viruses to chill, so make sure that you disinfect the ones in your home regularly, especially when you have guests over or someone in your home is sick.
Niklas Morberg / Flickr / Creative Commons

Knife Block

Of course, most people would never put a knife back in the knife block without washing it first, but most people don't realize that they need to clean the knife block, as well. The holes on the knife block are the perfect spot for food and germs to stay warm, so make sure to clean them often by shaking out the crumbs and hand-washing the knife block often.
Crate and Barrel

Kitchen Counters

This one should seem blatantly obvious, but some people need a reminder. Your kitchen counter comes into contact with germs and bacteria on a daily basis, so they need to be cleaned often. Uncooked meat can contain harmful bacteria that, and when you cut meat on your counters the bacteria stays there. So make sure you clean your counters every day, especially if there's meat involved.
Milly Eaton