We all want a home that’s free of germs, fungus, mold, and other pests. But there are some things we use on a regular basis that we may not realize require our attention. Let’s take a look at 15 items you need to clean more often and the best ways to clean them.
2. Toothbrush Holder
After you’ve cleaned your toothbrush, you shouldn’t put it back in a filthy holder. A 2011 study from the University of Massachusetts found that the toothbrush holder is the 3rd dirtiest object in our home. To clean it, rinse it in hot water and dry with a clean cloth. If the insides are hard to reach, you can use a pipe-cleaner. Make sure you get any and all traces of toothpaste from it, then fill it up with mouthwash for 2 minutes. Rinse again and let it air dry.
3. Vacuum Filter
Is your vacuum releasing unpleasant smells when you turn it on? This may indicate a contaminated filter. Buying a new one can cost you a pretty penny, but you can save money by cleaning the filter in the dishwasher. First, manually remove as much dust and particles off of it as you can, and rinse it on a cold wash in the dishwasher. Let it air dry for a couple of days.
5. Shower Curtains and Bath Mats.
How often do you clean your shower curtain or bath mats? As the bathroom is a hot and humid place, fungus and bacteria may thrive easily. To thoroughly clean them, wash them in the washing machine with a cup of baking soda on the gentle cycle.
It’s possible that since you got your TV, you haven’t cleaned the remote control, not even once. Most likely because you are unaware that you should. To clean the remote, remove the batteries. Use a dry toothbrush to clean between the buttons. Dip a rag in a 1:1 water/alcohol solution and wipe the remote. Finally, dip cotton buds in the solution and clean between the nooks and crannies. Then dry with a clean rag and you’re done!
Before you stow your blankets away for the winter, take the opportunity to clean them from all the sweat and stains they’ve collected throughout the cold months. Due to their size, they often cannot be washed in the washing machine, but you can clean up particular stains by using a little bit of water and stain-remover. Make sure that you do not wet the down feathers inside, and when you’re done, dry the spot with a hairdryer.
It’s always covered in soap, so it should be clean, right? WRONG. Loofahs trap bits of dead skin, providing a bacteria-breeding ground. To clean it, fill a bucket with water and add a ¼ cup bleach. Leave the loofah in the bucket for 5 minutes and you should be good to go.
Did you know that your pillows are probably home to dust mites? (About 10% of a 2-year-old pillow’s weight is dead dust mites and their excrement).Synthetic filling – Synthetic filling can usually be put through the washing machine, but make sure you read the label for cleaning instructions. If you want to keep the pillow’s shape in the machine, toss in 1 or 2 tennis balls.
Memory Foam or Down Feathers – Clean in the same way as you would a down blanket from #7.
10. Fabric Lamp Shades
Lamp shades can be cleaned with a wet cloth or vacuumed, but some are too delicate for that and require special treatment. Mix water and dish soap in a 1:4 ratio and whisk it until it becomes foamy. Apply the foam on the lamp shade and wipe off with a dry cloth.
If you forget your thermos in your car, you’ll often find it reeking, and a regular wash simply won’t cut it. To thoroughly clean it, pour boiling water into it, seal it and leave it overnight, then rinse it in the morning. Alternatively, you can add two teaspoons of baking soda to lukewarm water leaving it to soak for a couple of hours.
12. Ice Trays
Most ice trays are dishwasher-safe, but some require extra cleaning. Silicon ice trays get slowly covered by a layer of calcium sulfide. To clean the tray, add a solution of water and vinegar and leave it soak for 2 hours.
13. Bath Toys
If you give your kids a bath and let them play with toys while there, make sure you wash these toys once you’re done. The toys may be breeding mold, so mix a ½ cup of vinegar in a gallon of water and soak the toys in it for an hour. Once you’re done, rinse the toys and let them air dry.
14. Drying Rack
We use it to dry our clean dishes, but we hardly ever clean it too. The best way to clean a drying rack is by dipping it in a sink full of water, adding a ¼ cup of bleach per gallon of water. Leave the rack to soak for 20 minutes, and then use a cloth to remove any remaining mold or stains. Once you’re done, rinse the rack again, and let it air-dry for a day.
15. Baby Booster Straps
You should be cleaning the chair itself with ease every time, but what do you do when the straps get dirty? Simply make a bleach and baking soda solution. Use a toothbrush to clean the strap with the cleaning solution, and then rinse the whole chair.
That’s it! Don’t you feel fresher?