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Keeping your home clean is one of the best ways to avoid the viruses and bacteria that cause illnesses. However, in the daily struggle against germs, there are a few areas you may not realize are secretly harboring germs. Tackling just these 6 areas can make a measurable improvement in your home’s overall cleanliness.

The Kitchen Ranks Highest

The kitchen harbors more germs than any other area of the home. As much as you try to sanitize it, some areas are hiding germs that you probably don’t think of.

The washrag or sponge you use at the kitchen sink harbors bacteria and mold at extremely high levels. In fact, salmonella and E. coli bacteria can be found on the sponge or rag in 75 percent of homes. Toss a damp sponge in the microwave for two minutes a day and replace it every two weeks. Wash rags may be a better option, as they are easier to sanitize in the washing machine. The best advice is to replace a wash rag every one or two days.

Kitchen cabinet handles and drawer pulls are just the sort of places germs like to lurk to escape your notice. It’s easy to grab a handle without thinking about the washrag you just handled that’s been around a couple of days. Disinfectant wipes are a good option for quickly and easily sanitizing door handles and drawer pulls. Consider giving them a thorough wipe down about once a week to eliminate germs.

Many people keep the coffee maker on a kitchen counter, and while you’re probably washing your coffee mug or carafe on a regular basis, the inside of the coffee maker probably doesn’t get the same attention. The reservoir for a coffee maker is a warm, moist place that has the perfect conditions for breeding bacteria. Your coffee maker should have specific instructions for cleaning it.

The Bathroom Harbors Germs

Of course, the bathroom is one of the first places that comes to mind in trying to eliminate germs in the home. And while you’re probably cleaning the obvious spots, there are some other areas that need your attention.

Your toothbrush holder is probably one area you rarely give much thought to. However, day after day it accumulates germs in the bathroom. Buying a dishwasher-safe holder is the simplest way of ensuring this area stays sanitized. Toss it in once a week for a thorough cleaning.

Your shower curtain remains warm and moist long after the shower is over. While most shower curtains are resistant to mold and bacteria growth, a thorough cleaning once a month will help keep those germs in check, as well.

The Living Room Shouldn’t Escape Notice

One of the biggest culprits for unseen germs in the house sits in your living room – the television remote. Handled by probably everyone in the family, multiple times daily, this device is a safe haven for germs in most homes. Disinfectant wipes are the perfect solution to keeping this device germ-free; use every day or two, or more frequently during cold and flu season.

You may never make your home as germ-free as you’d like, but by taking care of these areas that often get little attention, you can drastically improve the cleanliness of your home.

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