10 Everyday Items You Should Deep Clean Immediately

Woman with remote
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Sure, you regularly clean toilets and kitchen counters — but there is filth, bacteria and even more distasteful things lurking in everyday items you touch daily.

You should clean these, but chances are you don’t. It’s time to turn that bad habit around.

Following are 10 things that deserve a deep cleaning — right now.

1. Your handbag

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About one-third of purses (or backpacks and messenger bags) have coliform bacteria on them, according to Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona, Tucson.

Gerba’s research found that the bottoms of personal bags pick up filth after being set on the floor. Wipe yours down with a disinfectant spray or wipe if it’s plastic or leather. And don’t forget to clean out the inside of your bag as well.

2. Your kitchen sink

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Because your kitchen sink is usually wet and moist, it’s the perfect breeding ground for food-borne illnesses.

According to WebMD, bacteria — including E. coli and salmonella — thrive on dirty dishes in the sink and drain. So, make sure you scrub the sink as well as you do the lasagna pan. Use a disinfectant product made for the kitchen. And make sure you aren’t using an old sponge that’s also teeming with bacteria.

For more, check out “11 Disgusting Household Items You Should Throw Out Now.”

3. The dishwasher

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Even if your plates come out sparkling, there’s most likely a bunch of crud and bits of food at the bottom of the dishwasher that can include bacteria, fungi and even mold.

Take out the racks and clean the walls of the dishwasher — a toothbrush works great to get into hard-to-reach places.

When you’ve thoroughly scrubbed it out, put a cup of white vinegar in a dishwasher-safe container, and place it on the upper rack of the appliance. Then run the dishwasher through a hot water cycle to wash away that greasy, grimy gunk and remove foul odors.

4. Makeup brushes

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Dirty brushes accumulate dead skin cells, oil and bacteria. So, when you brush your tools over blush or eyeshadow, it’s contaminating your makeup and then spreading all that dirty stuff to your face. This can also increase your chance of getting conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye.

Experts recommend that brushes be cleaned at least every two weeks. Brushes used for creamy products such as foundation, concealer, lipstick or cream shadow need cleaning more often than dry products like loose powder.

The website One Good Thing by Jillee says you can use basic detergent soap to clean your brushes.

5. Your work station

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Your office space is hiding a dirty little secret — actually, a lot of dirty secrets! An infographic from Master Cleaner Ltd. looks at the ugly truth about what’s lurking on and around your desk:

  • Keyboards contain a lot more microbes than a toilet seat.
  • Office phones host around 25,000 microbes per square inch.
  • Office desks are more than 400 times dirtier than a toilet seat.

So, don’t be shy about disinfecting your work area.

6. Your car’s gear shift

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Microbiologists at Aston University in Birmingham, England, found that a typical car’s gear shift hosts a whopping 356 germs per square centimeter. And if you drive with pets and kids, bacteria levels soar, along with your chances of getting sick.

Clean the gear shift often to stay on the road to better health.

7. Remote controls

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Our much-handled remotes are crawling with bacteria and viruses. If you travel, the remotes at hotels are even dirtier.

Charles Gerba, the microbiologist at the University of Arizona, Tucson, tested 14 hotel remotes and found that about one-third of them were contaminated with fecal bacteria, and a fifth had traces of semen. Room service, anyone? Order up some disinfectant wipes! (But don’t forget to take the batteries out first.)

8. Cellphones

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How often do you use your cellphone compared with how often you clean it? According The Health Site, on average, a phone has 25,000 germs per square inch.

Since the screen is usually warm, bacteria thrive on and transfer from it — not just to your fingers, but also potentially to your eyes, nose, ears and lips when you touch them. Your phone could be the reason the flu comes calling! So, keep it clean.

HGTV offers some tips for keeping your cellphone clean and germ-free.

9. Bed pillows

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That super soft, comfy pillow you’ve been sleeping on (and sweating into) for months is probably filled with dead dust mites. Because pillows are warm and moist, they make a perfect breeding ground for the nasty little critters.

Consumer Reports suggests washing pillows at least twice a year.

10. Light switches

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We usually hit the major spots when cleaning our homes — from windows and floors to appliances and furniture. But we often overlook small spots touched by dirty fingers multiple times a day. These include light switches.

Give switches a regular rub-down with disinfecting wipes.

Have anything to add to this list? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.

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