Let’s face it, life can be gross, especially when things around the house that we think is clean are really far from it. There are three high-touch zones in your house that are probably way dirtier than you think. The good news is the following tips will help you get them sparkling clean and hygienic in no time. This is super important now, especially with the cold and flu season approaching and holiday guests on the horizon. (And we really don’t know where their hands have been before they got to your house, do we?).
Let’s dig in.
Dirty Thing #1: Light Switches and Faceplates
How many hundreds of times do these switches get flipped on and off by little hands and big ones alike. Yes, the faceplates might get a quick wipe with the damp rag, but most people don’t take it to the next level which is super easy. Here’s my hack. On house cleaning day or just before or after you’ve got a big crowd coming, take a sanitizing wipe and just walk through the house, wiping every faceplate and light switch, taking care to get into the grooves of the switches, where dust and grime can collect.
Pro Tip: For a switch that might be a little grimier than you thought it was, grab an old toothbrush, (my favorite small space cleaning tool by the way), spray some 409 or the like on it, and lightly scrub away. You’ll be surprised at how quickly the dirt lifts up and then you can use your wipe to put the final sparkle on. Since most faceplates and switches are plastic, you should be okay using a sanitizing wipe.
Dirty Thing #2: Doorknobs
In retail & business environments, they say the elevator switches are the dirtiest thing around. I think the doorknob might be a close second, The entire surface is touched by hands that have been who knows where. As with light switches, you can make quick work of your doorknobs by hitting them all at the same time on one tour of the house. Depending on the material of your doorknob, you’ll want to double-check to make sure you’re not hurting the finish. A safe bet here is a damp cloth dipped in a solution of dish soap and water. Do a quick wipe, leave it on for 10 minutes, and then wipe it off. My experts tell me that dish soap left on a surface for 10 minutes will completely disinfect. (I like Dawn. If it’s good enough to wipe ducklings down after an oil spill, it’s good enough for me).
Dirty Thing #3: Kitchen/Bath Cabinet Knobs and Pulls
Take a moment and think how many times per day cabinets and drawers are opened and closed, and what tasks you may or may not be undertaking at the moment. Cooking of course takes the cake for smudging and stickying up these areas, but cleaning up after a pet, dealing with dirty items, throwing trash away, grabbing toiletries or toilet paper… You get the idea. Cabinets and drawers hold a myriad of items and there are just as many reasons why you have to access these spots constantly.
As with door knobs, you can make quick work of an entire kitchen in less than 10 minutes and a bath in less than 5 by using the same technique in item number two above.
Don’t forget your closet/ bureau door pulls too!
Even if you don’t incorporate these into your every-week cleaning, it’s an easy quick pickup task that can be undertaken before or after company is coming. The kids can be a great help too.
There you have it: three quick tips to keep three of your highest-touch surfaces clean and safe, every day.