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11 Totally Gross Things in Your House

posted: 03/08/16
by: Mara Betsch
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  • Disinfectant is your friend.
    Disinfectant is your friend.
    Image Credit: iStock
    1/12

    Where those germs at?

    As much as you don’t want to think about it, your home is covered in tons of bacteria, which is unique to you and your family. And while studies show that a little exposure to bacteria won’t hurt, and, in fact, may strengthen your immune system, too much bacteria in your home can lead to serious illnesses. And no one wants to watch family members get sick! A recent study looked at 30 household items in 22 different families to determine which objects were, well, the grossest.

    Check out the 11 germiest items in your house and find out the best ways to keep your house as clean as possible!

  • Seriously, you need to wash your sponges.
    Seriously, you need to wash your sponges.
    Image Credit: iStock
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    Your dish sponge

    The item you use to wash your dishes — which you eat on! — contained coliform (the family of bacteria that includes Salmonella and E. Coli) in 77 percent of homes and yeast and mold in 86 percent of homes. To prevent this, the USDA found that microwaving damp sponges for one minute can prevent 99 percent of bacteria. Or, a bleach solution of 3/4 bleach and one gallon water did the trick, according to Good Housekeeping.

  • So much is lurking in this small container.
    So much is lurking in this small container.
    Image Credit: iStock
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    Your toothbrush holder

    This bathroom area contained 3.3 million microorganisms per 10 square centimeters, according the National Sanitation Foundation. To keep these items clean, rinse with really hot water and then fill the holder with antibacterial mouthwash for a few minutes. Rinse with water, and you should be good to go!

  • Give your pet's bowl a wash as often as you wash your dishes.
    Give your pet's bowl a wash as often as you wash your dishes.
    Image Credit: iStock
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    Pet bowl

    This will come as no surprise to pet owners. Especially if you have toddlers who may want to join Fido for a drink, it’s important to keep these items clean. You wash your dishes every day, and should make sure that your pet’s dishes get the same treatment.

  • Who knew?
    Who knew?
    Image Credit: iStock
    5/12

    The coffee reservoir of the coffee maker

    We have to admit, we're trying remember when we we last cleaned our coffeemaker. The answer makes us, well, cringe. Since yeast, mold, and bacteria are found in this appliance, it’s best to wash each part with hot water after each use. Once a month, you can fill the reservoir with equal parts water and vinegar and add a paper filter to the basket. Press brew, and about halfway through, turn off the machine for 30 minutes to give the solution time to clean the inner workings of the machine. After 30 minutes, let it finish brewing, then rinse everything. Put in a new filter and brew clean water, repeating once more for good measure.

  • You should be sanitizing this once a week -- at least!
    You should be sanitizing this once a week -- at least!
    Image Credit: iStock
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    The kitchen sink

    There’s more E. coli here than in your toilet! And when you think about your dishes sitting there, it’s easy to get a little grossed out. Sanitize your sink regularly by filling it with about a gallon of water and a tablespoon of bleach and giving it a good scrub.

  • These items are pretty gnarly!
    These items are pretty gnarly!
    Image Credit: iStock
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    Pet toy

    This makes perfect sense — these items are in your pet’s mouth and then rolled inside your home, out in the yard, and everywhere in between. If possible, throw plastic toys in your dishwater — just be sure to choose the hot cycle and leave the detergent out.

  • It may be close to water, but that doesn't mean it's clean.
    It may be close to water, but that doesn't mean it's clean.
    Image Credit: iStock
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    Bathroom faucet handle

    Grubby, dirty hands touch these fixtures before washing way bacteria and grime. That’s why it’s especially important to keep these areas in your home sanitized. Keep disinfectant wipes or spray either on a nearby shelf or in a drawer to remind yourself to wipe down your bathroom at least once every few days.

  • Countertops collect bacteria from everything we leave on them.
    Countertops collect bacteria from everything we leave on them.
    Image Credit: iStock
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    Kitchen countertop

    Though this one isn’t surprising, it can be potentially dangerous, especially if you put food directly onto your kitchen’s surface. To keep countertops clean, be sure to stop placing your purse, keys, or other germ-filled items on them. Wipe them down with hot water and soap once a day, especially after you cook, to keep germs at bay.

  • Door knobs are a hot spot for bacteria.
    Door knobs are a hot spot for bacteria.
    Image Credit: iStock
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    Bathroom door knob

    A 2014 study found that germs on a single doorknob can spread to about half of people in office buildings, hotels or health care facilities within hours! When you’re wiping down faucet handles, be sure to give the door knob a swipe, too.

  • Toilets aren't the germiest place in your home.
    Toilets aren't the germiest place in your home.
    Image Credit: iStock
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    Toilet seat

    Though everyone thinks that toilet seats are filthy — and they are — they’re just rounding out the top 10 list. Chances are, you’re probably cleaning your toilet regularly, but there are other things you can do. For example, always flush with the lid down to avoid water vapor from the toilet bowl from getting all over your bathroom.

  • Germs are lurking here, too.
    Germs are lurking here, too.
    Image Credit: iStock
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    The runner-ups

    Stove knobs, cutting boards (the average one has about 200% more fecal bacteria than the average toilet seat), computer keyboards, remote controls, and refrigerator handles are common germ centers. Be sure to sanitize these weekly to keep you and your family as healthy as possible.