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8 Common Household Objects to Clean Regularly

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Amy Edwards, MD, Associate Medical Director of Pediatric Infection Control at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, recommends targeting these high-touch spots to cut back on the spread of germs in your home year-round.

1. Smartphones

One study found that 81 percent of mobile phones played host to infection-causing microbes. This isn’t surprising, considering how often a smartphone comes into contact with its user’s hands, ears, mouth, face and hands.

Clean yours frequently with disinfecting wipes. If your device can’t withstand the use of liquids, another option for day-to-day cleaning is to purchase a UV light designed to sanitize smartphones.

2. Doorknobs and Light Switches

Given how frequently they’re touched, it’s no wonder handles and knobs pose a risk. Disinfect them following CDC guidelines, using a diluted household bleach solution of 5 tablespoons bleach per gallon of water, or 4 teaspoons per quart of water.

Always follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure that the product is not past its expiration date – expired household bleach can be ineffective when properly diluted.  

3. Cutting Boards

Wash acrylic, plastic, glass and wood boards in the dishwasher. Replace worn or cracked cutting boards since bacteria can grow in the crevices.

4. Toys

Germs can linger on hard plastic toys. Wipe or dunk the toy in a diluted bleach solution using the proportions listed earlier, then let it stand for three to five minutes before rinsing with clean water.

5. Dishrags

In a study, more than eight in 10 homes had moderate to heavy bacterial growth on kitchen rags. Machine-wash rags often using the hot cycle and replace sponges frequently.

6. Sinks

In the same study, half of kitchen taps harbored disease-causing germs. Wash your sinks frequently with hot, soapy water.

7. Pillowcases and Sheets

Bedding can conceal germs such as those that cause conjunctivitis (pink eye). Wash pillowcases and sheets regularly in hot water and detergent.

8. Computer Mice

Wash your hands frequently to prevent getting germs on your mouse, then wipe the mouse down with antiseptic pads.

Related Links

University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s has the region’s largest coordinated network of pediatric primary care providers, committed to delivering the very best care to children of all ages, including routine immunizations.

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