10 household items that should be cleaned more regularly



When people clean their homes, they usually follow a routine. Sweep the floors, vacuum the carpets, mop the tiles, dust most surfaces and wash the windows. While routines are a great way to structure your cleaning regime, they also mean that certain household objects are always neglected. There are many items that should be part of the routine to ensure maximum hygiene in the house.


These objects are actually used on a daily basis, yet they don’t form part of the cleaning schedule in most homes. This not only allows bacteria and germs to grow and spread, but it can also have certain health implications for people living in the house. The following 10 household items need to be cleaned more regularly.


1. Television remote control


This is one of the most-used objects in the house and yet people rarely clean and disinfect it. The remote control is such an ever-present item that it is often overlooked until a coating of grime becomes visible around the buttons. To clean the remote, use rubbing alcohol or a disinfectant solution with a microfibre cloth. The remote can harbour large colonies of bacteria, so the cleaning solution needs to be quite strong.


2. Cellphones


Cellphones are exactly the same as remote controls. They are so common and used so often that we tend to forget to clean them properly. However, with phones, we carry them to various places throughout the day where they are exposed to different germs and bacteria. A strong solution of rubbing alcohol or disinfectant solution is also recommended to effectively remove bacteria from the front and back of your cellphone.


3. Kettle


The kettle is also used on a daily basis. It is often considered to be clean as it only stores water. What’s more, the boiling water is often believed to kill any bacteria inside the kettle. This is not always the case as mold and other harmful microbes can thrive in a moist environment. Wash your kettle out with dishwashing liquid and warm water to remove any build-up of lime and germs.


4. Dishwasher


These are among the most neglected household appliances. A dishwasher cleans itself, surely? Well, food particles, grease and mold can build up inside the dishwasher - especially in the drain and pipe leaving the bottom of the machine. This drain should be cleaned by hand regularly to avoid a build-up of grime and to remove any odours. Always rinse large food scraps off your plates before placing them in the dishwasher.


Place a cup of vinegar on the top rack of the empty dishwasher and run it as per normal. Then, sprinkle some baking soda in the drain and all around the base of the compartment. Run the unit again to rinse the baking soda away and remove any possible odours.


5. Kitchen sink


Like the dishwasher, the kitchen sink is rarely cleaned properly because it is often filled up with dishwashing liquid and hot water. However, grease and food particles allow colonies of bacteria and mold to grow on the surface of the sink. In most households, the kitchen sink is dirtier than the toilet. Be sure to scrub it thoroughly with rubbing alcohol, disinfectant or vinegar. Again, use baking soda and rinse it with clean water to remove any drain odours.


6. Mattress and pillows


A mattress and pillow are never cleaned as often as the linen, yet it can house many microbes, mites, dust and skin flakes. Your mattress should be vacuumed and cleaned at least twice a year. Here are some helpful hints on cleaning your mattress like a professional. Pillows are also neglected because we put clean pillowcases over the top. Pillows can be washed and some can even be tumble dried on a low setting. This should be done at least twice a year.


7. Refrigerator coils


Many people defrost and clean out their fridge every few months. While this is good practice for hygiene, they often forget about the exterior of the fridge, especially the back. The coils on the rear side of the fridge gather dust and hair like you wouldn’t believe. Take a look behind your fridge and see for yourself. Disconnect the power and use a brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to suck up the dust from the coils. This also makes your fridge more efficient and use less power.


8. Dustbin


Some people tend to forget about cleaning their dustbin when they take the bag out. Although waste is stored inside the bin liner, the germs and bacteria can spread to the outside of the bag. When you take the bag out, wash the inside and outside of the bin with warm soapy water or a disinfectant spray. This should be done once a month to prevent odours and a build-up of germs.


9. Light switches


These objects are touched every night and sometimes during the day. Like remote controls and cellphones, light switches are so common that we forget that they can be dirty. Unless a visible ring of grime is seen around the switch, people don’t often think to clean it. You can wipe down the switch with white vinegar or a damp cloth and disinfectant spray.


10. Door handles


Lastly, door handles are some of the dirtiest objects in the home yet we rarely think about them. Just because there is no visible dirt does not mean that doorknobs are clean. Bacteria can easily spread over the surface of a door handle. Use white vinegar or a disinfectant spray to clean each door handle in your house. Do this twice a year for better hygiene.

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IWESCO offers specialised cleaning and waste control services to industrial and commercial customers in South Africa. These services are aimed at minimising our customers’ impact on the environment. Our services also include pest control, garden maintenance, fogging and disinfecting. Our staff are highly trained to offer the most professional services. IWESCO is a Level 2 B-BBEE supplier with ISO 14001 certification for environmental management.


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