While I don’t consider myself a “germaphobe”, I do try to clean and disinfect many of the germiest areas in our home on a somewhat regular basis.
I also don’t buy into scaremongering or shaming tactics that try to convince us that our homes are “unsafe” or never clean enough. That’s definitely NOT the purpose of this post!
However, during crazy times like this, when we’re all stuck at home (often inside) looking for doable ways to reduce the germs around us, I thought these quick tips might be helpful!
Whether you’re in the middle of spring cleaning, or you just want to prevent the spread of germs throughout your home and family, take a look at this list of 10 germ-filled places in your home. Then take 5 minutes to clean one area today!
NOTE: I share a bit more about my daily/weekly cleaning routines at the end of this post. You might be surprised how LITTLE time it takes to keep so many germs away!
Even if you don’t have a bunch of children running through your home each day, the number of hands that touch your doorknobs is probably more than you think.
This means lots and lots of germs just waiting to transfer to anyone else who eventually touches the doorknobs.
Quick Tips to Clean Germy Doorknobs:
We use Seventh Generation Disinfectant Wipes or these antimicrobial cleaning cloths to clean our doorknobs almost EVERY day (this is something children can easily do, so using wipes is super convenient).
Bathrooms and entry-way doors are a “must” for me — bedroom doors aren’t as important, but the kids love using disinfectant wipes, so I think they usually do ALL the doorknobs! 🙂
2. Drawer Pulls, Handles, and other Knobs:
Along with doorknobs, I make it a practice to wipe down the majority of my kitchen and bathroom cabinet knobs and drawer pulls quite regularly (at least once a week).
I especially focus on the kitchen trash drawer as we open that cabinet so many times each day — often with dirty trash in our hands.
Quick Tips to Clean Germy Drawer Pulls and Doorknobs:
Grab a disinfectant wipe, or a sudsy washcloth (after washing dishes) and wipe them down.
Sometimes I do this while dishes are soaking in the sink, while I’m waiting for water to boil, or even while I’m waiting for the kids to finish eating. Either way, it only takes about 2 minutes to wipe down all my kitchen cabinet knobs and drawer pulls.
3. Bathroom Faucets:
I’ve been in the potty-training stage of parenting (on and off) for the last 6 years — so our bathrooms see A LOT of use!
We just finished potty training Clara and she has both feet firmly planted in the “me do it myself” camp. This means she insists on washing her hands “by herself” — which means she puts her dirty hands ALL over the faucet every time she washes.
I can’t imagine our older children are any less germy when washing their hands (thankfully I don’t need to assist any of them with their bathroom business though!)
Quick Tips to Clean Germy Bathroom Faucets:
- Wipe down handles and spout with a disinfectant wipe or disinfecting spray and a soft cloth.
- Personally, I do this every evening when I change out the hand towels as it’s an easy way for me to remember to do it. There are some days when I do it even more often if the sinks get really gross.
Again, maybe it’s because I’ve been living in the potty training season of life for so long, but I try to wipe down our toilets (especially the kids’ toilets) at some point every single day.
NOTE: I don’t clean the inside of the bowl with a toilet brush every day — just the handle, lid, seat, and bowl exterior (it always seems to have pee on it).
Not only am I reducing the spread of germs throughout our home and family, but I also feel so much better about the state of our bathrooms if unexpected guests stop by (which happens fairly regularly in our home.)
Quick Tips to (quickly) Clean Germy Toilets:
- While you’re in the bathroom cleaning the faucets, doorknobs, and light switches, take a minute (literally 1 minute) to quickly wipe down the toilet flusher, lid, seat, and bowl (in that order).
- I always use disinfecting wipes for this job because I like to be able to throw the wipe away when I’m finished.
Of course, a thorough toilet deep clean requires cleaning the inside (and probably the floor around the toilet). However, I don’t feel that’s necessary on a daily basis.
5. Kitchen Faucet and Appliance Handles:
If you have stainless steel appliances, you are most likely in the habit of wiping them down regularly due to fingerprints, grease, and grime.
However, aside from the visible “dirt” you see, appliance handles are no-doubt covered in so many germs.
Just think how often you touch your dishwasher or kitchen faucet after handling raw meat or eggs. Even if you’re “careful” there’s a pretty good chance you’re smearing all sorts of germs in these areas — which eventually transfers them throughout the rest of your kitchen.
Quick Tips to Clean Kitchen Faucet, Sink, and Appliances:
- Use dish soap and warm water to disinfect your kitchen faucet daily (I do this when I wash dishes)
- Use baking soda and these mini scrub brushes to remove tough stuck-on dirt and grime
- Use vinegar spray and a microfiber cloth to wipe down appliance handles
- Here’s how I clean our farmhouse sink
- Here are 4 DIY recipes for cleaning stainless steel appliances
6. Light Switches:
Even though my children are very diligent with washing their hands, they always turn the light on BEFORE washing.
This means our light switches and light switch plates are not only covered in germs, but they actually are physically dirty as well.
Quick Tips to Clean Germy Light Switches:
- I wipe our light switches down with a disinfectant wipe or vinegar spray and a microfiber cloth.
- Also, since our home is mostly white (yes, that was my choice!) I often need to wipe away lots of physical dirt from the wall around the light switch too. I use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser for this — it works like a charm!
7. Remote Controls:
I’ve read (on multiple occasions) that remote controls are potentially THE germiest things in our homes (more so than the toilets.) Yuck!
This is one area we don’t often think to clean or disinfect — but it’s something you should add to your spring cleaning list ASAP.
We only have 1 remote in our home (I suppose we are some type of “remote minimalists”). We also don’t have any type of gaming system that requires remotes.
Needless to say, the process of disinfecting our lone remote is pretty painless. Even still, I try to do it weekly (or whenever I remember!)
If you have lots of different remotes, I’d suggest gathering them in one spot and setting a little time aside to clean and disinfect them.
Alternatively, you might consider replacing your current remotes with Smart Remotes to drastically reduce the number of places germs can get trapped.
Quick Tips To Clean Germy Remotes:
- If you have a Smart Remote, simply wipe it with a disinfectant wipe.
- If you have a remote with buttons, you can carefully wipe the surface with a disinfecting wipe (don’t use any type of spray)
- Alternatively, you can completely disassemble the remote and do a thorough deep cleaning (this video shows you how)
8. Computer Keyboards:
Along with remote controls, computer keyboards are infested with germs.
Quick Tips to Clean Germy Computer Keyboards:
- turn off and/or unplug the keyboard
- use a can of compressed air to gently blow dust, dirt, crumbs, etc. from inside the key area
- use a soft cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol to wipe down keyboard area
- also, wipe down the mouse and trackpad too
- clean your computer screen with a window cleaning cloth (this is the one I use and love)
- NEVER use disinfecting wipes on your computer screen!
9. Cell phones and Tablets:
These devices are constantly touched and constantly dragged with us throughout the day. Seriously, they are SUPER germy!
Thankfully, they are easy to clean and disinfect on a fairly regular basis!
Quick Tips to Clean Germy Phones and Tablets:
- use a soft cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol to wipe all phone surfaces
- if you still have smudges on your screen, use a window cleaning cloth (this is the one I love)
10. Soap Dispensers:
I already mentioned the importance of disinfecting the toilet, bathroom light switches, and bathroom faucets.
HOWEVER, what about your bathroom soap dispenser? Have you ever thought about cleaning that?
If you really think about it, the soap dispenser is the place we touch BEFORE we wash our hands — so it really can get very gross and germy.
We have these automatic foaming hand soap dispensers in the 2 bathrooms our kids use. It eliminates the need for them to actually TOUCH the dispenser — meaning less spreading of germs!
I’ve found that foaming hand soap works SO much better than liquid hand soap (especially for children). Not only does the foaming soap stay on their hands better than liquid, the kids also take more time to scrub it in, and it’s just more fun!
Quick Tips to Clean the Soap Dispenser:
- Scrub the soap dispenser pump area with these mini scrub brushes to get in all the nooks and crannies.
- Wipe down the whole soap bottle with warm soapy water or a disinfectant wipe.
- Alternatively, use an automatic soap dispenser like ours to eliminate so many germs from your bathroom sink area. It’s pricey, but worth it based on how much easier it is for my children to wash their own hands.
More Hand Soap Resources:
- Get my SIMPLE recipe to make your own foaming hand soap.
- Use the naturally antibacterial All-Shield goat’s milk soap from Bend Soap. I keep a bar of this at every sink in our house!
- Try this fun glitter experiment to SHOW your kiddos just how important it is to wash with soap and water.
BONUS TIP: Change your furnace filters regularly!
There are so many air-born germs in our homes! I personally don’t get too uptight about that fact, but I do regularly change out our furnace filters in an effort to prevent more germs from circulating throughout our home.
Plus, by changing your air filter regularly, you’ll improve the efficiency of your furnace and reduce the amount of dust that accumulates in your home (I hardly EVER dust anything!)
NOTE: If you’d like FREE furnace filters (with free shipping), check out Second Nature. I’ve ordered all our furnace filters from their website for YEARS and am very happy with their products and service.
You can order the exact size and number of filters you need and your first order is completely free (with free shipping)!
My Simple Cleaning and Disinfecting Routines:
My Nightly Bathroom Cleaning Routine (3-5 minutes):
- Use the current hand towel to wipe up any water on the counters.
- Toss those towels in the laundry basket.
- Use a disinfecting wipe or soapy cloth to wipe down doorknobs, light switches, and cabinet knobs/pulls.
- Then, wipe down faucet handles, soap dispensers, and sink areas.
- Finally, wipe to wipe down the toilet (handle, lid, seat, bowl exterior).
- Get out new hand towels.
My Nightly Kitchen Cleaning Routine (5-7 minutes):
- Wipe down counters, kitchen faucet, and soap dispenser (usually with soapy water from doing the dishes after dinner).
- Wipe down appliance handles and cabinet knobs (especially the trash doorknob).
- Put current hand towels and washcloths in the wash.
- Get out new towels and washcloths for the next day.
My Weekly Cleaning & Disinfecting Routine:
- Give my children a disinfecting wipe and/or vinegar spray + a cloth and let them wipe down doorknobs and light switch plates throughout the house.
- Wipe down phones, computer keyboards, tablets, and remote controls as necessary.
- my favorite DIY cleaning products (it’s a huge list with all the recipes)
- 8 tips to simplify and speed up your weekly cleaning routine
- all my cleaning related posts
Again, my intentions are not to scare you or make you nervous to be in your own home.
Rather, I hope to share a bit of insight into a few really simple, doable ways you can drastically reduce the number of germs in your home.
I certainly don’t expect you to immediately implement all of these ideas today. However, I’m certain you can take 3 to 5 minutes to tackle one of the germy spots listed above!
Then tackle another spot tomorrow (you know the drill!)