For most people, washing hands and using hand sanitizer have become second nature amid the coronavirus pandemic. As we add on cold and flu season, it’s even more important to think about keeping your environment clean. And while most of us have hit the basics — hands, clothing, countertops — there may be a few surprise places we haven’t thought of but should. Here are the top five “surprise” areas to add to your cleaning list.
Our phones go with us everywhere. So it’s no surprise then, that with how many surfaces they touch in a day, cell phones rank as one of the dirtiest objects we come into contact with — 10 times dirtier than a toilet seat. Even if you’re washing your hands constantly, as soon as you pick up your phone, you’re exposing yourself to the thousands of germs that live on it.
How to sanitize: With clean hands, wipe your phone with an antibacterial microfiber cloth. To prevent damage, be sure to spray cleaners onto the cloth rather than the phone itself. If you have a phone case, remove it and use a clean cloth and cleaning spray to disinfect it as well. Let it dry completely before placing back on your phone.
When looking at most people’s household chore lists, “clean the remote” doesn’t typically make an appearance. Similar to cell phones, remotes can come into contact with a lot of different people and surfaces, and collect the germs associated with each.
How to sanitize: Using a disinfecting wipe or alcohol-based cleaner, wipe down the remote, paying special attention given to the spaces in between the buttons. Use a pin or toothpick to gently remove any grime from the tight spaces and grooves. Be careful to not let any liquid drip into the remote or battery compartment, and let the remote air dry completely before using.
Keyboard and Mouse
We can spend hours at our keyboards during one workday alone, so it’s worth spending some time cleaning out all of those tiny crevices and spaces that have a way of collecting our germs.
How to sanitize: Unplug your devices and use compressed air to spray out any dust or crumbs. Then, wipe down all of the surfaces with a disinfectant, being careful not to let any liquids drip under the keys.
Purses and Bags
If you carry a purse or a bag with you on errands, chances are it’s had its fair share of encounters with public restrooms, floors and countertops.
How to sanitize: The type of fabric used in your bag will determine how you clean it. For finished leather or pleather-type purses, you can wipe your bag down with a simple disinfecting wipe. Be sure to include the handles, straps, zipper pulls and base. For fabric bags, you can wash the bag in your laundry or use an antibacterial fabric spray.
Appliance Handles, Knobs and Touchpads
You may or may not already be wiping down doorknobs and faucet handles in your regular cleaning routines, but have you considered all of your appliances handles, knobs and touchpads? If you haven’t given your microwave buttons or coffee maker a wipe down recently, you may want to add them to the list.
How to sanitize: Start by cleaning off any grease, grime or oil with soapy water. Once dried, use disinfecting spray or a wipe to clean all of your handles, knobs and touchpads.
Although the thought of germs on everyday objects can be overwhelming, regular cleaning and disinfecting can go a long way in protecting ourselves from any sicknesses, including COVID-19.