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The Dirtiest Places in Your Home

Updated on August 31, 2012

Where there are people there is more than likely germs…and dust. A disturbing little fact to know is that dust is made up of 80% of human skin. Ew. Thinking about it even further, take into account all the people besides you and those who live with you who traipse through your house throughout the year, touching things, coughing on things, sitting on things--and how you may not clean up after them properly after they leave. Come on, it’s not like you’ve been keeping an eye on them the entire time they were there and even if you did, I’m sure you weren’t thinking of all the things they’d done before they stepped foot into your home and all the things they were touching once you told them to make themselves at home. Did you? Double ew.

Now that I’ve gotten you to think about all those that have wandered through your home and also gotten you to think about what they could’ve (and probably) dragged in along with them, think about all the places and things in your home that you may have missed in the last few months when you were doing your routine cleaning sweep in the place.

We all know how the bathroom is the dirtiest place and certain places in the kitchen (namely the sink and the fridge) are almost just as bad, but what about those places and things that you take for granted that are just…well…there? I figured maybe they’d be worth mentioning in this article.

One of the things that people fail to clean properly, I believe, is their remote controls. Think of all the times you’ve come from outside somewhere, or your kids, your husband or other relatives and friends and the first thing you picked up was the remote control to the TV. Nobody yells, “Wash your hands before you touch the remote!” So why would people get into the habit of that unless they have OCD or something? Most of us don’t even think about wiping it down unless we get something on it or someone known to be ill has been handling it. Did you ever think that just like passing around that #2 Pencil in class was laced with germs that the remotes in your home are probably laced with them as well. Your kids come straight from school, plunk down in front of the TV and grab the remote. Most people don’t tell their kids to go wash their hands until it’s time to eat. I’m not saying start some kind of movement in your home where everybody takes a Silk Wood shower once they come back in the house from outside, but when you’re going through the family room and just end up dusting the remote, try going back over it with a Clorox wipe. You maybe glad you did. By the way, cleaning the buttons on your TV with a Clorox wipe instead of just letting the Windex or whatever glide over it maybe a good idea as well.

Another thing in your home that you probably don’t start spraying with Lysol until someone comes up with the sniffles or the flu is the telephone. A lot of people hardly ever bother with their house phones anymore since most families have individual cell phones for everyone, but think about the times when you’re not just sharing the telephones with one another, but company comes over and uses it as well. Again, you’re probably not going to tell the person to wash their hands before using the phone, and you probably won’t immediately wipe it down after they use it unless they get it all cruddy, but it’s probably another germ carrying device that you don’t give a second thought to--just like the remotes. Just know that even if everyone is well at the moment in your house, it doesn’t hurt to go over things with a little Lysol or wipe it down every now and again. Dusting isn’t necessarily sufficient.

Thirdly, the top of the blades on your ceiling fans. Some people don’t even bother to go out and buy the high tilted duster unless they notice dust flying on top of them when they turn it on. Not only can this cause sinuses to start acting up, but think about what having a thick layer of dust is doing to you as you breathe it all the time whether you can see any of it wafting up or not. Also, think of any dead bugs that could have flown up there and roosted when you had the window or door in your home open a bit too long one day or not. Your house doesn’t have to be a pigsty to have this kind of problem, either. This is one of those things and places in your home that get neglected simply because it’s the last thing on your mind. After dealing with all of life’s little problems and just the regular things you have to do everyday, not everyone cleans so meticulously and not everyone thinks about their ceilings fans until they start giving them trouble a lot of the times. I wouldn’t feel bad if I were you if you hadn’t thought much about the top of your ceiling fans since the last time you dusted it off, which may have been quite a while ago. That’s why it made this list.

Another place that you don’t really even notice needs washing are the walls of your house. I’m not talking about the outside of your house either, but the inside. I’ve had to go into other people’s houses and clean them after they moved out and I think that without all your furniture and appliances and other things crowding your space you’d be surprised at how terrible your walls look. Unless you actually notice a stain or two on your wall, you’re not really thinking about cleaning it. You don’t think twice when you lean up against it all sweaty and tired, and you don’t think about all the dirt that’s probably being layered on top of it either. Not a lot of walls even pick up a lot of dirt anyway and I’ve gotten into a habit of wiping down my walls and doors every now and again, but it’s just one of those places that if it’s not visibly in terrible condition, you don’t really think about it. And unless you have some unruly Tazmanian kid with a crayon, marker, or pencil running through and marking on things I can’t really blame you. But maybe you should check in the nook and crannies every now again. Just don’t lose your lunch in the process just in case there are parts of yours walls that are unrecognizable from the other parts that you see everyday.

Last, but definitely not least, your carpet. Where there is carpet in your house, there is probably some problem or another unless you have a very effective and a very expensive vacuum cleaner. One of the best, it has to be, if you want the cleanest carpet possible. Unlike a rug, you can’t exactly snatch up your carpet from your floor, throw it in the washer and sweep and mop the area where you just exposed. It doesn’t work like that. And studies have already shown that where you think you’re doing good by shampooing your carpet, you are probably doing a lot more harm than your are helping your or your family’s circumstances. For one thing, a carpet is going to have to sit there and dry which could produce mold and fungus. Who wants to be walking on top of that? Breathing that stuff in? And then you have to think about all the stuff that you’re actually pushing down through the threading onto the hard wood that the suction from a regular vacuum is not going to be able to pick up. There’s not only dust and dirt under there, there is hair and other loose fibers, bits of food (crumbs) down there, among other things like dead bugs and dandruff. And you’re walking on top of all of that. What do I say about it? Either get a vacuum cleaner that’s been proven to work (and you will spend a pretty penny on some of these) or get rid of your carpet altogether especially if you have a child with any kind of respiratory problems or skin conditions (like eczema for example). If neither of those choices work for you and your budget, then I suggest you definitely avoid shampooing your carpet for your own good and try to keep it as clean as possible by dry vacuuming and sweeping and avoiding putting down things like Carpet Fresh which can sometimes become an irritant because regular vacuums don’t suck it all back up and you’re essentially just breathing it all back in over and over again. So even though it’s not recirculated air on an airplane, it can be just as bad. Especially if you’re a smoker. Everybody’s just breathing that same tobacco (etc) scent over and over again that’s seeped into everything. I’d advise you to go outside and smoke if you must in that situation.

These aren’t scientific studies that have been done, all of this is my own opinion.


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