What are the germiest places in your home?

I’ll give you a few second to think…

I’d be willing to bet you chose the bathroom. While the bathroom is full of germs, it’s not the worst. According to a 2011 Study by the NSF, the kitchen had more germs than any other room in the house… even the bathroom where the toilet is.

Home is where the heart is, but it’s also where the germs are. It’s something that we can easily take for granted. We spend a lot of time at home. It’s our sanctuary, our safe-haven from all the nasty germs outside. But, it’s not as safe as we think. Unfortunately, we bring a lot of the nasties inside. 

Home is where the heart is, but it’s also where the germs are. It’s something that we can easily take for granted. We spend a lot of time at home. It’s our sanctuary, our safe-haven from all the nasty germs outside. But, it’s not as safe as we think. Unfortunately, we bring a lot of the nasties inside. 

Your awareness of them and diligence in getting them clean and keeping them clean will make them fall farther down the list of germiest places in your home. Maid Karma has identified what parts of your home need a little extra attention and how you can do it yourself.

The Refrigerator

germiest places in your home fridge

How often do you actually clean your refrigerator? To keep it off the germiest places in your home list, the suggested cleaning schedule is weekly. But, if you’re like most – it doesn’t get done. When you consider how (and how much) the fridge gets used, it won’t surprise you that it’s on this list. Hands are constantly touching the interior and exterior of the appliance. And, spills that aren’t immediately wiped up become a great host for mold and bacteria.

Since you have food in the fridge, it’s not a place to use chemical cleaners. Instead, remove each shelf, and use hot water and some dish detergent to clean them. In addition – plan a deep clean at the start of each season.

The Kitchen Sink

kitchen sink

Like the refrigerator, the kitchen sink is one of the most widely used appliances in your home. It’s used to wash your hands, dishes, fruits & vegetables, meat, and more. Even with all the water that is used in the sink, it’s still one of the germiest places in your home. Since it is used constantly, the sink being dry is rare. The standing water and food exposure provide a great place for bacteria to grow.

To naturally clean and disinfect your stainless steel sink: clean it with a 1:1 mixture of white distilled vinegar and water. For sink surfaces that are not vinegar-safe, clean with a mixture of hot water and antibacterial soap.

The Coffee Maker

coffee maker germiest places in your home

If you have a traditional coffee maker that uses filters and pots or even Keurig, they are great places for mold to accumulate. Mainly, because the water reservoirs are damp, dark, and at room temperature. 

To remove your coffee machine from the germiest places in your home list, fill the tank with four cups of white distilled vinegar and let it sit for 30 minutes. Run one brewing cycle with just vinegar. Then do three cycles with plain water (or until you can’t smell the vinegar anymore). Now you have a clean coffee machine and better tasting coffee. Or, you could just buy a French Press. ?

Kitchen Sponges

germiest places in your home sponges

Sponges provided the perfect place for germs to grow. They are wet, porous, and they come in contact with food, dirt, and all types of unclean services. One of those surfaces is probably the kitchen sink, which is also on our germiest places in your home list.

Get rid of 99.9% of the germs on your sponges by regularly “nuking” them in the microwave. Completely saturate the sponges with water, and microwave them on high for 1 minute.

Toothbrush Holder

toothbrush holder

This is a disgusting fact, but your toothbrush holders probably contain spread by toilet flushing. A study by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) found that toothbrush holders are the third-most germy household items (behind dish sponges and kitchen sinks).

Wash toothbrush holders with hot soapy water, or place in the dishwasher (one to two times per week). Also make sure to close the toilet lid before flushing to prevent contamination of bathroom surfaces from fecal bacteria. 

Pet Bowl

pet bowl germs

Because of their germ content, your dog bowl can transfer bacteria from human to dog or dog to human. Plastic bowls have the highest number of bacteria, but ceramic bowls have the most harmful microorganisms, including E. coli and MRSA. Stainless steel bowls have less bacteria, but no matter what the material pet bowls contain bacteria that can be transferred.  

For sanitization, all types of pet bowls should be cleaned with hot soapy water, or preferably the dishwasher. But, you can cut down on the germs by using stainless steel bowls.

Bathroom Faucet Handle

bathroom faucet handle germs

It’s no wonder they are on the list. Think about it, you usually touch the bathroom faucet handles with dirty hands. Then you touch them again with wet hands to turn them off. As we know germs love wet environments. In addition to this form of germ transfer, fecal bacteria in aerosol form settles on all bathroom surfaces if you flush the toilet with the lid up.

Regular cleaning of the handles with a disinfecting cleaner will help reduce the germs. Also, close the lid on the toilet lid when you flush. Alternatively, you can also buy an automatic no-touch faucet.

Pet Toys

pet toys germs

How often do you clean your pet toys? every now and then… never? According to an NSF study, your pet’s favorite squeaky toy can be a source of coliform bacteria (including Staph bacteria), yeast, and mold.

All pet toys, rubber or not, can be cleaned on the top shelf of the dishwasher.

Counter Tops

counter tops germs

Countertops near the sink contain the most germs, because they tend to be wet and wiped with contaminated sponges or rags. Additionally, the type of countertops you have may be making it worse. Recent studies have found that porous material countertops can harbor dangerous bacteria, such as E. coli. Quartz countertops are non porous so they never need to be sealed. As a result, they will not promote the growth of mold, mildew or bacteria.

Countertops should be cleaned regularly. You can also reduce the amount of germs by keeping them dry and sanitizing your sponges.

Cutting Board

cutting board germs

Cutting boards come in contact with all types of foodborn bacteria, even from fruits and vegetables. Cutting and chopping on a plastic cutting board, results in grooves and crevices that become a nice place for bacteria to thrive. But, they can be cleaned in a dishwasher. Wood boards are usually made of hardwood. So, they are a little tougher to  clean, but they don’t get the scratches and cuts as much as plastic boards.

Clean plastic boards in the dishwasher or with dish soap and water..  Warm water and soap work best for wood boards. Another way to reduce contamination is to have two cutting boards. Use one for meats, fish, poultry. The other should be used for fruits, vegetables, and bread.



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