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Attention!

Neat-ish.com is not a professional source for medical information. Always check with your doctor if you have any health concerns, questions, or want to know about Covid-19 or how to safeguard yourself and your family further with disinfecting or sanitizing. You can also visit the CDC, or Center for Disease Control and Prevention, for more information and tips.

We previously covered The Difference Between Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting, but knowing what things to disinfect around your home can also be a good way to get a headstart on staying safe and healthy year-round.

While some items on the list might be stuff to consider during a pandemic, like Covid-19, other items may be good to consider under normal circumstances.

If you’re curious to see how you can help fight germs, particularly during contagious times, here are a few hotspots to consider:


Someone cleaning a stove
Photo by pascalhelmer

1. Kitchen 

The kitchen is usually at the top of most people’s lists of things to disinfect around your home—especially since it also tends to be one of the most germ-riddled areas. Fortunately, it’s also one of the easier places to keep clean and sanitized, even just by using disinfectant wipes, steam, sprays, or just plain soap and water on areas like the following:

  • Counters
  • Cabinet doors, handles, and knobs
  • Trash cans
  • Plumbing fixtures
  • Appliance buttons and handles
  • Light and disposal switches
  • Frequently used food containers

clean bathroom with oval mirror
Photo by Christa Glover

2. Bathroom

The bathroom is yet another germ-riddled hotspot within the home, and it’s generally the first place people think about when it comes to germs.

  • Toilet – work your way downwards: tank, handle, lid, seat, underneath the seat, rim/rear, base, bowl.
  • Hand towels – try to switch out regularly
  • Doorknobs and handles
  • Switches
  • Counters
  • Cabinet doors
  • Bathroom towels
  • Soap dispensers
  • Faucets
  • Floors

a teddy bear on a bed
Photo by Teresa Howes

3. Fabrics & Bedding

Items such as towels, bedding, furniture, and other fabric-type items can be a hotbed for germs, thanks to often porous materials. Some items may even need to be cleaned more frequently, depending on their use. Luckily, washing them in the laundry, whenever applicable, or even using a cloth with soap and hot water, can often do the trick of killing germs.

Using steam, a disinfecting spray, or a carpet or upholstery cleaner may be a more suitable option for certain items. This can include more delicate items or ones that are harder to clean the traditional way, like carpet, rugs, sofas, etc.

Treatments may also depend on what the item is used for, who might be using it, and whether non-toxic or child/pet-safe alternatives may be necessary, like a child’s or pet’s toys. When in doubt, read the item’s care instructions!

  • Hand and body towels
  • Bedding
  • Throw pillows
  • Bed pillows
  • Carpet & rugs
  • Stuffed animals and toys

disinfecting electronic devices
Photo by PhotoMIX-Company

4.  Electronics & Other Gadgets

If there’s one thing we use often that could use regular sanitizing, if not flat-out disinfecting, it would be our electronic devices and their peripherals.

In fact, not cleaning devices more regularly may put people more at risk of getting potential germs on their faces, hands, mouths, noses, or other surfaces they might put them on. This puts them at potential risk for contracting contagious illnesses, possible acne, or just furthering the potential yuck factor.

Due to this, it’s always a good idea to be in the habit of sanitizing or disinfect these items, typically using special cleaning wipes made for devices—especially when virus exposure may be a concern. This is whether you just use the device or if numerous people do, or even if you’ve just been out in public with the device or tools that go along with them.

  • Headphones and earbuds
  • Cell phones
  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • Cameras
  • Garage remote and wall-based garage opener
  • Computer peripherals, such as mouses and keyboards
  • Game controllers
  • Audio home hubs (i.e. Google Hub, Alexa, etc.)
  • Any gadget with buttons

items to disinfect at home
Photo by Steve Johnson

5. Odds & Ends

Some areas and items to disinfect around your home might involve commonly used objects that we often forget about. These can often be cleaned and sanitized using a disinfecting wipe or just soap and hot water. However, some materials may require special treatment, such as leather or fabric-type materials.

  • Remote controls
  • Keys
  • Eyeglasses and sunglasses
  • Doorbell button
  • Car handles, console, dash and steering wheel
  • Frequently used pens and pencils
  • Purses, wallets, and frequently used bags
  • Shoes
  • Children’s non-fabric toys
  • Soap dispensers and hand sanitizer bottles
  • Credit cards

dirty dog paws
Photo by Engin Akyurt

6. Pets

Of course, we can’t forget our beloved animals. While indoor cats generally won’t have anything to worry about, animals that go outdoors may bring something in with them, whether human-related viruses and germs or pet-related ones.

Using a microfiber cloth or pet-safe wipe can be a great way to clean their paws or fur as they come back inside, and will even help to keep your floors cleaner as a bonus.

In other situations, such as their food and water bowls, it’s just an act of love and kindness to make sure that their environment is as clean as we’d like ours to be.

  • Paws and fur after walks
  • Food and water bowls
  • Bedding
  • Toys

 

Other Items and Steps to Consider

If you are concerned about highly contagious viruses, such as Covid-19, or other germs, it’s also good to consider the following steps:

  1. Wipe down groceries and delivered packages when possible.
  2. Clean off items like purses, wallets, or any credit cards used if you’ve been out in public.
  3. Cleaning floors regularly, especially with children and/or if shoes are worn inside.
  4. Consider using reusable face masks (cleaning after being out in public), such as ones found on Etsy and Amazon.
  5. Consider using disposable gloves to protect yourself and others, and when touching items like shopping carts.
  6. Keep travel packs of disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizing wipes on hand, which can be used to clean, items, you may need to come in contact with, like shopping carts, your car, doors, and so forth.
mop on a hardwood floor
Photo by jarmoluk

Conclusion

Regardless of what you decide are the best things to disinfect around your home, it wise to make sure that you read proper care instructions for any items that you’re unsure about. In most cases, depending on what the item is and who will be using it, regular disinfecting products will usually do the trick.

However when in doubt, take some time to research items that may be more delicate or harder to clean, or that may even be used for kids or pets, before doing so. In some situations, some items may only need sanitizing or cleaning. You can also check out the Center for Diseases Control and Prevention for more insight.

For tips on how to cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting, and how to know the difference, click here.

 

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