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I like to keep a clean house. No, really, a CLEAN house. I’m not sure if its a good or bad thing but having anxiety and OCD on top of being a perfectionist lends itself to being tidy. But when I started having severe issues with my asthma earlier this year I had to take an even closer look at the cleanliness of my house and possessions, and even I found a few areas I that needed attention.
Whether you need to do some “spring” cleaning, or just enjoy clean things as much as I do, here are 10 things you should be cleaning, but probably aren’t.
10 Things You Should Be Cleaning
My husband got me an Apple Watch for Mother’s Day and it is the first time I have consistently worn a watch in years. I have really sensitive skin, and the band was irritating me almost right away. I researched other band options, and started wiping it down with cleaner a couple of times a week. Almost instantly it stopped irritating my skin. You watch band can trap dirt, sweat, and all other kinds of nasty bacteria, so don’t forget to clean it once in a while!
To some people it seems counterintuitive to clean a machine that is supposed to clean your clothes, but your washing machine needs a good cleaning once a month. Not only does it harbor mold and bacteria, unless you are washing with very hot water or bleach every time germs like E. coli could be lurking. Once a month run a clean cycle with an empty load and some bleach. Don’t forget to clean any traps or screens your washing machine has, too.
I hope most of us already wash our sheets on a regular basis, but don’t forget to give your mattress regular attention. At least twice a year make sure you give your mattress a thorough vacuuming to remove dead skin cells and *shudder* any critters like mites or worse. You can spot clean your mattress with soapy water, or an enzyme-based cleaner if bodily fluids are an issue. Sprinkling baking soda on the mattress and letting it sit for a while before vacuuming it off will help to deodorize it. Not only will regular cleaning keep your mattress more sanitary, it will help it to last longer.
Doorknobs and Light Switches
Doorknobs and light switches are an obvious thing to clean when you think about how many hands touch them, but an area a lot of us forget about. I like to use a disinfectant like Force Of Nature to clean these and keep bacteria at bay. Never spray cleaner directly into light switches or electrical outlets. Instead spray your cleaning rag and then wipe the surface down.
Something I have discovered since my asthma has gotten severe is just how dirty the air in our homes can be. I run an air purifier as well as diffuse essential oils, but I also make sure I regularly change filters. The filters in my air purifier, the filter for my furnace, as well as the filters in my vacuum cleaners need to be cleaned and/or changed regularly. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for how often and what specific filters you need to purchase.
Phone and Computers
Cell phones are one of the filthiest things you will touch all day. Kind of gross to think we hold them up to our faces, huh? Computers, iPads, etc. are all touched constantly and can be total germ catchers. You can use wipes specially designed for cleaning electronics, or use diluted rubbing alcohol on a soft cloth. I hate using disposable products, but this is something where I spring for the wipes because I ruined the finish on my MacBook Pro screen using regular, household cleaner. Clean your items at LEAST once a week.
Pillows collect the same nasty stuff that your mattress does and should be cleaned at least every 6 months. For most pillows washing them on warm and the gentle cycle, then tumbling dry on low is a safe way to clean them. When I started having neck and shoulder problems I invested in a MyPillow and was surprised that the directions said to wash it every two months! They also direct you to dry it on high heat, which I like because of the germ-killing affect. Washing it fluffs it back up like it is brand new again.
Your toothbrush can harbor tons of bacteria, which is s scary thought considering it goes in your mouth! The best way to keep it more sanitary is to store it covered and in a cupboard or drawer. Never keep it in the open in the bathroom – every time the toilet flushes bacteria flies through the air that you do NOT want landing on your toothbrush. To clean it you can soak the head in antibacterial mouthwash or hydrogen peroxide. I spray mine with Force of Nature since it is non-toxic. If you have been sick you may want to toss your toothbrush or brush head and just start with a new one.
Whether you have a vinyl or fabric shower curtain, it is bound to get nasty after a while. Not only do they get mildewy after being wet all the time, they attract the same germs every other surface in your bathroom does. If you have a vinyl curtain throw it in the washing machine on the gentle cycle with a little bleach or vinegar. If you have a fabric liner throw it in the wash on hot water with some Oxyclean.
Curtains and Rods
Shower curtains aren’t the only curtains in your house that need a little TLC. When I was deep cleaning my house trying to help with my asthma, I was STUNNED at how dusty and dirty my curtains and curtain rods were. Now I wash them twice a year. For most curtains you can just throw them in the washing machine on the gentle cycle. Don’t mix colors! I ended up with pink (formerly white) curtains that way once.
You will definitely want to add these 10 things you should be cleaning to your regular homemaking routine!