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Toss These Household Items With Your Spring Cleaning!


It’s spring cleaning time again which for many means sorting through the nooks and crannies of your house, looking for items you forgot you even owned, and hauling it all away normally just to make room for new stuff (we aren’t judge, we do it too!), but what about replacing some items you use everyday day that are a harbor for bacteria? We made a list of some items that you might want to get rid of and start fresh this season. Be warned, you will probably want to go home and bleach everything after you read this!

Let’s begin with the bathroom. Obviously, the bathroom is a very damp environment which happens to be bacteria’s best friend. Most people know to regularly clear their bathroom to limit the bacteria, but are you cleaning in all the right places?

Razors: Keeping your razor in the shower is a big mistake. You should dry out your razor completely from shave to shave to prevent bacteria from growing on it. And even then, razors still have a short shelf life. Disposable razors should be thrown out after five to seven shaves.

Towels: How many times do you use a towel before tossing it in the laundry? Keeping a towel on a hook or a towel rack in the bathroom leads to consistent moisture, and when a cloth item stays wet, that can create mildew. Make sure to wash bath and hand towels frequently with hot water. If you still detect that mildew smell after washing, it’s time to toss and replace.

Toothbrush Holder: Obviously your toothbrush carries bacteria and germs that require it to be replaced every 3 months, but have you thought of what grows in your toothbrush holder?  The toothbrush holder is actually way germier than a toothbrush. This is due to the fact that every time you use your toothbrush and place it back in the holder, those trace amounts of water collect at the bottom of the cup and create the perfect home for mold.

Makeup: Liquid Makeup is no exception to bacteria’s love for wet places.  Always wash your hands before handling liquid foundation and concealers, and toss your liquid makeup after about six months for a new bottle. Mascara also creates a wet environment bacteria love. Try to replace your mascara every couple of months and never share eye makeup. Lipstick and lip balms also should be replaced regularly because they constantly touch your mouth which transfers small amounts of food particles. And while we are on the subject, make sure you clean your makeup brushes often and replace them every few months. Dirty brushes build up bacteria that you then spread around your face causing breakouts. You can find makeup brush cleaner in the makeup/beauty department of most stores.

On to the kitchen! According to swab studies, the typical kitchen actually has significantly more germs than most people’s bathroom! That is why you should seriously consider tossing/ cleaning some of the falling.

Kitchen Sponge: Your dish sponge is the germiest part of your whole kitchen. The kitchen sponge outranked all other household items for staph, mold, yeast and Coliform bacteria. To decrease bacteria, you should disinfect your sponge every other day by moistening it and microwaving it on high for one or two minutes, this should kill any bacteria growing on it, and replace every two weeks.

Cutting Board: According to a study by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), your cutting board is actually dirtier than your toilet seat. If that seems crazy, consider this: Every cut made in your cutting board creates a tiny place for bacteria to breed. If you’re using a plastic cutting board, you should consider swapping it out for wood. Most wood cutting boards have resins that are antibacterial, keeping your cutting board lasting longer.

Coffee Maker:  Not the coffee maker! Anything but the coffee maker! That’s right, the coffee maker made NSF’s list of top 10 germiest items, outranked the toilet seat with more Coliform bacteria. This is because of the reservoir, that area where you pour the water in and steam builds us. Even if you toss the coffee filter and grounds immediately after making coffee, the reservoir can still breed bacteria. Make sure to keep the lid up after making coffee to help the dry out all of the water and steam that sits in the reservoir.

Lunch Box:  Even with food often being wrapped inside it, a lunchbox can harbor a lot of germs. When food waste mixes with thawed ice packs, it create a great home for mold and yeast. If yours is starting to smell rotten or has a lot of discoloration, you might want to toss and replace. Look for a fabric one that is machine-washable or a hard plastic one that can go in the dishwasher.

And if all of that wasn’t enough, here are some other random items that you probably have laying around your house that you might want to think about.

Pet Bed: Do you wash your bed sheets as often as you wash your pet’s bed?  Probably not, but you should! Dogs can track things from outside like small amounts of fecal matter, so if you’re not washing your pet bed, it may be time to toss and replace. Try looking for a pet bed that is machine- washable or one with a removable washable cover.

Pet Toys and Bowl: Cloth toys and plastic toys with little nooks and crannies are the perfect place for mold and yeast to grow. Studies have found a high amount of staph in pet toys swabbed. And keeping on the theme of pets is your pets food and water bowl. A swab study found mold, staph, Coliform and even E. coli in pet food and water bowls. You wash your plates and cups after each meal, and you should try to make a habit of doing the same for your pets.

Air Humidifier: Before you pack up your air humidifier and place it back in the closet after the season, make sure you clean it! Air humidifiers can harbor some serious mold. You will want to keep filters clean and dry out components completely after each use.

Purses and Bags: Don’t worry! We aren’t going to tell you to throw out your really nice purse! But you should know that it does brings tons of germs into your house. The NSF found a high amount of yeast and mold at the bottom of most purses swabbed. This should make you consider where you place your purse throughout the day. Do you sit it on the groud outside during your lunch break or on the floor of the resroom when you have to make a stop? The next time you come home, maybe don’t immediately set your purse on the kitchen counter or dining room table.

Information subject to change without notice. For more items that you might want to consider cleaning more often or replacing this season, visit https://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/clean-and-organize/household-items-that-harbor-bacteria-pictures?nl=HGI_022019_featlink1_bacteria-toss&bid=16056206&c32=0efb8ec2036426bb993bdb10166be188545f4f55&ssid=2018_HGTV_confirmation_API&sni_by=1996&sni_gn=Female

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