Sneezes, coughs, and handshakes aren’t the only way to spread illness-causing germs. Viruses and bacteria can linger around your home. Target these high-touch spots to cut back on the spread of germs year-round, and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
One study found that 81 percent of mobile phones played host to infection-causing microbes. This isn’t surprising, considering how often a smartphone comes into contact with its user’s hands, ears, mouth, face, and hands. Clean yours frequently with disinfecting wipes. If your device can’t withstand the use of liquids, another option for day-to-day cleaning is to purchase a UV light designed to sanitize smartphones.
Doorknobs and Light Switches
Given how frequently they’re touched, it’s no wonder handles and knobs pose a risk. Disinfect them following CDC guidelines, using a diluted household bleach solution comprised of 5 tablespoons bleach per gallon of water, or 4 teaspoons per quart of water. Always follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure that the product is not past its expiration date—expired household bleach can be ineffective when properly diluted.
Wash acrylic, plastic, glass, and wood boards in the dishwasher. Replace worn or cracked cutting boards since bacteria can grow in the crevices.
Germs can linger on hard plastic toys. Wipe or dunk the toy in a diluted bleach solution using the proportions above, then let it stand for three to five minutes before rinsing with clean water.
In a study, more than eight in 10 homes had moderate to heavy bacterial growth on kitchen rags. Machine-wash rags often using the hot cycle and replace sponges frequently.
In the same study, half of kitchen taps harbored disease-causing germs. Wash your sinks frequently with hot, soapy water.
Pillowcases and Sheets
Bedding can conceal germs such as those that cause conjunctivitis (pink eye). Wash pillowcases and sheets regularly in hot water and detergent.
Wash your hands frequently to prevent getting germs on your mouse, then wipe the mouse down with antiseptic pads.