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Germ Hot Spots and How to Clean Them: Living Room


Controlling the germ hot spots throughout your home should be part of your routine house cleaning schedule. By keeping these areas clean, you will reduce the spread of harmful bacteria and unsightly mold and mildew. If you have been following our blog for the past few posts, you already know how to conquer germ hot spots in your kitchen and bathroom. In today’s blog post, you will learn about germ hot spots lurking in another commonly-used area: the living room.

Germ Hot Spot Number Four: Living Room

The living room, sometimes referred to as the family room, is one of the major gathering points in a home. At the end of each day, many families choose to spend their afternoons and evenings in their living rooms watching television, eating snacks, and playing games. As a result, this popular part of our living space is filled with germ hot spots.

  • Remote Controls
  • TV Trays and End Tables
  • Throw Pillows and Blankets

Remote controls are probably handled more than any other object in your home. They inevitably end up on the floor, between couch cushions, and in other not-so-clean locations. Take a few minutes every few days to clean your remote controls (game controllers included) with a damp cloth or disinfecting wipe to keep this notorious germ hot spot under control.

TV trays and end tables are also known germ hot spots due to their frequency of use. While it is easy to remember to clean the tops of these tables, it is also important to wipe down the sides as well. These areas are great hiding places for the sticky residue of a spilled drink, dust bunnies and pet hair, and even hand and footprints from being moved about the living room. Clean your end tables and TV trays from top to bottom at least once a week, and rid yourself of yet another germ hot spot.

When was the last time you washed your living room’s assortment of throw pillows and blankets. While typically necessary for a movie night, these cuddly accessories are actually serious germ hot spots. Think about it for a moment. We sleep (and sometimes drool) on them, we let the pets lay on them, and we push them to the floor when it gets too warm in the living room. To deactivate these germ hot spots, not to mention to feel more comfortable during that next Grey’s Anatomy marathon, wash your throw pillows and blankets at least twice a month.

Because the living room is such a popular area of your home, it makes sense that it would have so many germ hot spots. Luckily, with a few changes to your house cleaning schedule, you’ll be able to keep this room clean and germ free.

Germ Hot Spots and How to Clean Them: Kitchen

Germ-Hotspots-in-KitchenGerm hot spots can be found throughout your home, but luckily, they are all relatively easy to clean. Being able to identify and control these germ hot spots is essential to maintaining a clean and healthy living space. We’ve already discussed cleaning techniques for your pet accessories and bathroom, and today, we will look at the germ hot spots in your kitchen.

Germ Hot Spot Number Three: Kitchen Hideouts

You’ve washed, dried, and put the dishes away, but is your kitchen truly clean? Because of all the work that goes on in the kitchen (from cooking to homework at the table), this room is full of germ hot spots! Knowing where they are and how to clean them is vital to a healthy home.

  • Kitchen Appliances
  • Trash Cans
  • Kitchen Counters and Table Tops

Kitchen appliances are major sources of germ hot spots because they constantly come into contact with both people and food. Rid your kitchen of these hot spots by disinfecting and regularly cleaning your refrigerator, stove, range hood, and dish washer. When cleaning these germ hot spots, don’t forget to wipe down the various knobs, handles, and buttons. Also, remember to dust the tops of your range hood and refrigerator.

Have you ever taken out the trash, only to discover the trash can itself stinks? Naturally, the trash can is a germ hot spot. The easiest way to counteract this is to clean it each time you take out the trash. Before you replace the bag, simply wipe down both the inside and outside of the trash can with your favorite multi-purpose cleaner. If there is any buildup in the bottom of the trash can, pour a few drops of dish soap and 3-4 cups of hot water into it and let it soak for a few hours. Cleaning your trash can regularly will not only keep the germs at bay, but it will also prevent odors from lingering in your kitchen.

Kitchen counters and table tops are some of the most frequently used areas of a home. As a result, they are serious germ hot spots. To keep these surfaces clean, wipe them down with your favorite cleaner after each meal. If you’d prefer a natural cleaning solution, simply mix 10% white vinegar water to rid your counters of germs.

Just because a kitchen looks clean, doesn’t mean it actually is. Germ hot spots can be found on nearly every surface in the kitchen, so regularly cleaning and disinfecting this room is extremely important.

Germ Hot Spots and How to Clean Them: Bathroom

House cleaning is all about killing germs and banishing clutter, but do you know which areas of your home require special attention? Germ hot spots can be found throughout your home, and knowing how to tackle them is an essential skill. In our last post, we discussed ways to combat germs on your pet’s accessories. Today, we’ll look at three of the dirtiest surfaces in your bathroom.

Germ Hot Spot Number Two: Bathroom Surfaces

While your bathroom may appear squeaky clean, there are three germy surfaces that are commonly overlooked. Follow these simple tips to cool down those germ hot spots!

  • Shower Curtain and Bath Mats
  • Cabinet Doors
  • Toothbrush Holders

You wipe down the shower, sink, and toilet, and you even scrub the tile floor, but when was the last time you cleaned the shower curtain and the bath mats? Both of these areas are exposed to water on a daily basis, and slow drying times can lead to the growth of mold and mildew. Luckily, both shower curtains and bath mats are super easy to clean!



To clean your shower curtain, simply pop it in your washing machine with a couple towels. The towels will add extra scrubbing power while simultaneously protecting your shower curtain from tears and creases. Using your regular detergent and one cup of baking soda, run the load of laundry on a warm temperature setting. Finally, hang the shower curtain to dry. To keep your shower sparkling, wash your shower curtain every two to three months.

Bath mats can also be placed in the washing machine. Always check the instructions on the tag, especially if your bath mats have a rubber backing. Some bath mats are perfectly safe in the dryer, while others must be hung to dry. Try to wash your bath mats at least once a month to control this common germ hot spot.

Take a good look at the decorative molding on the doors of your bathroom cabinets. Chances are, they have a thin layer of dust and grime on them. While we all pay special attention to scrubbing dried toothpaste off of our bathroom sinks, many of us overlook the cabinet doors. Wipe the cabinet doors down with an all-purpose cleaner, and then finish up by running a Q-tip around the decorative edges to scrape out any leftover grime. Be sure to polish those knobs while you’re at it! Cleaning your cabinet doors only takes a few seconds, so try to add it to your normal bathroom cleaning routine.

You rinse your toothbrush every day, but how often do you actually clean the toothbrush holder? Germs love damp, dark places, and the bottom of your toothbrush holder is an ideal setting. Think about it. After you finish brushing your teeth, you rinse the toothbrush and place it – still wet – into the holder. All that water (and any leftover saliva or toothpaste) drains to the bottom of the holder and sits there until it finally has a chance to evaporate. Cool down this germ hot spot by drying the bottom of the holder at least every other day, and toss it in the dishwasher once a week or so.

See? Bathroom germ hot spots really aren’t that difficult to clean. Add these three easy tasks to your house cleaning schedule for a cleaner, happier bathroom.

Germ Hot Spots and How to Clean Them: Pet Accessories

When it comes to keeping a clean house, some objects may be dirtier than they appear. Even though it looks clean, there are many germ hotspots within your home. Over the next few blog posts, you will learn about several major sites within your home that while they may appear clean, are actually hiding countless germs! Don’t worry; I’ll also tell you how to keep these areas clean.

Germ Hot Spot Number One: Pet Accessories

You love your pets, perhaps even to the point of spoiling them. But did you know many of your pet’s toys, dishes, and other accessories are actually covered in germs? Protect both yourself and your pet by routinely cleaning these items.


Most soft pet toys can be safely washed and dried with your regular laundry. When in doubt, hand-wash these toys in soapy water and hang them up to dry. Rubber and chewy toys can take a quick scrubbing in the sink. Try to wash all of your pet’s toys at least once a week. Your pet’s favorite toys may need to be cleaned more frequently.

Food and Water Bowls
You wash your dishes between each use, right? Take a second to think about it. When was the last time you washed your pet’s food and water dishes? If you can’t wash these dishes each day, at least try to clean them two to three times a week to keep your pets healthy. Leashes, Bedding and Other Accessories

Your pet probably has a handful of other items that need to be cleaned as well. Pet bedding should be washed routinely – at least as often as you wash your own bedding. A pet that sheds might need their bedding to be cleaned more often.
Collars, leashes, and pet clothing should all be washed at least once a month to keep the germs in check and prolong the life of these items.

When it comes to our pets, most of us are head over heels for them. However, it is easy to overlook basic cleaning regimens for their toys, dishes, and other accessories. By adding your pet’s items into your regular house cleaning schedule, you will be better able to control these very common germ hot spots.

How to Make House Cleaning Fun for the Family

With a little creativity, house cleaning can be a fun and exciting family activity. At the beginning of this year, we suggested making house cleaning a project for the whole family. Family  involvement is important for several reasons.

  1. House cleaning teaches responsibility.
  2. House cleaning teaches teamwork.
  3. House cleaning teaches life skills.


By getting your children involved in the daily tasks around the house, you will teach them valuable lessons that will better prepare them for adult life.

Have a House Cleaning Party


When it comes to children, everything is about presentation. The simplest way to get children excited about an activity is to frame it properly. So, instead of saying, "Today we have to clean the house," try, "Let's have a cleaning party today!" Already, you will be setting a tone of fun and play for the day's chores.  Of course, you can't just call house cleaning a party; you have to actually make it fun! Play some upbeat music, announce a theme for the day (deck-scrubbing pirates and Cinderella-esque maids usually work well), and incorporate playful competitions into the house cleaning to keep everyone involved.


A Little Cleaning Competition Goes a Long Way


Games and competitions are excellent ways to get children excited about cleaning. Luckily, practically every household task can be turned into a game. All it takes is a little creativity, and perhaps a few prizes.  Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Escape from the Zoo!

In this game, the children have to rush to place all their stuffed animals and toys away (back into their cages) before the time runs out.  For an extra level of difficulty, any toys that are left at the end of the game  will "run away" (be kept by Mom or Dad) until the next cleaning day.

Search for Buried Treasure

In this game, pick an out-of-place object and keep it in mind. Tell your children they are on a treasure hunt. The child who puts the special treasure away wins the game. Don't give any clues to the location of the treasure. The longer they spend searching, the more they clean!

House Cleaning Races

Children love to race. Fortunately, house cleaning lends itself well to this sort of competition. Have bed-making races, laundry folding races (with points for neatness), and anything else you can think of!

By transforming your routine household chores into super-fun house cleaning parties, you'll be able to easily involve the entire family.  Remember, house cleaning doesn't have to be a chore; it can be fun for you, too!

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