8 Gross Things You Should Be Cleaning That You're Not

On the spectrum of personalities, I'm a "Monica" — that is to say (for those of you who aren't Friends fans), I need things unreasonably clean. Although to me, it's not unreasonable. Cleaning makes me happy, and knowing that there isn't weird bacteria growing on various surfaces in my house gives me a feeling of inner calm. But even I struggle to keep up with cleaning some of the more forgotten sources of filth in the home. Which thinking about, is making me shudder. There's nothing worse than unknowingly touching something filthy, and having filth fester where you least expect it.

Even the least clean person knows there are certain cleaning habits that are necessary to not die of a horrible illness. Like cleaning your toilet and your shower, for instance. Wiping down surfaces (especially those that have touched raw meat!) in your kitchen. Doing your dishes. Changing your sheets. Vacuuming or sweeping. Maybe even dusting your shelves, if you're feeling a little crazy. Even the most fastidious of us can miss a spot or two. Or maybe there are some things you didn't even realize you should be cleaning regularly. Either way, here are some disgusting things you probably don't clean but should go and bleach immediately:

1. Your Pillows

Pillows are disgusting. It's not enough to just clean your pillow cases. You must clean your pillows too. Pillows are a playground for gross things that case asthma and other illnesses, and mites, dead skin cells and fungus can set up permanent shop inside them without you ever knowing. Take your pillows to the dry cleaner's immediately.

2. Your Keys

As if anyone ever cleans their keys. Apparently, keys are dirtier than a toilet seat. You hold them in your hand, throw them in your bag, and generally don't think where they've been. You should definitely clean your keys right now.

Try Seventh Generation Disinfecting Wipes, $4.94, Amazon

3. Your Phone

Think about how much your fondle your phone with your dirty hands. One minute you're holding onto a subway pole, the next you're perusing Instagram. And if you still use your phone the old fashioned way to make calls, add your dirty ass breath and mouth germs to the surface of your phone. If you've got a smart phone (which, let's be real... you more than likely do), cleaning your phone is easy as the smooth surface is practically made for wiping down.

Try Green Tea Cucumber Wireless Wipes, $3, Amazon

4. Your Remote Control

Your disgusting fingers and the disgusting fingers of everyone else who uses your TV touch the remote, leaving behind a lot of bacteria you can't even see. Think of the TV remote as the subway pole of your house. The University of Arizona even released a study saying that the remote has more bacteria than any other site in a hospital room. If you're not lunging for the Lysol right now you certainly should be.

5. Your Computer Keyboard (And Mouse)

Like everything else mentioned above that your put your hands on, your computer keyboard needs cleaning. You only need to clean your keyboard every two to three months. Turn off your computer, and wipe it down with a damp but not wet disinfecting wipe (you don't want liquid getting into the cracks in the keys). Meanwhile, if you're me, you would also get some q-tips and clean in between the keys. Just sayin'.

6. Your Kitchen Sponge

Consider that your kitchen sponges main job is to soak up food crap and bacteria and other disgusting things like that, and you might fall into a mild panics. Sponges should be cleaned regularly: they are NOT self cleaning, even though you're putting soap on them every day. You need to get into the habit of disinfecting your sponge, either soaking it in boiled water and bleach, or running it through the dishwasher.

7. Your Broom

Another cleaning device that is not clean at all. You sweep your broom around, collecting dust and other debris off the floor, but these things also get trapped in the bristles along with other bacteria, and before you know it you're sweeping that mess of crap all over your house. Clean your broom in warm soapy water and/or use a vacuum to get excess dirt out of the bristles.

8. Light Switches And Door Handles

For the love of god, clean your light switches and door handles. Use some disinfecting spray (being careful to only slightly dampen the rag before running it over your light switches. Please do not spray any kind of liquid directly onto them) and a rag and prepared to be totally grossed out by the color that comes off when your rub them down. If anyone you live with is sick, or its winter and everyone is just getting sick all the time, clean these weekly.

Images: Catt Liu/Unsplash; Giphy (4)

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