Since I spend a lot of time traveling, I often worry about all of the germs I end up tracking into my house after a trip. As a result, I took some time looking into home cleaning and hygiene products for germaphobes. After all, home is where the heart is, right? It only makes sense to keep it neat.
I'll be the first to admit that I have more than a few "clean freak" habits. For instance, I almost always change my toothbrush after a long trip, and I put the water bottle that I travel with in the dishwasher several times before I actually begin to use it again. After watching countless people wash their dishes with the same dirty one over and over again in hostels (and then leaving them in the stagnant sink water — yuck!), I returned home and insisted that my mom replace her sponges ASAP. And sharing a room with up to 12 people at a time has definitely turned me into a germaphobe who's constantly worrying about how clean the air actually is.
While I can't really change a lot of these things while I'm traveling, I can keep tabs on them at home. Whether it's using an air purifier, or simply taking my sponge out of the dirty sink and placing it in a holder, there are easy fixes that can help your home be more hygienic. The germaphobe within you will be pleased, I promise.
1. Keep Your Air Clean From All Sorts Of Allergens
With all the dust, allergens, pet dander, mold, and even bacteria and germs floating around, the air in your home can get pretty dirty. If you're interested in experiencing a cleaner environment to breathe in, it's time to invest in an air purifier. It uses UV-C light technology to kill airborne viruses and mold, and the filter captures 99.97 percent of dust and allergens. Plus, this one comes equipped with an additional charcoal filter to reduce lingering odors.
2. Keep Your Water Bottles Clean
Like anyone who loves the planet, I'm a huge fan of using reusable water bottles. Still, I find that if after using them over and over again, they can get super gross — I'm talking smelly and germy, especially if you leave water sitting in there for a few days or store it in a warm place. I always struggle trying to clean mine out and often just let it soak in water before putting it in the dishwasher several times (goodbye, environmental benefits!). Instead, you should use a silicone bottle brush because it's resistant to bacteria, fits into the mouth of your bottle, and cleans it out without scratching the inside. This one even features a cleaning tool on the end of the handle for the water bottle's mouthpiece.
3. Don't Track Water All Over The Place
My family is a ShamWow family. We don't really use paper towels to clean up messes because they can actually end up spreading the mess out more. The ShamWow is great because it holds 21 times its weight in liquid so you can absorb whatever spilled in one go. It also cleans the countertops better than a sponge does. The best part about it is that it's machine washable, so you can clean it and reuse it.
4. Convert Your Faucet Into A Fountain
Love to rinse your mouth out after brushing your teeth by sticking it under the faucet? You need this tap fountain, especially if you share your bathroom with someone else. Sometimes your mouth might hit the faucet, causing you to touch the potentially dirty spout or leave germs sitting there for the next person. This rubber tap eliminates that chance because it turns your sink into a water fountain. All you do is attach it to your sink (the water will flow normal), then plug or squeeze off the bottom to cause water to flow upward.
5. Turn Your Toilet Into An Automatic Flusher
If you think about it, the flusher on the toilet is actually pretty filthy, and it's especially gross if you share a bathroom with someone else. Instead of worrying about having to push down the flusher, you can turn your toilet into an automatic, motion activated one. This easy-to-install battery operated motion sensor can be attached to your toilet in 10 minutes, and lasts for up to 300,000 (sanitary) flushes.
6. A Toilet Brush That's Actually Hygienic
Cleaning your toilet can be a dirty business, and can result in toilet water dripping all over your floor as well as a gross, wet brush sitting in a holder after use. This Dip-San toilet brush is totally hygienic because it sits in sanitizing liquid when it's not in use. That liquid is also used to clean the toilet bowl. One user said, "The self sanitizing holder cleans the head and stores it in a mild clean scented solution until the next use. The brush cleans well under the rim and is a quality product that takes up little space."
7. A Holder That Lets Sponges Dry Faster And Stay Cleaner
I really don't think there is anything worse than a smelly sponge. They get that way from sitting in stagnant water and never fully drying out. They become moldy and filled with bacteria. To avoid this, place your sponges in a sponge holder with open sides and ventilation holes so that they can drip clean and dry. You can easily pour out the liquid from the bottom to drain out soapy water. And when the holder becomes dirty, you can take it apart and place it in the dishwasher for easy cleaning.
8. An Automatic Soap Dispenser So You Can Have Clean Hands 100 Percent Of The Time
The bathroom and kitchen can be pretty unhygienic places in your home, but you can take small steps to eliminate germs from being spread by adding a few products to the mix. One of those is an automatic soap dispenser. It comes in handy in the bathroom after you've just gone, and it comes in handy in the kitchen after you've just cleaned some chicken or cut up raw meat. You won't have to touch the dispenser — simply run your hand under it for some soap, then add water and wash.
9. Clean Your Electronics With Cleaning Goo
Have you ever used cleaning goo before? It looks weird, but it's actually pretty cool and offers a great solution to getting all that dirt and dust off your keyboard, remotes, and screens. All you have to do is press the goo down on the surface and it will lift dust, fingerprints, crumbs, and more. As one happy Amazon customer wrote, "This stuff actually works!" Make sure you don't leave it on too long though, as it is sticky and could get stuck.
10. Deep Clean Your Mattress And Furniture
Think about it, it's hard to clean your mattress and your furniture without having a professional do it. But, now you can get it done with a handheld UV vacuum. It offers heavy suction that cleans out dust from furniture, mattresses, and other hard to clean household items, and even has a UV light that kills bacteria. You can also use this vacuum on your carpet, thick quilts and blankets, pillows, and cushions for an all-around clean home.
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