We know what you’re thinking, “One more thing to add to my to-do list?!” But trust us when we say there’s a method behind our madness – namely that these chores will make a huge difference in your home in the long run.
They may not look dirty, but tea towels were found to be the most contaminated place in the kitchen in a USDA-funded study. And the same goes for the small towels in your bathroom, according to Carolyn Forte, director of the Good Housekeeping Institute’s Cleaning Lab: “Towels get dirty faster because you use them more than once a day. They need to be changed every other day, or even every day, if you have a large family.”
When you think about the things you put on counters (car keys, mail, purse), it’s impossible to ignore how dirty they are – not to mention the crumbs you leave for pets. So you need to wipe them down and disinfect them every day. Just make sure you don’t use the same wipe everywhere: “It’s not a good practice to use one wipe on multiple surfaces, as this can lead to cross-contamination,” says Michaelle Exhume, a product analyst at the Good Housekeeping Institute’s cleaning lab.
The easiest way to rid your shower tiles of cement is to maintain them regularly. That’s why our cleaning expert Heloise recommends that you squeegee the tiles after each use. By drying the walls, you will avoid mold and mildew stains.
Leftover sauce and crumbs overnight will only attract bugs and make washing dishes much more difficult than necessary the next day. Instead, wash plates and utensils by hand or put them in the dishwasher (without rinsing!) before you stop.
Your Coffee Maker
If you’re like us, you probably brew a cup (or pot!) of coffee every day. And since your coffee maker is a hotbed of bacteria and mold, you need to clean it daily. “It’s best to wash the removable parts of your coffee maker after each use to remove coffee, grounds and oil,” Forte says. “You can wash them by hand in the sink with warm, soapy water, but the parts can usually be washed in the dishwasher. And don’t forget to wipe down the outside and the hot plate where spills can burn.”
If you’ve been cooking dinner, face it: You’ve probably dropped some food on the floor in the process. Fortunately, all it takes is a quick swipe with a Swiffer or broom after you finish the dishes to pick up those leftovers – and make sure unwanted guests don’t find them first.