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Ten Household Items That Store Germs to Keep on Your Cleaning List

April 3, 2020 | Lake Gibson Village

Remote Controls? Purses? You may not think of sanitizing these items, but please do in the midst of coronavirus concerns.

A byproduct of all the concerns and precautions regarding COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, is that standard precautions to keep us from catching viruses are taking hold. Things like washing your hands for 20 seconds, using hand sanitizer, and not touching your face are hopefully becoming second nature.

But what about cleaning items that you touch frequently (especially now that we’re spending much more time at home)?

Here are ten household items that store germs and need to be cleaned frequently.

Remote Controls

Remote controls get handled by everyone in the house and is something that you probably haven’t thought about cleaning. You can use a disinfecting wipe to clean them, but be sure to take the batteries out (and replace the battery cover) before cleaning them.


Ladies: how often do you put your hands in your purse? It’s also probably been placed on floors, countertops, and you may have even brought it into a public bathroom. Finished leather purses can be wiped down with a disinfecting wipe, while you can clean fabric bags with a cloth dipped in a mild soap solution. You can also use special antibacterial fabric sprays for this purpose.


For the same reason you clean doorknobs and faucets, you should also clean appliance handles. Pay close attention to refrigerator handles, oven door handles, stove burner knobs, microwave handle and touchpad, and coffeemakers.


Backpacks have probably gone to and from school all year without being cleaned. Some are machine-washable, while ones that are not can be cleaned via the same method as fabric purses.

Hand and Dish Towels

If you’re using hand and dish towels to dry your hands and conserving paper towels, good for you! But it’s recommended that you wash your hand and dish towels every one to two days.

Light Switches

These are touched multiple times a day by multiple people. If you’re going to use a disinfecting wipe to clean them, be sure it’s well squeezed out so no liquid seeps behind the switch plate.

Credit Cards

These aren’t only handled by you, but by several different clerks and vendors. Give them a quick clean with a wipe, but be sure to let dry before you put it back in your wallet.

Kitchen Trash Can

You may take the trash out frequently, but don’t forget about cleaning the can itself. Wash it (and a plastic liner, if applicable) with soapy water, then use a disinfecting spray like Lysol and let dry.


It’s recommended that you change toothbrushes every three months or after a cold. You’ll want to let your toothbrush air dry before putting it away, and if you leave it on the counter, be sure to close your toilet lid before flushing, as particles can land on nearby countertops.


Toys need to be cleaned frequently, since they are often touched with dirty hands. Many solid plastic toys can take a spin through the dishwasher and be fine. Check the label on stuffed toys for care instructions. Some washers and dryers have steam or sanitizing cycles, and that’s also a good option.

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