Cleaning is the one household chore you can never seem to catch up on.
Anytime you tidy one part of the house, another room seems to get even dirtier. To make things worse, you might be overlooking some of the nastiest, germ-covered surfaces in your home.
Public health organization NSF International swabbed 30 surfaces in 22 homes, looking for bacteria, mold, and dangerous germs like E. coli and staph.
What they found may make you change your cleaning routine.
1. Coffee makers
We've already warned you about how mold and germs love to spread inside coffee makers, both old and new. The latest devices can be tough to clean, but if you brew a mixture of vinegar and water it will clean out the machine.
Just remember to run water through the nozzle a few times to clean up afterwards.
2. Toothbrush holders
When you flush the toilet, anything nearby is hit with a plume of bacteria. Add in the germs that travel from your hands, and you can understand why these holders are a breeding ground for germs.
Washing the holders regularly in warm, soapy water is a good idea.
3. Sponges and rags
It's ironic, but when we forget to clean these cleaning supplies, they turn into nasty dumps for germs. You can actually put a wet sponge in the microwave for a few seconds to remove germs, and add kitchen rags to your laundry pile.
But, mainly, remember to replace them more often.
4. Makeup bags
As those horror stories about eyeliner samples should remind you, germs love to breed on makeup. If you carry any around in your purse, where it's exposed to temperature changes, the risk is even higher.
Make sure to always replace any product after six months, or any time you have an eye infection.
5. Stove knobs and kitchen faucets
We touch these handles every day, then forget to clean them with the rest of the kitchen. It pays to pop all these handles off once a week and drop them in a sink full of soapy water.
6. Pet toys
The NSF reports that your pet's slobber makes their toys a breeding ground for mold, and dangerous bacteria like staph. Remind yourself to throw Fido's plush chew toys in with the laundry, and wash the rest in soapy water.