Items You Need to Disinfect Frequently but Often Forget

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This post is by Bernie Carr,

I am just getting over a severe cough which I would hate to catch all over again. It seems the entire family has been sick on and off since before the New Year and we are just anxious to get passed this trying time. With all the fear of germs going around, flu, colds and now the emergence of the coronavirus, we need to think about disinfecting surfaces and frequently used items.

I already sprayed Lysol disinfecting spray everywhere in the house – door knobs, light switches, bathroom and kitchen fixtures, stove and refrigerator. But that’s not enough. Did you know that a lot of people neglect to disinfect the most commonly used items? Let’s take a look.

Cell Phone

We have our phones with us all the time. Some people even take their phones to the restroom. They also read or watch the screen while eating. Yet it is said that cell phones are dirtier than a toilet seat.

How do you clean a cell phone?

My sister-in-law bought a UV cell phone cleaner device and gave one to  several people in her gift list.  The cell phone sterilizer uses UV light to disinfect the surfaces of the phone as well as any nooks and crannies that are hard to reach.

What about a low-tech method?

Never spray any cleaner directly on your phone.  You will need a microfiber cloth, Q-tip and an alcohol-based or vinegar cleaner.  Spray the cleaner on to the microfiber cloth and wipe down your phone.  Next, dip the Q-tip into the cleaner and wipe down corners and buttons. Let your phone air dry. Clean your phone on a weekly basis.

Reusable water bottle

A lot of us carry around a reusable water bottle. I carry mine to work, the gym and everywhere else. This way I avoid buying water and just refill as needed. However, if you just had a cold or the flu, chances are your water bottle is also covered with germs.

If your water bottle is dishwasher safe, you can just wash it in the dishwasher just like the rest of your glasses and plates. If it is not dishwasher safe, hand wash it with soap and warm water. You should also take it apart by removing the straw attachment and using a straw cleaning brush to clean inside the bottle. You can also use baking soda and water to remove any odors. Rinse well and allow it to air dry.


We use our toothbrush at least twice a day, maybe more, yet rarely think about cleaning it. Clean your toothbrush by soaking it in mouthwash for 10 minutes. Rinse and air dry. Replace your toothbrush every three months.

Toothbrush holder

You may be good about cleaning or replacing your toothbrush but do you think about the toothbrush holder?  Your toothbrush holder can harbor germs and accumulate mold on the bottom. Wash your toothbrush holder in the dishwasher if it is dishwasher safe. If not, disinfect it with a weak bleach solution. Mix one teaspoon of bleach with a gallon of water. Soak your toothbrush holder in the mixture for five minutes. Rinse with tap water and air dry.

Kitchen sponges

Your kitchen sponge is constantly wet and can accumulate germs and and mold.

I throw kitchen sponges in the dishwasher hot cycle to sanitize. You can also heat the sponge in the microwave for two minutes.

So sponges don’t get too gross, just replace them every month.

TV remote control

Another item that picks up germs but are not frequently cleaned is the TV remote.

I clean the remote control by spraying a cleaning cloth with a spray cleaner and wiping down the remote control.

Purse or backpack

Purses and backpacks pick up a lot of germs, especially if you set them down on the floor while you wait somewhere or when you go to a public restroom.

Clean out any trash and vacuum out any crumbs. If your purse or backpack material can tolerate it, wipe it down with antibacterial wipes every week. Or at least wipe the bottom of your purse or backpack at least once a week.

Hopefully, this article has given you ideas on what  you should be disinfecting on a regular basis. What items do you frequently clean? Please share in the comments.


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Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

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  1. FYI: not all brands of sponges can be microwaved! The Scotch-Brite brand ones specifically say on the packaging not to. And I found out why. It smokes & burns after a few seconds! I suggest boiling if you don’t have a dishwasher. Or just replace more often.

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