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3 Personal Items You Should Be Cleaning More Often

3 Personal Items You Should Be Cleaning More Often

Even the most hygiene-conscious people often forget to clean some everyday items. But the truth is, wiping the toilet seat and scrubbing the kitchen counter are simply not enough to protect you from illness. Your remote, cell phone and handbag—all of these are germ magnets. Here is some eye-opening information that will have you reaching out for those cleaning supplies!

The remote control: Germs find easy homes in the hard-to-clean crevices of the remote control. To make matters worse, we often touch the remote with dirty, greasy hands. Guests, children, pets—everybody is touching the remote, making it a potential but unnoticed cause for falling sick. And then there are hotel remotes. A CBC Marketplace survey revealed widespread issues with cleanliness in hotel rooms. Among the top three culprits was the TV remote. The solution here is simple: put the hotel remote in a plastic bag. The signal will still work, and you’re protected. To clean the remote in your home, dip an old toothbrush or cotton swab in a solution of dish washing soap and water, and rub the grime gently off. Wipe with a lint-free cloth, such as a handkerchief or old t-shirt. It may be a good idea to store your remote in a drawer close to your couch. If that is not practical, simply make sure you clean it at least once a week.

Your phone: Your hands pick up bacteria all day, as you go around touching various surfaces. Each time you pick up your phone, you could be transferring some of those bacteria onto the device. And then, you put it to your ear. Worse, some of us carry the phone into the bathroom, where flushing the toilet can spew bacteria and fecal matter up to six feet across. Also, cupped in our hands or thrust inside bags and pockets, the device stays warm enough to offer the ideal environment for bacteria to survive and thrive. Joanne Verran, Professor of Microbiology at Manchester Metropolitan University, points out that “Phones contain more skin bacteria than any other object. These bacteria are toxic to humans, and can cause infections if they have the opportunity to enter the body.”  So, clean your phone at least once a week. Switch it off and swab with rubbing alcohol or a disinfecting cloth made specially for cell phones.

Your purse: Women take their purses everywhere, and the purses pick up germs everywhere. The result: a purse can house more bacteria than a toilet seat. An ABC News survey threw up a terrifying fact: tens of thousands of bacteria can be found on a woman’s purse, especially the bottom. Think about the places where you put your purse—on the counters and floors in public toilets, on the floor in restaurants, trains and buses. Dangerous bacteria, particularly E.Coli and staph, lurk in these places, and hitch a ride on to your purse. To avoid infection, wipe down your purse with a moist disposable cloth every day. And avoid carrying it into the places mentioned above. For example, if you are using a restroom in the Mall and have a friend with you, ask her to hold your purse while you use the loo. If you are alone, try not to place your purse on the floor.



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Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman's book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).


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3:34AM PDT on Sep 5, 2014

Back in January, my husband got a really bad cold. Of course he coughed and hacked all over everything, including the TV remote. Needless to say, I came down with his cold a couple weeks later!
Now, I do wipe it down at least twice a month!

5:04PM PDT on Jul 27, 2014

Great post.

3:31AM PDT on Jun 21, 2014

I don't watch the house TV very much, but the remote control (that everyone else uses) is disgusting.. you can see the filth on it. Bleugh.

4:17AM PDT on Jun 20, 2014

One of my pet peeves, people putting their purses/other bags that have been everywhere on tables, kitchen counter etc.... Yuck.

9:40PM PDT on Jun 19, 2014

Gotta have a healthy immune system. I use a kitchen sponge for dishes and cleaning. I don't use anti-bacterial soaps at home. I always wash hands after using the bathroom and before cooking. I prefer not to use those hand sanitizers, and in particular triclosan. I've never wiped our remote. I rarely get sick. Some of my ultra clean friends get sick all of the time.

1:01PM PDT on Jun 19, 2014

Thank you :)

8:31PM PDT on Jun 18, 2014

Good to know.

8:31PM PDT on Jun 18, 2014

Good to know.

3:33AM PDT on Jun 18, 2014


3:31AM PDT on Jun 18, 2014

I use disinfectant disposable towels to wipe off microwave handles and pads, TV remotes, phones, and even keyboards. The problem I see using fingernail polish remover on keyboards, is that after a while, you may not have any visible letters left on it.

Another thing I have been using, especially with the remote used in the kitchen area, is plastic wrap around it. If it gets soiled, I just simply replace is with another piece of it. Try getting the better kind that sticks easily and stays on. This way, I can continue to do my kitchen chores and change channels without worrying about getting stuff on it.

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