8 Daily Use Household Items We Need to Wash More Often

Most of us are quite diligent when it comes to washing certain household items, including dishes, kitchen counters, utensils, bathtubs, sinks, towels, and clothing. That’s a good thing as most of these items can easily attract germs, potentially infecting our food and making our families sick.

However, the reality is that there are often items that we really need to wash, but that don’t get the attention they deserve. These are household items that we frequently use, but we rarely think to run under soap and water. Well, maybe that’s about to change after you read this…

1. Sponges and Scrubbers

Sometimes a paper towel just isn’t enough to remove dirt or grease that becomes thick and caked on dishes, counters, toilets, or other household surfaces. That’s why we often reach for more durable items like sponges and scrubbers.

But here’s the problem: after cleaning away this dirt and grime, we often neglect to carefully wash those sponges and scrubbers. In fact, sometimes we simply toss them in a dish or drawer under the sink, with the goal of using them again soon. Unfortunately, this makes them germ and bacteria magnets that can make someone very ill.

Keep Bathrooms Clean and Dry

2. Light Switches

Chances are you touch at least a few of your light switches many times each and every day. But do you ever think to wash those switches? Probably not, even though the chance that they’re crawling with germs is quite high.

So, next time you give the house a clean, take a soaped-up wash cloth and wipe over all of your home’s light switches. Take special care to carefully clean those switches you use the most, i.e., like those found in your bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and living room.


3. Makeup Brushes

Many women (and some men) apply makeup every single day; in some cases, more than a few times each day. But very few people think to carefully and methodically clean makeup brushes and other makeup implements.

It’s not a silly idea, in fact, serious illnesses can take hold when makeup tools become infected and then make their way across an open sore on the face, neck, arms, or some other part of the body. So, don’t forget to carefully wash your makeup brushes and other, similar items.

Go Easy on the Makeup

4. Car Steering Wheel

This isn’t a household item, per se, but it’s definitely something we use every day and rarely think to wash. But think of it this way, what other item in your possession do you touch as much as your steering wheel? How many times have you touched something that’s covered in germs and then immediately put your hands on your car’s steering wheel?

The answer to this last question, for virtually all of us, will be “a lot.” That’s why it’s a good idea to use a disinfectant spray to regularly wipe down your steering wheel and other items in your car, like the radio and navigation buttons.

car seats

5. Refrigerator Drawers and Shelves

Every week we shove new items in the drawers of our refrigerator. In most cases, there’s a drawer for our meat and a drawer for our veggies, with several shelves for other items, like sauces, soda, and leftovers.

Often (and rather inevitably), these food items spill or leak, leaving messes all over the refrigerator. Rarely, however, do people take the time and make the effort to clean these messes, meaning every time a new and fresh food item goes in the fridge, it gets infected by the leftover (and long expired) foods that came before it. Take the time to wash your fridge, including the shelves and drawers.

Beer Fridge

6. Remote Controls

There’s nothing quite like relaxing in front of the television after a long day of work. Often, we find ourselves planted in front of the TV when we’re most exhausted. Maybe that’s why we so rarely take the time to clean the remote controls we use when watching television.

That’s a problem, however. Because the remote control is passed from person to person so often, it becomes a perfect carrier of germs that can make us sick. Cleaning each and every remote control in the home is important and becomes especially crucial when one member of the household becomes ill.

remote couch

7. Toothbrushes

We all know it’s a good idea to brush our teeth two or more times every single day. Most of the time we follow this regular exercise by quickly running our toothbrush under cold or hot water. But is that really enough to remove the germs that make their way from our mouths to our toothbrushes?

The answer is no. To properly remove the germs and food debris from your toothbrush, run it under hot water for at least 30 seconds. Afterwards, shake it dry. Before placing it aside, make sure all food debris has been removed. And make sure to replace your toothbrush every few weeks.

Replace Tooth Brush

8. Water Bottles

Many medical experts recommend that we drink at least 5 glasses of water each day. For those of us who are more active (i.e,  athletes, construction workers, or landscapers) it’s important to drink even more water on a daily basis.

For many people, that means reaching for a reusable bottle of water. That’s a great idea to reuse water bottles to reduce energy costs and help the environment. But we need to wash those water bottles every single day, or risk building a network of germs that can eventually make us very ill.



Catherine Roberts

Catherine is our go-to writer for women’s health news, diet trends and more. She’s dedicated to providing Activebeat readers with the information they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle every day.