5 Places Dirtier Than Your Toilet Seat

With kids touching everything in our homes, we're cautious to keep things extra clean. Even if you're good about wiping things down and keeping to a regular cleaning schedule, there are still a few places that are inevitably just icky. In fact, your toilet seat isn't even the biggest bacteria haven!

It's natural to assume your toilet seat is one of the grossest places in your home. But unless you're in the process of potty training and teaching your young men how to aim properly, the toilet isn't the largest target for bacteria in your home. (At the same time we don't encourage you to eat your lunch off it, but you get the idea.)

That said, there are some places in your home that could use a little extra consideration and attention to make sure you're killing bacteria (the bad kind) and not just removing surface grime.

1. Sponges: Learn how to clean them up in the microwave with a quick zap! It's easy to do and although they are other options the microwave is certainly the quickest.

2. Dishwashers: When was the last time you took a look at the seal around your dishwasher door? The inside is obviously getting clean every time you run a load, but that seal can hold all kinds of harmful things. Give things a good wipe down with white vinegar. It will get the job done without any risk of deteriorating the seal itself.

3. Washing Machine: To keep your laundry as clean as possible run all cold loads first, wash a clothes-free load once a month with 2 cups of vinegar instead of soap and give the appliance a good wipe down each week inside and out. Don't forget that little hiding place up under the lid!

4. Cutting Boards: Although you're probably not licking your cutting board after you just cut up chicken (are you??), that doesn't mean some of the germs aren't left behind... even after it's been washed. The largest downfall to cutting boards is the fact that they deteriorate as you use them. As the knife makes small indentions it creates all sorts of places for bad juju to hide. Save discarded lemon halves that you've used in your cooking and rub down your board when finished using (especially if it will sit for a few hours before being washed). You can also give boards a wipe down of white vinegar even after they're washed to help clean all the nooks and crannies. Stick to wood boards that can constantly be sanded down and re-oiled for best results.

5. The Kitchen Sink: Even if you wipe it out after you've done the dishes, the seal around the drain and the place where the sink meets the cabinet and faucet are all great places for bacteria to hide. Check out this thorough tutorial on how to clean your sink properly and you can even shine a stainless steel version with flour to polish it right up!

Where do you always worry about not quite being clean enough? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

(Image: Flickr member gemsling licensed for use by Creative Commons)