You think of your home as your safe place, your refuge from the world. Nothing can harm you there, right? Wrong! We're betting you do at least one of the things we've listed after the jump...
- Your kitchen sponge: You don't cross purpose (you've got a sponge for dishes and another one for the kitchen counters) so you're safe, right? Wrong. That little sucker's a breeding ground for germs. Zap it daily in the mic or run it through the dishwasher to clean it.
- Sharing towels: Wet towels are a germ's favorite hide-out. Yes they're your significant other, yes they're your family, but still don't share a towel with them. Give each person their own towel and wash them after each use.
- Using the washing machine: Huh? But that's where germs go to die, right? Think again. Especially if you're being eco-friendly and washing your towels, underwear and sheets in cooler water than you used to, the temperature's not high enough to kill germs. So wash these items in hot water. With bleach if possible.
- Falling into your bed straight after a trip: One word here: bedbugs. Be sure to wash all your clothing and wash out your suitcase immediately when you get home. And we don't care if you went first class all the way. Bedbugs like nice places too.
- Never cleaning your laptop: We're guilty of this one. After all, we're the only one who uses it, how dirty could it be? Think again! Check here for the answer. Make cleaning your laptop a regular part of your cleaning ritual.
- Your shower curtain: If you use a plastic or vinyl curtain or liner, the PVC's may be killing you. We use a nylon curtain but you can also try cotton or look for one that's non-PVC. And, if you notice any smell when you open the package, hang the curtain outside in the sun for a week to kill any toxins.
- Your humidifier: Wet and...well, do we need to say more? Clean it a few times a week using a solution of one-part bleach to 15 parts water.
- Never cleaning your door handles: Who touched your door handles today...Yeah, now that you're thinking about it, you'd better get out the Windex and wipe it down.
- Never cleaning your salt and pepper shakers: It's not just the germs from other people but from kitchen use (remember, you salted the meat for the burgers? yeah, you wiped it down but we bet you didn't think to clean off the salt shaker after you did that).
[Image from MGM's classic The Wizard of Oz, available on Amazon]