20 Things You’re NOT Cleaning- but should be

The lamp burns bright when wick and oil are clean. – Ovid

Why is that when school goes back in session teachers and students get so sick? It may be because you’re not cleaning something.

I think taking Micro-Biology ruined me forever. Sometimes, I lay awake at night picturing the tiny little animals crawling all over me. I have a problem. I know I do, but it has not consumed me. You see, I feel that cleaning once a week- and deep cleaning twice a year- is my way of combating them. I know they will never go away. I know that these little beings are actually pretty helpful in a lot of ways. I also know that there is a way to make my home too clean. I cannot sterilize everything. I need to keep being exposed to germs so that my body keeps making resistance to these germs. However, when one of us gets sick, all of us gets sick. You know why?

Because children are disgusting.

Yes, I love them, too, but they pick their nose and they eat it. I don’t like them when they do that. They also touch everything and then proceed to chew on their nails or pick their teeth. My kids are teenagers and they still drive me up the wall with this. So, I have a plan. I want to let you know what my secret weapons are because there are things on this list I guarantee you that you are not cleaning- and probably never have. But, as the school year comes up (some of you are already back), as a mom I will tell you, as a teacher I beg you, please consider cleaning these bacteria ridden things. I will be able to sleep tonight if I know you are doing at least some of them.

Arm yourself with Lysol and let’s have at it:

  1. Faucet heads- if you do nothing else, please do this. Think about it, water is constantly flowing through these and then stopping and puddling. If you have a cap on the end of your faucet, unscrew it off, I promise you will cry. It’s full of green gunk! Clean it out and put it in a cup of bleach. I like to Lysol them weekly and then when I feel the need, I unscrew them and clean them, shaking my heebeegeebees away as I do. If they do not come unscrewed, just put a small cup with bleach in it up to the faucet head for a few seconds. For an awesome, super detailed bathroom checklist for your kids, click here.
  2. Door knobs- spray them weekly with Lysol and daily if someone is sick. Think about how many times you touch these. In fact, I will not touch door handles in stores or restaurants. My husband and son open the doors for me when their with me and I use a shirt sleeve when they are not. By the way: I insist my entire family wash their hands AFTER we order from a restaurant menu and before we eat. Think about how many germs are on menus!
  3. Cabinet knobs- Lysol them weekly in kitchens and bathrooms. They are full of bacteria
  4. Light switches- Lysol weekly. Actually, one of my kids uses Clorox wipes (only one will do) and goes around and does all doorknobs and light switches.
  5. Light domes- what I mean by this is your overhead lighting is usually within a glass dome. Unscrew these twice a year and rinse them out. They are usually full of dead bugs.
  6. Pillow– this is the one that bothers me the most. Stick your pillow in the dryer at a high setting when you do your sheets. It will kill the creepy crawlies. You need to buy a new pillow at least once a year!
  7. Purse and Backpack– Lysol your purse and kid’s backpacks weekly. I hang mine on the kitchen doorknob and I do it when I do the doorknob. This is a terrible way that germs use to transport in your house. Never put your purse anywhere you would ever eat or cook.
  8. Hands after grocery shopping- your food is coming from all over the world. You need to wash your hands after shopping and putting stuff away. In fact, you need to Clorox wipe your counters before making food- especially after getting groceries! If I am out and about, the first thing I do is come into my house and wash my hands. So should your kids.
  9. Lunchboxes– when you empty the lunchbox from that day, you or your child needs to wipe them down with a Clorox wipe or Lysol them- especially the handle.
  10. Keys– spray with Lysol once a week. Never put them in your mouth while you are opening the door of the car.
  11. Cell phone and home phone– wipe down with a semi-damp Clorox wipe and then dry quickly. Make sure it doesn’t get to damp. Never use a cell phone while you are eating.
  12. Couch and Mattress– you can use Lysol on porous surfaces like this. I use it when I catch the dog on the couch.
  13. Air Conditioning Filters– MONTHLY change these. Use the ones that are mostly paper so they won’t be as harmful to the environment. You will use a lot less energy! Our air conditioning guy says you need to change them monthly, so just use the cheapest ones you can find.
  14. Utensil Keeper– I didn’t know what else to call this thing- you know the thing you keep your silver wear in when it’s in your kitchen drawer? It  needs to go through the dishwasher or washed in very hot water every month or so.
  15. Drawers– you should be lining all drawers you use in kitchen and bathroom so you can easily wipe them down.
  16. Hand washing Dishes– if you do this, get a kitchen bucket to wash them in. It is much easier to spray with Lysol after every use. Don’t fill your sink with soapy water and wash your dishes in there. It will be a haven for bacteria.
  17. Sponges– I hate sponges with such disdain…. so gross. Bacteria love those thing. If you use one (do not invite me over to your house to eat), put them in the dishwasher every day to steralize them. Yes, you can do that.
  18. Controllers– Lysol or Clorox wipe all tv remotes and video game controllers weekly.
  19. Piano– really any musical instrument needs to be carefully cleaned. I use a little Lysol on a cloth to clean our piano keys. Multiple people play it constantly, so I have to do it pretty often.
  20. Stair rail– I wipe these down weekly with Clorox wipe or spray daily if someone is sick.

For an awesome Fall Cleaning Checklist, check out this site.

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