12 Dirtiest Places in Your House and How to Clean Them


What’s the dirtiest place in your house? Your Toilet? Nope! Your toilet doesn’t even make the list. In fact, the answers that researches have consistently come up with, may surprise you. The most germ affected places in your home are, more often than not, in your kitchen – the place where you prepare the food that goes into your body!!

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the 12 dirtiest places in your house and how you can clean them:

Cutting boarddirtiest places in your home- cutting board

Your cutting board comes across a wide range of food products – fruits, vegetables, raw meat – and as a result, accumulates a lot of microorganisms like bacteria and fungi. In fact, the National Science Foundation (NSF) found out that 18% of the cutting boards they tested contained Coliform Bacteria and 14% contained molds and yeast.

How to clean:

Always use cutting boards made from non-porous materials like plastic. If you want to use a wooden cutting board, use ones made out of hardwood. Always clean the cutting board with hot soapy water after each use. For wooden boards, clean with white vinegar before washing with soap and water. As far as possible, try using one board for cutting raw meat and another one for cutting everything else.

Stove knobsdirtiest places in your home - stove knob

We usually don’t think about stove knobs, but they are one of the dirtiest places in your house. You handle the stove knobs everyday with hands that haven’t been wiped clean of kitchen dirt or food particles. Since we don’t clean stove handles, the germs accumulate and fester.

How to clean:

Once a week, remove the stove knobs and wash them thoroughly with hot water and dish washing detergent. Also, try to make a habit of at least wiping your hands before handling your stove knobs.

Kitchen Countertopdirtiest places in your home - countertop

Your kitchen counters come across a lot of germs, from raw meat to unwashed groceries; it accumulates a lot of dirt on a daily basis. And it builds up quite fast. According to NSF, 30% of countertops have tested positive for coliform bacteria, while 18% contain mold.

How to clean:

Wash your kitchen countertops with hot water and soap at the end of the day. And once a week, sanitize the countertop with bleach water solution and then rinse with bleach. (Make sure that the bleach is safe to use on your countertop material first)Try installing a non-porous countertop as far as possible, as they are less likely to harbor germs.

TV remote/ Keyboards and electronicsdirtiest places in your home - electronics

Consider this; your keyboard is five times dirtier than your toilet seat. Research has shown that most electronics like keyboards, TV remotes and video game controllers have microbes several times powerful than the acceptable bacterial limit. The main culprit, in this situation, is food that we eat while using these controllers.

How to clean:

The best thing you can do to keep these electronics clean is not to eat anything while using them. Also, use sanitizing wipes to clean these items at least once a week. (Check the owner’s manual to see if it’s ok to use sanitary wipes)

Handles and Switchesdirtiest places in your home - handles and switches

How often do you clean or disinfect the handles and knobs on your doors, or the light switches on your wall? Probably, never. As a result, dirt and grime tends to build up in these spaces, making them one of the most germ affected places in your house

How to clean:

Use a disinfectant wipe to clean your handles, knobs, switches and other similar hardware around the house. Be sure to change the wipe constantly to avoid spreading the germs to the next handle or knob. Clean these places at least once a week.

Faucet handlesdirtiest places in your home - faucet handles

You can’t wash your hands before turning on your faucet handle. So, as you turn the faucet handle with your germ covered hands, you transfer a lot of germs to it. Unfortunately, most of us don’t wash the handle afterwards and the germs stay there. A lot of faucet handles are found to have mold and coliform bacteria.

How to clean:

Make a habit of cleaning your faucet handles every time you wash your hands. On top of that, use disinfectant wipes or sprays to clean the faucet daily.

Coffee machinedirtiest places in your home - coffee machine

One of the most germ affected places in your house is the reservoir in your coffee machine. It is damp and dark – the perfect location for fungi and bacteria to grow. Around 50% of coffee reservoirs tested by NSF resulted positive for mold and yeast.

How to clean:

Check the owner’s manual to find the recommended method for cleaning coffee machines. A common solution is to pour 4 cups of undiluted white vinegar into the reservoir, letting it stay for half an hour, and then turning on the machine to run the vinegar through the entire system. Rinse the coffee machine by running plain water through the system a few times. Clean your coffee machine every 40-80 brew cycles. Or, if that’s too confusing, clean it once a month.

Pet dishdirtiest places in your home - pet dish

If you have pets, your pet’s bowl is another germ filled area in your home. When you feed your pet, it often eats a bit and the rest is left on the dish for hours. As a result, your pet’s bowl becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi.

How to clean:

Wash your pet dish everyday with hot water and soap. You can either wash it on the dish washer or wash it with hands. Also, once a month, soak the dish in water- bleach solution (one cap of bleach in a gallon of water) for around 15 minutes and then wash it normally.

Carpetsdirtiest places in your home - carpets

Your carpets are a major germ magnet. Most people vacuum their carpets at least one a week. But, unfortunately, vacuums don’t reach the bottom of the carpet. Lots of dust, pet hair, pollen, residue form food and drinks spilled on the carpet and other tiny pollutants settle deep into your carpet and create a great breeding ground for microbes.

How to clean:

Vacuum your carpets every week. If there are any stains on your carpet, get rid of it immediately. And every 18 months or so, deep clean your carpet using a steam cleaner.

Tooth brush standdirtiest places in your home - tooth brush

Surprisingly, the dirtiest place in your bathroom is your tooth brush stand. Since it is usually near the toilet, when you flush, aerosols containing fecal particles are spread out into the air and the toothbrush stand. On top of that, gunk from your toothbrush drips down into the stand. All these pollutants make your tooth brush stand the dirtiest place in your bathroom.

How to clean:

Wash your tooth brush stand with hot water and soap twice a week. You can wash it by hand, or use the dish washer. Also, wipe the stand with a disinfectant wipe every other day.

Kitchen sinkdirtiest places in your home - kitchen sink

Lots of dirt goes into your kitchen sink – dirty dishes, food scraps, unwashed groceries (to be washed). All these items leave dirt and germs in the kitchen sink that doesn’t wash away easily. As these pollutants accumulate and fester, it creates the perfect breeding ground for harmful microbes. In fact, nearly half the kitchen sinks tested by NSF were found to contain potentially harmful coliform bacteria.

How to clean:

Make a habit of cleaning your sink every day after you wash your dishes. Scrub the sides and bottom to ensure that you get rid of all the dirt. And, don’t forget to wash the sink strainer as well. To clean the drains that open into your sink, once a month, pour a solution of bleach (one tea spoon of bleach in a quart of water) down the drain.

Kitchen spongedirtiest places in your home - kitchen sponge

And, finally, the dirtiest thing in your house is your kitchen sponge – the thing you use to keep your kitchen clean. According to tests carried out by NSF, 77% contained Coliform bacteria and 86% contained yeast and mold. The reason kitchen sponges are so dirty is because we use the sponge to clean everything but forget to clean the sponge itself. And since the sponge retains moisture, it creates the perfect breeding ground for harmful microbes.

How to clean:

Every day, place your kitchen sponge in your microwave and turn on the heat for around 3 minutes. It will kill most of the bacteria. You can also drop your sponge into the dishwasher when you do a load. Experts suggest you change your kitchen sponge very two weeks to avoid contaminations. Also, it might be a better idea to use a micro fiber cloth instead of kitchen sponge, as you can wash the cloth a couple of times in the hot cycle of your washing machine to disinfect it.


Hope we have freaked you out enough to get you to take your house cleaning seriously. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions for us, let us know in the comments below.

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