The Top 10 Germ-Infested Household Items You Probably Never Clean

Germs lurk here
Germs lurk here

Even if you keep your home tidy, it's likely that you're missing many, if not all, of the following top germ harborers.

1. Light switches
Everyone touches them frequently every single day, yet light switches usually get overlooked during regular and even spring cleaning. And that's why they may be hosting more germs than your garbage bin. Ideally, these hotbeds should be disinfected at least once per week-especially if someone in the household is under the weather.

2. Condiment bottles
Unless you're using single-serving condiments, you probably have bottles of ketchup, mustard, mayo, and other flavor-enhancers in the fridge. And those bottles have been removed, touched, and replaced dozens of times by multiple people in your home, resulting in a perfect spot for bacteria to linger. Wipe them down thoroughly after use and avoid spreading contaminants.

3. Toilet handles
Reasons for germs to fester here are obvious. What is less clear is how often these handles are cleaned. Keep your family healthy by disinfecting them regularly.

4. Desk and dresser handles
Another high-touch area that is rarely associated with a need for serious cleaning, drawer handles need disinfecting attention, too.

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5. Telephone
Grab a home phone that's been in your home for a while and you'll almost always be able to see visible signs of dirt, makeup, and general wear. What you don't see is just how many living germs are hanging around this gadget that regularly comes in close contact with fingers, mouths, ears, and hair. To prevent the spread of germs, give the receiver and base a solid disinfecting cleaning on a regular basis.

6. Hairbrushes
Never mind all the hands touching the handle of the everyday hairbrush. Think about all the germs in our hair (of which there can be tens of thousands) and bacteria on our skin that gets transferred to the hairbrush and often shared with other household members. Wash your brush regularly in hot soapy water to keep your hair and family germ-free.

7. Television remote controls
People regularly eat, chew their fingernails, itch themselves, and more while watching TV-and turning the channels. And you'll find residuals of all that inadvertent grooming on your remote controls.

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8. The refrigerator handle
It gets grabbed at least 10 times per day-and likely much more if you live with others-before, during, and after meals, and it comes in contact with people handling uncooked food. No wonder scientists at the University of Virginia, long known for its virology research, found this surface to be one of the germiest.

9. Microwave touch-screens
For the same reasons listed above, the microwave is a serious contender for Best Germ Host.

10. Doorknobs
We all touch them all the time. Yet when was the last time you cleaned your doorknobs? Whatever your answer, it's probably not often enough.

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