Here are 12 things you should be disinfecting that you probably forgot

Disinfection is one of the best ways to fight the novel coronavirus in your daily life. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends using 70 percent alcohol solutions, EPA-registered household disinfectant spray or homemade diluted household bleach solutions to clean and disinfect so-called “high-touch surfaces” daily in household common areas. These “high-touch surfaces” include tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, desks, toilets and sinks, among other things.

Though the CDC’s list is a great start, there are a number of high-touch surfaces that may have slipped your mind. In fact, some of the dirtiest spots in your house are hiding in the most unlikely places. Here are spots you should start disinfecting now if you haven’t been already.

Think of your smartphone as the third hand you never wash. According to a survey by Deloitte, Americans check their phones about 47 times per day, giving germs plenty of opportunities to move from your fingers to your phone, even if you are washing your hands as much as the CDC recommends right now. In fact, scientists at the University of Arizona have found that cell phones carry 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats.

To clean your phone, spray a non abrasive or alcohol-based disinfectant directly on a soft lint-free cloth and wipe down the device — front, sides and back — while it is powered down and unplugged. Do not use bleach. Wipe down your device and let it dry before turning it back on.

Cleaning your keyboard is perhaps more relevant now than ever now that many of us are working from home — same goes for a mouse, if you use one. A 2016 study from IT training company CBT Nuggets found that computer or laptop keyboards can be 20,000 times dirtier than a toilet seat.

Take disinfectant wipe or a soft, linen-free cloth dipped in isopropyl alcohol and wipe on the top and sides of each key. Then clean the surface and bottom of the keyboard thoroughly. Use a new disinfectant wipe or cloth to clean the mouse.

You’re not supposed to be touching your face, but odds are, you’re still touching your glasses. The grime from your fingers, face and exposure to the outside world can build up on the frames and lenses — plus, it’s a good idea to keep your vision clear, anyway.

Regularly wipe the frames with a disinfecting wipe or a cloth dampened with disinfecting fluid. You can use a drop of dishwashing liquid and a clean, lint-free towel to clean the lenses if you don’t have lens cleaner and a microfiber cloth, too.

If you didn’t know it before, you know it now: sponges are filthy. A 2017 study found that sponges are the dirtiest place in your house — even dirtier than the toilet bowl — with an average of over 54 billion bacterial cells.

To sanitize, rinse the sponge in one part bleach to nine parts water, or microwave the sponge in a bowl covered with water on high for about thirty seconds. Even if you sanitize your sponge after every use, researchers say you should swap sponges every week in order to keep your eating surfaces clean and sanitary.

Refrigerator door handles
A 2011 study conducted by the sanitation standards organization NSF International found refrigerator door handles to be among the dirtiest places in the kitchen, despite the fact that they don’t come into any direct contact with food. This is probably one of the most oft-forgotten “door” handles in the cleaning process, but don’t skip it when you are cleaning the other high-touch surfaces in your kitchen, like the tables and countertops.

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