Think your house is clean? Think again.
Germs can hide in unexpected places. Here are a few common sites, along with tips for cleaning them from Nancy Bock of the Soap and Detergent Association:
¢ Sponges. Their moistness makes them breeding grounds for germs, which you can smear around in the name of cleaning.
To disinfect sponges, soak them for five minutes in a solution of three-fourths cup of chlorine bleach and one gallon of water, then rinse and air dry. You can also run sponges through the dishwasher, but be sure to secure them in the silverware basket or in a plastic dishwasher basket made for cleaning children's toys and other items.
¢ Handheld vacuum cleaners. Germs can grow on food particles left in the dirt-collection bag. When you've finished using the vacuum, remove the dirt receptacle and dump the crumbs into the trash. Brush off the filter to remove additional particles.
¢ Sink overflow. Bathroom sinks usually have a small drainage hole near the rim to handle overflow. Sludge-like material can build up in the passageway leading from the hole to the trap.
To clean the passageway, pour a solution of liquid detergent and very hot water down the overflow hole. If you can see the sludge, loosen it with a stiff brush, and then rinse it away.