10 Household Items You Should Clean More Often (and Three You Shouldn't)

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CLEANUP TIME

Cleaning your house is a must-do, and there are some spots in your home that definitely need attention at least weekly and some even daily. Other areas don't need frequent cleaning. Focus and prioritize your efforts to keep germs at bay. Here are the spots you need to hit often and a few that are more forgiving.
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CLEAN OFTEN: TOILET

Toilets are, by their very nature, dirty. In addition to the regular function of the toilet, it emits what's known as a "toilet plume" when flushed, which sends out aerosolized germs into the air. Clean your toilet once or twice a week, and don't forget the handle, which gets touched every time the toilet is flushed.
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CLEAN OFTEN: BATHROOM SINK

In addition to the toilet, the bathroom sink is a breeding ground for bacteria, partially due to the germ bomb that takes place upon flushing. The surfaces, including the handles, countertop, and bowl, need cleaning once or twice a week as well.
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CLEAN OFTEN: TOWELS

While it's tempting to reuse a bath towel for days (or even weeks at a time), they should be refreshed more often than that. Aim for a wash after every three to four uses.
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CLEAN OFTEN: BATHTUB

Bathtubs are popular germ hangouts, and mildew and mold can build up on surrounding tiles. Get out some rubber gloves and give it a good scrub every week or so.
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CLEAN OFTEN: FLOORS

Bathroom floors will need a damp mop cleaning around once a week (thanks to the toilet and everything that goes along with it). High traffic areas, such as front rooms or foyers, will need sweeping daily, or at least every few days. Kitchen floors might need to be cleaned after every meal, which can include sweeping as well as well as mopping when necessary.
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CLEAN OFTEN: CARPETS

Carpet should be vacuumed weekly and deep cleaned once or twice a year. If you have pets or the carpet is in a high traffic area, daily vacuuming may be your best bet. Carpet is harder to keep clean and disinfect than hard, nonporous surfaces, so make sure it's kept as clean as possible in between deep cleans. (Find out which cheap upright vacuums are the best.)
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CLEAN OFTEN: KITCHEN COUNTERS

Kitchen counters collect dirt, crumbs, and bacteria. Clean these areas of your home daily, and immediately after cutting or handling raw meat on these surfaces. Kitchen towels can also harbor bacteria, so replace them regularly.
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CLEAN OFTEN: KITCHEN SINK

The kitchen sink is one of the germiest places in the home. Clean and disinfect your sink at least weekly, and never retrieve and eat a bit of food that's fallen into it.
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CLEAN OFTEN: MICROWAVE

If you have a microwave oven, you know that spills, sprays, and bursts of food items are common occurrences. Unfortunately, leftover foods can become a breeding ground for bacteria, which can then inhabit the food you're trying to warm up. Shoot for a cleaning once a week.
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CLEAN OFTEN: COMPUTER

The keyboard and mouse of your family computer are one of the best places for bacteria to thrive. Clean the surfaces often with rubbing alcohol (once a week), and wash your hands after spending time working on your computer.
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CLEAN OCCASIONALLY: REFRIGERATOR

The fridge needs to be cleaned, but not daily or even weekly. Once a month, make it a point to throw out old food and clean the shelving to eliminate lurking germs that might make your family sick. Don't forget the salad drawer, which can be home to loads of bacteria.
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CLEAN OCCASIONALLY: MATTRESS

Yes, even the mattresses in your home should be cleaned, but only about twice a year. They can accumulate dust, dirt, and flaked-off skin, and this is pretty gross when you think about spending a third of your life lying on it. An upholstery attachment on your vacuum should work.
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CLEAN OCCASIONALLY: BATH MATS

Bath mats can be really disgusting. Launder every two to three weeks or so, and if they don't seem to get very clean, replace them every three to six months.