Meet the expert
Yvonne Manomano, Cleaning Operations Manager at Handy, the UK’s fastest-growing on-demand provider of cleaners and DIY experts, reveals the secret spots where germs might be lurking.
- Your mattress needs a regular clean, as it harbours lots of dead cells and dust, which can irritate your sleep. Make sure you give it a vacuum with an upholstery attachment and give it a good whack whilst it is propped upwards against the wall. Lie it back down and sprinkle with baking soda. I would suggest leaving the baking soda on for 2 hours then vacuuming it off, this should successfully remove odours.
- Make sure to maintain your sponges, as they can hold all the bacteria you cleared from other surfaces, especially if they are damp. You can microwave wet sponges for two minutes, or toss them in the dishwater to kill the germs, and make sure they dry quickly. Alternatively, when you stock up on sponges, make sure to buy in bulk, so that you can change them regularly.
- Most of us tend to forget this, but the toaster will definitely need a regular clean, as leaving old crumbs in it can spoil the taste of the food or even cause a fire. Use a toothbrush to clean the inside and turn the toaster upside down to get rid of all the crumbs. If there is melted plastic on the toaster, this can be removed with a touch of nail polish remover.
- Another surprising source of bacteria is definitely your coffee machine – while cleaning the filter will get rid of some of it, the oils from the coffee and the minerals from the water will build up with time, collecting bacteria along the way. The best thing to do to maintain your coffee machine, is to do a proper descaling clean once every six months; white wine vinegar is absolutely perfect for this.
- When it comes to your bathroom, the main source of bacteria can be one we often forget about: the toothbrush holder. All the water and toothpaste residue run down to the bottom of the holder, forming a dark and moist place – the perfect source of bacteria. Make sure to give it a clean as often as you can, to prevent the bacteria from travelling to your hands and mouth.
- Make-up bags are another surprising host for bacteria. Because of the contact the products have with your skin, as well as their tendency to flake and leak, they leave unhealthy residue inside the bag, which can then grow and lead to skin breakouts or even eye infections. The best way to tackle these is to use regular soap and warm water on the inside of the bag, as well as maintaining the make-up brushes in clean and working order.
- Reusable shopping bags, while great for the environment, should be treated like any other piece of clothing. The more use you get out of them, the more bacteria they collect. The best way to tackle this is to wash the bags regularly, turning them inside out so that any residue and dirt on the inside gets cleaned out too.
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