The top 5 places you should add to your ‘spring cleaning’ list when you feel like you’ve disinfected everything

MADISON, Wis. — It’s that time of year: spring cleaning. However, like most things in the age of the coronavirus, this annual tradition has been upended. Many people no longer need reminders to clean, but advice on what else they can possibly scour and scrub.

Here are five places you might be overlooking:

  1. The dish rack. Even though you place clean items on it, a recent report in the Washington Post proves your dish rack can be a breeding ground for germs because water drips from your dishes and utensils into crevices, which can mildew and mold. To clean yours, rinse with hot water, then dip a toothbrush in distilled white vinegar and scrub until all the discolored spots are gone. You should do this about once a week.
  2. The can opener. It’s easy to use and put right back in its drawer, but you should really be cleaning your can opener after every use, and not only the blade, but also the handles. Run it through the dishwasher or wash it with hot, soapy water, and allow it to dry completely before you put it back in a drawer.
  3. The garbage can. We all take out the trash, but we should also clean the place we keep it at least once a month. To clean your can, scrub both the inside and the outside with hot, soapy water. If you have a lid with a handle, make sure to frequently disinfect it with a disinfecting wipe or wipe it down with a bleach solution. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended recipe is one-third cup bleach per gallon of water or four teaspoons bleach per quart of water. Another tip—to get rid of garbage can odors, sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of the can before you put in a new trash bag.
  4. The toothbrush holder. The CDC recommends cleaning it weekly — or as often as you disinfect your toilet. To do that, you rinse with hot water, then use a small bristle brush or pipe cleaner to scrub the inside of the toothbrush slots. Fill the holder with antibacterial mouthwash, and let it sit for several minutes. Rinse with clean water and make sure you let it air-dry before reloading your toothbrushes.
  5.  The shower curtain. These can be a magnet for mold, especially at the bottom of the curtain where you might not notice it. To clean your liner, remove it from the rings, and put it in your washing machine with a half-cup of baking soda and a couple of towels. Run it through a normal cycle with warm water. The baking soda and towels work together, scrubbing the liner to get rid of the grime and soap buildup. Let your curtain hang dry. Repeat every one or two months.

A couple more spring cleaning tips from the CDC—
Always clean from top to bottom, so you let gravity do the work for you. And it may sound like a little thing, but it can help to add cleaning dates to your calendar or set phone reminders so you don’t forget.