If you ask someone which spot in their house had the most germs, you might get a variety of areas. Some would say the floor, the toilet seat, or the counter tops. But they’d be wrong. To learn how to fight germ hot spots in your home, it’s important to know where they are. Even though cold and flu season for some is over in my home it seems to just be starting, which is why I’m on germ patrol!

The vacuum cleaner – What do you do when you’re vacuuming your floor? You’re picking up dirt and spreading germs because they go right through the vacuum cleaner bag. Replacing your vacuum cleaner bag once a month will reduce the germs from this area. In my case, I use a Dyson and as soon as I’m donGerm Hot Spotse vacuuming I empty the container into a bag and throw it away. Good-bye germs!

The washing machine – Even though you think your clothes are clean, you could be passing germs from one wash load to another. Washing your clothes in cold or warm water and laundry detergent doesn’t do enough to sanitize your clothes. Either you’ll need to use hot water or an antibacterial soap to kill those germs. I don’t use antibacterial soap so I try to rinse my clothing in hot water and regularly wash my washer with vinegar, baking soda and hot water. I don’t use hot water all the time though because hot water takes more energy.

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The kitchen sponge – Experts may disagree on many things, but when it comes to germs most will agree the number one hot spot in your house is the kitchen sponge. They are often filled with germs which are spread throughout the kitchen with each wipe. Run your sponges through a dish-washing cycle, sanitize them with vinegar, or change them out every two weeks to fight the germs. For other kitchen germ hot spots check out this Huffington post article and afterwards you’ll be cleaning your kitchen!

The family’s toothbrushes – As much as we would all like to think our toothbrushes are clean, that isn’t the case. If your toothbrush is in the open in your bathroom, you may be getting toilet germs on them. Disinfect your toothbrushes regularly, at least with hot water, and flush with the toilet seats down. I like to let my toothbrushes soak overnight in hydrogen peroxide to kill any germs.

The kitchen trash can – This one may have been expected, but it’s actually cleaner than the other four germ hot spots. Garbage bags aren’t 100% foolproof, so it’s possible germs and yuck leak from the bottom. Those germs can spread to the other areas of the kitchen. Use a vinegar spray each time you change the bag and wash any leakage you see with a disinfecting solution. Washing your garbage cans out from time to time will also help keep the germs at bay.