It shouldn't come as a surprise that the kitchen and bathroom are the most germ-ridden rooms in a house. In fact, common kitchen appliances and tools harboring germs may contribute to food-related illness, according to a study by NSF International, an independent global public health and safety organization.

Here are some of the worst areas for germs – and advice from the professional house cleaners at MOLLY MAID on how to clean them.

 

KITCHEN

Sink – Clean it once or twice (or more) a week with hot water and soap without leaving a trace of food. Disinfect the drain once a month with a water and bleach-based solution.

Sponge – Ditch sponges altogether for cleaning (they hold onto germs and other nasty things). Use microfibre cloths instead, and be sure to launder them regularly.

Counter – After cooking or preparing food, wash counters and other working surfaces with hot soapy water. For stuck-on food, let some hot soapy water sit on the affected area for a few minutes; this will lift the food easier.

Stove – Once a month remove burner knobs, if possible, and soak them in hot soapy water. Rinse well and let dry. Clean the top of the stove with hot soapy water and the inside as directed by the manufacturer.

Animal Food Dish – Bacterial can easily build up in food dishes, so keep your pets healthy by washing them daily, either in the dishwasher or by hand in hot soapy water.  Rinse well to ensure no soap residue is left behind.

 

BATHROOM

Tub and Shower – Clean with hot water to remove anything from the drain, and be sure to disinfect regularly. A mixture of baking soda and water can be abrasive enough to help remove soap scum, while being mild enough to not damage the finish.

Doorknobs, Faucet and Flush Handle – Clean regularly with hot soapy water and a microfibre cloth reserved just for the bathroom. Disinfect these surfaces regularly too.

Toothbrush Holder – Put in the dishwasher or wash by hand with hot soapy water, rinse and disinfect once or twice a week. Also make sure the holder isn't placed near your toilet, as particles can land on your toothbrush when the toilet flushes – yuck!

The Secret Weapon: Teach everyone in the family to wash their hands regularly. Under warm running water, wet hands and squirt liquid soap in the palm of one hand. Lather up for 20 seconds. Rinse under clean running water for at least 10 seconds. Turn the water off with a clean hand towel.