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7 Often Overlooked Household Items You Didn't Know Need Cleaning Every Day

When it comes to keeping our home clean and sanitary, we tend to forget how crucial some areas or products are. To help you out, here’s a checklist of 7 often-overlooked household items and areas that you didn’t know need a proper daily wipe down!

1. Kitchen Hood

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We may not always utilise the kitchen hood but it is one of the most overlooked areas when it comes to cleaning. Even when not in use, the fumes and oil splatters can often reach the kitchen hood and create greasy build-up and clogging within and on the surface. It is best to include it in your washing up dinner routine using these steps: 

Step 1: Make a mixture of dish soap, water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. 
Step 2: Spray on the kitchen hood surface and wipe with a clean dish towel.
Step 3: Dry it with paper towels.

2. Dish Towels

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Reusable dish towels or kitchen towels are often used to wipe down other appliances or surfaces, to dry one’s hand and to soak up spillages. They are also great for reducing the usage of disposable paper towels, saving on cost. However, they can get dirty easily, especially when used for multiple purposes (imagine drying one’s hand with a used dish towel - yucks!). Here’s how you can wash dish towels every day: 

Step 1: Fill a large pot of water.
Step 2: Add two teaspoons of liquid dish soap and vinegar to eliminate any funky smell.
Step 3: Drop your dish towels in and boil for at least 15 minutes.
Step 4: Drain the water and hang them to dry.
Additional Step 5: You can also throw them into the washing machine after Step 4. Just remember to use the hot water setting!

3. Sink Sponges

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If we use the sink sponges to clean plates every day, doesn’t it mean that we’re washing the sink sponges as well? By that theory, sink sponges will always clean! Well, that’s not true. Unlike the kitchen utensils where the surface is the only area that needs cleaning, sink sponges are porous and bacteria can thrive within the product itself. This means that you need to clean sink sponges beyond the surface area, and almost every day (or even after every meal)! Here’s how to do it easily: 

Step 1: Remove any bits of food found on the sponge.
Step 2: Rinse the sponge a few times with dish soap and water.
Step 3: Soak the sponge in clean water below placing it in a small microwavable plate.
Step 4: Place it in the microwave for 2 minutes to dry.

Caution: The sponge may dry up even before 2 minutes, so keeping an eye on it is recommended. If the sponge isn’t dry after 2 minutes, microwave it again for another minute or so. The plate and sponge will be hot, so be sure to let it cool down before using it.

Alternatively if you don’t have a microwave,

Step 1: Remove any bits of food found on the sponge.
Step 2: Rinse the sponge a few times with dish soap and water.
Step 3:  Soak the sponge in full-strength vinegar for 5-minutes before rinsing with water.

4. Kitchen Counter

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Kitchen counters are where food, including raw ingredients, gets prepped. You must keep it sanitary and free of bacteria at all times to avoid any potential food poisoning and upset stomach cases. Keeping it clean will also help prevent any pests from visiting the spot for crumbs and scraps. Here’s how you can do it:

Step 1: Soak a clean dish towel in a mixture of mild, antibacterial soap and hot water.
Step 2: Wring the water out of the dish towel before wiping the surface area.
Step 3: Wash the dish towel clean before repeating steps 1 and 2 whenever necessary.
Step 4: Soak in hot water (no soap needed), and give the surface area another wipe.

The last wipe with just hot water will clean off the soap from the kitchen counter to avoid any chemical contamination with the ingredients.

5. Toothbrush Cup

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We use toothbrush cups in two ways: the first to hold the toothbrush, while the second as a cup to hold the water that will be used to rinse the toothpaste after brushing our teeth. This means that we will essentially be exposing the entrance of our internal body with whatever is inhabiting in the cup, and thus is recommended for the constant, regular cleaning of the toothbrush cup. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Pour some antibacterial soap in a sponge.
Step 2: Scrub the cup properly for at least a minute before rinsing with water.
Step 3: Repeat the process before and after you use the cup.

6. Electric and Gas Stove

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Food stains and oil grease are prolific in the stove area, regardless of electric or gas. These splatter messes can stink up area and buildup quickly to patchy, sticky gunk. To avoid that, it is best to clean it regularly with these steps:

Step 1: Use a wet dish towel to wipe and loosen the top layer of residue.
Step 2: Use a soapy sponge to scrub through the grease and remove food stains.
Step 3: Wipe the area again with a clean wet dish towel to remove the soap.

For tough residues, you can always rely on the baking soda and vinegar mixture! Similarly, you can also opt to use thermal cooking appliances like the Thermos® Shuttle Chef® to do the simmering process for your food to keep any accidental spillages to the minimum! Read more mum hacks here!

7. Computer Keyboards and Mouse

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We use our hands for almost everything and that means that we are always transferring bacteria from one place to another. For individuals who use a computer daily, this makes our computer keyboard and mouse a hotbed for bacteria to accumulate - especially in the nooks and crannies if we don’t have a silicone keyboard protector. Give it a wipe down with these steps: 

Step 1: Dip a paper towel in isopropyl alcohol. Be sure that it is not too wet to avoid any water damage to your products.
Step 2: Repeat the wiping process but use a new paper towel every time.

If you wish to flu-proof your home with homemade DIY products, read more here!

If you need more inspiration, browse our library of Thermos®-approved recipes!

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