1. Wipe down light switches, lamp switches, cabinet handles, fridge handles, and door knobs with some sort of sanitizing agent, like Lysol or a disinfectant wipe.
Pretty much anybody and everybody who’s been in your home has probably touched the doorknobs and light switches, so it’s a good idea to disinfect them every once in a while. And while every guest may not be opening your fridge or kitchen and bathroom cabinets, plenty of germs lurk there, too.
Lysol or another disinfectant spray works well for this, but be wary — to truly disinfect, Lysol must stay wet on a surface for three minutes.
Learn more about disinfecting around your home here.
5. Dust the tops of all of your kitchen cabinets and any other furniture that almost reaches the ceiling, then lay down a layer of wax paper to prevent future dust.
Then next time, you won’t have to dust — simply carefully remove the wax paper that’s there, and replace it with a new sheet. Get more uses for wax paper at This Old House.
8. Soak your toothbrush in hydrogen peroxide (rinsing well afterward, of course), especially after you’ve been sick.
Germ expert Kelly Reynolds, Ph.D., previously told BuzzFeed Health that after you’ve been sick, you should replace it or thoroughly sanitize it by soaking it in hydrogen peroxide for 10 minutes, then rinsing it thoroughly and letting it dry.
Learn more uses for hydrogen peroxide here.
10. Wipe and/or scrub the tops of your soap dispensers, which will gradually gather grime as they’re used.
Think about it: people with dirty hands who are washing their hands touch this all the time. And yes, their hands will get clean afterward, but the dirt will build up over time. Get this cute dispenser here.
11. Launder all of the hand towels in your house every couple of days, and occasionally brighten them with a special two-part wash.
You’re supposed to wash your bath towels every three uses, but you can’t exactly keep track of how frequently other people use your hand towels. According to Good Housekeeping, hand towels should be washed every couple of days, or if you have a large family or lots of people living with you, possibly even daily.
And if you want to especially revive grimy towels, you should wash them every once in a while with vinegar and then baking soda — read more about how to do it right here.
13. Wash your pillowcases at least as often as your sheets, if not even more often.
This is especially true if you like to have your pets in your bed, but even if you don’t, your bed and pillows can be a happy breeding ground for bacteria (which is what makes them smell kind of funky after a while). But even if you don’t feel motivated enough to wash your sheets once a week, at least toss your pillowcases in with your load of laundry. For our sheet (and pillowcase!) recommendations, check out this post.
15. The bottom of your purse or bag, plus whatever spot you regularly set it down.
A wipe works for most non-leather bags; for leather bags, use a leather cleaner of your choice. Then for the spot where you set it down, pick some sort of sanitizer. See more of this gorgeously organized walk-in closet here.
20. Take a few products to make sure your laptop isn’t greasy anymore, and that it’s not infected with any illnesses you may have had recently.
You should definitely check your manufacturer’s instructions before you go at it, but you can also find a good, basic tutorial on cleaning your laptop safely here.
22. Wipe down your mouse and other computer peripherals you’re always touching.
If you have a fancy gaming mouse or something similar, double check the manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning, but a Clorox wipe will probably work fine on just about any mouse. Get this adorable strawberry mouse for $10 here.
25. Sanitize the remote key fob for your car, and the other keys on your keychain.
This one’s easy enough: just wipe down with a sanitizing wipe or spray with Lysol to get rid of germs. If there’s dirt in cracks and crevices, gently scratch it out using the tip of a toothpick.
28. Rinse off all the dust on your window AC’s small filter.
It doesn’t take long to brush and then rinse it off, but you should do this regularly to keep your unit running efficiently. Keeping this clean will also probably help with any dust allergies you have! The photo above is my AC’s filter after three months of moderate use. I took it to the sink, rinsed it off, and now it’s as good as new!
30. Dump out your purse, toss out all of the trash and junk, and wipe down everything* inside with a cleaning wipe or rubbing alcohol.
*Assuming everything is safe to wipe down. If you, like me, have a tendency to toss old receipts and Kleenex’s in your back after you’re done with them (instead of throwing them away), cleaning out and cleaning up your purse every once in a while makes a big difference. (See more photos of people’s bags here).
Oh, and, hey — if you’re not so hot on disposable cleaning wipes (for waste or other reasons), you can try making your own.
This tutorial is one of my picks because it uses rubbing alcohol, which actually does help disinfect. If the smell bothers you too much, you can add in a few drops of an essential oil of your choice.
One thing to note, though, is that with any cleaning wipe recipe that uses dish soap (and almost all of them do), you’ll want to rinse whatever surface you just wiped down thoroughly, to keep bubbles from forming.