10 filthy things you didnât know you should be cleaning
Wipe the steering wheel with anti-bacterial wies before touching it. You’ll be surprised by the grime and accumulated by sweat and soiled hands.

10 filthy things you didn’t know you should be cleaning

PURPLE SHADES - Letty Jacinto-Lopez (The Philippine Star) - March 12, 2019 - 12:00am

We’ve picked up many cleaning habits from parents and elders that branded us OCD, but minus the fear.  May we all give time for a ‘GGG’ — goodbye to germs and grime.

Could it be that the older one gets, the more a neat freak one becomes?  The other kind is like Charles Schulz’ Pigpen, the character in Peanuts comic strip with a cloud of dirt that constantly surrounds his body and follows him. We’ve picked up many cleaning habits from parents and elders that branded us OCD (Obsessive compulsive disorder), but minus the fear.  All these dictated by our mania to maintain health and prevent spread of disease.

“Don’t touch anything!  Letty still has to fumigate and sanitize the room,” goes my best traveling mate Maurita.  It has become a ritual that whenever we’re traveling, I must clean the hotel room before we unpack. Whether sanitary wipes or alcohol spray, I give each part of the room a thorough swipe: doorknobs, TV set, glass and mirrors, coffee cups and mugs, remote control, sofa, carpet, bed spread, telephone, desk, lamps, headboard, water closet, faucets, and bath mat. Absolutely nothing left to chance, or so I thought.

Today, someone sent me a list of other filthy things that I may have not added to my checklist. They are:

1. Remote control. You see that? I had this on my list because it’s the first gadget that anyone picks up in a hotel room. Just be aware that there have been hundreds of guests before you who have touched this gadget and guess what? With dirty hands teeming with bacteria and germs. Worse, imagine fingers with open cuts and raw wounds. Don’t assume that housekeeping will clean it for you.

2. Car’s steering wheel. We’ve made it one of the standard rules that anyone using the car must first wash with soap and alcohol before touching the wheel. Use any anti-bacterial wipes and see the grime accumulated by sweat and soiled hands. This must be done daily.

3. Pop-up sink stoppers. Clean this periodically and check what these sink stoppers have caught — strands of hair, food particles and other slimy bits. Clean it daily with baking soda and vinegar.

4. Air-conditioning vents and electric fans. You can buy rags and wooden knives that can clean and remove dirt from air vents. Parts of the electric fans are detachable so they can be easily washed with soap and water. Do this every week or when dust has visibly built up.

5. Credit cards. This was a big surprise. Indeed, why have we not cleaned our credit cards? It is plastic cash that stays in our wallet but used constantly. You may be sure of having clean hands but what about the person to whom you handed your card? Did she just come from the toilet? Did she wash her hands? Spray your cards with alcohol and wipe them dry with a clean towelet. 

6. Can opener. Not used too much in my kitchen anymore, what with cans having pullout tabs but just in case, take a clean toothbrush to wash it with soapy, warm water and wipe it dry to avoid rust.

7. Lego or toy pieces. This should also be addressed to family restaurants where they provide a kiddie corner to keep kids busy while the grownups dine. How many kids have touched and played with these plastic toys? Kids with a runny nose, sneezing and messy, with sticky hands from eating and drinking as well. The germs are having fun spreading havoc. Put the pieces in a laundry wash bag and machine wash and cycle dry them.

8. Knife block. Not the knives that are regularly sharpened and cleaned but the wooden block where you insert them into. Wipe them with soap and water and dry the slits with a hair dryer or dry it out in the sun.

9. Bath mat. This should be washed and brushed after every use to stop grime from building up. Pull it out of the shower to hang dry before it is used again.

10. Toothbrush holder. Sprinkle and brush with baking soda and vinegar on the holder and wash it and dry it either with a hair dryer or with a clean cloth.

Caution: Never wet the hair dryer and make sure the hair dryer has no accumulated dust in its coiled heating element.

Happy cleaning. May we all give time for a “GGG” — goodbye to germs and grime.

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