How to Rid Your House of Harmful Bacteria This Spring


Springtime means you can look forward to blooming flowers, chirping birds, and the return of sunny days. The changing of the seasons also means it’s time for spring cleaning

In Boulder County, a good spring cleaning is especially important to clear your house of bacteria, dust, and dirt that’s been collecting all winter. Spring cleaning also helps keep your home allergen-free.

The idea of a full-house spring cleaning can feel a bit overwhelming. But fortunately, there are some ways you can save time when housecleaning. One of the best ways to start is by focusing on the parts of your home that are likely to house the most bacteria.

From your fridge seal and the inside of the coffeemaker to your toothbrush holder and pillows, here’s our must-clean list to get your home feeling fresh and vibrant as we head into spring.

Disinfect Your Kitchen

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the kitchen is the dirtiest place in the home.

More bacteria are found here than in your bathroom — a cutting board can have up to 200 times more bacteria on it than a toilet seat!

Everything you regularly touch while cooking is likely to be a hotspot for bacteria. Think stove knobs, faucet handles, countertops, and microwave buttons.

The bacteria present in your kitchen also like to find damp, secluded places to hang out. That could include the inside of your coffee maker, your sink’s drain and garbage disposal, and the seal on your refrigerator door.

Finally, anything you use to wipe up messes, like rags and sponges, are favorite hangouts for kitchen bacteria. In studies on kitchen bacteria, the NSF found coliform (a bacteria family which includes Salmonella and E. coli) on over 75% of rags and sponges, 45% of kitchen sinks, 32% of countertops, and 18% of cutting boards.

So how do you fight off all this bacteria in the kitchen?

How to keep your kitchen (relatively) bacteria-free:

  • Use disinfectants on counters, handles and knobs, and in the refrigerator
  • Microwave sponges and rags to kill bacteria
  • Wash cutting boards with lots of soap and very hot water
  • Descale your coffeemaker with a vinegar/water solution
  • Rotate and launder towels weekly
  • Wash your hands before and after cooking
  • Scrub the fridge seal with dish soap, then clean thoroughly with a bleach/water solution to kill mold

Scrub Down Your Bathroom

While your kitchen takes first place in the bacteria-counting contest, the bathroom comes in close second.

Coliform bacteria love to stick to the areas where you store your toothbrushes and on faucet handles. Other dirty spots are the grout and the floor (especially behind the toilet).

A lot of this bacteria comes from your toilet. When you flush, tiny, bacteria-filled water droplets spray out from the toilet and land on the floor, in your toothbrush holder, and in and around your sink (yuck!)

How to rid the bathroom of bacteria:

As for cleaning grout, start with a vinegar/water or baking soda/water solution, scrubbing with an old toothbrush. If it needs a more intensive cleaning, try sandpaper or a steam cleaner. There are also some commercial cleaners out there to help get that grout sparkling clean again.

Spruce Up Your Bed

Beyond your kitchen and bathroom, a few other places that could use a spring spruce up are your bed and your pet’s toys and food dishes.

Your sheets and pillowcases are warm, rough surfaces that bacteria love to hang out in. Considering you’re carrying around all sorts of bacteria on your skin (much of it good bacteria, but some of it harmful), there’s no doubt that some of it makes the move to your bed.

Because of this, you really can’t wash these items enough. At the very least, wash your pillowcases and sheets every 3 weeks, and your comforter and the pillows every 3 months. If it’s a dry clean only pillow, you can air it out, throw it in the washing machine, then give it an hour or so in the dryer.

Purify the Pet’s Dishes and Toys

As for doggie dishes, you’ll want to put your pet’s food and water dishes in the dishwasher regularly. This is important, as 45% of these contain mold and yeast, and 18% are home to coliform bacteria.

Pet toys can be filled with staph bacteria, yeast, mold, and coliform. Soft pet toys can be tossed in the clothes washer, while hard ones can be scrubbed clean with a bleach/water solution (one cap of bleach per gallon of water).

Beyond Spring Cleaning

Bacteria aren’t the only thing threatening your home’s cleanliness and your family’s health. Dust and allergens hang out in your carpets, curtains, and linens, bringing with them sneezing, itchy eyes, and runny noses.

One of the primary places you’ll find dust, mites, allergens, mold, and bacteria is in your carpet.

Vacuuming regularly can help, but to really address the problem, you need a professional carpet cleaning at least once a year.

Between the carpet, your kitchen, bathroom, and beyond, keeping your home clean can feel like a big job. The good news is that GSC is here to help.

We offer both expert carpet cleaning and house cleaning services. With GSC, not only do you free up time and energy to live your life and actually enjoy your spring, you do it assured that your home is being cleaned to the highest possible standards.

Learn more about our house cleaning services »