The 10 dirtiest items in your house—and how to clean them

Brigitt Earley,

And you thought your toilet seat was gross.

There’s no place like home to cozy up and kick back and because we’re comfortable in our own spaces, it’s easy to assume these areas are clean. But it turns out our homes are hotbeds for germs and bacteria. Consider that device you’re using to read this article: your keyboard is actually dirtier than a toilet seat, and so is your cell phone. It makes you wonder where else harmful bacteria like E. coli, MRSA, and Streptococcus may be lurking. Your doorknobs? Your pillows?

Spoiler alert: Your home is actually more disgusting than you probably thought. We asked the pros to weigh in on what to clean first, and the cleaning tips to get those germ magnets clean once more.

1. Remote controls

Remote controls are touched by every family member—even the pets tend to sit on them and slobber them occasionally—so the surface of your remote control is the perfect host for germs and bacteria,” says Lily Cameron, a cleaning professional and supervisor at Fantastic Services. Clean remotes at least once per week, more if someone in the household is sick.

How to clean: Remove the batteries from the back of the remote. Then, wipe over the surface using a lint-free cloth dipped into rubbing alcohol. Next, carefully clean the build-up of dirt inside the buttons using a toothpick. Finally, dry the controller with a clean lint-free cloth and reinstall the batteries.

2. Carpets