4 Spots in Your Home Where Bacteria May Be Hiding—And How a Cleaning Expert Tackles Them

Washing your hands more frequently? Sure. Wiping down your counters regularly? Check. Cleaning up messes ASAP? Always. You definitely deserve a gold star—but what if all your cleaning efforts are not as clean as you think?

According to microbiologist Charles Gerba, PhD, that very well may be the case—especially in one spot in particular: "The kitchen is one of the germiest places in the house," he says. (*File under: things you should know, but didn't want to.*) That's because you're more likely to use disinfectant cleaners in the bathroom than in the kitchen.

A big kitchen-item culprit for bacteria? The frequently reached for dishcloth hanging from your oven, according to Dr. Gerba. Here's why: Dishcloths can quickly get contaminated with bacteria, and bacteria not fully removed after washing your hands or wiping up a mess or spill can then contaminate the next person or surface.

"Paper towels are most useful in the kitchen and bathroom to avoid cross-contamination and are effectively used with disinfectants," Dr. Gerba says. "And they do not serve as reservoirs of bacteria like used sponges, dishcloths, and cloth towels."

Reaching for a roll of Bounty® paper towels can help you clean your kitchen more effectively and safely.

With that in mind, we asked Dr. Gerba for more of his expert wisdom on the spaces in your home that could use a little disinfecting love. No surprise here, they all happen to live in your kitchen. Happy cleaning!

Scroll down for four of the most bacteria-ridden spots in your home, plus how to clean them.

clean your kitchen

Top photo: Getty Images/Kentaroo Tryman


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