Places Germs Live Rent-free in your Home

Germs and bacteria have a nasty way of traveling where they’re not wanted. With people being back to school, back to work, and socializing again, it’s important to know where germs accumulate the most so you can be prepared for cold and flu season. 

Where germs accumulate

Any place that you or anyone entering your home will touch daily or multiple times a day is a high-touch surface that will accumulate germs, bacteria, and viruses. Some well-known places include light switches, handles, doorknobs. Some lesser-known places include:

  • Cell phone
  • Laptop keys and mouse/tracker pad
  • TV remote
  • Countertop edges/railings
  • Faucets
  • Money, change, credit cards
  • Keys 
  • Toilet handle
  • Pens and dry erase markers
  • Scissors and other office supplies
  • Hand sanitizer and soap dispensers
  • Drawer handles and cabinet handles/edges
  • Makeup and brushes
  • Toothbrushes and toothpaste

Obviously this is not a complete list, but it provides a good idea as to what surfaces we touch frequently. The COVID-19 virus specifically tends to live longer on plastic surfaces than wood, fabric, or metal, so keep that in mind when sanitizing. 

How to kill germs

While we love hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes, they are not always practical for every surface in your house. Thanks to science and modern medicine, we have a number of alternatives for disinfecting our homes. 

Dawn Dish Soap

If you’ve read our previous articles, you’ll know that we LOVE our Dawn Dish Soap. One tablespoon mixed with 1 cup of water will create an easy and useful house cleaner. Dawn is a degreaser, disinfectant, and a gentle, environmentally-friendly cleanser. It is safe for glass, stone, and marble, as well as countertops, plastic, and dishes. 

Stainless Steel Cleaner

Even though COVID-19 doesn’t live on metal for very long, lots of other germs do. A quality stainless steel cleaner for your faucets, sinks, appliances, and metal doorknobs will help kill germs on those high-touch surfaces and give them that extra sparkle. 

Murphy’s Oil

Wood is such a unique surface, and can become damaged easily if the wrong product is used. We highly recommend (and regularly use) Murphy’s Oil to clean, polish, and sanitize wood surfaces, especially tables, chairs, cabinets, and floors. Veneer is very different from real wood – veneer can be cleaned with Murphy’s, but it won’t get polished like real wood. Dawn or any other disinfectant is safe for veneer. 

Barkeeper’s Friend

Barkeeper’s is our best friend. It does not contain bleach or any other harsh chemicals and is great for porcelain, bathtubs, showers, and sinks. It will clean, polish, and sanitize the literal crap out of your toilet, and will probably take some scratches or blemishes out as well. It comes in a liquid or a powder, and both are equally awesome for any of these. 


Lysol is always a good default disinfectant if you know how to use it. Because it’s a harsher disinfectant, it can damage wood or stone surfaces, so practice caution. 

Our Cleaning Techs utilize all of these products regularly in their cleaning arsenal – we practice what we preach!

Happy germ-free living!

Sparkle & Shine Cleaning Services