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How to Clean Everything Better

From your fingernails down to your hardwood floors, here are the healthiest, gentlest ways to give dirt and grime the one-two punch.

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Sponges and scrub brushes

"If you let your sponge sit out wet all night, it’ll have all sorts of bacteria growing on it,” Dr. Weiss says. In fact, these cleaning aids are the most contaminated sites for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), E. coli, mold, and general bacteria in your entire home, Reynolds says.

To safe up your scrubbers and sponges, clean them on the top rack of the dishwasher for the full cycle every time you run it. Or microwave a slightly damp sponge (douse it with white vinegar or lemon juice, then rinse and wring out) on high for two to three minutes and allow to air dry, Cobb says.

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