Get Fit, Breathe Easier

How to Keep a Super-Clean House



5. The bathtub/shower
Every time you take a bath or shower, you remove germs and viruses from your body. That's the great news. But all the bad stuff doesn't conveniently slide down the drain or die on the porcelain; some of it thrives if those surfaces stay moist.

In fact, researcher Elizabeth Scott, PhD, co-director of the Center for Hygiene and Health in Home and Community at Simmons College in Boston, found staphylococcus bacteria, a common cause of serious skin infections, in 26% of the tubs she tested, compared with just 6% of garbage cans.

Simple fix: Use a disinfecting cleanser once a week on the bathroom floor and sides of the tub and shower; rinse well and dry the surfaces with a towel. Keep the shower dry on a daily basis by using a squeegee, and disinfect the squeegee weekly, too.

6. Your cell phone and other tech stuff
The things you touch a zillion times a day—iPhone, BlackBerry, keyboard, computer mouse—are big carriers of germs, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and flu viruses.

Simple fix: Clean the surfaces of your phone or other tech devices with a disinfecting product. Any antibacterial wipe will work; just don't get your sensitive equipment too wet.

7. Bathroom floor
Believe it or not, there are more germs on the bathroom floor than on the toilet seat. The problem is flushing, during which microscopic fecal matter is sprayed into the air and lands on the floor, where moisture helps germs grow.

Simple fix: Be sure to close the lid of the toilet before you flush. Also, mop your bathroom floor once a week with a bleach-based cleanser. And clean and dry mats used on your bathroom floor; damp ones help mold and bacteria grow. Hang mats up so they are more likely to dry out between uses, wash them in very hot water weekly, and make sure they're dry before using them again.

Next Page: 8. Your shoes