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11 Things That Are Now Being Cleaned More Than Ever

Say goodbye to the days of light dusting and hello to the days of deep scrubbing—every little bit of elbow grease counts when it comes to COVID-19.

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Scrub for your life

Literally. Who would have thought that deep scrubbing surfaces may end up saving lives? But in the era of COVID-19, every little bit of elbow grease counts. That’s why in this day and age, skipping over items that typically get a cleaning pass would now be committing a major cleaning faux pas. So don’t forget to disinfect these things along with the clothes, dishes, and other usual cleaning-mandatory items. After, check out these home cleaning tips straight from the CDC.

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Pens

The pen is mightier than the sword, especially when it comes to spreading germs. While you probably didn’t think much about cleaning your writing utensil in the past, businesses everywhere have been scrubbing down the pens used to sign receipts, forms, and other pieces of paper necessary for everyday business. While this occurrence is most common in restaurants and retail shops, it really is necessary in any place in which you may end up touching a communal pen or pencil. Pens aren’t the only item that need a good scrub: Here are 10 other things you should be cleaning every day.

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Door handles

We all know the saying: When one door closes, another one opens. Just make sure that this newly opened door doesn’t lead to the spread of coronavirus! While in the past businesses would get the outside of their storefront cleaned professionally every so often, now it’s likely for employees themselves to wipe down the door handles on both the outside and the inside of their shops as often as with the arrival of every new customer. Don’t get fooled—these are 12 things supermarkets aren’t cleaning as they should.

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All electronics

Even before coronavirus, we knew how dirty our phones were. A TIME.com article even reported that our cell phones are ten times dirtier than a toilet seat. But while in the past we may have brushed this caution aside, now it’s time to furiously start scrubbing all of our devices, whether they be personal or communal. This is certainly true for businesses such as restaurants that take orders on iPads or other types of tablets, as well as the keypads for credit card readers at retail shops. Don’t make the possibly dangerous mistake of forgetting to disinfect.

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Credit cards

So while cell phones have more germs than a toilet seat, credit cards have more germs than urinals in a train station, according to azcentral.comComforting, no? This is why credit cards are another item that are now getting more of a deep clean than ever before. Think about it: You hand the cashier at your local coffee shop your card, she swipes it, and hands it back to you. Repeat this process for every monetary transaction you have throughout the day. See how many germs pile up? A quick swipe with a Lysol wipe after each purchase will keep you that much cleaner and safer. These are some more everyday items in your home that are shockingly dirty.

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Seating

This is another big one for restaurants. In the pre-coronavirus world, it was very normal to see restaurant staff wiping down the tabletop in between groups of diners. But the seats? Not so much. Nowadays, however, it’s much more common to have both the table and seats wiped down before sliding into your favorite comfy booth. Although the CDC says that coronavirus is more commonly spread through respiratory droplets than through objects and surfaces, they emphasize that it’s still essential to wipe down any potentially dirty surfaces. And when you do go out to eat, make sure you don’t do these things at reopened restaurants.

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Dressing rooms

While not all clothing retailers have allowed their dressing rooms to open back up, those that have are putting a big emphasis on cleaning them. According to USA TODAY, stores such as Macy’s, Nordstrom, and Saks Fifth Avenue that are allowing customers to try on items actually have fewer dressing rooms open, as staff have to go in and deep clean the room in between each customer. Furthermore, many stores have implemented a new policy in which if you try on an item and decide you don’t want to purchase it, the item must be put on a special rack in the back. This gives the item time to air out before returning it to the floor. Although these rules complicate the usual shopping experience, all of this cleaning allows you to continue to shop till you drop (but thankfully, not literally). Don’t commit a fashion faux pas: Avoid doing these things at reopened retails stores.

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Menus

Most restaurants have completely ditched the usual paper menu, opting instead to place QR codes at each table which can then be scanned by any device to launch an online menu. However, those restaurants that still do provide diners with physical menus are now giving those laminated papers a real hosing down. Whether using disinfectant wipes or the classic soap and water combination, restaurant staff everywhere are making sure that diners still have access to all of the options without any of the illness. Brush up on the 12 dos and don’ts for avoiding germs at restaurants.

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Keys

We all have basically the same checklist when leaving the house: Phone, wallet, keys (and now masks and hand sanitizer, but who’s counting?). What else do these three essential items have in common? You guessed it–they’re all covered in germs! While keys aren’t quite as dirty as your cell phone or credit card, you’re still touching them an awful lot in many different places. For peace of mind, disinfect your keys every once in a while to make sure they stay sparkling and safe. And after venturing out into a public space, make sure you remember the 12 things you need to clean after returning from the outside world.

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Bathrooms

Like dressing rooms, public restrooms found in restaurants, stores, and even service areas are certainly getting a more rigorous and regular cleaning routine. The CDC recommends that restaurants and bars clean their bathrooms at the very least once a day. Certain rest stops and service areas that contain public restrooms with many stalls have implemented new precautions, such as putting caution tape over every other sink to prevent people from being too close to one another while washing their hands. While we’re on the topic of the bathroom—these are 7 ways you’re probably cleaning your own bathroom wrong.

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Brushes and styling tools

We all know there’s nothing worse than a haircut gone wrong…especially when “going wrong” can now mean putting your health at risk. While hairstylists were always supposed to clean their tools in between each new client even before coronavirus hit, the rules and regulations for cleaning items in salons just got even stricter. While in the past a stylist may have just dipped his or her tools in Barbicide disinfectant and called it a day, many salons are now doing multi-step processes to make sure their tools are as clean as possible. In some cases, this may include scrubbing with soap and water, rinsing, and then applying a disinfectant. Familiarize yourself with the 14 things you won’t see in hair salons anymore.

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Steering wheel

Can you remember the last time you cleaned your steering wheel? If you were answering pre-coronavirus, the answer would probably be no. But when answering that question now, hopefully, the response would be the last time you were in the car after going out in a public place. People are now disinfecting their steering wheel after being at the grocery store, a restaurant, or a retail shop to add an extra level of cleanliness to their everyday lives. Think about it: The germs that got on your hands while inside the store can easily be transferred to your steering wheel. Skip the fear of accidentally touching something while out and just make sure to wipe down the wheel before and after taking the car out for a spin. Now, read up on the 13 everyday habits that could (and should) change after coronavirus.

For more on this developing situation, including how life might be different post-lockdown, see our comprehensive Coronavirus Guide.

 

Sources:

  • TIME. Your Cell Phone Is 10 Times Dirtier Than a Toilet Seat. Here’s What to Do About It.
  • azcentral.com. Credit and debit cards have more germs than a urinal in a train station, study says.
  • USA TODAY. When will dressing rooms open again? Here’s where you can try on clothes and where you can’t during coronavirus.
  • CDC. Considerations for restaurants and bars
  • CDC. Reopening guidance for cleaning and disinfecting public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools, and homes