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20 Household Objects You’re Forgetting to Clean

You scrub the bathrooms, mop the floors, wash the sheets and fluff the pillows, but there may be a few things you’re not cleaning that you really should be. Even for those of you on high dirt-alert, you’ll be surprised to learn about the germs lurking in places you touch and use daily. But have no fear, because we’ve made a handy dandy list of things and places for you to check from now on. So grab your bucket and get to work… you might just be surprised by what you find.

1. Makeup Brushes: Ensure that you’re no beauty school drop-out and keep those makeup brushes clean! Cleaning them regularly with lukewarm water and baby shampoo can help you avoid breakouts and clogged pores by minimizing the amount of oil, dirt and bacteria that gets trapped in the bristles. (via Lauren Conrad)

2. Loofah: Let’s skip the horrifying details of what can get caught in your loofah and cut to the chase. Start by using only a natural loofah, shaking it out after each use and storing it in a cool, dry place (not in the shower). If you don’t want to soak your loofah in bleach to ward off germs, try immersing it in a pure essential oil blend for a few hours. (via Huffington Post)

3. Hairbrush: Brushing your freshly washed hair with a hairbrush that’s been collecting dirt, grime and product buildup for weeks is not a good idea. Extend the cleanliness of your locks and the life of your hairbrush by bathing it every other week. (via Michelle Phan)

4. Toothbrush Holder: Go ahead, peer inside and check out what your toothbrush is resting in. You are likely to find discoloration, grime and mold (YUCK!). Hot water, a clean cloth, pipe cleaners and antibacterial mouthwash are your go-to weapons for combatting these germs. (via Huffington Post)

5. Kitchen Sponge: This guy’s made to soak up germs and bacteria, but who wants to clean their dishes with a germ-laden sponge? Get on a regular routine of disinfecting your daily scrubber with a bleach soak that is proven to kill 99.9% of bacteria. (via Home Food Safety)

6. Reusable Grocery Bags: Do the earth and your health a favor by keeping your reusable grocery bags clean. Be sure to wash your bags and store them in an open area. As convenient as it may be to keep them in the trunk, studies have shown that bacteria can multiply back there. (via Fabulous and Frugal)

7. Cutting Board: Whether you’re partial to wood or are completely pro-plastic, you have to keep your cutting boards clean. Wooden cutting boards, unlike plastic, can’t be tossed in the dishwasher. Pick one of these five ways to keep yours clean and practice washing them regularly. (via Food Network)

8. Refrigerator: If your fridge hums like a 747 jet plane, then it may be time to clean those refrigerator coils. Clean coils keep your fridge cool, but dirty coils cause your appliance to kick into overdrive and send your energy use through the roof. (via Bright Nest, photo via Weis Markets)

9. Washing Machine: This machine takes on a heavy load to ensure your clothing stays clean, but it’s important to go back and clean it as well. Vinegar is the magic potion that will make your washing machine fresh and clean, so your clothing will stay that way, too. (via Persil)

10. Iron Soleplate: You know that gooey, sticky residue that builds up on the soleplate of an iron? There’s a simple hack for that. Grab your salt shaker and say hello to a shiny, clean iron. (via Real Simple)

11. Pillows: Bedroom sheets are washed on a regular basis, yet the pillow usually rests without a regular cleaning. Avoid dust mites by throwing your pillows in the washer with hot water and drying them on a low heat setting. (via One Good Thing)

12. Handheld Electronics: From your cell phone to your eReader, these gadgets are coated in germs. Some studies even show that cell phones contain 18 times more germs than toilet handles (gross!). (via Apartment Therapy)

13. Heating and Air Conditioning Vents: It’s probably safe to say that your vents are filled with dirt and dust, which gets pushed throughout your home every time you turn the heat or AC on. Follow this cleaning method to avoid breathing in dirty, germ-filled air from now on. (via Real Simple, photo via Healthy Home Filter Company)

14. Ceiling Fans: Ceiling fans are like dust magnets, yet they’re often overlooked when the Pledge comes out. With a little help from a step stool and an old pillowcase, though, you can swipe away the dirt without leaving even a dust bunny. (via Real Simple)

15. Mops and Brooms: We clean things, but what about cleaning our cleaning things? Mops and brooms sweep up dust and dirt, which get caught in their bristles, and there’s no sense in sweeping your floors with a dirty tool. Brighten up your mops and brooms and make them last by replacing mop pads or washing them. (via eHow)

16. Doorknobs: Touched by everyone and cleaned by no one, these handy household necessities are great at collecting bacteria. Grab a microfiber towel and disinfectant and get to wiping down those knobs. Feel free to tackle your light switches and electrical outlets while you’re at it too. (via Bright Nest)

17. Humidifier: This handy gadget is a lifesaver when it comes to preventing dry skin, healing chapped lips and providing relief for allergies. But bacteria and mold can grow in the tank and crevices, so cleaning it often is a must. (via Apartment Therapy)

18. Houseplants: It’s a known fact that houseplants purify the air in your home, but it’s a lesser known fact that they need more than just water. Indoor plants collect dust, just like everything else in your home, so it’s important to keep them dusted and fresh. (via Teresa’s Family Cleaning, photo via The Sill)

19. Car Steering Wheel: On average, a car steering wheel contains more bacteria than a toilet seat. Wiping your interior with anti-bacterial wipes and cleaning your filters regularly are two ways to avoid catching and spreading germs while commuting. (via The Allstate Blog)

20. Credit and Debit Cards: You touch them and other people touch them, but you probably don’t clean them. Keep your credit cards, debit cards and driver’s license germ-free by wiping them with disinfectant on a regular basis. (via MSN Living, photo via ABC News)

Are you a germaphobe? What surprising things are on your must-clean list that you don’t see here? Share the dirt in the comments below or on Twitter!

Ahhh, fall. There are so many things to love about this time of year (give us ALL the sweaters and pumpkin-flavored eats). But, high on the list comes autumn decor candles, throws, textiles — you name it. Of course, buying items and actually adding them to your room are two different things. So we're turning to Instagram for the best styling advice and inspo for the season. Scroll on to see everything you need to get those wheels turning!

@sbkliving: Sometimes, it only takes a chic doormat to transition your front steps for the season. Hello, fall!

@rachelpuccetti: Excuse us while we spend an entire lazy Sunday relaxing in this fall-infused space.

@farmhousetofrills: A monochrome mantel never looked so chic. (That fireplace pumpkin setup is seriously *genius*.)

@faith_hope_home: Greet guests with a fall-themed entrance to set the tone for a day of pumpkin carving or scary movie marathoning.

@simplysoutherncottage: Don't forget about those nooks and crannies! This entryway/mudroom situation is capturing our little harvest-loving hearts.

@6thirtydecor: Speaking of pumpkins, pick up a few extra gourds to pave the way into your cozy autumn abode.

@farmsteadonfirst: That guest bedroom you weren't sure what to do with it? Transform it into a rustic retreat with some fall signage and mustard-yellow and green accents.

@fiddleleafinteriors: We're going to take a second to *swoon* over this adorable kitchen setup. Those farmhouse accents and simple centerpiece setup? We're in love.

@ohmydearblog: Contrary to what you think, florals *aren't* just for spring. Bring them into your abode by selecting buds in moody tones to pay homage to the season.

@simply.mrs.z: Drawn to modern style? Play up the Halloween vibes by picking black, orange and brass accents to rock on places like your bookshelf. (Bonus points for carrying the theme over to your textiles.)

@drivewaytodreams_crystal: We're going to go ahead and give two thumbs up to all of these orange-hued accents. Backdropped with a neutral furnishings and they truly *pop*!

@cripcollectiveig: For those who don't want to go overboard with the "fall stuff" this one will speak to you. Compile a couple of cute throws and a minimalist pumpkin print on your mantle and you're set

@cavcottage: Who said fun pillows were limited to furnishings only? We're ALL about this entry display.

@houseon77th: This daybed setup is a *dream*. But actually, this would be the perfect space to doze off in come the colder days.

@kristenforgione: For a more festive Halloween look, overhaul your living space with a spooky handmade addition like this one. *Googles paper bat DIYs.*