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Household items that contain more germs than a toilet seat

1. Handbags. Wipe down once a week with a damp cloth using water and a small amount of liquid soap. For deep cleans, get a specialist product.

2. Electronics and accessories: Use a finely woven microfibre cloth sprayed very lightly with antibacterial surface cleaner or dry depending on manufacturer’s instructions. Work gently round button.

3. Toothbrushes: Close toilet seat when flushing, airdry as far away from the loo as possible. Soak toothbrush heads in mouthwash for a maximum of 15 minutes.

4. Carpets: Vacuuming won’t keep it germ free so spot clean using a domestic carpet shampoo machine – they can be rented – and a shampoo than include a protector such as Scotchguard.

5. Bathroom towels: Dry thoroughly and quickly after use to stop bacteria breeding by spreading them out on a stand, rack or free standing airer.

6. Pet bed: Run through the washing machine on a high temperature but make sure you clean the machine afterwards by adding a cup of bleach to the detergent drawer and running on 60 degrees on an empty wash.

7. Kitchen sink: Don’t just swirl with hot water. At least twice a week, and after preparing raw food which is laden with pathogens, spray the basin and taps with an antibacterial cleaner, leave for ten minutes, then rinse.

8. Kitchen sponges and dishcloths: Clean in hot soapy water then soak them in a disinfectant for ten minutes. Some clothes and sponge scourers can be machine washed.

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