Dirt We Can’t Clean, Because It’s Up To You

We clean a lot of things for clients. But at any given time, there are several things around your house that are much dirtier than you think, or have possibly never cleaned. And honestly, we probably can’t clean them for you. Because they’re not actually any cleaning company’s job.

Here are your some of your biggest offenders:


I really need to clean this
Here’s the thing – the dirt is easier to see on black keyboards. (image via Lee Coursey)

You probably use your computer keyboard every day, and never really get around to cleaning it because when aren’t you working, right? Also be honest, you eat and drink around it. And then there’s life – shared computers, shaking hands with people, holding on to the metro rail, the office doors….you know, life, which then transmits itself back to your laptop, and from there back to you. No, we’re not recommending that you wash hands before using your laptop every time. But it probably is a good idea to periodically clean your keyboard. If nothing else, get all the crumbs and micro-dust bunnies off with canned air. Consider it a tech spring cleaning. Both you and your computer will be better off.


Double what goes for your laptop for any touch screen, especially your phone. Which is then up against your mouth and ears and face. Especially if you take it to the bathroom for all those private conversations you’d rather not have at the cubicle. (Fact is, flushing – while a great stride forward in human hygiene – also acts as a germ bomb unless you put the lid down. Good luck with that at many public bathrooms, where there are no lids.) Change the protective screen on your phone often, clean it best you can with a damp (not wet) cloth, and yeah, maybe keep it out of the bathroom.


Triple what we said about phone because you probably never take your toothbrush out of the bathroom. Quadruple that if you have kids who can’t seem to remember to put the darned lid down. Just as well toothbrushes – even the replaceable heads of the expensive electric ones – are generally inexpensive. In any case, dentists generally recommend that you get a new toothbrush every three months or when the bristles begin to splay – which ever happens first. 

Kitchen Sponges

When you don’t clean, or at least dry that sponge… (image via Aaron Harmon)

A big offender that takes many by surprise. Yes, you use it to wash and clean, but a sponge doesn’t rinse off like your plates. It sits there – forever moist, at room temperature, and with wash water microbes trapped inside. It’s a perfect ongoing petridish if you don’t take some basic steps: Always rinse out your sponge in hot water after you’re done with dishes, and then squeeze it out so it can dry as much as possible. Microwave it or throw it in the dishwasher at the end of the day. (Just make sure it’s damp if you microwave it.)  Better yet, switch it out frequently. Just like the toothbrush.

TV Remotes

Another quiet offender. All those times you turned up the volume between picking up the finger food? Or perhaps you have a baby, who thinks it’s a fabulous teething toy? Yeah… The remote’s a gathering place for grime long before it gets so sticky that it stops working. You can clean a remote, and it’s a good idea to do so after major viewing parties after it’s been handled by several people. (By the way, if you’re a germaphobe, you might want to avoid remotes in public places – like hotel rooms – altogether!)


A huge silent offender! Think about it, we change linens often, we put duvets on comforters, we buy washable blankets, we put on mattress protectors because those things are expensive and we know we’re buying one to last at least a couple of decades. But the pillows, they’re not meant to last forever. When’s the last time you washed them? And yes, these days most pillows tend to be made of synthetic materials and are machine washable. Also, we strongly recommend a pillow protector. If you think we’re being silly, take a look at all the stains on your pillows when you’re changing linens – they’re a combination of sweat, body oils, and drool. 

Ear Buds

Madhu's i-pod's ear-buds ... VERY PHOTOGENIC !!
They’re magical, with tiny orifi to emit sound and capture dirt. Into your ear. (image via Shubharnab Majumdar)

They’re a modern marvel – staying in your ears during a hard run, letting you have conversations and music on the go, keeping all that glorious sound in your ears and not bleeding into your neighbor’s unwilling audio space on the metro. But ear buds can get dirty fast, and they’re in your ears, where they can introduce or worsen infections. And yes, you can clean ear buds or at least reduce your chances of ear grunge. Starting with disposable silicone covers. 

It doesn’t take long to clean all the germ factories mentioned above. And it’s worth the time for a cleaner, healthier home, isn’t it?