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Five Things to Clean Right This Second

You should be de-germing these everyday items—but probably aren’t

Beat grime at its own game by giving these unexpectedly germy items a good scrub-a-dub-dub.

1. Remote Control

Doorknobs get a lot of grief for being full of germs, but there are few things we hold in our hands more than our trusted remote. Use a microfiber cloth or toothbrush to get into the tiny crevices and don’t spray anything directly onto the device.

2. Trash Cans

Why clean something that exists to hold life’s dirty things? Because of the smell, that’s why. Take it outside, squirt a bit of dish soap in it and use a hose to spray that sucker down. Rinse and repeat (periodically).

3. Your Smartphone

You plop it down on every table at every restaurant. Not to mention there are those of us who use it for in-bathroom entertainment. It’s begging for a cleaning! Wipe it down with a mild all-purpose cleaner. (But don’t spray the cleaner directly onto the phone.) Use an antibacterial wipe to clean the mouthpiece.

4. Ear Buds

Let’s take a moment to avoid an ear infection, shall we? Here’s how: Mix a gentle cleanser, like dish soap, with warm water. Dab a small amount with a cloth and wipe the ear buds down. Tip: Treat them as you would your phone—never submerge in water.

5. Yoga Mat

All those floor cooties and sweat—you better believe it needs a bath. Use an all-natural disinfectant, like witch hazel or white vinegar. Fill a spray bottle three-quarters of the way with water, add your disinfectant of choice and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Now spritz away.