Toothbrushes arranged in diagonal rows, used to represent germs

QUIZ: What are the best ways to get rid of germs?

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Your home is your sanctuary, a safe and comfortable place where you and your family retire at the end of every day, but several spaces in your house may be less clean than they look (and have more germs, too).

These spaces offer a haven for germs to thrive, potentially compromising your family’s health. As we are rapidly approaching the peak of flu season, while also dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to know how to properly disinfect and clean your home. From counters and doorknobs to personal cosmetic items and everything in between, learning the right way to clean can help stave off germs and give you peace of mind.

Test your knowledge about how to effectively keep household items and areas clean.

Results

#1. Your toothbrush becomes contaminated with a variety of substances, including bacteria, blood, food, and toothpaste. How often should replace your toothbrush to keep it appropriately clean?

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Answer: D. Replace your toothbrush every few months to ensure that bristles are in good shape and capable of cleaning your teeth.

#2. A toothbrush cover will keep your toothbrush germ-free.

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Answer: False. Storing your toothbrush in a covered container encourages the development of bacteria.

#3. Dirt, oil, sweat, and other substances, such as makeup, collect on pillowcases and sheets over time. This can result in allergy symptoms, breakouts, and fungal infections. How often should you wash your pillowcases to prevent this?

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Answer: B. If you have time, try to wash sheets weekly in warm water. If this is not possible with your schedule, at least try to wash your pillowcases once every week.

#4. What is the best type of cleaner to use on commonly touched surfaces, such as counter tops and doorknobs?

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Answer: C. Clean surfaces with soap and water first, and then apply disinfectant.

#5. Smartphones and other handheld devices are useful, but they can also harbor germs. It's a good idea to clean your frequently-used screens weekly depending on use, but what is the best method of cleaning?

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Answer: C. Create a 1:1 mix of water and diluted rubbing alcohol (70% is ideal) in a small spray bottle. Lightly spray a microfiber towel once or twice with the solution and wipe down your screens and surfaces of your devices.

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Learn other common places that viruses and other germs can lurk in our homes.