5 Cleaning Practices We Started Doing This Year

All that extra downtime at home has motivated us to up our cleaning game.

When we look back on this difficult year with the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, it's safe to say many of us kicked up our cleaning habits amid the seemingly endless hours spent at home. From sanitizing our phones regularly to upgrading our vacuuming routines, there are many ways we improved our cleaning techniques during this year. Below, five cleaning practices we'll be keeping up long after the pandemic is behind us—and with multiple vaccines on the way, we hope that's sooner rather than later.

1. Cleaning our dishwasher.

We've long suspected our dishwasher could use a cleaning, and yet, even on the most ambitious of Saturday afternoon cleaning sprees, the task always managed to evade us. This year, we finally knocked it off our list. Turns out, all that procrastination was for nothing as it's a simple process for which you only need common household cleaning products like baking soda, vinegar, and liquid soap. Here's how to get it done.

Person wiping down a doorknob
Richard Drury / Getty Images

2. Disinfecting our doorknobs.

Woe on us for never thinking of this one before, but the coronavirus pandemic definitely revved this into full gear. As high-touch surfaces often grabbed by multiple people, doorknobs are especially important to sanitize regularly. To make sure the disinfectant you're using kills the coronavirus, see this page on epa.gov. Other high-touch surfaces that merit frequent cleaning include light switches, keyboards, sinks, countertops, phones (see below!), and desks, among others, per the CDC.

Our new go-to? Microban sanitizing sprays that are said to kill 99.9% of bacteria for up to 24 hours.

3. Sanitizing our phones.

This year, leaving our homes has felt a bit like living in a George Clooney dystopian film. Not scratching our face while we grocery shop, remembering to wash our hands before and after running an errand, always making sure we have some hand sanitizer when we go out...these important safety protocols can be a lot. Here's one the tech geek in us actually enjoys: Popping our germ-covered phones into the PhoneSoap, the UV-C light sanitizer to clean phones, keys, jewelry, credit cards, and more. It sounds silly, but after the device's glowing lightning bolt turns off after its ten-minute cleaning cycle, you feel a rush.

If you'd prefer to clean your phone with disinfecting wipes, check out our guide here. However you choose to clean your phone, be sure to do so at least once a day.

4. Using Scrub Daddy sponges.

Honestly, we're not sure how we did it before the Scrub Daddy sponges entered our lives. These sponges have more than 9,700 five-star reviews on Amazon and counting, with odor-resistant, ergonomic properties—not to mention an adorable smile design on each sponge—all of which makes cleaning dishes almost fun.

5. Cleaning our air conditioner vents.

You've already been wiping them down with a microfiber duster or a vacuum with a brush attachment on a monthly basis, right? With all the time we've been spending at home, carve out a few hours to give your air vents a thorough cleaning. Need a tutorial? Check out this article.

Now it's your turn to tell us: What cleaning tasks have you added to your regular routine this past year? Any new must-try strategies or products?

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