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    Daily Speed-Cleaning for Germs

    You can take down some serious germ strongholds in a half-hour or less a day. If you don't have children or pets, it's even faster because you get to skip the last three steps. Start in the kitchen:

    • Clean and disinfect countertops, sink faucet and handles, refrigerator handles, and cutting boards. Check the manufacturer's directions for specialty countertops.
    • Clean with dishcloths that you can throw in the washer with hot water. Replace towels and dishcloths daily.
    • Clean spills on the kitchen floor to keep them from attracting more dirt and bacteria.
    • Empty bathroom wastebaskets and those with dirty diapers, and take out the garbage. Spritz the containers with sanitizing spray.
    • Clean and sanitize the bathroom sink faucet and handles.
    • Put pet dishes in the dishwasher.
    • If you have a child in diapers, clean and disinfect the changing table.
    • If your child uses pacifiers, put them on the top shelf of the dishwasher if they are dishwasher safe. Otherwise, wash it and any toys your child mouths with soap and hot water. Check toy cleaning labels first.

    Weekly Speed-Cleaning for Germs

    Monthly Speed-Clean for Germs

    These monthly chores take hardly any time:

    • Wash pet toys: Wash hard toys with hot, soapy water and disinfect. Rinse well before letting them dry. Toss soft toys in the washer with other laundry to wash in hot water.
    • Pour a solution of 1 teaspoon bleach and 1 quart water down the kitchen sink drain to sanitize the drain and garbage disposal. Or pour white vinegar down the drain.
    • Clean the coffeemaker.

    Clean Sweep Shortcuts

    For super speedy cleanups, try these shortcuts:

    • Keep cleaning products together in a pail or basket so they're ready when you are and can be carried from room to room.
    • While a disinfectant is sitting, tackle another chore.
    • Use a plastic can liner to help control trash spills and leaking and to cut down on wastebasket and garbage can cleaning.
    • To keep spills in the refrigerator and on floors from turning into bigger messes, clean and sanitize them as they happen.

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