actSpring-cleaning is upon us and many of you are chomping at the mop to hunker down so you can scrub up and throw out. It’s a “No baseboard left behind!” kind of feeling, and I, too, get into the spirit.

But that same spring-clean-y spirit was recently – um – tarnished – when I came upon the most recent issue of Real Simple Magazine. Apparently this shiny, high tech device I am typing on is one of the dirtiest things in my midst. And here I was innocently creeping myself out over bathroom grout. Leave it to the media to one-up the gross factor every single time.

Yes. In fact, our sleek, gleaming tech tools are some of the grimiest things around. So before you tackle the traditional baseboards, you might want to tromp on the technology.

Before you read further, may I suggest considering some or all of the following items:

All Purpose Cleaner:

Honest Company makes an all-natural version (and offers a nice deal on a trial bundle) or you can always use what you’ve got in the cabinet. An all-purpose cleaner is useful for general cleaning of  door handles and home phone systems.

Sanitizing Wand:

I have never heard of these before and now I do not know how I have lived this long without one. I am considering some sort of holster to carry around my latest gadget to clean my gadgets. You can find all kinds of options at Amazon – Real Simple recommends the Verilux Clean-Wave UV-C Sanitizing Wand.

Screen Cleaner:

My personal favorite is Restoration Hardware’s WHOOSH cleaner, mostly because it is all-natural and comes with a microfiber cloth and a little travel size bottle for disinfecting on-the-go (more on that later).  But the manufacturer AM offers a great product that looks the part, too.

Compressed Air Spray / Duster:

You can find these at an office supply store – but you may be surprised to learn that they are often kept behind the counter, due to a recent trend of teens using this product to for other purposes.

Bravery and Courage:

This next part is going to make you feel ill – so … you’ve been warned.

Okay, now that you are armed and maybe a little bit dangerous, here’s the dirt (literally):

The Remote Control:

And you thought watching reality TV could make you sick? Well, flipping through the channels is what could get you in the end. According to a study at the Virginia School of Medicine, the remote control has more germs than even the toilet handle. YUK!

*Clean this dirty little monster by spraying it with compressed air, bathing it in disinfecting wipes and then – for good measure – wand it to death. Actually, let’s just plan on wanding everything from here forward.

Tablets/Touch Screens:

Fingers are dirty and then screens are dirty and then you wash your hands and then you touch the dirty screen again. It’s a vicious, vicious cycle – like getting on Pinterest or eating french fries. Once you start, you can’t stop.

*First, do wash your hands. Then wipe the entire screen with special screen cleaner (not Windex) and wash your hands again. Touch screens, like children, attract dirt. Speaking of children, if you’ve got little people playing or studying on your tablet, bump up the cleaning schedule. Or tell them to move (I know a good Realtor).


Why oh why Real Simple? Why did you put “Sweat and wax build up with each use” in this article? I am sure to have nightmares.

*Experts on all things disgusting suggest you wipe earbuds with a solution of mild dish soap and water.


Um –apparently dirtier than a toilet seat!

* Remove the batteries or unplug your keyboard and throw it out the window. No – kidding. Turn it upside down and shake gently. Then spray the keyboard with compressed air and sanitize with a safe screen cleaner. Wand it.

Cell Phone:

Remember when I said we’d come back to “on-the-go?” Here’s why: a 2011 study from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine found that one in six cell phones is tainted with fecal matter. Why? Because talking on the phone while in the bathroom is becoming common and flushing a toilet sends – and I quote here – “a spray of hundreds of thousands of contaminated droplets into the air, some of which land on the phone.” And then you touch the phone. And you put the phone up to your face. And then you die a slow and painful death.

*Use the sanitizer wipes created for electronic devices often, consider investing in a Cell-Blaster Universal UV Cell-Phone Sanitizer, do not use your cell phone in the lavatory and close the seat.

Let me know about your spring-cleaning – in the meantime, I am off to disinfect.