7 High-Touch Surfaces You May Be Forgetting to Clean

Find out which spots you might be missing when cleaning and disinfecting.

The spread of diseases has made many of us rethink how we clean everything in our homes—most importantly, all of the high-touch areas, like doorknobs, faucets, and light switch plates. As the name suggests, "high-touch surfaces" are the spots we touch most often; for that reason, they're also the most likely areas to spread germs and bacteria. While some surfaces are evident—we're looking at you, kitchen countertop—others are easier to forget. Here are seven harder-to-remember items and the right way to disinfect them.

01 of 07


Two hands holding a pair of eyeglasses
Eyeglasses. Glowimages/Getty Images

Whether you wear glasses every day or reach for your sunglasses often, you'll want to clean them regularly. The easiest way is to use warm water and mild dish soap if you don't have pre-moistened lens cleaning wipes or sprays. Avoid rubbing alcohol, which may harm any special coatings on the lenses.

02 of 07

Steering Wheel

Hands on a car steering wheel

Even if you're carefully considering the areas inside your home, you may forget the ones outside your house. In the car, wipe down anything you're likely to touch, mainly the steering wheel, turn signal, center console, gear stick, and seat. Keeping an extra container of disinfecting wipes in your car can make quick wipe-downs even easier.

03 of 07

Toilet Handles

Close-up of handle on toilet

Kinga Krzeminska / Getty Images

The bathroom is one of the most important rooms to clean properly to prevent the spread of disease. And while the faucet, countertop, and doorknob all likely land on our to-disinfect list, there's one small thing it's all too easy to forget: the toilet handle.

The easiest way to clean it is with a disinfecting wipe. All out of wipes? Spray the handle with a disinfecting product, let it sit for the recommended time, then dry it with a paper towel.

04 of 07

Appliance Knobs

Close up of gas stove knobs
Eric Hernandez/Getty Images

Drawer handles and cabinet knobs typically come to mind when disinfecting our kitchens, but what about the controls on the stovetop, dishwasher, and microwave? Think about all the appliances around your home—washer and dryer included—and clean each knob and button with a disinfecting wipe. If using a spray, spritz a towel first to avoid getting liquid behind the control panel.

05 of 07

Credit Cards and Keys

Credit Cards in Wallet
Joe Raedle

When we walk in the door from grocery shopping, we typically wash our hands, but what about the car keys and credit card we were just holding? Wipe those down frequently. When cleaning a credit card, spray cleanser onto a cloth first rather than directly onto the card, and avoid scrubbing the magnetic strip.

06 of 07


Two Coach bags
Coach Outlet

To quickly disinfect a leather handbag when you get home from the grocery store, use a bleach-free disinfecting wipe. Skip any products with a high percentage of alcohol. If necessary, wipe the bag with a damp cloth with a drop of mild dish soap. Be sure to rinse the area and dry it thoroughly since water can damage the leather.

To prevent the transfer of germs to other high-touch areas in your home, avoid putting bags on the kitchen counter.

07 of 07

Game Controllers

Child holding video game controller
John Wildgoose/Getty Images

You may remember to wipe down your TV remote regularly—but consider adding game controllers to the list as well. If your kids have been glued to their Nintendo Switch for months, wipe down the controller with a disinfecting wipe or spritz a clean cloth first to avoid getting liquid inside the controller.

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