(CNN) - There are germs everywhere in our homes, from the kitchen to the bathroom.
If you think the toilet is the dirtiest thing in your house, you might be paying too much attention to scrubbing the wrong place.
It is actually cleaner than many realize, but according to microbiologist Charles Gerba, a professor of public health, environmental science and immunology at the University of Arizona, you should close the lid before you flush to reduce airborne bacteria.
Fecal matter can get tossed several feet into the air, which means toothbrushes, makeup and even towels could get hit.
Towels are also a haven for bacteria, as the wet fabric is the perfect place for E. coli to grow. Bathroom linens need to get washed on the hot cycle every three or four days, according to Gerba.
In the kitchen, rags and sponges that you typically use to wipe down everything are harboring bacteria like salmonella and E. coli.
Throwing them in the dishwasher or microwave won’t help. Gerba says you should replace them with brand new ones every week.
Your coffee pot isn’t as safe as you assume, either. Water reservoirs in these types of appliances are some of the most germ-filled places in the kitchen, according to the National Safety Foundation.
The owner's manual should provide instructions on how best to clean it monthly.