TODAY   |  January 27, 2014

The germiest places in your home revealed

Sarah Humphreys, executive editor at Real Simple magazine, tells TODAY about some hidden germ hot spots in your kitchen, bathroom and living room.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> we're about to show you some surprising -- there he is, casket fresh roker.

>> bye-bye.

>> casket fresh roker, ladies and gentlemen .

>> watch your back, casket fresh. we're going to show you surprising places where germs and bacteria are hiding in your home right now.

>> here with the dirt on the hot spots and to put us to the test. the executive editor. good morning.

>> rules of the road here. we're going to show a room. tamron and i will guess the three dirtiest places.

>> surprisingly dirty places.

>> things we neglect because we don't think about them and don't clean .

>> in the kitchen. shall we?

>> yep.

>> what we think is the dirtiest.

>> i'm guessing the microwave handle. you think the coffee pot and i'm going to say the countertop.

>> okay. all right. well, you were right one of three. coffee maker , yes.

>> oh, willie.

>> coffee maker is one of the dirtiest places, surprisingly.

>> why?

>> you may clean the filter, but oils from the ground or mineral deposits from your water will build up over time with bacteria. every six months do a descaling cleanse of your coffee maker or use a white vinegar water rinse.

>> the dog bowl.

>> one of the top five most germy places. they say dogs mouths are clean , but -- so anyway.

>> back off of my dog. my dog's bowl is clean .

>> put them in the dishwasher every single day.

>> every day?

>> every single day.

>> i don't think i've ever put the dog bowl --

>> go home, put it in the dishwasher. and the last thing is the stove knobs. grease, gunk built up.

>> moving into the bathroom.

>> i'm going to say the sink where your brush your teeth.

>> this bath mat .

>> and the bathtub handle thingy.

>> faucet.

>> bath mat you got.

>> okay.

>> let's see. here's the thing, you know the bathroom is pretty much disgusting, right? in terms of germs. but there are a couple of places you did not think about. around the bidet.

>> who has a bidet? people don't have them.

>> when you have one, know to clean the walls around the bidet. if you watch a toilet flush in slow motion , it looks like a fireworks display and microbes can go 20 feet. this is really gross. when you're washing the surfaces of your bathroom, get the walls.

>> especially your bidet.

>> always keep it covered and make sure it's inside the cabinet because when you flush the toilet.

>> the toothbrush holder is one of the things. and think about it, bacteria thrive in dark, moist places. what does the bottom of your toothbrush holder look like? make sure you wash it a lot. and keep them covered. and finally, the bath mat is gross. collects humidity and dirt and hair.

>> we're going into the living room .

>> my guess would be the remote control .

>> okay. i'm going to stick with the dog theme. looks like there's dog toys over there.

>> and that throw that no one washes.

>> 2 out of 3 you guys got correct. absolutely the remote control .

>> okay.

>> you know in the hotel room , you never want to touch the remote control , well, same thing at home. more dirty than a toilet handle and also a tissue box. take an antibacterial wipe. i know your dog's mouth is clean , others aren't. so you need to wash those. and the third thing is light switches. which i don't think is -- you're turning them on and off, wipe them down.

>> here we go now to the laundry room .

>> i think the washer just in general because some of them get a little smelly.

>> dryer, the lint thing?

>> yeah, and the basket, because who washes the basket.

>> one is the laundry. you want to take the damp clothes out of the washer and put them in the dryer immediately and the other thing is the knobs. you're putting your dirty laundry in the washer and touching the knobs. wipe down everything. hit every surface when you're wiping down.

>> we're going into the purse now.

>> you don't want to see it. it's so nasty.

>> look at this purse, by the way.

>> the entire thing, if that were my purse.

>> this person has a trapper keeper .

>> i think i have one.

>> phone, trapper keeper and ear buds .

>> oh, yeah.

>> okay. so the outside of the purse in general is really gross. tens of thousands of bacteria. think about where we set our purses down everywhere we set our purses down.

>> and you're not supposed to for two reasons. one, it's the superstition if you put your purse on the floor, you'll never have money. two, gets it dirty.

>> did not know the first one.

>> like casket fresh. so much wisdom this morning.

>> true.

>> good to know.

>> be careful where you put it down. i wouldn't put it down -- try not to put it down when you're in an airport, things like that.

>> what about ear buds ?

>> gross, right? you can wet them down with a little wipe. get rid of them, they're not that expensive. you're doing a lot of things with them. and of course, your cell phone, notoriously germy. don't bring it in the bathroom with you.

>> and when you drop it. we don't wash them off, just put them back up to our ear.

>> keep those bidets clean .