5 Things You Probably Forgot To Disinfect

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.

As sanitary as nurses are, we still think there’s a good chance that a handful of you are going to browse the following list of germ hot spots and think to yourself, “Uh-oh. I guess it has been kind of a while….”

But, hey, consider this roundup a friendly reminder that nobody’s perfect.

1) Your Cell Phone 

For nurses, hand-washing is an activity that is second only to breathing. That said, you still need to reserve a little disinfecting love for your cell phone, especially since it’s likely to spend as much time in the hospital as you do.

So, why not make it a part of your daily routine? Simply running a moist microfiber cloth over the surface of your phone will help eliminate many types of common bacteria. Also handy in a pinch?  Wireless wipes, which are cheap and noncorrosive and contain antibacterial ingredients.

2) Your ID Badge

From the beginning to the end of your day, your ID badge is right there with you—coughs, sneezes and hugs notwithstanding. Though it be but little, it can be fierce, so remember to disinfect your badge with sanitizing wipes when you have a moment to spare.

3) Your Steering Wheel 

Think about it: If you rely on a car for transportation, then your steering wheel is one of the very first surfaces you’ll run your hands over once you step outside of the hospital…over and over again. And while your hands may be germ-free because you’re the most thorough skin scrubber in the country, we still subscribe to the notion that safe is better than sorry.

Besides, chances are you’re already stashing disinfecting wipes in your car—why not use them to give your steering wheel a quick rubdown once or twice a week?

4) Your Light Switches/Doorknobs

Again, these are high-traffic surfaces that you’ll have to make contact with before stepping into the 20-minute, post-shift shower you’ve grown nearly religious about. These are also surfaces that you share most often with your friends and family.

And since disinfecting spray, a towelette and a quick swipe are all that’s needed to help prevent bacteria from spreading throughout your home, we’d say that’s a pretty good trade-off.

5) Your Kitchen Sink

We know that you’re exceptionally busy men and women—but nurses have gotta eat, too. Which is why dishes and/or remnants of your culinary escapades can, on occasion, overstay their welcome in your kitchen sink.

The bad (and slightly icky) news? Studies show that your kitchen sink can play host to more bacteria than a household toilet or garbage can. So, if your post-work state of mind is something along the lines of “I’ll take care of it in the morning,” then you’re really going to want to disinfect that kitchen sink regularly. Like, twice a week regularly. But don’t stress, it’s easy enough—just a spray-bottle containing a tablespoon of bleach mixed with a quart of water is enough to do the trick.

Nurses, what are we missing? Lend us an uber-sanitary hand by giving us a heads-up in the comments section below!

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.


  1. I would include the floor mats in your car and your shoes to this list. I spray my floor mats and allow them to sun dry twice a month, and place my shoes ( which never enter my house) in a mild bleach solution to clean the soles at the same time.

  2. At the clinics we have a lot of push to open doors, many made of wood which despite being varnish a long time ago, are now pretty porous ….and wood is a nice organic place for germs to settle in. So we often clean the entire area on the doors that might get pushed….remembering some are 6 foot tall and some here at the WIC office are less than 3 foot tall. They love to swing on the push bars on glass doors too, so lots of goobers there, potentially. I am also seen with a disinfecting wipe (we use hospital grade ones that kill pretty much everything but Godzilla), cleaning off buttons…like on the copier, fax machine, the phones, etc. I also tell my staff that do intake or any job where the patient is going to sign something, to have pens for them and pens for you….never the two to mix. And wipe those off occasionally too! We have electronic signature pads that have a stylus/pen attached, they get touched all day long, so we wipe those off too. And last but not of least importance….we clean all our toys, and wipe off book fronts and backs. We do this daily as part of our closing up processes.


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