Expert Shares Tips for Cleaning Door Handles and Common Fixtures

Erin Browne
  • Fiona Mills is a former hoarding technician and current franchise business coach at Spaulding Decon. 
  • Mills, 32, shared advice for cleaning common fixtures like door handles. 
  • Mills told Insider that door handles are one of the “most germ-ridden surfaces” in the home. 

From smartphones to toothbrushes, the average home is full of items that are dirtier than a toilet seat.

In fact, Insider previously reported that common fixtures in the home like door handles, walls, and light switches could attract bacteria that, if left unchecked, can continue to spread. That’s why Fiona Mills, a former hoarding technician and current franchise coach at Spaulding Decon, said homeowners should pay attention to these often ignored — but important — areas of the home.

“People may not have put much thought into this before, but door handles are one of the most germ-ridden surfaces you can encounter,” Mills, 32, told Insider.

The expert has previously shared her cleaning advice with Insider readers, including cleaning hacks for a spotless house, bathroom cleaning tips, advice about garbage disposals and pipes, removing odors, her go-to cleaning products, and cleaning floors. 

Mills said door handles are ‘one of the fastest ways’ bacteria and viruses can spread throughout the home

Person cleaning door handle

Fiona Mills suggested people try disinfectant wipes that contain quaternary ammonium compounds.

Paul Biris/Getty Images

According to Mills, doorknobs are “among the top five dirtiest objects in a home.” 

“Think about how many people touch a door handle in a day, then think about how many times each person will touch that same door handle,” Mills said. 

“Touching handles are one of the fastest ways viruses and bacteria spread because everybody is touching them, and they rarely get cleaned,” she continued. “On average, there are at least five different bacterias on door and cabinet handles, as well as wall corners that people routinely touch.” 

Mills explained that on a non-porous surface like a door handle, most viruses would be destroyed within 24 hours, but bacteria’s survival time can vary from hours to months, depending on the type. 

To clean, Mills suggested that people use disinfectant wipes that contain quaternary ammonium compounds, an effective disinfectant against viruses like COVID-19. 

“I would recommend disinfecting at least once a week, if not more, depending on if there is a sickness in the home or a lot of people,” Mills said.  

Mills previously suggested that people use Shockwave, disinfectants like Lysol, and Microban 24, which she said is “mainly used for mold but does have a general multi-surface cleaner.”

Microban 24’s Sanitizing Spray and Multi-Purpose Cleaner were among the disinfectants approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to kill the coronavirus.

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