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RISMEDIA, August 2, 2010—It’s the dog days of summer. The air is thick and real estate is in slow motion. It is, however, the perfect time for sellers to invest time indoors on giving their homes that extra shine. Try these WebMD tips and Lowe’s product suggestions to get all those surfaces sparkling clean and germ-free.

Disinfect the throne.
Why:
The toilet is the seat (so to speak) of most bathroom germs. Thanks to aerosolization—the dispersion of tiny particles in mist—millions of germs can go flying with every flush.

Do it right: Scrub the toilet bowl once a week with a disinfectant, letting the cleanser sit on the bowl, the underside of the seat, and the seat surface a good 10 minutes before rinsing with soapy water. Remember to clean the flush handle too with a bathroom disinfectant.

Try: Clorox toilet bowl cleaner, a cleanser that can kill 99.9% of bacteria and remove tough stains. Replace the toilet seat with an EverClean surface toilet seat that fights bacteria, mold and mildew.

Clean the sink area.
Why:
It’s the first place you go after you, well, go—so it’s a natural target for germs.

Do it right: Sponges can harbor bacteria and leave surfaces germier than before, according to WebMD. Instead of reusing your old sponge, buy inexpensive, disposable ones or use a scrub brush. Disinfect faucet handles, and cover toothbrushes or store them in drawers.

Try: The Quickie mini scrub brush, with bacteria-fighting Microban, for cleaning nooks and crannies. Seal leaks, which encourage mold and mildew, with caulking that contains Microban antimicrobial protection. DAP Alex Ultra 230 caulk is a good choice. If you’re remodeling, consider installing a sink with built-in bacteria fighters.

Banish bathtub bacteria.
Why:
According to WebMD, a recent study found staphylococcus bacteria in 26% of the tubs tested.

Do it right: Clean the tub at least once a week with a disinfecting cleaner, and then rinse and dry thoroughly. Ditto for bathtub toys. For whirlpool tubs, clean out the pipes regularly to prevent bacteria buildup. Your shower curtain liner can harbor mold and mildew, so change it every three to six months, or throw it in the wash with a little bleach.

Try: Scrubbing Bubbles Mega Shower foamer to remove soap scum and dirt while killing germs, such as staph and strep. Fight mildew with a hookless shower curtain liner that has antimicrobial protection. And don’t forget to protect your tootsies: Made of solid teak, the durable Pollenex spa mat naturally resists fungus.

Adapted from Lowe’s Creative Ideas for Home and Garden®, July/August 2010

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