Places Germs Hide in the Home
The coronavirus crisis has put hygiene at the top of most people’s agenda. But, while you may be dutifully washing your hands, have you considered where germs may be lurking in your home?
We don’t doubt that your toilet is sparkling clean, but there are other places in the home that dirt, bacteria, and germs can build-up as well.
There is no need to begin manically disinfecting every square inch of your home because the human body has a very efficient immune system. Even so, a survey of 1,200 American households discovered that each home contained an average of 9,000 different types of bacteria, fungi, and microbes. And, as recent events have shown us, we are not immune to everything.
So, to help you keep your home free of germs, here are twelve places in the home that germs love to hide and some tips on how to keep those germs at bay.
1. Kitchen Sink
Although the kitchen sink is not the worst breeding ground for germs, it’s up there with the biggest offenders. Small particles of food or dishes left to soak provide the perfect environment for bacteria like salmonella and e-Colli to breed.
Rinsing the sink after use is not enough to kill germs. You should scrub and disinfect your kitchen sink once or twice a week. And, you should be cleaning the drain with a solution of bleach and water at least once a month as well.
2. Dishcloth or Kitchen Sponge
Your kitchen sponge is likely to contain more germs than anything else in your home. The cleaning sponge or dishcloth will contain food particles to feed the bacteria, and it provides a damp environment, which bacteria love.
Dishcloths are safer than kitchen sponges because you can wash them in the washing machine with bleach to sanitize them. If you prefer to use a kitchen sponge, you should place the wet sponge in the microwave for two minutes once a day to kill the germs. You should also change your kitchen sponge for a new one once a week.
After you have cleaned your teeth, your toothbrush stays damp, and damp places are where bacteria multiply. To make matters worse, when you flush your toilet, tiny droplets of water enter the air, and those droplets can settle on your toothbrush.
The best place to keep your toothbrush is in a cabinet away from the toilet. And, you should always put the toilet lid down before you flush. Dentists recommend that you should change your toothbrush every two to three months.
4. TV Remote Control
Your TV remote control is used by everyone in the home. Plus, it gets dropped, used when people’s hands are dirty, and used when people are eating. Of all the surfaces in a household, it is on the TV remote control that you will usually find the most germs.
The best way to keep your TV remote control free of germs is to encourage everyone in the household to wash their hands often. And, you should clean the remote control regularly with an alcohol wipe or antibacterial wipe.
5. Pet Bowls
It’s not uncommon for people to leave pet bowls out all day and not wash them between meals. Given that pets are not exactly well-known for their attention to personal hygiene, it will come as no surprise to learn that pet bowls are crawling with bacteria. We know that you are not going to eat out of your dog’s bowl yourself! Even so, you will be touching your pet’s food bowl with your hands, and you may put the bowl on a countertop to refill it.
Pet bowls should be cleaned every day. The best way to kill germs on a pet bowl is to use a sanitizing dishwasher cycle. If you want to wash your pet’s food bowl by hand, use hot soapy water and rinse in a 1:50 solution of bleach and water.
A place where germs hide in plain view is in your bathtub. One study found that a quarter of all baths tested were infected with staphylococcus bacteria, which can cause a multitude of diseases.
Hygiene experts recommend that a bathtub should be cleaned with bleach or bathroom cleaner after every use. You should also dry the tub after you have cleaned with a clean towel to prevent bacteria growth.
7. Computer Keyboard
Many computer keyboards would be considered a health hazard if they were tested for bacteria. We eat while using our computers, and we cough and sneeze over our keyboard, but few of us ever clean our computer keyboards.
The best advice is always to wash your hands before you use a keyboard. And, if you eat while using your computer, try not to drop any food on the keyboard. To clean a keyboard, you should first vacuum it to get any dust and crumbs out from in between the keys. Then, wipe over the keys with an alcohol wipe.
8. Kitchen Countertops
Most people do keep their kitchen countertops clean. Even so, a surprising 30% of countertops were found to have bacteria on them when tested.
A simple wipe down with the kitchen sponge is not enough to kill bacteria on countertops. Kitchen countertops should be cleaned with hot soapy water and then with a sanitizing kitchen cleaner or bleach and water solution.
Carpets collect flakes of skin, food particles, and pet hairs, and all those particles help bacteria to breed. Carpets in the home have been found to contain all kinds of bacteria and micro-organisms, including e-Coli and salmonella. The presence of bacteria in carpets is a risk to kid’s safety because children are likely to play and roll around on the family room carpet.
The experts say that carpets should be vacuum cleaned at least once a week. For extra protection, carpets should also be sprayed with a fabric sanitizer. It is also advisable to have the carpets in your home steam-cleaned at least once a year.
The handles of kitchen and bathroom faucets are touched every day. The worst offenders for germs are kitchen faucets, but bathroom faucets have also been found to have plenty of bacteria breeding on them as well.
The faucets in the kitchen and bathroom should be disinfected daily to eradicate germs.
11. Knobs, Switches, and Handles
Any surface in the home that is touched regularly can pass bacteria and viruses from one person to another. So, it is essential to wash your hands frequently and keep knobs, switches, and handles clean.
Make cleaning handles and switches a regular part of your cleaning routine. Wipe over all surfaces that get touched frequently with a cloth and a sanitizing cleaning product.
12. Mobile Devices
Mobile devices with touchscreens are another favorite place that germs like to hide. Touchscreen smartphones are especially bad for hygiene because we touch our phones with our fingers and then hold the device against our face.
Electronic devices like phones and tablets should be wiped over with a sanitizing wipe daily, or at least once a week. The wipes must be scratch-free, though, so it is best to use sanitizer wipes designed for the job.
Many thanks for visiting Best Panic Alarm and reading this post. We hope that this article has given some food for thought. We will be publishing more home safety tips and advice soon. If you would like to receive updates from us, please subscribe to our mailing list.
Have a great day and stay safe!