The Germiest Hangouts in Your Home & How to Clean Them
You abuse that hand sanitizer when you’re out and about, and you make sure your kids do the same. Everyone’s hands are peeling and strongly smelling of alcohol. Those germs are going to ATTACK, unless you’re in the comfort of your own, squeaky-clean home… right?
Uh… not quite.
How Germs Spread
Eighty percent of all infectious diseases come from contact spread. There’s direct, person-to-person contact (such as kissing and booger-wiping) and there’s indirect contact, like touching a filthy, cesspool of a doorknob, then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
You’re washing your hands non-stop, which is the most effective way of preventing contact spread… But how about that doorknob? When was the last time you cleaned that?
The Germiest Stuff in the House
If you’re not super proactive and vigilant about keeping germs at bay, your own home can host millions of ‘em – especially in the kitchen and bathroom.
So before you run and tell your kiddos to wash their hands to the ABC song for the 5th time today, why don’t you grab a clean rag and a bottle of 409 and go on a (germ) killing spree?
Refrigerator Seal: The rubber lining on the inside of the fridge door is a germ paradise for mold and fungi. They love the damp area and multiply easily by releasing tiny spores that float through the air. (Still want that midnight snack?) Clean with hot soapy water, rinse, and follow up with a bleach/water solution or sanitizing agent.
Sponges and Dishrags: The porous and damp environment is a breeding ground for food residues and bacteria to live quite happily together. Virulent strains of E. Coli, and Staph, for example, promptly adhere to other cells and surfaces. When this happens, they put down roots and establish an unhealthy colony. So yes, the stuff you’re using to clean your dishes and utensils are actually making them filthier. (Oh, the irony!)
Put wet sponges in the microwave for two minutes every day and replace the sponge every two weeks. Wash dish rags and towels in hot water or sanitizing cycle with bleach. Replace dish rags and towels every two days.
Keyboards, Knobs, and Remote Controls: These are germ hotspots, mainly because they are used so often, and by so many people in the house. Use sterile wipes to prevent microbial buildup.
Garbage Disposal: Contrary to what this handy machine supposedly does, it actually can be one of the biggest contributors to bacterial growth. We usually run the disposal and simply forget about it. Little do we know, a ton of food residue gets left behind, helping bacteria thrive. If left unchecked, the bacteria can make its way up to the sink faucet head!
Sanitize kitchen drains and the disposal once a week by pouring a solution of 1 teaspoon household bleach diluted in one quart of water. Note: DILUTED! If you use straight up bleach, everything’ll melt!!!
Toilet: Toilet spray can go a long way. (That’s a catchy phrase to help the kids remember!) Here’s a disgusting thought: When you flush, the whirlpool spray can land on soap, toothbrushes, and other surfaces. Close the lid before flushing to prevent contaminating things!
Linens: After your kids get sick, make sure to wash their pillowcases, sheets, blankets, and even the teddy bear to start fresh. Throw away toothbrushes, and disinfect the toothbrush holder, toys, knobs, remote controls, light switches – pretty much anything that has been touched.
Are you a germaphobe who loves to keep a clean home? What are some filthy spots we missed? Let us know in the comments below!
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