When was the last time you really cleaned your house? Maybe it was just before the last holiday party or the last time someone you wanted to impress announced plans to visit. You probably organized the clutter, vacuumed, dusted and scrubbed. That day, millions of germs disappeared, but now they're back and lurking everywhere from the kitchen to the bathroom.
According to the Hygiene Council, an organization of infectious disease and public health experts, the toilet bowl, kitchen drain and sponge are among the most common household germ havens. The toilet bowl alone contains an estimated 3.2 million bacteria per square inch. The kitchen drain harbors more than a half million germs and an average sponge is home to more than 100 thousand germs per square inch.
There are simple things that can be done around the house to keep germs under control. Stacey Kannenberg, a germ-concerned mother of two, author and blogger, recommends concentrating on the two rooms in the home with the most germs:
In the bathroom
- The toilet should be a priority when cleaning each week. Start by throwing away the ordinary and germ-ridden toilet brush. A better alternative is the disposable scrubbing brush. Its curved handle and interchangeable disposable cleaning pads work for both tough stains and easy touch-ups, making cleaning easier, quicker and less disgusting. Also, the germs you've just removed from your toilet are no longer on a toilet brush that's still in your house!
- Close the lid on the toilet seat every time you flush. The spray from the toilet flushing can spread germs. Unseen by the naked eye, this fine spray contains a range of viruses and bacteria, some of which can survive for hours or days on surfaces — including exposed toothbrushes.
- Shake the shower curtain after each use and spread it open so moisture can evaporate. Clean shower curtains with a suitable disinfectant or launder them according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Rinse baths, sinks and showers after each use and clean them regularly to remove the lime scale and soap scum that can harbor germs.
In the kitchen
- When washing dishes in the dishwasher, make sure the water temperature is at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit to properly disinfect. Some machines even have a 'sanitize' option.
- Use separate cutting boards for raw meat and other food items, as the cracks and crevices on cutting boards provide space for bacteria to grow. Make sure to thoroughly clean the cutting board in between uses. Use bleach on them as often as needed and replace when the cutting groves become deep enough to be unsanitary.
"If you do nothing else, get into the habit of washing your hands frequently. Not only after using the bathroom, but after you finish eating, when you come home from work or school, after playing with pets, and especially after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose," says Kannenberg.
Bacteria can grow and divide every 20 minutes, allowing one single cell of bacteria to multiply more than 10 million times in 24 hours. The key is to locate the germ hot spots and tackle the germs as easily and quickly as possible.
Courtesy of ARAcontent