SMART WAYS TO FIGHT HOUSEHOLD GERMS
Studies show that half of food-borne illnesses are contacted in the home, not in restaurants. There are over 9000 species of microbes, bacteria, and fungus in a normal home in Brevard County, and of those, the ones that can make you sick are usually Staph, yeast, mold, Salmonella, E. coli, and the microbes found in small particles of fecal matter. Even if you clean on a regular basis, germs can live for a long time– days, weeks and even months. How they spread depends on the surface type, a person’s living habits, their lifestyle practices, and their cleaning procedures. For instance, germs could migrate from your bathroom to your hands to your cutting board to your hand towels, back to your hands and then to your mouth. Yuck!
The key thing to know about germs is that they are often found in places that you wouldn’t ordinarily think about. Therefore, one way to fight germs is to be consistent with cleaning certain key items in your home. Here is a list of the objects and areas that you should concentrate on cleaning regularly.
- Use disinfectant wipes on places that you touch the most. Wipe down the handles on your refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, and stove. Hit the door knobs and light switches too.
- Wipe down the countertops after each use
- Your remote control is one of the worst offenders for germs. Cover it with a plastic-sleeve protector and sanitize it on a regular basis. Clean your watch band too and cell phone too.
- Wet your sponges and cook them in the microwave for a minute or two to kill the bacteria that grow in them. You can also soak them in bleach water.
- Make sure that you change dish towels every couple of days.
- Here is a given. Make sure that you wash your hands before and after touching or handling food.
- Wash your cutting board with hot soapy water and sanitize it occasionally with bleach and water. All the little grooves made by knives provide perfect homes for bacteria. Remember that there are hundreds of times more bacteria on a cutting board than on a toilet seat.
- Wash your coffee mug, water bottle, and drinking glass every day.
- The kitchen sink is one of the most germ-infested places in the home. Make sure that you clean it as well.
- Clean the inside of your refrigerator regularly as germs like to eat food too.
- Don’t share towels with other family members, and make sure to wash them after use. Bacteria thrive in the densely woven material, especially when it is wet and full of skin cells from repeated usage. Wash bath towels twice a week and make sure that you wash guest towels after every use.
- Studies of sheets have shown that they are often collectors of feces, salmonella, and E. coli. Use hot water in the washer.
- Your gym bag, yoga bag, flip-flops, and purse picks up germs in public places and brings them home. Watch where you put these down in public, and make sure that you clean them often to avoid skin infections.
- Your shoes also pick up germs in public. Make sure that you always remove your shoes at the door. You could also clean them up every once in a while.
- Carpet contains about 200,000 bacteria per square inch, making it 4,000 times dirtier than your toilet seat. The average person sheds a million skin cells an hour. Many of these skin cells fall into the rug. Those skin cells, dropped food particles, pollen, and other stuff become food for the germs living in your carpet. Your ordinary vacuum cleaner doesn’t work to get them out, so colonies of E. coli, salmonella, staphylococcus will thrive. A professional carpet cleaning should be done on a regular basis.
Following these suggestions will go a long way toward keeping germs at bay, and keeping you and your family much healthier here on the Space Coast. Another thing you can do is to have a professional cleaner go through your home. They know what they are doing because they do it for a living. After they are through, you will have a head start in keeping ahead of the germs that live and thrive in your home.