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Clean Health: Guide to Home Germs and Containments
Regardless of how clean your house appears, there may be germs lurking in many unexpected areas. While most people regularly sweep, mop and launder clothing, there are hidden areas where germs may multiply away from the visible eye. Keeping the home free of germs and bacteria is vital to ensuring the health of family and pets. From combating flu to bacteria such as Staph, Salmonella and E.coli, keeping the home sanitized and disinfected is imperative to good health. Knowing where germs are likely to thrive helps ensure that you deal with them before they pose a danger.
The bathroom is one room in the house known for harboring many germs. Towels are frequently contaminated with E.coli bacteria and must be laundered in hot water. Toothbrushes are a potential source for illness-causing bacteria. Keep toothbrushes away from other brushes and discard them after you’ve had any type of sickness. Toilets that are flushed while the lid is open can spray harmful bacteria into the room. Keep toilet bowls disinfected and flush them with the lid down to prevent illness from bacteria and viruses such as the rhinovirus.
- Most Germ-Infested Place in your Home is Shocking: A study from the University of Arizona found that 25% of bathroom towels are contaminated with E.coli bacteria.
- The Disgusting Truth about Your Toothbrush: A University of Manchester study showed the average toothbrush might be contaminated with Staph and E.coli bacteria.
- How to Avoid Restroom Germs: The University of Massachusetts shares these tips and resources for keeping germs away in the bathroom.
- Environmentally Preferable Products Purchasing Program: Cleaning the Bathroom: This guide demonstrates how to clean, disinfect and sanitize bathrooms and remove the most common germs.
The kitchen is one of the most dangerous rooms in the house when it comes to potential illness. Unsafe food preparation and practices can lead to foodborne illnesses that may leave one in extreme sickness. Disinfect cutting boards and countertops after using to reduce the risk of Salmonella contamination. Be aware of the potential dangers that may arise from wiping counters with contaminated sponges. Rinsing sponges in hot water and bleach can sterilize them. Use new sponges when they appear dirty or worn out.
- How to Clean the Kitchen: Wash Hands and Surfaces Often: The Food Safety web site shares these tips to help reduce dangerous bacteria that reside in the kitchen.
- Harmful Germs Lurking in your Kitchen Can Make you Sick: Salmonella, Listeria and E.coli may be lurking in your kitchen. Learn how to keep your kitchen germ-free.
- An Ounce of Prevention Keeps the Germs Away: Seven Keys to a Safer, Healthier Home: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides this guide for keeping a germ-free kitchen and home.
- How to Eliminate Bacteria in the Kitchen: Better Homes and Gardens examines the best way to keep kitchens free of germs and foodborne illnesses.
While the bedroom may seem one of the least rooms in the house to be exposed to bacteria, studies show that many germs thrive in the bedroom. Pillows, sheets and mattresses can be sources for viruses and contamination. Climbing into bed without first bathing or showering can easily transfer germs, bacteria and viruses from your body or clothing to the bed. Furniture, doors and doorknobs should be regularly cleaned and disinfected.
- Where Germs Live: Bed and Bath: CBS News examines the common germs that are found in bedrooms and how to keep you and your family safe.
- Mold, Dust Mites, Fungi, Spores and Pollen: Bioaerosols in the Human Environment: Learn about the indoor environmental hazards that lurk in bedrooms and can cause health issues.
- How to Prevent and Remove Mildew: Home Methods: The University of Missouri Extension shares these resources for removing mildew in the home including susceptible areas in the bedroom.
- Bed Bug Fact Sheet: Learn about bed bugs and discover if they bring germs into the home environment.
The home office can quickly become a den of harmful germs, bacteria and viruses. Studies show that cell phones and landline telephones can be rife with germs. Computers and peripherals such as a computer mouse and keyboards are also susceptible. Many who eat meals and snacks at their desks may be unaware of how quickly germs are spreading. Those with a home office must take great care to ensure they not only keep it tidy and organized, but disinfected as well.
- Nine Surprising Office Germ Havens: Woman’s Day discusses nine areas in the home office that are known for high germ activity.
- Cell Phones Found with more Bacteria than Toilet Seats: Kare 11 put several cell phone brands to the test and learned they carry more bacteria than toilets.
- Keyboards Dirtier than a Toilet: Report shows that some computer keyboards carry more bacteria and germs than toilets.
- Eating Lunch at your Desk Can Expose you to More Bad Bacteria than a Toilet Seat, Study Finds: Even those who work from home can fall into the habit of eating at their work desk, a habit that can result in exposure to harmful germs.
Though we think of the laundry room as a place to clean our clothes, many washing machines are full of germs and bacteria. As more people seek to conserve energy and switch from using hot water cycles to warm and cold, more germs are surviving the wash cycle. Air-drying instead of drying clothes in a hot dryer allows germs to survive longer than they would in the dryer. Many germs, viruses and bacteria cling to the inside of the washing machine tub, rather than being washed away. Running an empty wash on a hot or cold cycle with bleach can help reduce the amount of germs present in washing machines.
- Getting Clothes Clean: Learn the best strategies for getting clothes clean, disinfected and sanitized.
- How Washing Machines can put Your Family’s Health at Risk: Lowering temperatures when washing clothes may increase the amount of E. coli bacteria that survive the laundering process.
- Stopping the Spread of Germs in the Laundry: These tips help reduce the amount of bacteria and germs that are spread in the laundry room.
- How to Prevent Germs from Spreading: Use these steps to ensure you keep your laundry clean, sanitized and germ free.
Last modified: April 9, 2018