We all like a clean home and office and try our best to keep it so. But are your surroundings really as clean as they look? What we rarely think of is that germs hide in places we do not think of and quickly multiple to spread infections. According to studies, some bacteria are capable of dividing every 20 minutes when provided with the right temperature and medium.
Common germs that might be hiding in your homes could be Staphylococcus aureus (staph), yeast and mold, Salmonella, and Escherichia coli (E.coli). If not disinfected, these germs multiply by the thousands within hours and spread diseases. To prevent the germs from taking over your space, you need to constantly clean things around you, wash the linen, and disinfect the rooms.1 Use this checklist to discover where germs are most likely to hide in your homes and clean them away as quickly as possible.
Common Places Where Germs Reside
The kitchen is the place most suited for germ growth as this is where food is prepared and stored. Studies have shown that dish sponges, rags, and cleaning cloths had more Salmonella, E.Coli, and fecal matter than other areas. Other than the food, kitchen cabinets, sinks, storage areas, appliances, refrigerator, and counter tops are also excellent breeding ground for germs. A few simple steps will help keep the kitchen germ-free:2 3
- Use disinfectants on all surfaces and appliances
- Disinfect sponges by soaking them in bleach
- Change dish towels and table linen as often as you can
- Wash your hands, vessels, and tableware before and after handling food
2. Knobs, Handles, And Switches
Everything you touch might have germs on them. And the least-noticed areas for cleaning are light switches, stove or door knobs, appliance handles and bathroom door handles. Bathroom handles, especially, carry more germs than other places. So, clean all of these with disinfectants once a week. 4
3. Bags Of All Shapes And Sizes
School and travel bags meet a lot of people! They need to be cleaned and disinfected as often as possible. Germs might love your make-up bag for the numerous nooks and crannies they have to hide in. Makeup applicators need to be cleaned regularly as they can carry a whole lot of germs that might cause eye/skin infections. Check products for expiry, wash your brushes regularly, and replace your cosmetics as often as you can.5
The bathroom, as we all know, has the maximum germs hidden. As much as you scrub and clean your bathroom, you also need to pay attention to faucets, drains, areas around basin and toilet, bath towels, tooth brushes, light switches, and showers. Moisture and heat encourage bacterial growth, so meticulous cleaning is essential to keep the germs away.6
5. Wet Laundry
Not everyone knows that laundry can bring in infectious germs too. Wet laundry left in a machine, even for a short time, can cause germs to grow. Cloths should be removed from the machine immediately after a wash. Water, warmth and possible dirt residue in the machine might easily cause germs to grow. Clothes should be shifted to a drier immediately, or sun dried to prevent infections.7
6. Around Home And Office
With the major areas taken care of, we should look into other things around the home or office that we generally tend to overlook, such as the remote control, keys, keyboards, telephones, and mobiles. Also, do not forget to disinfect the carpets, living area rugs, bed linen, cushions, and upholstery on a regular basis.8
Periodic cleaning with a disinfectant, washing linen regularly and keeping every nook and corner of your homes or offices clean will definitely help keep all germs away!
|↑1||Weinberg, Winkler G. No germs allowed!: how to avoid infectious diseases at home and on the road. Rutgers University Press, 2004.|
|↑2, ↑7||Where do germs hide. Minnesota Department of Health.|
|↑3||Kagan, Lori J., Allison E. Aiello, and Elaine Larson. “The role of the home environment in the transmission of infectious diseases.” Journal of community health 27.4 (2002): 247-267.|
|↑4, ↑5||Tierno, M. Philip. The Secret Life of Germs: What They Are, Why We Need Them, and How We Can Protect Ourselves Against Them, Simon and Schuster, 2004.|
|↑6, ↑8||Button, Kimberly. The Everything Guide to a Healthy Home: All You Need to Protect Yourself and Your Family from Hidden Household Dangers, Adams Media, 2012.|