Although some germs are beneficial, others have adverse effects on people’s health. When germs enter your body, they consume the energy and nutrients that are intended to support its healthy functioning. Even worse, they can produce toxins which are capable of causing infections such as fevers, sniffles, diarrhea, rashes, vomiting, as well as coughing. You can collect germs from any place but some areas are more infested with the microorganisms than others. In your home, the germiest places include:
- Kitchen Sink
You wash raw foods in your kitchen sink to get rid of pathogens such as bacteria from them. Unfortunately, the germs don’t go down the drain entirely; some of them remain on the surface of the sink. The same case applies when you rinse your plates and utensils in the sink.
Considering that some kitchen sink parts tend to be moist, the condition supports the multiplication of the germs. A research by the National Science Foundation (NSF) showed that 45% of the sinks investigated during the study contained coliform bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli, while 27% of them had mold.
To eliminate germs in your kitchen sink, ensure that you disinfect it using a genuine and effective disinfectant. Don’t forget to pour some of the disinfectant down the sink’s drain.
- Cutting boards
The NSF study also showed that 18% of the cutting boards analyzed contained molds and yeasts. Another study claims that the amount of germs in a cutting board is usually 200 times more as compared to a toilet seat’s.
Keep germs off your cutting board by placing it in the dishwasher after every use. Alternatively, you can hand-wash it thoroughly using hot soapy water and then rinse well under fast-flowing water. Also, ensure that the board is completely dry after cleaning.
- Kitchen counters
According to a study done by Initial Washroom Hygiene, a U.S-based company, your kitchen is less hygienic as compared to your bathroom. The researchers assert that your kitchen countertop holds five times as much bacteria as your toilet seat. Considering that you place your raw food for preparation on the countertop, it’s no surprise that it can harbor lots of germs. Therefore, it is advisable that you clean your kitchen counters (especially the countertops) regularly using an effective germ-killing cleaner and then dry it regularly, preferably using a microfiber cloth.
- Dish sponges
The findings of the study by NSF indicated that over 75% of dish sponges and rags had coliform bacteria, an indication of possible fecal contamination. Yaak! This high contamination is attributed to the moisture and food remains that the sponges usually hold. NSF recommends that you replace your dish sponge with a new one at least every two weeks. Also, clean it daily by putting it in the microwave for about two minutes.
- Stove knobs
Stove nobs also harbor some bacteria (especially coliform bacteria), molds and yeast. As you are preparing meals, your hands are likely to pick germs from cleaning sponges; kitchen sings are other germ-vulnerable places and transfer them to the stove knob when turning on/off the stove.
The research showed that 14% of the nobs analyzed had coliform bacteria while 27% of them had molds and yeasts. Remove your stove nobs and wash them thoroughly using hot, soapy water and then rinse them under fast-flowing water every week to get rid of germs.
- Bathroom doorknob and light switches
For you to enter a bathroom the first point of contact is the doorknob and if it’s dark, you’ll need to switch on the light. In case your hands are contaminated with germs you’ll leave them on the area. Also, in case you don’t clean your hands thoroughly after the call of nature, there are high chances that you’ll leave the door knob and light switches contaminated with the germs from your excreta.
As such, it is important that you disinfect these spots every week using disinfecting wipes. Ensure that you use a new wipe for each spot rather than using one for different areas to prevent further spread of the microorganisms.
- Faucet handles
For you to wash your dirty hands in the sink you must turn the faucet handles and this is where the contamination of the handles comes in. The study showed that 9% of the bathroom faucets in the sampled homes had coliform bacteria while mold wad detected in 27% of them. 5% of the faucets had staph.
Bathroom is the place where you go to free your body from the dirt and grime that it has accumulated from the last bath. As such, this is one of the places that are likely to host the largest number of bacteria. Besides, the moisture from a hot shower encourages the multiplication of germs. The bathroom spots that are likely to have a high germ concentration include drains, handles and the floor area surrounding the toilet.
Your bathroom towels and toothbrushes are also highly susceptible to germ infestation. The best way to keep the troublesome microorganisms off your bathroom is to clean it thoroughly every week and wipe the surfaces and handles using disinfecting wipes every day. When cleaning, ensure that you leave even the tiniest spaces, especially around the drains and around the drains spotlessly clean.
You can use an old toothbrush to clean up these tiny spaces. As for the towels, replace them on weekly basis. Also, make sure that you replace your toothbrushes with new ones every three or four months.
- Washing Machine
No matter how powerful your washing machine is, it won’t kill the germs that come from your clothes. This is because the majority of germs are able to thrive even in some hot water. Even if you are very strict with hygiene, your innerwear will have some fecal matter after wearing it.
Besides, your clothes might pick germs from different surfaces during your day’s activities. Single germ-contaminated clothing can lead to the contamination of nearly all other clothes with which it is washed together. The situation gets worse when you leave wet laundry in the washing machine as this encourages the flourishing of the microorganisms.
The best way to deal with germs in your laundry is to put the clothes in a dryer for 30 minutes or more. Ensure that the dryer is on high heat for the entire period to kill the present pathogens.
Alternatively, you can dry them in the sun to get the germs killed by the ultraviolet light. Also, ensure that you wipe the interiors and the exteriors of your washing machine after every use using a disinfectant. Besides, run the empty machine with a disinfectant (for instance, water and bleach) every month or more frequently.
Having known the germiest spots in your home and how to keep the microorganisms at bay from different places, it’s high time you do the necessary to keep yourself and your family healthier and less prone to germ-related infections.